Who better than Avision to represent the dedication and talent of the new generation of techno producers? Anthony Cardinale started DJing at 12, got his first residency at 15 and is now well-versed in the New York and North American scenes.
You can feel his early initiation to electronic music in his productions, the labels he’s released on, and his studio set-up that combines the old and the new. From underground (Ben Sim’s Hardgroove, Mark Broom’s Beard Man) and the not-so-underground (Carl Cox’s Intec). We caught up with him for a chat following his set at Montréal’s very own Stereo in late October, and his recent release on Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave.
Husa Sounds: Hey Anthony, much thanks so much for chatting with us today, we’re excited to hear from you, your process and your projects.
Some of your recent shows include ADE, Output and of course, our very own Stereo Montreal. What was special about those places, or other venues you’ve played that resonate with you? Which of your own tracks had the best effect on the dancefloor?
Avision: Hey guys, thanks for having me! I would say each place has something special about them. ADE is such a special week, I think it’s a plus to be apart of it and play. Output is always a great time, and I always love playing at home especially on that Funktion One sound system. Stereo Montreal has to be one of my favorite venues, it is so nostalgic. The sound system, the crowd, everything is just perfect to me. Another one of my favorite venues I’ve played is Space Miami, there’s just something about 80 degree weather, and afterhours ;). It’s tough to say which one of my tracks had the best effect on the dancefloor, although my last EP ‘The Come Up’ on We Are The Brave has had an amazing reaction.
HS: What were your impressions of Stereo, from the sound to the crowd? What took you by surprise, if anything?
A: Amazing, it is what a club should look like, and feel like. l was in awe my first time playing there. The sound was unreal (props to Angel Moraes), and the booth was exactly how every DJ booth should sound like. I think what surprised me the most was how loyal the crowd is to the club, and how much they truly love that room.
HS: While young, you’re already a veteran of the New York club culture. Do you find any notable differences between the North American and European club scenes?
A: Well thank you for that, I don’t consider myself a veteran just yet aha ;). I do, I think the only difference is in Europe the market is a little bit bigger than North America. Although, I do believe that the market is growing especially here in the States. A lot of party brands from Europe are now coming into the states and it’s great to see.
HS: What conferences and tech events did you attend at ADE? What were some of your takeaways?
A: I actually didn’t get the chance to head over to any conferences. I did check out some of the new gear from Elektron, Pioneer, and Native Instruments though. I also saw Ben Sims play a set for Red Light Radio, and Kenny Dope throw a set down with 45’s.
HS: Do you think we need more events that, beyond incorporating club culture, also carry a focus on artistic/industry exchanges as well as techniques?
A: I absolutely think we need events like that, because it brings the industry together as one. Regardless of what side you’re on, it takes the event to the next level, and brings awareness to others to what is going on.
HS: How were you brought into electronic music? Have you integrated your musician father into your art?
A: I grew up with electronic music in my house. My father was always listening to dance music when I was a kid, I remember he would blast the CeCe Petison ‘Finally’ album when he took me to school. We have worked on a few things over the years of course, but nothing I have released. I guess you can say I integrate him on every track though because he’s responsible for my influences, and musical liking.
HS: What are your non-musical artistic influences?
A: My non-musical artistic influence would have to be Derek Jeter, although he wasn’t considered an artist and he’s an athlete. I have learned a lot by watching him play the game of baseball. I always admired how he would handle himself on, and off the field, he would never crack under pressure, and he always carried himself as a leader. To me the way he played the game was an art.
HS: You have a strong release that recently came out on Alan Fitzpatrick’s We Are The Brave imprint. What was your approach to laying down these tracks?
A: I honestly didn’t really have a specific approach; I like to go into the studio with an empty mind. I think when I have too much on my mind, the track never comes out the way I want it to sound. Once I get an idea in the studio, I run with it and see where it goes. The tracks for that EP weren’t all recorded at once, but rather I picked a selection of my tracks that I thought would fit the sound of the label from a group of recent productions.
HS: What upcoming releases / projects can you talk to us about? Any anecdotes about their making?
A: For this upcoming year I have a lot in the works, for the most part I have a full release schedule for 2019 already. I plan on having another EP on We Are The Brave, I have an EP coming out on On Edge Society in January. I also have an EP coming out on Eats Everything’s new label EI8HT. Also releasing a single called “Rebel” on Ben Sims’ new compilation “Tribology”. The rest you’ll just have to wait and see 😉
HS: What’s your studio/ production set-up like?
A: My studio setup is this:
- Apple Desktop
- Logic Pro X
- M-Audio Axiom Pro 49
- Focusrite Saffire Pro 40
- Korg Minilogue
- Korg Monologue
- Korg Ex-8000
- Nord Lead 2
- Yamaha Dx7
- Akai Ax80
- Adam A7X
HS: What was the most beneficial change/decision that you made to your production process?
A: I think the biggest change I made to my production process was just making things simple. Nothing too overboard, just enough. I think that lesson for me was so important as a producer. It is so easy to keep adding parts and get yourself caught up, but it’s important to set yourself back and know when enough is enough.
HS: What are your favorite pieces of gear? Which piece of gear would you take with you on a deserted island?
A: My two favorite pieces are my Korg Minilogue and my Korg Ex-8000, I have written so many parts with those two synths. I think I would take my Minilogue since it’s a bit newer, and I think is a little more versatile when it comes to sound design.
HS: Do you feel like politics have an active place in the club scene and those who run it?
A: 100% of course, another thing I have learned growing up in the industry is to just keep your head down and work hard. Let your music do the talking.
HS:In your opinion, what sets the New York club culture apart, from values to musical influences to history?
A: New York is legendary when it comes to club culture. One thing that has a lasting impact on the club culture here is a long DJ set. People expect DJ’s that come here to play for more than 3 hours. One thing I also have caught over the years is New York likes it groovy, hard, and soulful, they also love the journey. I think NYC set the standard for a lot of places around the world and I would love to see the club scene come back to the city one day. Don’t get me wrong Brooklyn is booming right now, but there is something special about being in the city.
HS: What underground artists, records or labels have caught your eye recently?
A: The new Ben Sims compilation mix is really something special. I can promise you this that all 50 tracks on it are amazing. It has really caught my attention and I am super proud to be a part of it. A few other guys I am always feeling and inspired by are Truncate, Robert Hood, Mark Broom, DJ Rush which are all legendary. For labels, I think Radio Slave’s Rekids had an amazing year.
HS: What other genres are you attracted to? Do you see yourself trying to fit some of their influence in your productions?
A: I love Soul, Funk, Disco, and Rock. Of course, I am always trying to fit that rawness of all of them into my music. I think no matter what genre it is, if it has a good groove and a good melody it will always win. I am always trying to incorporate my roots into my sound.
HS: You’ve been qualified as part of a “techno new wave” – do you resonate with that, how would you define this “new wave”?
A: Well I am happy to be a part of the new wave. For me, I just want to make good music, and bring back having fun with music. Not everything has to be so serious, all the time, and so ‘Techno’ lol. People are coming out to have fun, and dance, not to be marching in a line. To me whether it’s a new wave, or an old wave, good music is good music and I just want to push good music forward. I’m happy to be a part of the younger generation of Techno coming up.
HS: Much thanks for your time! Hope to see you again soon in Montreal!
A: Thank you guys! See you soon!
Avision’s latest track ‘Rebel’ can be found on Ben Sim’s Tribology compilation, available here.