Published Jul 23, 2011Canadian producer Arthur Oskan is no newcomer to techno. He first began making music back in his teens and in recent years, has releases on labels such as Detroit's Beretta Red and Toronto's Restructured. A Little More Than Everything is Oskan's debut album proper, following two full-length compilations in 2007. The album begins with two seductive ambient techno tracks creating something of a crafty false start, as from the third number onwards it delivers consistent and tasteful four-on-the-floor. "Fat Mobile," the album's debut single, feels like a rude interruption, but a few seconds is all it takes for its charm to win you over. "Pensive" has a subtle IDM feel, almost sounding like Plaid for the dance floor, and closing track "Moodswings" ends the album nicely with a sense of fun and a tinge of acid. The production is clean, stripped down and irresistibly danceable, with the throbbing dub bass lending the tracks a satisfying punch. A Little More Than Everything is a solid techno album that would appeal to Richie Hawtin and Orbital fans alike. Oskan is at somewhat of a tipping point right now and given the quality of this album and his finely honed live sets, we are bound to see him receive even more international attention.
Before signing with Thoughtless, you had a few releases on Detroit labels such as Beretta Red. Did you spend a lot of time in the "techno city"?
I've been going down to Detroit since the mid-'90s, but didn't release my first record on a Detroit area label until 2005. In 2007, I released two records on Sean Deason's Matrix Recordings, so I guess you could say I've spent some time down there over the years. I still spend quite a bit of time down there throughout the year and perform at Beretta's yearly Movement after-party, which has always a blast to be a part of. In fact, 2012 marks Beretta's tenth year, so there are some big tour plans in the works!
What do you make of Toronto's scene? Is it a good place to be based for techno music right now?
Creatively, I think so. However, living in Toronto has always presented its challenges for those who want to make music a full-time pursuit, which is why we see many ex-Torontonians in Europe. In saying that though, many have missed out on how this city has evolved in its sound. I've seen our talent really grow, which has been fantastic and I hope Toronto producers continue to bring their sounds out of their bedrooms and into the clubs.
You sometimes play under the name Myers Briggs. Any plans to do anything new under that moniker?
I haven't performed under that name for quite some time. I did however release a track called "Between Rooms" earlier this year on a Ghostly International compilation entitled Ghostly Essentials: Rarities Two. I do have some other material I recorded around the same time I wrote "Between Rooms," but don't have any plans to release it. I'm sure with the right label they'll see the light of day!
You recently played at MUTEK for the second time. How was the experience?
While my first live performance as part of Le Placard in 2007 was one I'll always remember, being hand selected for this year's festival by Alain Mongeau was a true honour. I've performed at a few festivals now and must say that MUTEK's quality and professionalism, both in front of and behind the scenes, are second to none. I'm looking forward to what's in store for MUTEK 2012!
You're known for being big on analogue equipment. Is that still the case?
For the most part, yes. This latest album was conceived on analogue gear, but really came together while performing live with Ableton. I've recently reworked my live set to include a few more analog goodies to reproduce some of the elements heard on the new album. Having played live now for about 15 years, I've come to know one can never go wrong using analogue gear when performing live, but it's not always possible with vintage equipment, given its age. I've been using the new Acidlab Miami to replace my Roland TR-808 drum machine and a Dave Smith Tetra 4 voice analogue module replacing my Sequential Pro-1 when performing live. Both are fully analogue and I am happy to report that they are incredible stand-ins. And plenty of knobs to get your hands dirty, which is always a crowd pleaser! (Thoughtless)