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Friday 20th, February 2009
Kuffdam album interview
Updated: Sunday 22nd, February 2009

Scottish DJ and producer Kuffdam, along with studio partner Plant, has been behind some of the biggest recent trance hits such as 'Summer Dream', 'The Ones We Loved' and 'Dream Makers'. With his NETWORK artist album out on Vandit just released, we caught up with Kuffdam for a chat.

t.nu: Hey Kuffdam! Firstly congratulations on the release of your artist album. Tell us about it, what were your aims when starting it and do you think you have achieved them?

Kuffdam: Hey guys, nice to be chatting with you, I’m a big fan of trance.nu! Well the album is pretty much ready to go now, its in the shops from the 23rd Feb from what Vandit have told me and I can’t wait. Its been a long process from start to finish, well over a year and now I just can’t wait to get out and tour the tracks. The album itself is 10 tracks, some you know but not like this… and the rest all brand new. The main idea was just to put a package of material together that I was really proud of and that’s what I feel I have in the finished product, NETWORK.

t.nu: How long did it take you to complete?

K: Its been a good 12 to 18 months in total from the very first track through to the release. Its not something you can do over night and with holding down a job etc, its something I have worked away at in order to get what I wanted from it all.

t.nu: How difficult was it to make the move from making club tracks to producing tracks designed for home listening?

K: Well I’ve tried not to stray too far from the big tracks that fit the club, this is basically the kind of album a DJ can pick up and play the tracks from. I’m not into these albums which have 3 or 4 minute tracks. I wanna give you the whole thing as I wanted it to sound. The main structure though should feel like a DJ set… what I mean is a smooth start and build over the 80 mins to a real banging pace…

t.nu: There’s a wide range of styles on there from clubby tracks to full on euphoric trance. Which tracks are you most proud of on the album?

K: I love them all… isn’t that what every artist with an album says haha! Nah all joking aside there tracks on there for different occasions and the big clubs ones are what makes me tick, those are the ones I will be hammering live and No Way Out is probably the one that makes me shiver when its damn loud. I got to play that at Ministry Of Sound when playing with PVD and the breakdown is just massive… its made for the big room clubs.

t.nu: What studio equipment did you use to put together the tracks?

K: All of them were produced on Reason. I’ve used that program since it pretty much came out and its just become a standard when working on an idea. I’m also really into Ableton so that plays a big part in the studio for VST’s and also when I’m playing live. That’s a great program for messing with.

t.nu: Although some of the tracks are credited to Kuffdam & Plant, you have released it solely under your name. What is the reason behind this? Have you two gone your separate ways?

K: No we haven’t… of course the tracks like Summer Dream and Dream Makers were originally produced by us both so that’s why there is the credit to Plant on those tracks. In terms of us working together, we are working on new ideas but Plant takes much more of a back seat now due to home commitments etc. So I have carried on with the DJing, producing and just focusing on myself for the most part. We have a couple of ideas on the go just now and hope to have some new material out soon but I am also working on my own and trying out new ideas etc. So the long and short of it is, we are still around…

t.nu: The album is released on Paul van Dyk’s Vandit label. How did you first hook up with them and what difference have they made to your music career?

K: Well I first got signed to Vandit with Plant back in 2003 when we produced Summer Dream and since then we have continued to work closely with the label. Vandit is by far the best label I have ever worked with, they look after their artists well. There’s a whole host of great people working there who help push you with all sorts of great advice. Its been a massive help being signed with them, you’re part of the Vandit family and everyone wants to join.

t.nu: Will you be touring the album?

K: Yes for sure, right now I have dates booked in for the UK, Ireland, Poland and Ibiza and I’m hoping to be adding some more further afield like Australia very soon… just check out my site for details.

t.nu: You seem to take advantage of the latest technologies while DJing, tell us about your DJ set up.

K: Ableton is where its at, I’m one of those Laptop DJs haha! I’ve basically worked on everything from vinyl, CD and now Ableton. I really love the control and the effects on it. I have a set up now using a Trigger Finger controller which I love, I have been using it now for about 2 years.

t.nu: You suffered a pretty serious injury last year. Are you fully recovered and how did it affect your music career?

K: Yeah I did, it was a nightmare at the time… just a simple slip in the street during some snow in Scotland and I was laid out for about 5 months. At the time I was ready to run with the album release for around Sept of 08 but that put an end to those plans. I had managed to fracture my spine, break my arm and fracture my elbow. I’m fully recovered now and glad to be once again heading towards the warmer months… I can tell you, I really have a fear of ice now, it scares me. I did manage to write a track called Break My Fall whilst off though and that’s out on Vandit this year.

t.nu: You host a monthly show ‘Club Damage’ on di.fm and have a podcast, tell the uninitiated a bit more about them.

K: Club Damage actually just had its fourth Birthday on DI in February. I can’t believe its been running that long now but I love doing the show and the time just seems to have flown by. Its basically 2 hours of music airing once a month on www.di.fm

The podcast has also been doing really well with over 15,000 subscribers now downloading the show every fortnight. You can grab Pod Damage on Itunes or from the host Podomatic now.

t.nu: Your ‘Summer Dream’ track is regarded by many trance fans as a modern classic. Did you think you had something special on your hands when you were producing it?

K: Honestly… yeah…. at first I thought it was too cheesy for what me and Plant wanted from a track but once we started to get the idea shaped better I had a good feeling about it. Every time I listened to it or let someone hear the demo they just couldn’t help but smile and even now it has the same effect on me, that’s when I knew it was a great melody.

t.nu: What upcoming productions and remixes do you have planned?

K: Well Burning Up is the first single from the album and that’s out now on the likes of Beatport. There’s gonna be a follow up single from the album, I think The Last Time has been suggested. Then once everything settles down from the release I have Break My Fall lined up. Plus I have some new material I am just finishing in the studio now… I’ll keep you posted!

t.nu: What other producers do you currently rate?

K: Activa, Rob [Stevenson] is an amazing producer and I’m a big fan of his work… I’m also really into the Psy sound, loads of great artists that always have crazy names!

t.nu: What is the club scene like in Scotland right now?

K: Yeah its going well, we have some amazing nights like Colours and InsideOut which run every month in Glasgow. There’s also a brand new night which has been causing a stir, Rehab, they have had some great DJs like Thomas Bronzawaer, Stoneface & Terminal and Armin recently played.

t.nu: Your production partner Yiannis Hajicharalambous (Plant) being a Cypriot, how did you two hook up?

K: Well I was actually out in Cyprus and doing a small tour, Yiannis had heard about my style and sent me some demos when I got home and we basically just got chatting over msn. We ended up trading ideas and that’s why we got started on Reason, it was so easy to send files over it so it all started to fall into place with our productions. We are great friends now and I visit all the time.

t.nu: You have a place in Cyprus now, how does it compare to your home country?

K: Yeah I do, it’s a nice little apartment and Plant lives next door… I love the place, its my second home that’s for sure! I was just out there in January, its nice to get away from the snow and cold of Scotland for a few weeks.

t.nu: Finally, why the name Kuffdam? Is it a Happy Mondays reference?

K: Happy Mondays are awesome… I’m a big fan of the Mad-Chester scene from the 90’s. The Mondays, Stone Roses etc were all a big influence and yeah that’s where I got the name from it… I knew what it meant and just liked the idea of it… SO I NICKED IT! Haha!

t.nu: Many thanks for your time and best of luck with the album!

K: Thanks guys… special hello to all the guys on the forum at Trance.nu..!

Written by:
Jon Nix

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