Thursday, August 11, 2011

Tabletop Q+A: Salva (Frite Nite/Friends of Friends)

"Paul Salva is a funky motherf*cker," says The Fader. Beyond those who already know this, the rest of the electronic music world is catching wind of the 29 year old producer, DJ, promoter and label boss. Already heralded by the Numbers, Ernest Endeavors and LuckyMe crews in the UK, the Low End Theory residents in LA and his own Frite Nite label/crew in SF, Salva’s debut album Complex Housing (Friends of Friends) received glowing reviews from FACT, Resident Advisor, and XLR8R.

Growing up in Chicago in the 80's, Salva cites early inspiration in all sorts of electronic and sampled-based music ranging from electro, juke, analog house, ghetto house, underground hip hop and bass productions. With a strong foot in all of these idioms, Salva creates a future-leaning style of electronic dance music that is all his own. Shimmering synthesizers collide with funky vintage drum programming, heavy bass drops and rapid arpeggios to create an album that remain both listenable and danceable.

With big boomers like "Wake Ups" and "Blue" bringing out the inner future-funk beat junky, the record switches gears and influences with the glistening sleeze/pop of Zackey Force Funk's guest appearance on "40 Karats" and a more housey/UK Funky approach on "Keys Open Doors." Salva also pays homage to his Chicago-house roots covering Robert Owens' classic "I'll Be Your Friend" and bringing it into the 21st century, making this album a true dance music melting pot.

Salva also invited some friends to the mix as remixes from B Bravo, MachineDrum, My Dry Wet Mess and Lando Kal all represent on the record. What makes this album unique is not only Salva's experimental yet melodic approach, but the diversity and taste he shows while doing it.

We reached out to Salva to get some early feedback and testing on Tabletop. We were thrilled when he obliged us and contributed a drumkit for the Gridlok Touchpad Sampler plus several demo tracks that you can check out inside Tabletop. We sat down with Salva on several occasions to find out what he thought of working with Tabletop. Check the video and interview below. Check out previews of his demo songs and watch him make a beat from scratch with Tabletop here.

How did you find the experience of creating music for Tabletop?
I'm not just saying this...overall my experience has been really FUN. This app definitely walks the line of getting pro audio out of the iPad, but in my opinion, it more importantly succeeds in making something you can just turn on and on a whim have a lot of fun with. Late mornings in bed on the weekend, in the airport, chillin' on the couch -- its nice to have a little portable studio for some creative time. Of course, there's so much room to grow with Tabletop, so you can get as serious as you'd want to with the app.

What kind of equipment do you normally use in making music?
I use Logic Pro as my main recording / midi workstation, a few keyboards, some moog pedals, a condenser mic, turntables, and various soft synths and plug-ins… Oh and Ableton Live for some vocal processing and remix work.

How well did Tabletop reflect the way you normally make music?
While it's a step away from my normal process, anybody who understands the basic studio flow and the most simplistic of patching of essential sound modules can dig right in. It took no time at all for me to acclimate. I had literally never touched Tabletop before and within minutes I had some crazy stuff rocking.

Do you think Tabletop will translate well to a live experience?
I think it could, using the M8TRX Tone Matrix live could be really fun.

What would be on your future device wish list?
I'd like to see a compressor for side-chaining, and a simple two-oscillator synth so you can design your own patches.

Have you used any other iOS music apps? What do you think the strengths and weaknesses of the platform are?
Most iOS apps I've tried don't really have enough to really sink your teeth into.  I mean all the standalone synth and keyboards get boring after a while, to me at least...this is the first that I really want to repeatedly pick up and actually use.

What's up next for you?
Lots of shows this summer and fall around the US and Canada, and hitting abroad next spring. A new 12" for Friends of Friends, lots of remix work that should be trickling out soon, A&Ring lots of amazing projects on Frite Nite, supporting my FoF crew in LA as well...and of course I'll probably be spending some time with Tabletop on all these airplane rides I'll be on during the summer and fall.

Shortly before Tabletop was released, Salva was accepted to the prestigious Red Bull Music Academy for a fall session. We congratulate him on this fantastic opportunity and know he will be pushing the boundaries there like he does everywhere else.

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