Interview with Anitek

While scraping the net looking for more netaudio (like we often do here), I came across Anitek, a 24-year-old from New Jersey now living in Switzerland who has accumulated a lot of his own trip/hip-hop instrumental music.  I thought about simply doing a review of one of his more recent albums, but then realized it might be more interesting to email him a few questions.  His music is sample-heavy but unique.  I wanted to know how much of that was created by the artist and how much has been sampled from other sources.  Turns out, much of it is Anitek and/or his collaborators, especially on his more recent releases which are arranged quite well.  What follows is a short transcript from our email exchange.

[NC] When did you start making music, and more specifically, sample-based trip-hop etc.?

[Anitek] I’ve been making music more on the trippy side for about 5 years I would say. I am 24 now.

Where do you get most of your inspiration?

A lot of my inspiration comes from complex composers such as Rachmaninoff, and Liszt. As far as downtempo triphop/instrumental hiphop, I would have to say DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, Fat Jon, RJD2, and all those early Ninja Tune artists.

You’ve said you use guitar, piano, drums, percussion, cello, or other instruments to make your own samples.  What gear do you use to get from making sounds on these instruments to putting them into a track?  What hardware/software do you use?

Also clarinet, trumpet, bass, and koto!  I just run the output to input directly into a M-Audio Firewire 410.  As far as recording instrumentals with mics, I use 3 dynamic sm57’s…pretty simple. I use Logic Pro 9, but…I have a shit load of plugins I use, so I only really use logic to record into.  I love effecting sounds so that they are unrecognizable…

I notice you collaborate with other artists in the US from your home in Switzerland.  Do you use online tools for that, or just dropbox/email each other ideas or samples?

Well, I am originally from New Jersey. I moved to Switzerland about a year ago….met a Swiss girl, got married out here, and just chillin’ on a lake across from the Alps!  So anyone I collab’ed with from the US, I always did via internet, except the ones near me.  As far as being in Switzerland…We just send eachother sessions back and forth, whilst adding to it more and more  to build the tracks.  We use Wetransfer.com, because I often can’t fit sessions and WAVs in emails… wack!

I came across a YouTube vid of you scratching.

Are you using Traktor Scratch, Serato, or some other software config?

I use Serato when I do the cuts.

What software/hardware do you use to produce your music videos?

I use Final Cut Pro. Sometimes Adobe Premier when Final Cut takes a shit :/

What are you listening to today?

I listen to all kinds of stuff… lots of DJ Krush, lots of old-school hip-hop, and lots of minimalistic acoustic stuff, like Bebel Gilberto, and Koop, and lots of reggae… depends on the mood.

If you could jam / work with any artist, who would it be and why?

If I could jam with any artist….ummm, I’m not sure actually….Probably just someone who is nnnnaaassstyy at drums or bass, or both!

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For a recent release by Anitek, and one that I highly recommend, do check out Project Monarch on SoundCloud, along with dozens of his other releases.  Be sure to check out some YouTube videos from that album and others as well.

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