Cisco Ferreira aka The Advent, holds a rare and very special stake in the genesis of techno. Beginning his work in 1988 he released his first record on Ferrari Records (R&S) and then became one of the first to perform live PA’s later going on to become the engineer for seminal acid house label Jack Trax. Twenty years later we find ourselves laden with a relentless path of studio output and after a similarly impressive career of live perormance, Ferraira is readying his first studio album sine 2005’s ‘T.R.I.N.I.T.Y’. Constantly able to maintain his presence in an ever changing sonic landscape, he endlessly pushes and develops his sound taking inspiration wherever he finds it.
Today we have an advance and very special world exclusive premiere from the UK techno legend in this exclusive stream of new track ‘Need House – ADIN Mutation’. It’s taken from the new album which is set for release this September on Cari Lekebusch's H-Productions label.
We also get a second exclusive in this interview between The Advent and his label – talking for the first time about his new LP ‘Sonic Intervention’ – on what took him so long, how electro has and always will be a big inspiration in his work as well as revealing collaborations with Industrialyzer and Cari Lekebusch.
Your new album – Sonic Intervention – will be released on Cari Lekebusch’s H-Productions label in September. What were your thoughts when going into the studio to write this album?
I haven’t made an album for seven years so for this album I wanted to do something quite personal and delve a little bit into the past to get inspiration from my influences. There wasn’t a concept or anything, but the mood I was feeling was to make an album that reflected all the musical genres I have been inspired by over the years – electro, electronica, tech house - not just the techno tracks which I am more well known for these days. I wanted this album to be more of a listening experience with tracks that people can enjoy whether they are at home or in the car, not just in the club.
So how come you have not made an album for so long?
I think the scene and the music industry and the whole business side of what we do has changed so much since I put out my last album and I kind of became a little uninspired to release a big project into a market that is not set up for albums anymore. I mean there are hardly any record shops these days so it just felt that the market was changing and I did not feel I wanted to release an album while I was unsure of where things were going. For example, in the old days you could go to the record shop on a Saturday and you would see loads of DJs in there buying their tracks for the weekend. Nowadays everyone is just at home on the internet and you don’t have that retail experience which I think is important when selling albums – you need people to pass on the vibe and turn people on to buying your music through recommendation.
So what changed your mind?
Well, I did an EP for H-Productions last year and I saw that Cari has such a great vision for the label that I wanted to do something else. Of course I have been a big fan of the label since he first began to bring the Swedish techno sound to the world in the mid 90’s and personally we have a big connection but I think in the last year or so he has shown that he really wants to move things forward via his label platform. Hopefully it can carry on becoming a bigger label with a global exposure and we get to continue this good workflow that we have started.
You have been making music for so long that you must have built up a big fanbase of people over the last twenty year. What can fans expect from the album?
Naturally, everyone will have their own feeling of the album but this is a very personal project for me with tracks that cover a range of musical styles. I think my older fans will see this for what it is as they have grown up with these influences like I have. For some of my younger fans or the real purists they might be asking where all the bangers are but I think the whole point of an album is that it is something to listen to as a whole so people should expect just that - something for everyone but with lots of distinct flavours of The Advent.
You have given us an exclusive track from the album to stream – ‘Need House’. Why did you pick this track to use as a trailer for the album?
Need House is one of the more jacking tech flavoured tracks that I made for the album and so it felt like exactly the sort of tracks that have worked well for me when I’ve played at fabric over the years and so I thought you guys would enjoy this one the most. Simple!
What are your other highlights from the album? Which tracks are you most proud of?
So far there seems to be a few tracks that stand out. The first track on the album is a kind of Yellow Magic Orchestra meets Vangelis number. Usually I don’t make tracks that are beatless but I had so many ideas like this, which I wanted to get out and the album felt like the perfect place to put it. I played all the keys on the track myself and I am excited for people to hear it as it isn’t like any other track I have made and it is something that I have had stored up in me for a long time.
Disco Diva is definitely one of my favourite tracks on the album. It harks back too much of the music I was making under my G-Flame guise back in the late 1990’s. It struck me that techno has gotten closer to tech house in recent years and so it seemed the time was right to bring back my take on this style and I am really pleased with how it has come out.
