Altere press shot

Interview: Altere talks his latest Toolroom release, creative influences and more

Altere is a fast-rising producer and DJ from Aberdeen, Scotland. Tipped as one of Toolroom Records’ “Leaders of the New School”, Altere’s signature sound brings elements of classic house music into the present day.  

Altere’s latest release, “Delirio” (Toolroom Trax), is a testament to his production skills and musical versatility, showcasing his ability to craft groovy, dancefloor-ready tracks steeped in uplifting, feel-good vibes. You can buy/stream it here:

Altere is no stranger to the decks playing regularly at his stomping ground “Tunnels” in Aberdeen and supporting stellar acts such as Illyus and Barrientos, Jess Bays and Hannah Laing. In addition, Altere has showcased his DJ skills at Joshua Brooks in Manchester, Bar57 in Peterhead, and various bars and clubs in Aberdeen.  

An all-consuming passion for house music led to Altere securing several radio shows and guest mixes, including a regular slot on Data Transmission Radio and guest mixes for Flex FM, Ibiza Stardust Radio and Salvione’s Elevated Radio.  

Fresh off the back of his Toolroom Trax release, we caught up with Altere and got to know what makes this rising talent tick: 

Please tell us about your background and how you got into producing electronic dance music. 

My life in electronic music started in clubs and festivals. From a young age – I would go to local house and techno clubs in my hometown and festivals around the UK. The house/techno clubs were doing something different to other bars and clubs in my area, and it was always a welcoming place to go on the weekend to unwind. I always appreciated the thought and care that went into each event to make it special for the crowd, and I wanted to be part of that. 

I didn’t start producing properly until I took the Toolroom Academy course to further my skills. I made tracks but lacked focus and creativity. Since then, I have found my groove and style of music that I am passionate about – which led to releases on the likes of Toolroom, and There Was Jack. 

Your latest release was signed to Toolroom Trax, a well-respected industry label. What can you tell us about ‘Delirio’? 

Delirio is a labour of love. It’s a collaboration between 5 best mates who met at a Toolroom event in London and got together to create something with a bit of each of us. We rented an Air BnB in London. It was a special weekend with us all travelling down for a weekend of writing and clubbing. 

On Saturday, we all got the laptops out and threw ideas together. It was so seamless, and we all bounced off one another. I was a little apprehensive at first because five artists is a LOT to have on one track, but we all just knew what to do – we listened to one another’s ideas, and each of us contributed to making it what it is. 

The track actually started with a different vocal, but we took the decision to get an original vocalist on the track. HARRT did a fantastic job working alongside the very talented Cecilia Martin to get the vocal right, and there we had it – Delirio was born! 

Altere press shot

What is your favourite equipment or software for music production, and why? 

F9 have a wealth of instruments that sound fantastic. I use F9 Audio instrument packs in nearly all of my tracks – they are outstanding! It makes a massive difference not having to worry too much about sample quality or mixing, as F9 does all that hard work for you. 

What has been the most significant moment in your music career so far? 

Without a doubt, the best moment was when Toolroom told us Delirio had been signed. We were all down at Toolroom HQ for a day of filming for Toolroom Academy. We got interviewed about our experience. Half way through the interview – I was asked “How does it feel that the track has been signed to Toolroom Trax”. I was absolutely speechless. So speechless that I swore several times on camera, ha-ha! 

Aside from being an amazing moment to share with the rest of the guys – it was a massive confidence boost in our skills that Toolroom wanted to sign the track! 

How do you stay current with new technology and production techniques in the constantly evolving world of electronic music? 

I do a lot of learning and try and spend at least a few hours researching new techniques. I find that Fader Pro is an immense resource for learning. Graham Farmer (Data Transmission) is also the man when it comes to marketing and social media – which is increasingly important in today’s music landscape. 

Can you walk us through your creative process when producing that track? 

That is an interesting question. I don’t think there was much of a process, as we all work very differently. However, we all value each other’s opinions very highly, so each of us was able to take on feedback and change out parts that others didn’t feel were right. The five of us have that kind of relationship which made the writing process easier. 

How do you incorporate specific instruments and vibes into your productions? 

I always reference tracks that I am enjoying at the time when I am writing. I feel this is one of the most important tools to use. Sound selection is key, so if you can reference a track that you know already works, then you are already halfway there! For me – the track always needs to be uplifting and groovy. It’s got to have that killer hook, so I spend a lot of time working on that. I feel Delirio has exactly that – not only is the vocal super catchy, but the groove has various hooks in it, too, so the listener is engaged throughout. 

Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations, and how have they influenced your sound? 

Without a shadow of a doubt – the biggest influence on my style is CASSIMM. The man can do no wrong! I love how he jumps around the house genre with various vibes but always keeps his sound on point – you always know it’s a CASSIMM song! 

Aside from that – I would say that the four guys on Delirio are among some of my biggest influences because I have learned so much from them. We all have different sounds and workflows, so working with them has been so key to my development. There is a lot to be said for getting together with a bunch of like-minded people. 

What advice would you give aspiring DJs and producers just starting out in the industry? 

I would say that you absolutely need to get out there! Go and network and make connections. Developing your skills is obviously important, but making lasting connections is equally important. It may seem daunting to put yourself out there, but before long, that fear is gone, and you will have relationships (and fans) you can rely on for advice, support and even listen to your tracks! 

Can you give us a sneak peek into any upcoming projects or collaborations you have in the works? 

There is LOADS in the works! I have signed a couple of tracks which will be out later in the year, and I am also collaborating with a couple of Toolroom Academy students on some really interesting projects. I can’t give too much away just now but watch this space! 

Loz Seka, KEFFI, HARRT, Altere & Alex Lauthals’ ‘Delirio’ is available now on Toolroom Trax.