Kevin Knapp is a force to be reckoned with, a musical heavyweight known for his…
The electrifying live performances of Octave One are one reason that the Detroit born and bred producers are in constant demand.
On stage, Octave One transforms synthesizers and sequencers into vessels of funk, house and symphonic beats. The live show is evidence of what longtime fans already know. The duo has recently released dropped their album ‘Endustry’ under their Random Noise Generation alias – their first new music under that moniker since 2006. We just had the chance to chat with them about the release, their coming up gigs at New York’s Analog BKNY and KMS Origins Movement After Party in Detroit as well as other musical topics.
EG: Hi guys, it’s a real pleasure and honor to chat with you. So you just released the album ‘Endustry’ under your alias Random Noise Generation. What can you tell us about the production process behind it?
Octave One: Well the production process was a lot of fun and different for us. As we have been touring quite heavily lately we wanted to produce something that reflected elements of our road life experiences to an album project. So we set out this time to produce pretty much the entire project on the road as we toured. We put together thoughts and ideas together after our sets of what we wanted to develop and during our ‘down time’ on the road we started production setting up pieces of gear in our hotel rooms and started at it! When we would return briefly back to the States we would hit our studio and lay down our road grooves and expand on those ideas…it was pretty interesting!
EG: Your last release under Random Noise Generation was in 2006. Any reason why it took so much time to come out with new material?
Octave One: We’ve always held this concept in our minds about creating music that we would only do it when we felt we had something musically to say. Although we felt that we might have had things to say as Random Noise Generation (RNG) since that time, we didn’t, however, feel that our thoughts could encompass a complete full-length project at that time, so we just waited until it felt right for us.
EG: What main differences does Random Noise Generation have from the legendary Octave One?
Octave One: In the beginning, the difference between RNG and Octave One was quite simple for us. We produced tracks for Octave One that was a lot more laid back and were truly synth and drum driven, sample free. RNG’s style was a lot more based solely on twisting samples until they were pretty unrecognizable and the tracks were a lot more aggressive in nature. But over the years maybe the lines have become a lot more blurred, we still keep Octave One sample free but maybe some of the tracks sometimes can get choppy and aggressive and we don’t really base RNG tracks around samples or use samples at all too much anymore.
“It’s very challenging in a lot of ways because you never really get settled because you’re constantly on the move.”
EG: You could say that the album was “born” in a series of hotel rooms. How does touring affect or influence the creative process?
Octave One: It’s very challenging in a lot of ways because you never really get settled because you’re constantly on the move. You might be inspired by the city or country that you’re in but maybe not so much by the hotel you’re creating in, so you try to fool your mind to see past those four walls that surround you or even imprison if you can’t get the grooves to work for you. Still, for us, it was an interesting experience…sometimes when you create as an artist for so long it’s good to break things up a bit.
EG: In terms of track development, do you feel that a particular location inspired you more than others?
Octave One: We weren’t so much inspired by one particular location more than others, but rather each place inspired us differently to another…apples and oranges…you know?!
EG: You ’re playing in New York and in your hometown Detroit very soon. What are the expectations?
Octave One: Sorry, no spoiler alerts here… but we expect to be absolutely insane!
EG: Detroit will also be hosting its yearly Movement festival. How do you see the evolution of the festival from its inceptions days?
Octave One: It seems to be evolving into a world-class global music festival. But it’s evolution is a bit bittersweet because it was built pretty much solely from the soul of the Detroit dance community at center stage. Now seldom does its own artist make it to the center they helped develop… but we guess that’s progress still.
“Detroit’s a fun city but it’s also a real one too”
EG: And the local scene. Is it moving in the right direction? How does it compare to 20 years ago?
Octave One: We really can’t speak on the local scene anymore since we moved to Atlanta about 10 years ago.
EG: You will be performing in Detroit at the KMS Origins Movement After Party alongside Kevin Saunderson who will be playing B2B with KiNK. What should attendees expect from this techno rendezvous?
Octave One: Yes, we’ll be performing at Kevin’s event and we think it’s gonna be a blast no doubt, fo sho! It’s always fun to play with him and we love playing with our friend KiNK too…it’s been too long since we’ve seen them both!
EG: For those who are going for the first time to Detroit, what advice can you give them?
Octave One: Detroit’s a fun city but it’s also a real one too ;). So like any big city you have to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention…other than that have a good time!
EG: Any particular place you guys would recommend to visit or eat?
Octave One: Visit The Motown Museum, Belle Isle Park and Submerge (Detroit’s techno museum). Park’s BBQ, Bread Basket Deli (Oak Park), Lafayette Coney Island and ima for amazing Japanese Udon Noodles. Detroit has a lot of cool things to see and do, so go explore and enjoy!
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