Preferring to not be constrained or limited to any one particular creative outlet or platform in particular, Andre Jones aka SFBM’s current impressive skill set includes being a techno producer, DJ, author and music reviewer here on ‘Whono’s Music’, a co-founder of a two-man techno duo called Smoke, and the founder and creative director of the Node Techno Collective show on TRNSMT.tv.
Stylistically, SFBM aims to present both his productions, live sets, and DJ performances alike with harsh, bleak soundscapes, deep, thick, and luscious atmospheres, as well as plenty of heavy-handed, industrial-influenced and pounding kick drums all throughout. Not content to stick to one genre or sub-genre alone, his sets can shift across dub and highly hypnotic minimal techno, deep and atmospheric selections, explosive industrial pounders, hard-grooving classic tracks, and more.
His first ever EP release, Chronotype, arrived in October of 2015 on Melbourne/Glasgow based label ‘One4SevenOne Records’. The label features a whole host of Melbourne-based techno producers, as well as a couple of international ones, and artists with releases on One4SevenOne including Enclave, Backroom Reality, D-Rex, Roberto Facchini, G3D9, Split Silo, Joey Sarantis, Rustal, Juxtpose, and many more.
SFBM has played numerous sets across events such as Red Room Saturdays, Dance Technique, and Electundra; and has also DJed at gigs for event promoters like White Noise Music and FabriKation. Most recently, he performed the closing set for Suppressor’s ‘Hand EP’ launch event night at Loop Project Space & Bar alongside best friend and production/DJ partner, Alter-Mind (Aydan Hussein) under the duo-alias ‘Smoke’.
You have a very raw, industrial and tough sound in your techno sets. Where do you think you got this sound influence from?
I would say I owe my love of the harder, tougher sounds within techno to a variety of sources and influences. All throughout high school I was a huge fan of 90’s jungle and Drum and Bass, and like several other techno artists I am currently influenced by (Dax J and Ontal, for example) – the speed, heavy & rolling sub-bass, and intensity of it made a mark on me.
Then, as I was learning to DJ in the early days, I was using friend’s setups who were all hardstyle DJ’s – but after a while I transitioned to schranz and hard techno instead, which still plays a big role in my aspirations of injecting chaotic energy and pace into my faster sets.
The beginning of my proper techno journey was through the infamous techno events held by the (now defunct) event crew, Billion Underground, with a New Year Eve rave being my first ever gig I attended – of which Drumcell was headlining. Those first 6-12 months I began to head to more and more gigs, loving sets by DJ’s like D-Rex, Gene Hoffman, Lorenzo, Matt Radovich, and many others: and that kickstarted my interest in the darker, more industrial side of techno.
Meeting people through the techno scene, especially my best friend and production partner, Aydan Hussein (Alter-Mind), has definitely amplified how much I dive into the dark, atmospheric, and rapid styles within my production and DJing – since I have other minds that are on the same wavelength as mine, and that I can bounce ideas and concepts off of.
When did your interest with music production begin?
Since the age of 10 or 11 I’ve been pretty obsessed with sound and technology, and began playing around with music production and DAW’s around age 12 or 13. Throughout school, I was always pretty technically minded and not a huge creative person, compared to my interest in science and engineering. Over the past 5 or 6 years I’ve really been heavily engaging my artistic side, diving into FL studio originally, then shifting to Ableton Live (which I currently use as DAW of choice) – as well as building up a hefty hardware setup over the past 3 years.
Recently I’ve begun on the modular path too. As I’ve gotten more and more into the machine-based areas of sound design and techno production, I have noticed that my heavily analytical and technical mindset has given me huge advantages in creating more complex and detailed soundscapes, melody and dynamic rhythm, and has allowed me to craft the exact sort of sound or idea that I hear in my head.
Let’s talk about cats. How has your Snapchat famous feline impacted your life and why do techno people have a thing about them?
From past experience, I’ve found that a lot of electronic musicians and producers are the kind of people who are big on owning pets – and with the stresses and anxieties that come with creating and DJing music, a pet can be very conducive towards relaxation, relieving tension, and just generally providing you some company on those long and lonely studio sessions late at night.
Techno people definitely do have an obsession with cats, for certain. I like dogs a lot (especially puppers) and they can be great fun to be around, but I have always adored cats much more. Cats are very techno – they can be super social but then will wander off on their own, they are full of energy and excitement at times but then will sleep for hours, they stand and sit on the most random places imaginable (quite like a lot of clubbers I’ve met whilst out), and they even make their own rumbling basslines when they’re purring.
I adopted my cat Lulu a couple of years ago now, and she has pretty much been the best studio partner I’ve ever had. When I’ve been knee-deep in a huge track production session, she’ll find a bassy area of the studio to sit in (and sometimes sleep in), she’ll wander around me whilst I’m recording a DJ mix, and she’s always waiting to greet me at the door when I get home after a long night out clubbing. People are great, but cats are the ultimate company for post-club kick-ons, in my opinion.
In this 2nd episode of the 8th Mini-Mix Series we get a good dose of that industrial and luscious sounds SFBM does so well in presenting. Dropping tunes from artists like Slam, Supressor and Melania – this one is a must hear for those techno lovers fascinated by the darker beats.
01. Konkurs – Body Harder
02. Tadeo – A New Leader
03. Slam – Eterna (Inland Remix)
04. Takaaki Itoh – Stonner
05. Suppressor – Smoking Trails
06. Planetary Assault Systems – Wriss
07. Developer – Indigenous
08. Miro Lopasso – Beneath
09. Rendered – Stonecoldsoul
10. Welt In Scherben – Eisen im Feuer
11. Melania – Confirmatio (Codex Empire Remix)
KONTRAST is a collective of creative spirits who loves to combine raw sounds, dark, thumping beats and intense, edgy musical experiences with extraordinary visual elements in an experimental and innovative way. Our aim is to create something new, colourful and unforgettable and to explore how sounds, shapes and visual imprints together can create something bigger than ourselves, and a different state of mind. The eight series of the KONTRAST mini-mix series will run from June 7th to 28th, and there will be an exclusive podcast from each artist with a short interview to get to know them better.
Mini-Mix Series #8: