Plastic City. If you say the name, thousands of house music lover’s hearts will be faster, but it’s not so well known that the German label featuring Timewriter and Terry Lee Brown has a Hungarian producer on their roster. Releasing two LPs, countless EPs and remixes on Plastic City, Forteba, aka Krisztián Dobrocsi now turns in a new direction to discover the world outside of house.
A long anticipated album and his other plans were a good enough reason to dig into Forteba’s mind.
What is an ideal music for you?
It’s what I never get bored of, even if I’m listening to that all day long. It can be anything without any genre restriction. There must be something catching me in there, which can be either a good theme or sound…
If you listen to a new track, what’s in your focus? Sound, bass, percussions, or the composition itself?
If I listen to something because someone asked for my review about his or her own music, I try to focus on the technical side of the track: scales, structures, tones, etc. For instance, on Beatport it takes me 5 seconds to decide whether I skip to the next track or listen to the complete release. First impressions are the most crucial.
How would you describe your music? What would you tell us to focus on?
I’m making music in several genres, I’d suggest to have a different focus on each kind. My electronic music is aimed to strike the soundsystem, but the downtempo tracks are obviously aimed to stimulate your mind. It depends on the listener, and his or her mood in that moment.
Are you ever 100% satisfied with your tracks?
It’s a tricky question because I think you can never be absolutely satisfied with your job. You think your song is finished and it’s good the way it is, but after a year you would re-master it. You need to finish it though at some point. Actually I have some tracks I wouldn’t change.
Your third album has been in the pipeline for a while, but you said until it finally comes out you’ll be selling tracks to other labels. Why is that?
The thing is, just before I was supposed to finish the third album on Plastic City, I got sick of 4/4 music and turned to downtempo. While the label was expecting more 4/4 music, I made three albums worth of downtempo stuff, but the label wanted something else, less deep, more tech. So I made a new package, but the track-list they actually finalized, didn’t have any of the new tracks on it, so I don’t know who wants what. I’ve been contacted by other labels to release an EP or remixes on their imprint. So I have releases now on Sol Recordingz in Portugal, on Lovezone in France, on Dubhe in Russia and on some overseas labels. I hope I can have some releases on British labels as well.
On your Forteba moniker you make house music, but your Lipuria moniker has a lounge preference. Do you plan to release your lounge material? Do you plan a double album?
Probably a double album is a bit too much, especially nowadays. I’d put shorter tracks on it. I have some music which sounds old, it was my time travel to the funk. Similar to that I have some material which sounds like the 80s. And I also have a chill album, but it’s not ready yet. I didn’t look for a label yet, I don’t even know why.
How has your studio work process changed in the recent years? What are you up to? Tell me what instruments you use and how you make a track?
I turned to vinyl sampling, I hunted up some old 12”s from our loft, and I grabbed my father’s tape recorder, which gives a very cool oldish sound. In addition I distorted and filtered the digital instruments to fit in the soundscape. I use several live instruments, like old keyboards, and I also record themes together with a bass guitarist. Basically I wanted to do something fresh, because I got bored of this kind of electronic music and I enjoy exploring new things now. I know very quickly what I want to hear, I have the routine to get that sound what I want in two minutes. Earlier I just tried to reach it, and the result was just something similar. But what the most important thing and the key to be successful and satisfied with your work is practice! People always say it’s too hard, there’s not enough time and other excuses, but it’s not true, they think it’s easier for me because I’ve been in the industry for a while, but that’s not the point, I face the same challenges, you gotta do this with passion and sacrifice to make it work.
Published September 19, 2011.