the Sound Guy
Let it flow
Interview: Cesar Poumian
Kosmas is first a DJ. One who feels the need to spread good vibes around. One who knows exactly how to fit the tracks in a row, to create a proper journey for the listener & then a music producer, who always tries to take sound to the next level.
“there was a 16-band equalizer and it was my favourite toy!”
Was it always music or were you one of those kids who spent child-hood experimenting with everything to finally settle in the world of sound?
As long as I can remember, I was one of those kids that was always intrigued by sound. I remember when I was 4 and my father got a new car, there was a 16-band equalizer and it was my favourite toy! Also later when he brought home a double cassette deck, I used to record everything I could to make things sound like songs or tracks or weird experiments, I might say.
Has the sound medium always been enough for you? Have there been moments in which appealing to other mediums felt necessary to fully convey an idea?
I’m a sound guy in all aspects, cannot say I found appeal in anything else than sound to be honest. That shows my limitations, but this is all I ever needed anyways.
Right now, there´s an abundance not only of great music, but also of great tools to make it. What do you think about limitations? Do you think, as some producers do, they can be an integral part of the creative process?
Less is more, I believe. The less tools you have, the better you get to know them. I’ve been through times when I had 5 or 6 synthesizers at the same time, messing with dozens of fx plugins to get a job done. But the moment I decided I want to finish stuff with only a couple of synths and a few fx plugins, that’s when the music was better. Abundance kills creativity, me thinks.
Which is the strongest motivator for you: an abstract thought/feeling or a concrete idea?
I’m more of a guy that lets things flow. Not 100% of the time, but 80% yes. So the majority of my music is ideas that start from scratch, without having a goal. But one thing brings the other, step by step, until I get somewhere that sounds cool. An ambient idea might end up deep house and a techno one might end up breakbeat.
But when the client asks for specific things, such as TV shows or documentaries, I almost know where I’m going from the very start.
In your bio you´re portrayed as a universal citizen who feels local wherever he goes; To what extent have you borrowed from the local musical traditions of these places?
I adapt wherever I live. That’s why my music doesn’t appeal only to mexicans, or greeks, or british people, but to anyone with an open mind for it. I don’t borrow traditional sounds from the places I go, but the environment definitely influences my decisions e.g. for a track title or a certain image behind the promotion of an e.p.
I see a lot of pictures from your hometown. Why is it important to you? And how that influences your music?
My city called Xanthi, is the place where I was born and grew up. All that until my 34, when I moved to Argentina. So it played a very important role in shaping my character. Music-wise, I wouldn’t say it influenced me that much, it was mostly in a personal level. Even though it also reflects somehow inexplicably in my first pieces of music.
Tell me a little bit more about those guys in the picture?
These guys are my friends here, we’ve been in touch for a long time, making company and even some music together. George likes his house more minimal and deep and Dio loves it more melodic, relaxed at times. He even makes great downtempo. I am collaborating with both in various ways, either co-producing or mastering their music. We also enjoy some good coffee together as it shows in that photo!
What is your next project or what are you currently working on?
My next projects vary from single releases to remixes to preparing samples for a sample library. Releases to Tripswitch’s new exciting label Onedotsixtwo, Akbal Music, Golden Wings Music, Stripped Music, Anathema records.. forgive me if I forget something. Also the sample pack for Sample Magic, which will cover various sides of the Melodic Deep House sound that I produce myself too. All in all, busy enough to not have any time to arrange gigs or tours. Later though.
Thanks for your time Kosmas! To wrap it up, what advice would you give young producers, DJs and artists?
My advice to the young, aspiring producers is to never quit their dreams. It is a very hard road to achieve what they want, it takes a lot of time and study, they will face a lot of di culties, but in the end it all pays o . It’s absolutely essential for them to have a morning job, to cover their expenses and also buy all the tools they would need down the road & spend afternoons and weekends, getting better at making music. They need to get to know their tools inside out, a few at a time. Just a computer with a daw, a pair of speakers and an audio interface to get started. It always helps to know a bit about music theory and harmony, at least the basics, so some lessons would be very helpful. Nowadays there is a huge amount of information on the internet, so they shouldn’t be lazy and hunt down every single information they can. Even getting to know how to produce other styles of music like hip-hop, drum n bass, pop, techno, trance, etc, they can learn and later adopt this knowledge to their own preferred sound. The need to learn how to accept every kind of feedback, either positive or negative to get better and not get disappointed. Actually, negative feedback is the best gift someone can give to you to persist, because tenacity is the most important weapon to stay on the surface and not get drowned. So, patience please!