Petter B is an artist, DJ and producer from Sweden (incidentally a leading country in the techno community since the ‘90s). Petter hits the world of techno with a big input and a special, forceful sound. He’s been busy lately, playing all over the globe and releasing tracks through some of the respected techno labels around. His powerful sound has caught the ears of Icelandic techno maestro Exos, who became so enthralled that he’s bringing him to Reykjavík to play a show for y’all! Yes, tomorrow, Saturday, you can catch a set from the one and only Petter B at Reykjavík’s finest club, Paloma, where Exos has a monthly residency. To help y’all GET HYPE for Petter’s Paloma performance, Exos shot him a few questions! Read on, learn more!
Hi, Petter B! What are your thoughts about Iceland?
In a way, I feel it has strong connections with Sweden due to its history: the people who initially populated Iceland came from Sweden and Norway. I’ve been to Iceland once before, as a tourist, and I really liked it. I got intrigued by the tales and the “roots” that have been preserved in a nice way. I like the raw landscapes and the vastness of it. I described it to some of my friends as, “a bit like Sweden on steroids when it comes to nature and solitude.”
Many of the world’s premier techno artists come from Sweden.Why do you think the country has been the forefront in this regard, developing such a powerful sound?
I think there are two fundamental things to this: our openness and our confidence. The openness can easily be illustrated with a typical meeting in Sweden with, let’s say, 30 people. Everyone but one person speaks Swedish and, therefore, the whole meeting is held in English in order to include everyone and not leave this one person out. We are raised to be inclusive, and good at picking up the social cues in a room, I believe. That makes us good at being open to new ideas. That we’re confident and self-assured has to do with Sweden being a big country with a lot of empty space, I think. We have the luxury of getting away from the city, leaving the buzz and finding solitude: being able to contemplate every once in a while. That enables us to not lose ourselves in new ideas, and to be able to maintain our own steady course forward in despite adopting outside influence.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you make your music, what tools you use and what inspires you?
My music is made mainly with my heart. In order to express it, I use a multitude of machines, gadgets, toys and whatnot. I’m a gearhead, and find great pleasure in using my hands to press buttons and twist knobs rather than staring at a screen when working on the creative part of a track. When I’m doing my mixing and arrangements, however, I think the computer is fantastic. In order to have a good overview of what you’re doing, being able to make iterations and having total recall of an old project is fantastic. At the moment I‘m building a new studio and I’ve therefore stripped down my old studio a bit, which is kind of nice; having fewer options sometimes gives me more inspiration. Right now my setup is based around my 909, Monopoly, DX200 and an AN200 plus some effect racks.”
What’s your next release about? And where will you release it?
My next one will be through my label, Bond, on November 20. All the tracks on that release are made with the setup described above, actually.
What is your favourite part of the world? What was your best experience as a performer?
Naming my favourite part of the world is hard… There are so many aspects to consider. But if I had to pick a place to get a free ticket to tomorrow I would say Tokyo, Japan. My best experience as a performer, that’s also a hard one. There have been so many times during my sets when I’ve stopped to think “Did my music really get me here?!” I can’t really pick one.
Below, we’re presenting five of your tracks, as an introduction to your music. Could you tell us a bit about each one?
This is one of those tracks I made that really has to be played from start to finish. There’s this big sound followed by small breaks that just ends with the synth screaming for its life back. It’s bare-bones, with all the focus on programming and the main sound.
Shut Your Eyes
This was actually a late night exercise with my silver boxes: a 303, 606 and a RE-201. I just thought of the melody and went for it, recorded all the tracks and went to bed. The day after, I thought it sounded really cool, but I was a bit annoyed at myself for making it in 110bpm. I then tried to speed it up, but couldn’t hold on to the feeling I got when it was slow and suggestive. I had no intention to release it, but after a while I realised that I could not stop listening to it, so I decided to put it out it in its original form. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll have what it takes to make a remix of it?
This track was born on my Korg MS2000, which has a built-in sequencer with a knob for each step. I think I recorded more material and layers on the lead, but when I started to mix and arrange it, I decided to go with this kind of hypnotic and repetitive thing. It’s not unusual for my plan to get changed along the way. I think that’s one of the fun parts of making music, to, in a way, be in its hands rather than me being in total control.
I started this together with my friend Tommy (Subway Baby). He came over and we listened to music, had some beers, and decided to make something. It started as a fun off-beat track that never got finished. I continued to make it into a straight, four-on-the-floor version, which later on was the one to be released.
Guns For Hire
A special track made for Cari Lekebusch’s label, H-Productions. It started out as an homage to the older Swedish techno sounds—what they sounded like to me back when I started to find my way into it around the end of the nineties: heavy compressions and a simple off-beat hook. To me, this release was a bit like returning the favour. Cari was the first person that I heard playing proper techno, and he really opened my eyes to it.
Petter B and Exos will be playing techno at Paloma tomorrow, Saturday October 31. Tickets will sell out, so get yours HERE.