LAMP Weekly MIx #195 feat. Sean Raya
Hello and thanks for checking in this week. Today we have San Fransisco based producer Sean Raya who has been making waves with his latest release “Pipedreams” for Reload Records. This weeks mix comes to you straight from the playa. Recorded from his set on Tuesday at Ali Bar-Bar on Tuesday of this years Burning Man. Sit back and lose yourself in the smooth desert vibes while you enjoy MR PUZL’s interview with Sean Raya.
MR PUZL: Sean! Welcome to the mix series. What have you got in store for our listeners this week?
Sean Raya: Thanks for having me! I decided to share a live recording of one of my sets from Burning Man this year. This is the first hour in a 4 hour set I played at Ali Bar-Bar Tuesday night. The sound is deeper than what I have been known for lately but it fit the vibe of the space perfectly. I did end up ramping it up later in the set but I really dig how the first hour flowed.
MR PUZL: Congrats again on our Reload Records release Pipedreams! Those were some seriously solid techno tunes. How did you get introduced to the Yellowheads?
SR: Thank you! I got introduced to The Yellowheads through my good friend Durtysoxxx. I had just released a song on his label and was showing him some new tunes I wrote. He thought The Yellowheads would dig it… and he was right! I’m very grateful to be given that opportunity.
MR PUZL: I know that everyone is different when it comes to their production methods but what has seemed to work the best for you as far as having a streamlined flow for creating your music?
SR: The best thing has been to separate my studio time into targeted sessions. I separate my sound design from my song writing and arrangement process. Then after I am satisfied with my arrangement, I bounce everything to audio and do my final mix down. Working this way frees my mind to focus on just one task at hand. It helps me achieve a proper flow state, which is a crucial part of the magic.
MR PUZL: I ask this question often but for you I’m even more curious. What is your current setup? If money were no object how would you build our your dream studio?
SR: As far as outboard gear goes, I have a Moog SlimPhatty, Korg Polysix, Korg Monologue, Roland TB-606, Roland JX-03, Ableton Push, and Maschine. My monitors are the Yamaha HS-80s paired with the HS-10W sub. I use primarily Ableton Live and Reaper for my DAWs. As far as plugins… I have way too many! - My dream setup would consist of a pair of Barefoot MM27s, a bunch of old Roland synths, Oberheims, a Wardorf Q, a Polymoog, some of the new synths out like the Prophet-6, maybe some modular stuff…and if I am really dreaming big, throw in a Neve 88RS with some prism converters and an Antelope clock… That would be nice.
MR PUZL: I saw your set posted from last year where you opened up for Lane 8! How was that experience, and if you had to pick what are some of you most memorable sets to date?
SR: It was an amazing experience. I got to open up the night and carry it out for close to 2 hours. I always love building up a club from nobody to a packed house. It is as though you can feel the collective energy growing as the night progresses. To be the conductor of said energy is a phenomenal feeling. Some of my most memorable sets, besides the Lane 8 show, include opening up for John Digweed on New Years day, playing at a rave in Phoenix, AZ where the warehouse was so packed I swear even the walls were sweating, and recently at this amazing techno underground in San Francisco called Nocturnal Code.
MR PUZL: You said that you used 3 CDJs during that set. That must have been a great way to weave a lot of songs together for some nice blended mixes. Is that your preferred setup when available? Have you ever worked in more of a hybrid form using stems and other controllers during performances?
SR: Yeah, 3 CDJs is my preferred setup. I also use Traktor with x1s from time to time but I just love the convenience of showing up with just a flash drive and headphones, plugging in, and going to town. Setting up the laptop and fiddling about with a bunch of wires while someone else is trying to DJ can be such a pain. I’ve used acapellas in my set before but that is about it…haven’t really felt the urge to play around with stems. I did try a hybrid live set using Maschine and Ableton linked with Traktor… but again, I find I like to keep things simple in the DJ booth.
MR PUZL: I’ve been a big fan of your Flugin Friday posts and have definitely been taking advantage of your recommendations. What was the first piece of music software/plug-in/etc. that you ever used?
SR: My first DAW was FL Studio back when it was called Fruity Loops… this was back in like 2004. I never really got serious with production though until 2009 when I got a copy of Ableton Live. Ableton’s workflow really clicked with me and I fell down the production rabbit hole from then on.
MR PUZL: Top 5 plugins your using at the moment?
SR: U-he Diva, Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Acustica Audio Pearl, Acustica Audio Cobalt, and the whole Fab Filter bundle.
MR PUZL: Give our listeners a heads up on you upcoming shows and releases.
SR: I have a remix for this jazz electronica band called The Maya Spectra coming out soon that I am really happy with. It was a fun challenge to take a song that wasn’t Techno at all and morph it into a warehouse techno banger. I also have some exciting independent releases in the works but I can’t really elaborate on that right now. All I can say is be on the lookout come early 2018 for a bunch of new stuff coming from me!
1. Jonas Saalbach, Logfile – Run
2. Bedouin, Eric Volta – Sight
3. Kora (CA) – Caddo
4. Elfenberg – Jafar
5. Rockaforte – From Nowhere To Somewhere
6. Lessons – Tempest (Adam Port Europa Remix)
7. &ME – Avalon
8. Sandrino, Frankey – Solaris
9. Bebetta, CIOZ – Jello
10. Monika Kruse, Pig&Dan – So Good