Interview with Kuba Sojka

techno fotka
Few days ahead of Kuba Sojka debut Prague gig we bring you a very interesting interview. Discover Kuba’s background, productions secrets and musical knowledge and of course don’t miss his live show and workshop at Chapeau Rouge on Saturday 30th November. Enjoy the interview and see you on Sunday.
You are a musician from Poland, following American 80’s electronic club sound. You are using modern technology and musical instruments to explore new possibilities of such sound. 
KS: As a producer or a live performer your selections spans from downtempo vubes to minimal techno rollers, from jazzy stuff to deep chord moods. You set yourself a goal to release a track on Matrix records, an oldschool Detroit label – and you did it! Another success for you was winning Laurent Garnier’s remix context with an original rework in 2010.

Pretty big achievements for a one man project. Do you still have time for non-musical activities? 
KS: This is a hard question, because all of my activity, besides music production and playing live acts, is also focused on … music. For the last two years I have been organizing workshops about music production, sound creation, and how to use analog and digital technology together. Recently I also started to cooperate with a polish distribution of Ableton, so I got a lot going on right now, but it’s my passion.
You are expanding the possibilitie of an old Detroit sound using today’s technology. What is the most moving „new era“ tool for your production / performance?
KS: I think that the most important tool in the production is my own brain and ideas. No matter what kind of technology we got in the studio, whether its analog or digital, I know that looking into both types of technology can bring great effects. My secret is using both technologies to complement each other, so using digital tech to control analog is the best way. You can find your original sound and style of music production this way – all you need is just a good idea and open mind to experiment.
What are you early musical roots? Do you come from a musical family? Have you been collecting vinyl, and what was your first instrument? 
KS: Yes, i come from a musical family. My father is a guitarist, and right now he is playing in blues and rock band. In my childhood i started playing on keyboards, then went to musical school and started playing piano and trumpet. This has given me a great basic knowledge of music theory, harmony, etc. And right now i can play everything i got on my mind, every idea of melody, chord or sequence. The basics of music theory are very important in electronic music, so the producer can be focused purely on production, not on looking for chords, notes or whatever else. It’s great to use real instruments in electronic music, that’s why you can hear some piano or trumpet in my tracks, giving it some jazzy style and natural dynamics.
KS: I started collecting vinyl a few years ago, but don’t use them to play out as I am not a DJ. I collect vinyl because of love for music. I love some electronic stuff, but most of my vinyl contains jazz music, old r&b like Marvin Gaye as well as other stuff. I can recommend good polish jazz from 70’s and 80’s, especially band called Laboratiorium.

You are also known for your live performances. Playing the whole set live comes with a lot of preparation. How did you start to play live performance?
KS: I do prepare some stuff for live performances, such as samples for my hardware, synths etc., but alot of music and composition that you can hear in my live acts is improvsed. For a live act i use Ableton (last time with Push), and microKorg. Before Push i was also using Korg ESX-1, a samples, drum machine – a typical hardware – but now I am switching to Push because working on it has a feeling of hardware. This is a great instrument for live performance, because you can focus on the instrument and playing, not on the laptop’s screen. When I play on Push i forget that it is a software. I can say that it is a huge digital Workstation. And of course you can use it with analog, external hardware.
How is the Detroit scene in Poland like? Do you have any dream club you would like to play, anywhere in the world?
KS: Hmmm, we don’t have a specific city or place for Detroit scene. Of course, some clubs organize parties with pioneers from Detroit. Other polish detroit artists I can recommend are Jacek Sienkiewicz and Chino – great guys and fantastic producers. Jasek is a legend in Poland, producing musicfor 17 or more years. Chino is a good friend of mine from Krakow, but he comes from Silesia like me. We played a big electronic concert with Chino and Yosi Horikawa (fantastic guy from Japan), performing live in the church, closing Tauron festival, Nowa Muzyka. It was great, with a lot of imporivation in the studio and on the stage. The project is named Silesia Sound, and you can find it on RBMA Radio.
Regarding a dream club or place, I think that would be DEMF in Detroit. It would be great to play there. I heard that Japan is a great place for new music, with people being very open minded.
I appreciate your interest in sharing your skills. There will be a workshop from you and Tom Holic before your performance in Chapeau Rouge. Can you tell us some specific topics you will be showing?
KS: I want to show how my live act look’s, what have got in the project and how am i using it on the stage. I would also like to talk about workflow on Push and how i use Push and microKorg together – i can use syhtnesizers just from Push and change parameters like cutoff, resonance and other options without touching the microKorg. I think this is an interest feature.
Are there any newcomers you would like to mention? Or better say ‘Detroit sound keepers’?
KS:  Hmmm, recently i’ve been listening to some old music like jazz and soul, so i don’t follow any contemporary artists.
Thanks for the interview, we can’t wait for your performance on Friday night. Do you have any last words for the Czech crowd?
KS: I hope you will enjoy the party and what else can i say? See you on the stage!
Questions by the beats.pm crew 
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