Earth Trax is a name you may have come across if you’ve been following labels such as Shall Not Fade, Rhythm Section, and Phonica Records the last few years. His characteristically deep and melodic take on house and breakbeat represent a methodical approach to the genres. Earth Trax carefully injects an undoubtable amount of emotion into his music through ambient layers, euphoric pads and heart-tingling melodies.
We were lucky enough to feature Earth Trax in our latest edition of MIXED BY, fresh off his latest album release titled ‘LP2’ on Shall Not Fade.
You have just released your second LP of 2020, how much of a role did the pandemic play in you being able to release two albums in one year?
I don’t think it played a huge role to be honest, I tend to record quite a lot of music anyway. Of course – having a bit more time helped me to develop the sophomore a bit quicker. Maybe the selection process looked a bit different too – the album is slightly more mellow than ‘LP1’.
On both LP1 and LP2, you show your depth as an artist, with styles from ambient, to melodic breakbeat, and melancholy-inducing house. Where do you draw these wide-ranging influences from?
Thank you! The influences come from different places, I tend to collect and memorize all sorts of stuff that has a bitter-sweet feeling to it. So it’s not only music of course, but when it comes to that I like minimal music, more dreamy house like Chris Brann or stuff that’s on the brink of IDM when it comes to the atmosphere – Jochem Peteri comes to my mind or Shinichi Atobe, early Warp. I like all the early 90’s chill out club music, all the more melodic electro stuff and ambient coming from Detroit, maybe it doesn’t really show, but I like loop based techno too.
You seem to have a passion for hardware. What are some pieces of gear you could not live without?
To be honest I think I use software way more, but I do use a lot of gear too, especially when collaborating – as I don’t really own a lot of gear myself. One that I really love and own is Moog Sub37 – I love how versalite and great sounding it is, especially with its built in drive, I used it heavily on a couple of albums. Other gear I enjoyed using were Korg Triton, Yamaha DX200, classic Roland synthesizer, now when I think of it – MicroBrute was kind of fun too. As for the software – I like VST’s modeled after Eventide gear.
How much of an influence does your local Polish scene have in your music?
One thing that’s really influential is how unformatted it is, kind of naive, but in a good sense, uneven, but to a large extent unspoiled as well. There are many DJs who are not scared to experiment as there’s nothing to gain really, there are hardly any dance labels even (one that’s recommended though is Brutaż).
You have released music with UK label Shall Not Fade for a few years now, do you see it as a natural fit for your music?
Shall Not Fade released one of the first Earth Trax EP’s so it was a natural thing.
Throughout your career, many of your EP’s have been collaborations with Newborn Jr. What is it about this partnership that allows you to keep releasing great music with each other?
We have known each other for so long now and Adam (Newborn Jr.) is literally living two blocks away from me. We released a new EP on our label (run with Adam and Janek from Private Press) – Ziemia this year.
Your releases on Ziemia have shown the influence that you take from dub techno, and some of that influence is present on your latest album. Are you increasingly drawn to the dub sound?
I wouldn’t say increasingly, but I’ve always been drawn to dub effects and sonics, it echoes (no pun intended) what I hear in minimal music. Ziemia is focused on a more dub oriented sound, because it’s the sound we all three love, although each of us approaches it from a different perspective I think.
Describe the different creative approach you take to writing an album versus an EP.
I feel like I don’t have to explain myself on albums, just go with the mood. I’m more scared of EP’s really – scared of the pressure that it needs to meet the club standards, labels that are more demanding and selective, that it needs to be DJ friendly – well it doesn’t really, but a lot of the more quirky stuff ends up collecting dust on the shelves. I feel there’s more ethos to ‚club music’ EP’s.
Other than music, share with us something that you have been enjoying lately.
Reading! Some books I enjoyed recently include David Wojnarowicz’s ‚Close to the Knives’ (the word ‚enjoy’ seems wrong here though), Nick Drnaso’s ‚Sabrina’, I liked Stefan Zweig’s ‚Chess Story’, Peter Shaffer’s ‚Equus’ and John Cheever’s short stories too. Watched a few great films as well – Edward Yang’s ‚Terrorizers’, some Jonas Mekas that’s on Mubi now and a couple of classics that for some reason I haven’t seen before – Bergman’s ‚Autumn Sonata’, Jean Cocteau’s ‚The Rules of the Game’ or Kurosawa’s ‚Tengoku to jigoku’ – all recommended!
What can we expect from you in the coming year?
I feel like trying to write another EP. And there are a couple of new tracks that feel very album like that are in the new Cyberpunk 2077 game. It’s out this week.
ITV by Brody R.