The world has definitely seen a chart-topping resurgence in commercial dance tunes dominate the music charts and online realms. It has come back to a fashionable era for the four-on-the-floor thumping dance-floor sound over the last two years e.g. Rihanna’s megahit We Found Love or the latest internet viral sensation Azealia Banks. For producers like Danny Wolfers (who has been releasing his own brand of techno and house music music mainly under the moniker Legowelt since the mid-nineties) there is a strict adhering code to creating this music. Not to be compared with the big production units creating commercial dance-floor sounds for today’s pop stars, Wolfers formula remains influenced by the pioneers of Detroit Techno and Jack Masters of Chicago’s Acid House of the eighties. It might also be fair to say Wolfers is a lover of the analogue and expert manipulator of large banks of vintage synthesizer libraries, which are the main arsenals he draws from to create the very lush and hypnotic soundscapes in his music.
He has been creating music under a slew of different monikers over his fifteen year career (ed. note My favorites are ‘Nacho Party’ and ‘Catnip’, for obvious reasons) and has put out a large body of work, mostly released through the legendary Netherlands electronic label Bunker records. He’s no one-label pony though; he also has two new projects scheduled for release later this year with different labels. I caught up with Legowelt from a remote location somewhere, presumably in The Hague for this Q&A about his influences, new projects, and favorite places to play music.
Why do you call your style of music ‘Slam Jack’?
I don’t know that’s just some biography blabla. I don’t really call it that, it just sounds good, or used to sound good 10 years ago. I would just call my music techno or house to keep it simple these days and not confuse anyone.
How many synthesizers do you own? Which one do you like the most?
I am not sure I never counted them and I just woke up so I am still lackadaisical so I am not going to count them now. I guess about 20 or so. But they are all over the place, some lent out to friends, some in the cellar in closets etc. Right now my favorite is the Roland Super JX10 it was the ill-fated successor to the Roland Jupiter 8 sort of, it’s really big and has a broad warm sound…it was used a lot in the soundtracks for Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive by Angello Badelamenti. Anyways unlike a Roland Jupiter 8 it doesn’t cost $5000 but like only 8% of that. Another current favorite is the Korg MicroStation its a pretty new synth, like a mini Korg Triton workstation with really freaky synthesis capabilities
Where in the world do you currently find the best scene is for your music?
The States is pretty good for the music now, Poland, England, Ireland, there are fans and well wishers all over the world.
I am always intrigued with people’s working space and environments when they are creating. Can you tell me more about where you are finding inspiration for your music?
Yeah, working space is important because I think the surroundings do influence the music. When me and Xosar were in the desert making the XAMIGA EP, we definitely got influenced by the desolate and mysterious ancient desert energy.
I always like to set up my gear in different places to acquire the moods, so I get most of my inspiration from situations I am in or places I am at.
What are the differences between Legowelt and the other alias you use, Polarius?
Well I use a lot more aliases for different projects, probably around 30 over the last 15 years. I haven’t made a new Polarius record since 2003, so that’s almost 10 years ago.
The difference was at that time Polarius was more kinda deep techno soul style and Legowelt was more influenced by soundtrack electro disco thing…very pompous sometimes.
At that time people were way more closed-minded with music styles, all those electroclash disco wankers would hate techno and house so I would release my techno soul stuff under the Polarius name cause I thought it would devastate the lives of all those hipsters…Anyway, later I said fuck all this shit I am not going to do anymore forced pompous electro
disco stuff I am just going to bang the machines and I don’t give a fuck…so more or less the style of Legowelt merged towards Polarius and a lot of other aliases.
Are you doing more projects with Bunker Records or any new projects for 2012?
I haven’t done much new stuff for Bunker lately, most of it is re-presses and old stuff but I am sure Guy Tavares (boss of Bunker) will conjure a new scheme of exploitation for my music. There are a lot of projects for 2012. I am working on an album for Clone Records which will be called THE PARANORMAL SOUL and with XOSAR I am
doing a project called XAMIGA which should be released sometime later this year…We already made a videoclip of one of the tracks when we were on our way to Palm Springs.
You can watch that video clip below, and you can hear more of Legowelt’s music at http://www.legowelt.com.