Tantum – The freedom of house music

Yo name it, he as it. Techno, House and all things between. Tantum is trying to redefine the borders between forward-thinking melodic techno and progressive-house. We had a chat with the forward thinking DJ and producer about his latest release on Monaberry, the imprint of Super Flu.

Can you tell us something about the area you came from and how it influenced you as an artist?

Sure! First of all, thanks for having me. I first started working on DAW’s through playing guitar. I’ve been playing and writing Metal music and tried to record my own songs, but since I didn’t have a Drum Set, I had to figure out how to Sample beats. It all just kind of evolved from sampling beats to creating full compositions. Being a programmer certainly helped me to get a hold on music production. My music is influenced by different genres, emotions and situations that I’ve experienced.

What does House Music mean to you?

House music is freedom!

It has always been a very forward thinking genre that stands for open-mindedness and freedom of expression for all kinds of emotions. I’m excited to see how music will innovate within the next few years. I hope I can contribute to that, of course.

What has influenced you so far in your career as an artist – was there any kind of special moment?
Getting support by big name artists such as Nick Warren, Eelke kleijn and now Super Flu definitely stick out to me and got my career on another level. As for gigs, I love looking back at the Pirate Beach Festival where I’ve played at this summer. As well as the Eden Hill Festival in Taiwan.

Poker Flat Recordings, EIN2 and now Monaberry – How do you keep the quality so high?
Strict quality control. Only if a track can stand the test of time it is strong enough to actually be release-worthy. There are a few friends that give me quite harsh feedback, and I also like to test tracks for a long time before deeming them finished. Probably only around ~10% of what I make ever gets to see the light of day, so there’s a lot of unreleased and unfinished music that people don’t get to hear.

What do you work with in the studio and how do you collaborate with other artists on tracks over long distances?
I’m actually a FL Studio user, so I always ask for audio stems to work with. That’s how I do all my collaboration or production works for/with other artists. Even if someone is also using FL, I prefer audio files to be honest, just keeps things simpler for me (opening files that use different plugins or versions will cause a huge clusterfuck).

What was the idea behind the new release on Monaberry called Bonsai?
I’ve been working on that “Bonsai” track for a long time, since 2016 actually. But I’ve been keeping it back ever since, it wasn’t until late 2019 that I sent it to Monaberry and finished the final version with their feedback.
As for “Into Yam”, it was actually Samer Soltans idea to connect Oluhle’s stunning vocals with one of my ID’s, so we’ve added some more sounds to finish it off, rearranged it and called it a day.
Both originals keep a driving beat as a foundation, which is a signature sound I try to establish in my music. I’m super happy with the remixes, by the way! Both Super Flu’s and Dürerstüben’s remixes complement the track very well.

Where do you get inspiration from?
It’s hard for me to describe where my inspiration comes from exactly. Let me put it this way:

I can get inspired by observing my surroundings in everyday life, recognizing patterns.

I focus on little details which I associate with my music during production. It’s a very abstract and subconscious process. To me, music is conversation. So I always try to describe or transport emotions with the tracks I make. Every listener will interpret music differently, but I think that people can tell if a track is hastily put together or if there’s more meaning to it.

How do you see the adventure Social Media, are you fully in it or are you rather annoyed?
It’s an interesting time to be alive to say the least, but I do feel that I’m not really good at presenting myself on social media. I guess I’m kind of an introvert and I prefer intimate and personal connections over indirect unpersonal ones. It sometimes feels very superficial, but of course, there’s also new possibilities that arise with social media. For example the collaboration on Into Yam, this wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t active on social media. But I do try to keep a bit more distance to my smartphone these days, especially around the christmas holiday :)
What do you wish for the year 2020?
More sleep, haha. 2019 has been pretty busy and I hope to take some more rest personally. Other than that, it’s great to see that more people seem to care about their environment and personal health a lot more these days, so I also wish that this movement can persist in the next years.

What does your Roadmap look like?
I’ve got my releases scheduled down till April for now, so I’m super hyped for the first two quarters already! I also hope to be able to play more International gigs, since traveling new places is always a huge inspiration for me. As for now I’ve got the Ukraine as my first destination in 2020, with more to come. So stay tuned. :)

Follow Tantum on Instagram.