Interview: DUCAs

Dutch electronic composer DUCAs is following in the musical footsteps of his home city, producing gorgeous EDM/electro songs with a definitive edge. His latest release, Splash, really caught my attention, and I couldn’t wait to find out more about this awesome producer! Splash is a fantastic track, full of glorious synth lines and a beat that will get you up and dancing straight away! Find a full a stream at the end of our interview with DUCAs.

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a new song called Splash. What can you tell us about the track?

Splash is a refreshing dive into a pool of vibrant electronic textures and melodies. It was created in three days. All the ingredients of Splash – the sounds, samples, rhythms, baselines, chords and melodies – were created from scratch in one long night. They all came out at once, splashing in my ears like drops of audible paint. That’s why I called it Splash.

On the second day I jammed and played with these ingredients, and on the third day I recorded the track live in a single take.

How has the reception to Splash been so far, and where can it be purchased?

There is a buzz around Splash. I received a lot more of attention than I am used to from online media, like radio, magazines and blogs. I am an independent artist, so I really enjoy the fuzz.

I distribute my songs and tracks via Distrokid. It brings them to all major streaming services like Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, Deezer, etc.

Do you have any more singles planned for release afterwards?

I always have new tracks in the making. It usually starts with me designing some synthesiser sounds from scratch, which reflect my emotional state at the time. I also like to drastically modify existing inspiring presets, but I do not enjoy browsing through thousands of presets. At some point, patterns will be recorded in my sequencer, drum machines and loopers. To give concrete form to a track can have a long incubation time.

I do not want to be too hasty when producing new tracks in this round, like I was during the first year of this project, I want to balance performing and producing.

Are there any plans to release an album or EP in the near future?

As I am only publishing my music on online streaming services, the need and function of an album or EP has been diminished for me. I only bring out singles. I do have groups of songs/tracks that belong together, which is reflected in the graphic design and the sound pallet or rig used to record them.

You have quite a history within the electronic music scene. Do you have any other projects on the go?

I am in discussion with Quazar again, to see how I could help their flow. I am working on a mobile rig that will allow me to travel and perform easier. In a completely different music scene, I play the long neck lute with a Dutch medieval band (Slag ende Stoot), with which I have a lot of gigs at festivals and parties. Since past summer I have been building up DuEgo, an Afro-grooves band with my friend Ego Emechete.

Splash has a definitive synth-pop/electronic sound. What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

I have enjoyed the new wave era as much as the electro and house revolution in the nineties. At the time I was, and still am, fond of Human League, New Order and the Cure, but also Kraftwerk, Snap and the Underworld. I was not pleased with the immense commercialisation at the beginning of the 21st century and the dominant positioning of DJ’s in the music scene.

On the other hand, I am really thrilled by the liberalisation that the streaming models have brought us and the new chances created by the globalisation of our communication. The rising interest in synthesiser sounds has meant pushing out acoustic instruments timbres. I love both the power of artificial synthesized sounds and the way guitars let you express feelings in music. I really like the way artists like Brian Eno and Thylacine find their equilibrium between synthesised and acoustic sounds.

Do you have anything else exciting coming up in the next few months?

We are preparing a jubileum concert with Slag ende Stoot in November of this year, together with a big choir and a brass orchestra, It makes me feel a little bit like the ‘Queen’.

I have been experimenting with a few live percussionists and vocalists for my DUCAs acts. Some will definitely get on stage. Stay tuned.

Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?

No I do not. I am open for bookings in other countries like the UK though.

You’re based in Amsterdam. What is the local music scene like at the moment?

Amsterdam is a very vivid city, there is a lot happening with local artists, making for a very competitive environment. At the same time, there is a constant stream of top artists from all over the world that come along to perform here. EDM is a big scene on its own, it is very DJ based and has little interaction with the rest of the music scene. Covid has left its mark on performing and live gigs. There are many young artists/creators publishing their work, while not being interested in playing live at clubs and venues. Virtuality has entered our reality for good.

Any last words for the fans?

I love you. Thank you for supporting my music. I hope I gave you some positive vibes during the times that you needed them.