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Slufter - Blue Skies
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Mar 07, 2013
Total plays:
18 times
Why do we like this?
I caught Slufter's show at a local Detroit record shop a couple weeks ago, and I felt compelled to share. He's a rare budding talent whose raw electronic landscapes bring the boogie, the funk, experimental garage -- the whole experience was kind of like watching musical history repeat itself.

Slufter, aka Antonio Manzari, is a mad synth genius who's both effortlessly exceptional and blissfully unaware of his prolific material. I was so intrigued, I pulled him aside to see what makes him tick. Check out our interview below!

What is Slufter up to?

I've been working on a Lord Scrummage remix that I'm pretty excited about. It's been a lot of fun working with Jade Lathan's vocals especially! I've been producing some new material for an upcoming album, but also have been spending time trying to work on my piano chops. I've been playing/learning a lot of old NES (nintendo) songs on the piano lately! Whipping out some Mario Bros + Zelda ditties always puts a smile on my face!

What was the thought process behind "Blue Skies"?

Well, I'm a little secretive about it! Hah! Basically, it was all inspired by Barber Shop quartet music. I REALLY love the sound of 4 part vocal harmonies. The chord progressions found in that style are wonderful, and I think there's something really special about how four people can build chords together because you can adjust pitch to hit really perfect intervals that just wouldn't happen with equal-temperament instruments, like on a piano. I also was pretty into heavy, aggressive electro music at the time, so I just thought I'd try my best to slam the two very different genres together.

And how was it made?

I won't give away my sample, which people can find if they try hard enough. I'm a little weird about it. The song is based off samples that I meticulously crafted one day while avoiding some boring graphic design homework. I used an MPC500. Very happy that I bought that piece of gear!

Do you have a favorite synth or are you constantly discovering new ways to make music?

Yes! I have SO many favorite synths! I have a Roland Juno-106. I love it. I will never, ever get rid of it. It's a wonderful, affordable analog synthesizer from 1984. The cool thing about it is that it's polyphonic AND has MIDI, and it's REALLY fun to program. Every parameter has its own knob/slider, so you can be very expressive with it. I'm REALLY big on hands-on synth programming. Digital menus are a serious buzz-kill. Don't get me wrong though, I love digital synthesis, too.

Yeah, I'm always looking for new ways to make music. That's why I play multiple instruments. It's fun to jump around from drums, to synths, to piano, to bass, to guitar, or to sampling because you start to borrow techniques and applying them in strange places. My drum background really helps with all instruments, and especially with sampling. The samples in "Blue Skies" are a result of drumming around on the pads. I'd rather drum around then edit samples with a mouse all day. Playing bass has been helpful, and it definitely effects the way I play synth and piano. I guess what I'm trying to say is that music is very self-generative. It's easy to draw inspiration from yourself if you just try to flip what you normally do upside down.

So there you have it. For more on Slufter and his endlessness, follow his SoundCloud or find him on Facebook.
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