Verune is a Bellingham-based producer and DJ who specializes in synthesizing the sounds of techno, house, hip hop, ambient, and alternative music. His debut release on Bottomfeeder Records Caviar is a desert-charged exploration of his genre and style influences, summarized in a highly tuned and unique 4/4 composition that can’t be defined by genre.
The artist also has an EP in the works with Bottomfeeder which we think absolutely bumps. We spoke with Verune about his first release and upcoming EP – truly a humble, hard-working, and knowledgable person!
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Firstly, we really appreciate your sound design and evocative lead elements. What types of music and artists are currently inspiring you to create?
Verune: Specifically when I’m making house I’ll find inspiration from other house songs that I am really feeling and have those songs be inspiration for what I am making at the time; otherwise, I find inspiration from other genres of music incorporate it in their own way.
When I was making the tracks on the Bottomfeeder EP, I was listening to the Juicy EP by Robosonic which I think was kinda setting the tone for me at the time. Right now I’ve been inspired more by more driven tech house, that still has floaty elements. Other than that I’ve been listening to a lot of rap and indie, I’ve had the Mac Demarco’s Old Dog demos and all of Vulfpeck songs on repeat; something about the rawness and the drum machine in the demos I really like.
I find that I make a lot of my music better on the fly, and because of this I find myself making music in environments outside of my bedroom studio. I will usually sit down and try to make a song in a couple of hours in any environment.
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Tell us a little about your studio and workflow. How do you go about making a track and what synthesizers, plugins, or gear are you employing to make music?
V: I find that I make a lot of my music better on the fly, and because of this I find myself making music in environments outside of my bedroom studio. I will usually sit down and try to make a song in a couple of hours in any environment, then go back after a break and add in new elements, clean it up, and further the production.
Take, for example, the two tracks on my EP with Bottomfeeder. Held High began in the car and Push It started by just chilling in my living room; both tracks eventually made their way to my studio. I would not say I have a specific formula for making music, but with those two tracks, I began with the bassline and drums, then added airy elements to create the overall vibe.
In regards to the rest of my production techniques, I try not to use house samples too often. Push It, for example, used all hip hop drums. I love trying to create an atmospheric washy space with textures using different types of delays, panning, and reverb.
Since I like being mobile my studio setup is relatively simple, I basically use an all in-the-box setup, for the most part, my bedroom studio is just monitors, interface and a shitty midi keyboard. Two of my favorite plugins are Waves H-Delay and Ableton’s Frequency Shifter, which I used to pitch the vocals for both the tracks on the EP.
Otherwise, I have been using UAD Little Labs Vog consistently for kicks, Dexed which is a free corny 80’s DX synth plugin, and I am a big fan of Kontakt. I used a live bass bank in Kontakt on Push It and on a track called Caviar, I released with Bottomfeeder Records earlier this month.
I just got a Moog Grandmother, I plan on using and incorporating into my productions going forward. In the past I was in love with Slate plugins when I used them specifically for reverb; I also used them on Push It.
Where does your alias come from and in what ways does it represent you?
V: There’s honestly nothing crazy behind the name. I was throwing around different aliases with friends and I really liked how it sounded and looked on paper so I stuck with it.
In your track “Push It” there is a prominent plucked sawtooth lead that propels the confident minimal beat forward. How did you create this sound and how did the track come about?
V: Like I previously mentioned, it started with the bassline and pretty simple drums. I really like atmospheric and heady sounds so I began adding in those elements. Then, to try and add complexity, I started looking at movie clips on YouTube and came across a clip from the show “Lost”.
Two characters are in an underground bunker and an alarm goes off periodically. I brought those vocals in from the clip and it inspired the lead sound because I was trying to parallel that alarm sound.
I made the lead by taking a random acid pluck sample I found, then arpeggiating it with the rate at alternating speeds throughout the track to give it the feel of unwinding, then I processed it pretty hard with the major effect being a really tight delay.
What are your plans for performing, producing, or otherwise in 2019?
V: I have an EP coming out with Bottomfeeder Records at the end of January and I will have a mix coming out through Underground Transmissions in late February. I will also be opening for Golf Clap at the end of February under my other alias Oddlin, but realistically will play what a Verune set will be. My goal for the future is to branch out of Bellingham and play more shows in Seattle as Verune and release more tracks in 2019!
Thanks to Verune for taking the time to answer our questions so thoroughly and honestly. We can’t wait for his next move!
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