|Actually I did the interview with Whirloop (Daniel) a few weeks before the 2004 yearly charts were ready. I planned this interview for a long time, since he is one of the 'ctg oldie' I wanted to know more. When I asked him if I can interview him, he just asked on what occasion. Well, I said, because I'm interested in you, as a person, a musician and I want to know and share more than what is public. He said he is nothing special, but then he agreed. In the meantime he became The Artist of the Year 2004, his NuNrg remix is the Song of the Year 2004, which was also the Top Number 1 Song of the Year 2004, and by that he easily won the Top Trance Song of the Year 2004.
Doriath: Someone who knows you from ctgmusic, either he/she knows you from the early days, or he knows you from your nu nrg remix. I’m part of team1, and I remember you had quite nice trance music up here. Why did you remove them?
Whirloop: Let me figure out a good answer for that. I think it was because I didn't want my old stuff to be mixed with my new tracks. I still got most of the stuff on my computer though.
Doriath: I guess you had another purpose too: to go the next level and try to spread your music to a wider audience: get signed. At least, it is quite visible, when someone checks your artist page. Tell us, how it is going on.
Whirloop: Yes, also something like that I guess. I have not been too eager to get my music on a record though. I have spent the last year with perfecting my sound, because I believe a strong personal sound is important and that's one thing my old stuff didn't quite have. But it's coming along quite well now, since the rather funny event with my remix is that people recognize my name and I have made lots of new contacts with djs and other producers. The latest news is that John Fleming is interested in my work which was too good to be true for me. I always admire Fleming as being the dj that suits my taste the best.
Doriath: That is nice, congrats for that! You say you try achieving your own sound, your personality in music. How would you characterize that?
Whirloop: The feeling in my music has always been there, almost from the start I guess. To be very objective, I would characterize it as emotional progressive trance mixed with techno with a twist of psy. Maybe I use melodic elements too but I never let the melodies dominate my work. Not at this moment at least. If I would describe my music in an emotional, more abstract way, I’d say it is something floating, but it may sound funny.
Doriath: Tell me, with what and how you cook your music?
Whirloop: I was introduced to the scene when software was starting to take over, so most of the sound comes from software. But I like playing around with microphones and tweak samples. I think most people underestimate the power of tweaking samples.
Doriath: So, what do you sample?
Whirloop: I use sounds from everything, sometimes I borrow a DAT recorder and just go crazy with it, but most of the stuff I pick up is scrapped later on. I have a good example of how you can create simple synth sounds with simple techniques. I found a vocal sample of some singer and I cut out a piece of the vocals and looped it. I made an excellent synth.
Doriath: That’s cool. So you are also a sound engineer. Tell me your favourite soft or vsti. You use lots of vstis?
Whirloop: Most of my vst are free ones, but the bigger ones are the most common, fm7, pro53. I also use atmosphere and etnosphere but they are more like big samplers and it doesn't involve a lot of sound programming. So I guess I'm more of a "sound artist" than a "sound engineer" When it comes to fm7 I always create my sound from scratch, the only preset I'm loading is the one I made for reseting all parameters. I think it's more fun that way and it gives you an understanding of how the sound is built up and that gives you more control.
Doriath: You said you know more and more artists and djs from the scene and from the commercial world. Who are the major ones, you would mention, who helped and help you a lot with your project?
Whirloop: I should start with NuNRG then. The whole thing began when I was testing some typical sawleads and I doted out the melody of Dreamland to have a melody playing. I thought the sound was so neat I decided to continue working on it and later on I sent it to NuNRG for some comments. It was for fun at that point.
Doriath: What happened then?
Whirloop: Luckily they were very open-minded and gave me positive feedback. They also mentioned they would mix it into a radio-show. So that was my first real connection with the "bigger people".
Doriath: Who else you would mention?
Whirloop: After that I came in contact with Giorgio Ponticelli who hosted the show "subtraxx experience" on Digitally Imported Radio. I asked him if he could use an old track in the mix and he liked it, so there have been a couple of my tracks in that show. And new contacts have popped up during the later days not to mention Mark Versluis and a couple of Swedish music makers too.
Doriath: One of your older track is still played on di.fm.
Whirloop: That's right, I forgot. "Retrospective" is still aired some times I think.
Doriath: When you do music, you show your track to your? Or not at all? Do you work with someone?
Whirloop: I guess I'm quite an individual being, I prefer working alone. I don't think that feedback is important. It is always nice to hear others’ opinion but if you let them rule your creation, it is no longer your own. But simple stuff like "is that amount of bass ok?" etc is good.
Doriath: I visited your website, www.whirloop.se. It is nice, still empty. I see 3 demos there. Tell me about them a little.
