Though Thoughtless Music launched less than four years ago, the Canadian imprint has already released hundreds of tracks over nearly 50 records. Era One, which aims to be the first in a series due out every 50 releases, marks this achievement by packing 50 Thoughtless tunes into 73-minute mix. Chatting recently via email, Pred gave us the rest of the scoop:
What was your thinking about the track selection and feel of the mix?
It was a fairly daunting challenge to come up with the final track list–we've released almost 300 individual tracks and remixes to date, and while I definitely have favourites among them, they're all special to me. The goal was to explore a wide range of the label's output culled from the full catalogue while at the same time conveying the overall aesthetic in a clear way. In the end, it turned out to be a more intuitive process than you might expect. I knew there were certain songs that had to be included, and they all ended up finding a snug pocket that worked in the context of the mix, but there was no map. Knowing my starting point seemed to set off a sort of chain reaction, one track leading to the next, very much like it seems to flow in the booth. Naturally, there were a few course corrections along the way but I think the end result is true to the story I wanted to tell.
How is your mixing in the studio different from when you're in the club?
My preferred set up in the booth is three or more Pioneer CDJs; for this mix project I used Ableton Live. I'm quite well versed in Ableton (I'm actually a part-time Live instructor), so I had to fight the temptation to employ all sorts of extra effects and added trickery as I wanted to keep the result within the realm of what I feel I could realistically reproduce on stage, while also remaining faithful to the source material. That might seem a bit of a stretch, but I made sure the mix was relegated to no more than three layers on the equivalent of three decks at any given time, and I kept all the tracks in re-pitch mode to emulate the quality of actual mixing and not "cheat" with any key mixing that would be impossible outside of Ableton. There's a small amount of looping that had to be done here and there, and the odd effect thrown in - but only out of necessity. The end result is fairly straight-up in terms of a traditional approach to mixing, or at least as much as possible with so many tracks in there.
Do you feel that the mix is more of a demonstration of your mixing prowess or a showcase of the tunes that make it up?
It's funny, I never really considered this as a chance to show off my mixing skills. Hearing myself say it, I realize how preposterous it might seem that I squeezed 50 tracks into a 73-minute mix and didn't think of it that way, but the real goal was to showcase the label and the tunes that have made it what it is. That said, it was a lot of fun to weave them together into what I felt was a cohesive narrative so I suppose it has my unique stamp on it as a DJ, though again, I didn't think about that aspect of it too much–it's just what came naturally. Running the label for so long, I'm not sure I could have trusted anyone else with the task; I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to projects I care about, and a lot of love went into this.
What's next for Thoughtless? Where are you taking the label?
Based on our release schedule, 2011 is going to be a big year for us. We have our first 12-inch releases lined up, the first being the lead single from Arthur Oskan's debut album accompanied by a remix from Funk D'Void, and following that is our first single from Dave Vega along with a remix from Toronto's Basic Soul Unit. Arthur's album, A Little More Than Everything is due for release in late spring on CD and digital, and we've got more artist full-lengths in the works from Co-Op, Meesha, Rift and others. Exposing fresh talent is one of the most rewarding things about running the label, so there will definitely be more coming up in that department, along with old friends contributing along the way. Granted, I'm sure it'll all be completely thoughtless.
01. Roberto Bardini - My Feelings
02. Meesha - Daat (Animaltek Remix)
03. Eric Downer - Ottomatic
04. KiloWatts - Snakewinds (Alland Byallo Slither Mix)
05. Animaltek - Computers and Girls (Live Dub Mix)
06. Rift - Indigo Pt. 2
07. Signal Deluxe - Pleasure Capsule (Jay Tripwire Remix)
08. Signal Deluxe - Replicants (Marc Cotterell Remix)
09. Mild Bang - Deeper
10. Talal & Zoi - Empty Roads (Marc Cotterell Remix)
11. Kindimmer - Apeople
12. Ludwig Coenen - Red Paper
13. Billy Dalessandro - Zoe
14. Jamie Kidd - Triptych (Jonny White Remix)
15. Rodux - Iron Fan
16. Evan Marc - Alpha Phase (Kate Simko High Tide Remix)
17. Haze - Turn It Black
18. Co-Op - Peace By Piece
19. Noah Pred - Far From Lost
20. DJ Maus - My So Called Friends
21. Rift - Bottom Breathing
22. Arthur Oskan - Tongue Tied
23. Repair - The Model B Chassis (Falko Brocksieper Remix)
24. KiloWatts - Hyperion Hustle (In Retrograde)
25. Noah Pred - Unsung
26. Ludwig Coenen - Frontline
27. Arthur Oskan - Eggshells
28. Evan Marc - Sapphire
29. KiloWatts - The Ringing Spheres
30. DJ Maus - La Surprise
31. Tonepushers - Praxic
32. Pete Grove - No Relief (Rennie Foster Drifting Dub)
33. Limacon - Sans Rip
34. Arthur Oskan - Fat Mobile
35. Jamie Kidd - Strapped
36. Meesha - Daat (Talal & Zoi Remix)
37. Caspian Rabone - Moiree
38. Adam Jay & Angel Alanis - Steam (Philip Arruda Remix)
39. Crazy Ghost - Queen West
40. Jeff Bennett - Quantum Perspective
41. KiloWatts - Fur Flotation
42. Pete Grove - Faded Principle
43. Evan Marc - Never Let Me Go
44. Zero to Zero - Hungertruck
45. Limacon - Rundown
46. Limacon - Rubber Bump
47. Derek Marin - Cut the Line (Noah Pred Remix)
48. Derek Marin - While She Sleeps
49. Noah Pred - No Love Is Enough
50. Sonotheque - Smell Good (Feel Good Mix)
Thoughtless Music will release Era One on April 30th, 2011.