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Wednesday 13th, October 2004
Probspot Interview

Swedish born Rikard "Rico" Fredriksson started his first electronic project back in 1996. Inspispired by a close friend who was making trance music under the guise Antiloop Rico started producing music of his own. A drumn bass track called "flowerpower", was chosen as "demo of the week" on Swedish national radio P3. This sudden national support caused by this demo play, inspired Rico to take things to the next level and so he locked himself right back in his studio determined to master the art of studio production further. A few years, and a lot of learning later, Rico managed to get some remixes done for fellow swedish producers Antiloop and Pinnochio. Probspots first original release, "You and Me", was released in 2002 on the North American label Dedicated Musique. In 2003 Probspot won the remix competition of Solid Globe Northpole held by Fundamental recordings which resulted in a vinyl release. A Probspot track called You Want Me won a talent competition held by Hard To Find Records. This resulted in lots of plays by DJs such as Markus Schultz, Ben Lost, Niklas Harding and James Cosgrove. 2004 started out big with an exclusive record deal with Lost Language, even resulting in plans for a full CD album early 2005. The Foreplay EP was released in June and got great reviews from both DJs and producers. Another Probspot track called Blueberry got signed and released on Electronic Elements (Armada) and resulted in a new alias, Rico Soarez for upcoming productions on Armada. With lots of successful tracks and remixes and DJ support from Markus Schulz, Armin Van Buren, Paul Okenfold, Above & Beyond among others, we can truly speak about a "rising star"!

Trance.nu: What kind of guy are you in real life? What are your hobbys? Your passions? Do you still study or work?
Probspot: Im just a regular guy from Sweden who like to spend lots of time creating music and beats, go out and listen to good music, eat taco's and play computer games. There is a misconception that Im accually from latin-america just becouse I use "Rico Soarez" as my other aristname. But my real name is Rikard Fredriksson. Music was my hobby for several years before things started to become more serious. And I now produce music fulltime.

Trance.nu: How did it all start? Who were your big inspirations while finding your own sound?
Probspot: I was introduced to dancemusic by a friend from school who was producing trance music under the name Antiloop. At that time I was listening to rock music and played guitar. So it was a big step to convert to dancemusic that I had cosiderd to be the enemy of rock for a long time. I got some tapes with psy trance and some house and started hanging out in his studio. I soon realized that this was so much more fun and creative then just playing guitar. So me and another friend from school started to buy some cheap studio equipment and founded our first studio. That was back in 1996. ever since that time Ive always considered antiloop my biggest source for inspiration. Even if my style has changed from psy trance, drumn bass to deephouse and progressive trance/house.

Trance.nu: How would you describe your own sound? Its pretty unique!
Probspot: I would descirbe it as progressive trance/house with a touch of deephouse :-/
Most of my tracks have some sort of melodic hook in them. Combined with a wall of loops and percussion.
I always try and get as much energy out of my beats as possible. Beats takes up the most channels in my mixes. It may not be that noticable but its a lot more then just a kick, hihat and a clap.
Like many other progressive producers I have been using deep rolling bass lines for my productions made earlier this year. The bass line is the main melodic force in most of my tracks. And it that sounds really powerfull, but the material Im working on now is a bit diffrent.

Trance.nu: Are you a DJ as well? Or will you just focus on the producing side?
Probspot: No, Im not a DJ. I guess Im one of the few dancemusic producers thats not also a DJ. I really should get in to it. It kind of sucks when I have to turn down a lot DJ gigs. unhappy

Trance.nu: You are a busy remixer and producer at the moment? Which single releases and remixes are going to be released the coming months and on which labels?
Probspot: Most remixes and tracks I have done this year are already released. The last remix I did was for Rio Addicts -crossroads. And I believe its just been released on Electronic Elements(armada). My track Blueberry was released in july. The Foreplay EP in June. And the Rico Soarez Tv-dinner and Timeless was just released.
There are two remixes that have not been released yet. But I dont know if they will be released. There is also a remix I did over a year ago that might be released as a track of its own, replacing the original.

Trance.nu: We heard you are working on an album? Exciting stuff, but the question is ofcourse, do you have any info about musical styles on the album?
Probspot: Yeah I was quite surprised when Lost Language asked me if I would be interested in doing an album for them. But I didn't hesitate for one second. A whole album is something Ive been deaming of doing ever since I started. I got plenty of ideas for what I want to include on it. Im thinking of mixing some different styles. I m working on some melodic breakbeats/drumn bass and even some harder techno stuff. Ive even done a small intro track with a dark melodic trip hop vibe to it. But the overall feel of the album will be progressive. Im sure it will turn out really good.

Trance.nu: Which productions is your best production till this date, according to yourself?
Probspot: I think that my track foreplay is the one that Im most satisfied with. Its not the best track if you listen to its mixing. But the melodies and over all feel to that track is something that Im not sure I will ever achieve again.
Im also still proud of my old deephouse track you and me which was my first original release.

Trance.nu: What equipment are you using for creating your tracks?
Probspot: I used to work with hardware synths and samplers. But Ive sold most of my gear. And the equipment I still have is more or less collecting dust. I only work with software on a PC. I use Cubase SX as a sequencer. And do all melodic stuff with software synths. My monitors is two sets of regular speakers that Ive worked with for years. Nothing fancy. But I feel comfortable with them. And not sure If I dare changing them for anything else.

Trance.nu: What is your biggest dream for the future?
Probspot: well Im still new in the scene, so my dream is to still be around for a few more years. And hopefully be able to release more albums.

Trance.nu: The music world seems to be a big depression at the moment. What do you think is essential to survive as an artist in the current scene?
Probspot: Yeah, its a shame that lots of labels are dying. But in the end its also a good thing. The labels have to really focus on quality releases. So hopefully well get rid of a lot of crap. If you want to survive as an artist you got to make sure that you have something to offer that not that many other artists have. A sound of your own. Im not saying that my music is the most inovative music out there, becouse its not. But at least I do have a sound of my own. That seems to appeal to a lot of labels. And it will increase your chances of getting remix/producing work etc.

Trance.nu: You are a producer from Sweden. There seems to be heaps of talent coming out of the Nordic countrys the pasy years? Do you have an idea about why that happened?
Probspot: Im guessing it has to do with our cold climate, we have nothing to do when its dark and cold the most part of the year. So we tend to spend a lot of time indoors with our computers. And nowdays its very easy to create good sounding music by just using a computer and software. Well to be honest, I dont really know hehe.

Trance.nu: Will you do some collaboration productions in the future or vocal tracks?
Probspot: I might do something with Ben Lost. He has a good voice and weve spoken about doing something for my album. Ive also spoken briefly to some other producers about collabs, but nothing that I can talk about yet.

Trance.nu: What is your current top 5 tracks at the moment?
Probspot: Well I dont have 5 tracks in particular, But I listen to a lot of zgur Can, James Holden at the moment. I also dig Vadim Zhukov and the works of Terje Bakke which I believe is going to be huge.

Trance.nu: How important is Internet for you as a musician?
Probspot: Im depending on it. It has helped me in getting to where I am today as an artist and a producer.
It has its bad sides in form of illegal downloading. But I would rather have it this way then trying to make it without the internet.

Trance.nu: Any last words for the fans?
Probspot: I want to thank all of you people who have supported me and my music. You rock!

Trance.nu: Thank you for the interview and good luck the coming months with your musical career.

Link: http://www.probspot.net

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