Electric Pandemic is a special track for me because I have such a connection with Electro, which I think, has totally been overlooked in recent times and so many people have turned their back on this sound. If you look at the history of Techno, then Electro has always been a huge influence from Underground Resistance to Doppler Effect, Clone Records from Holland, Transparent Sound etc and so it was really important to me to represent Electro on this album. The lyrics on the track are actually by Paris from the Detroit Grand Pubahs. I had asked him to do a vocal for me a few years back when the whole Mad Cow disease epidemic happened so there is some mad lyrics in there which were inspired by that whole situation.
So for those who might not know about your history with Electro, what is your history with it all?
Electro is pretty much where it all started for me when I was 13 years old listening to records like Planet Rock. It was the first synthesized music that appealed to me. Then ever since I started making music I have been heavily involved in that scene with many of my releases having an Electro b-side. I get a lot of requests to play and make new Electro tracks and I will get back to making more Electro as I have a really soft spot for it and I think the energy you get from the music is just what is missing from the scene right now.
Unlike your previous albums, you have included a number of collaboration tracks on the album. How did these projects come about?
In the past my albums have always been made by just me with no collaborations and even sometime I would remix my own tracks rather than have other artists get involved. So with this album I wanted to try something new and work with some producers who I respect. Both more established artists and a few of the newer guys whose music I am really into. There are three collaboration tracks on the album.
Arrival I made with Cari Lekebusch when he came over to England to see me and talk about the album. Despite knowing each other forever, we have never collaborated in the studio. He has remixed me, I have remixed him but we have never actually been in the lab together so we took the opportunity when it came along. We had a really great vibe in the studio and what came out were two tracks and this one felt perfect for the album. We will use the other track for another H-Productions project that is being released this summer.
The track Get Up I wrote with a guy called Jason Fernandes. I have actually known Jason since he was a baby. He is almost like a cousin to me. Over the last few years I found out he was making music with Hugo Paixao who is actually one of my cousins but Jason didn’t know I was The Advent! I really like his music. It is very deep, very melodic and it seems his sound is really popular now so I wanted to showcase him on the album as he is really talented and someone to watch for the future.
And lastly there is the NZT collaboration with Industrialyzer. We have been making tracks together for a while now but our history goes further back as we first met in Holland many years ago when he would come to my shows and chat to me and then later he would pass me demos and I would give him advise and feedback. Then when I was looking for a new studio project I started to work in the studio with Ricardo and the rest is history. This track we have been sitting on for about a year as we knew it was really special so we wanted to wait for the right moment to release it. I think will be the most popular track on the album. I know this is me saying this but it really is a killer and the reaction I have had to the track has been amazing, ever since we finished it last year, and I am sure I have played it in every set.
As someone who has a long and successful career, what do think is the secret of longevity?
As a producer I think it important to adapt. If I was just stuck in a time zone then I think I would have faded away. You have to keep note of trends and what is happening so you need to include a few of these things in your music to stay relevant. You have to try out new ideas and approaches. There was a time a few years ago that I was really quite unhappy with the scene. The music wasn’t going anywhere and at that point I took the decision to come up with a new sound that I was happy with. SO I would say reinvention of your style to keep it fresh is really important if you want a long career in music.
I also think it is really important to stay hungry. It is very easy to lose sight of what is important and lose focus. Once you start getting into the scene and you do a few regular gigs it can get to you a bit and you lose the hunger and then you lose your spark. You end up playing too many gigs, you don’t have time for the studio and then the whole reason why you had a profile disappears. So staying disciplined and focused on what is important to growing your profile is essential.
This album is the first project to come out of your new studio that you moved into earlier this year having been in your old studio for a long time. How was that experience for you?
It was great. Previously my studio was based in Portugal, which meant a lot of travelling back and forth to England where my family was. Now I am back in England I really feel like I have come home and I am full of new inspiration. The studio space feels really good, I am really happy with the sound, I have everything laid out as I wanted and I don’t have to commute to work! It was great to have the first project to come out of the studio to be something as special as this album for H-Productions.
So finally, what are you most looking forward too with your appearance at fabric this Saturday?
It is always a real pleasure to come and play at fabric. Not only is it one of the best clubs in the world with great sound and a really knowledgeable and up for it crowd but it always feels a bit like coming home for me. I grew up in London and saw the electronic music movement grow here and then be exported to the world. I spend most of my weekends abroad so it is really special to play a gig at home for a change and especially this time as I my new album tracks to play. See you all there on Saturday!