Exclusive Mix & Interview
April 16th, 2018
Country: The Netherlands
Genre: Electro / Techno
Label: Bass Agenda Recordings
W1b0. Introduce yourself and who you are.
Hi, I am Wibo Lammerts and I make electro as w1b0. I am much older than you, and I am from Utrecht in the Netherlands. I am married, have 2 boys and have a day job in IT. I have been DJing on and off for about 20 years, and these last 10 years I have been making my own electro tracks as w1b0.
Can you take us through your early days, the year 2000, and the past 3 weeks.
The early days…2 things jump into my mind here…First thing is that my dad always worked in an audio store on Saturdays, and Monday was his day off. So that was the day he would play his music. He played his music loud! Aside from classical music, he was also into a lot of synthesizer and synthpop music. I got a lot of my musical background from him - Space, Sky, Alan Parsons, OMD, Tangerine Dream, Donald Fagen, Vangelis, Spectral Display, JeanMichel Jarre, Kitaro…
The Second part comes much later, I think I was 11-12-13 years old then…On the radio you had “The Soul Show”, and they played all sorts of disco, funk and early house records. “imported from the USA, straight from the plane” was what they always said. I had these visions of the pilot handing a box of records to a courier who would then get the records to the studio very fast in order to get them on the radio. From my dad I got a tape recorder, so I would record an entire show, and then make my own compilation cassette-tapes from that.
2000…I was hugely into Detroit Techno back then. I had just visited Detroit in December 1999, and had met almost everyone who was important in Detroit Techno. Most notably was our visit to the legendary Submerge building on 2030 Grand River Avenue, were we met Mad Mike Banks and the UR crew.
Three weeks ago...I was in full preparation for my “Whip It” DJ gig at the Melkweg in Amsterdam. They asked me to do a pre-gig for a Facebook livestream, which was a disaster, but the gig itself was awesome and went like a dream.
"Over the years, I have made Electro tracks in various shapes and sizes..."
Take us through your production process.
When you think about electro, you think of the TR 808 drum machine. That is almost synonymous. All the early Hip-Hop, Miami bass and electro, that’s mostly the 808. It’s similar with all the early 90s techno records; those were mostly all done with a TR 909 drum machine. Tons of electro-records have already been made with the 808, and I do not feel that I have something to add to that. So I would rather make my own style of electro using other sounds.
I make my beats with Native instruments Maschine. I have about 10 of their expansion packs, which vary from dubstep- and grime-sounds to tech-house and techno. I mix and mash various kits and banks until I have something that works. If you listen to electro, there is a lot of freaky music out there. Personally I don’t think most of that would work on a dancefloor. I always try make to make electro that has a more techno kind of feel, and that has some sort of “hook”, some sort of melody or repetitive sound that sticks to your mind ;)
When I create a rhythm in Maschine, I export the parts as separate audio files, and import those into Cubase 8. Once there, I work on the arrangement, add in other (virtual) instruments and plugins and do the EQing. I have been working with Cubase for so many years now, so I cannot imagine me working with something else.
So that is basically my workflow. When it comes to new hardware, my main concern is always whether such gear would fit in my workflow. If not, it’s easily sold ;) My current setup consists of 6 synthesizers and some other gear.
What has changed throughout the years? Is there any advice you have for new producers?
Well Maschine was the big change for me, in beat making. I think my beats since have been way more adventurous. I used Battery before that, and the Spark drum machine for a while. But the core has always been Cubase.
Advice for new producers… I think you should *ALWAYS*, no matter what anyone says, do and try to make what you like. Always. Stick to it. Because regardless the style of music that you are making, if it’s good, you will get noticed. Keep doing it. Try and dare to experiment.
What plugins can’t you live without and what programs are necessary to your success?
There are a few plugins I use in almost every track: Native instruments Driver for distortion and other filth, the Arturia MiniFilter, Valhalla Reverb, Focusrite Red 3 compressor.
"...regardless the style of music that you are making, if it's good, you will get noticed."
Can you give us some insight into some of your past releases?
Around 2000 I did 2 techno records, as Detour on dutch labels, with my musical partner at the time. As Transhumanism, we have done Transhumanism 1 and -2, both were received very well. Especially Transhumanism 1 was a big deal for me with Helena Hauff including “Utopia Planitia” in her Essential Mix for BBC Radio One.
Any new projects you’d like to share?
We are currently in the process of putting the RXmode “Degraded” Transhumanism Remixes out on vinyl, not sure when that’s going to be released. And of course Transhumanism 3 later this year; I’ll be starting the creative process for my track on that record right after I have sent you this interview ;) Hopefully we can have that one in the shops in October during ADE. I have 2 other projects in various stages of completion, and if times permits it, I try to do more experimental stuff for an album.
Tell us about Transhumanism and your involvement with the group.
Transhumanism is the name of our collective, that consists of RXmode, TFHats, Slaves Of Sinus and me. We all met for the first time at the first Whip It event in 2016, and then came up with the idea of doing something together. We were already artists on the Bass Agenda label. Thus the idea was born. It took a while to come up with the name though ;)
A definition of Transhumanism can be this: “The belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.” Transhumanism is a phase in the process of humans becoming cyborgs, basically Electro has always been about futuristic concepts, robots, dystopia and related ideas, so we felt it would fit perfectly.
We all make our very own style of music. Robert (Slaves Of Sinus) is into hardcore and gabber and you can hear that “ravey” darkness in his music. Camiel (TFHats) is into Depeche Mode and similar bands, and currently explores a more deeper and vocal style of electro. Ronald (RXmode) makes dark,minimalistic techno inspired tracks.
Thus far we have done 2 vinyl releases, a remix project (“Binary Stars” by TFHats) and we have a new remix project coming up: RXmode “Degraded” Transhumanism remixes, all on Bass Agenda Recordings.
We connect on a daily basis. We share new tracks and ideas and basically all sorts of nonsense. It’s a lot of fun. Personally I would love to see us doing more collaborations; working on a track as a collective. We’ll see.
In 10 words or less, describe to us your sound.
Over the years, I have made Electro tracks in various shapes and sizes, but these last 2 years I think I have found my sound in tracks like “Evans Gambit”, “Utopia Planitia” and “Zero Meridian”, which I would describe as: “Full-on, peakhour electro for the masses.”
If you could choose to electrify any piece of furniture into a sound, what would it be?
Hmmm. Probably a wooden table. You make make all sorts of sounds with a table ;) Or maybe a BBQ. I love metallic sounds.
W1b0, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration? Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
A few weeks back, I played a Transhumanism inspired DJ set at Dave Clarke’s "Whip It" night at the Melkweg in Amsterdam, which included only tracks by the 4 of us. My idea for the Smelly Feet Records mix was to do an “exclusive production mix”, to use the Whip It playlist, and change up the tracks a bit. But I have so many tracks that need some love too, so gradually I moved away from that first idea and made something else. So not only with tracks by me, but also a few by the guys, and different from the Whip It gig. Enjoy! Thank you for reaching out and for having me.