Albanø, the French artist that has collaborated with labels such as Radikon, DUNKELHEIT and Recits de Mars, now returns to the label he has been part of since 2018, Family Piknik Music. Here he discusses his musical journey today in this close, personal and music-focused interview, starting from the very deep-seeded roots through to his inspiration and influences.

Albanø features on Family Piknik’s latest VA release, available now on Beatport

Introduce yourself to us, tell us your story?
I’m a 32 years old DJ-producer based in Saint-Etienne, in France. I have been deejaying since more than 10 years and releasing music under Albanø since 5 years. 
We’re now finally starting to look forward to hopefully better times, how do you reflect on the past year and what is this Summer looking like for you?
Indeed, better days are coming and it was necessary ! This year has been stressful for everyone, everywhere, regardless of your age, job, social classes… On my side, I took time to focus on important things of life, resourcing myself and skipping things that were no more essential to me. I also spent a lot of my time in the studio, composing music and working on my mixing skills, too. This summer is going to be hectic after this long break. I’m lucky enough to be one of the resident DJs for a big entertainment company who run different locations in France (French Alps and French Riviera) so they picked me up to be one of their residents for the season. I’ll also have a few other gigs as a guest DJ. 
Who has been the single-most influential person for your music and your sound?
It’s pretty hard to mention only one. I’m not he was the main influence for my own music but I have always loved Sven Väth when he’s behind the decks. He still manages to play the right track at the right time, through a very wide musical spectrum. I like the eclecticism and the authentic aspect of his sets thanks to the rare vinyls he plays. 
You have been involved with Family Piknik as a label, as a home for a while now. How did it first start?!
It began in 2018 a few months after the label started. Mood Gorning and I sent a few demos and they signed some of our early tracks. From then, things have kept moving ahead because we had a great human connexion with their crew. They built the label as a family, so we have a nice feeling, it’s very natural to work with them. I’m one of the artists from their roster, it makes me proud because they are willing to help me build my profile as an artist and they bring me very nice opportunities. 
If you could summarise Family Piknik as a label and brand in a few short words, what would you say?
I think the name sums it up ! It’s a family, with all the qualities and values it means. It’s as simple as that 🙂
Your track, ‘Ginger Rob’ in collaboration with Mood Gorning and Pontias – how did that come about, did you all work remotely on this?
You need to know Mood Gorning & Pontias are my best friends and we are neighbors, too. Our friendship and musical affinities lead us to share many moments in the studio, that’s why we collaborate a lot. We love hanging out in the studio, drinking beers and jamming. We know each other very well and it’s always a pleasure to build tracks all together in the same room. ‘Ginger Rob’ is one of these babies we’ve created the 3 of us. 

When producing on your own, do you find your music takes a different journey when compared to collaborations?

Yes, it’s true. That’s why I love collaborating with my friends and remixing other artists. I feel more confortable than being on my own in the studio, as it brings more pressure on my shoulders, I guess. I also think music has to be more personal when I’m solo, so it’s harder to be fully satisfied. Some of my own projects are sleeping in my hard drive because I’ve never managed to complete them. Sharing the studio with my pals let me be more creative and I love this team work. It also eases the process when it comes to finalize a track and skip all doubts about releasing it on a label. 

In the studio, what are some of your favourite tools and techniques to utilise?

I’m an Ableton 10 user, I have several VST and sample librairies I’m used to, but I also love playing with hardware machines. It’s a better flow for my creativity, even if I never followed any academic musical classes. I love jamming with hardware synths, like the Prophet rev 2 from Dave Smith, Novation Peak and the Elektron analog rhythm MK2. I don’t really have technical skills so I like to record many stems following on my mood, just in case. I have no limits nor defined schemes when it comes to production, I think music is something you need to feel rather than maths or technics. 

Finally, share one track with us that always makes you feel something, a production that will always live with you.

Without any hesitation : Gregor Tresher – A Thousand Nights.