Whirloop: Thank you. Yes, it is still pretty empty as you said. There will be more info and hopefully some fine-tuning of the site itself. The sound samples are from older tracks since I haven't updated the site for quite a while. I have plenty of new music to put on it. I just need to get some free time to do it. And I don't feel it is necessary at this moment.
Doriath: How many tracks you do? You do music every day? What is your unfinished / finished track ratio?
Whirloop: I don't work that often on my music nowadays as I did back in the early days of ctg. I don't know if it is because I don't have the same amount of time or if it is because I like working that way. If you struggle with the same creation for quite a while it gets automatically boring and I like working on one track until I make it perfect, so it takes time. I don't think I have any unfinished tracks that I scrapped.
Doriath: And those ones are for commercial purposes I guess. Bad that we cant listen to them, but I fully understand.
Whirloop: Commercial is such a bad word. I want to reach a bigger audience and by releasing them on record I get more attention. I mean I never want my music to be involved with money.
Doriath: I understand what you mean. So you already have enough tracks for an album?
Whirloop: I have seven tracks, I think it is enough good to make an album. And I'm working on a remix (on one of my own tracks actually) so I guess it will be eight tracks in the end.
Doriath: You rather go for a vinyl or a nice big whirloop album?
Whirloop: Tough question. Sorry but I can't answer that now. Will see what time brings.
Doriath: Okay. Well, the other thing members might know you is that you are the official smiley creator for ctg. How did it come, tell me about it.
Whirloop: I just asked acecream about it since I like pixalated art and that kinda "lo-fi" stuff. I was lucky they needed one. I did about 65% of ctg smileys and some of the most basic ones I just re-edited too look more like each other.
Doriath: How do you do them, which program?
Whirloop: Imageready, which is the animating part of Photoshop.
Doriath: Now this leads to your second hobby. Or maybe the first. Or not even a hobby. Graphics. Tell me a few words about it, since I believe people do not know that part of yours.
Whirloop: Yeah I guess I'm pretty much creative-minded and I like expressing myself in different ways. Graphics/art is also one way besides music.
Doriath: Did you learn this?
Whirloop: I have had it from the start. I did a lot of drawing and stuff when I was a little. When I started the high school, I went to a school that concentrated on media. And I learnt a lot about media, how to create films, arts, graphics, etc. That sort of stuff. So I found what I want to do: I want to do visual effects for films. But I haven't got any job yet. Digital effects and stuff is really what I want to do besides music.
Doriath: Since I don't know too much about these sorts of things: how expert you are on this in terms of technical stuff? Could you easily go and sit in a film studio with your background?
Whirloop: I still have a lot to learn about this but I think I have learnt so much that I could assemble a film. But I can't say if it would make everyone happy, as movies that appeal everyone (as in music) don't exist. But I have my contacts and the tools to edit, since lot of my old classmates now work with movie scripting and stuff like that. If I may brag I actually starred in a movie we made, it won a price at a film festival. But I can't say we are real professionals yet.
Doriath: What kind of festival? Is there a chance we can see the film somehow?
Whirloop: It was a film festival here in Sweden. You can check www.framefestivalen.nu or www.filmivast.se/bou/frame.htm and I don't think people can see the film, unfortunately. The movie is called "Breakfast Attacks!" and is a parody of the old sci-fi movies, kind of a parody on the "American way of life" too.
Doriath: You say you are interested in effects, correct? What kind of effects do you like, What is your favourite? Something like LOTR, or like Forest Gump? Or something like in music clips?
Whirloop: Well, the Lord of the ring movies had a lot of effects in it. I like working with 3d compositions. But the thing is: you film a shot in which the CGelement should appear (CG means computer generated) and then you use different kinds of tools to integrate the 3dmodel or element.
Doriath: So you are a 3d specialist. Can you tell a film / clip, which most probably everyone knows, to imagine what you are talking about?
Whirloop: Take the character "Gollum" in the LOTR movies. That's the kind of challenges I would like to work with. Though I have pretty far to go to get to that level.
Doriath: Yeah, my favourite character, hehe. The third thing people may know you, though I guess not that many found that as your nunrg remix, is your side project, simple94. I know you believe trance music is not like before. That is why you compose also in other styles? Or it is totally different?
Whirloop: Ah yeah. It has changed, unfortunately. I have opinions about that. But it's not why I made the Simple 94 track. But sometimes you have to stretch your mind a bit.
Doriath: So, tell me your opinion on this subject.
Whirloop: I have lost the "kick" I got when I first found trance like five years ago. I don't know if it's just me being bored of the sound, but I think the scene has become overpopulated with music and djs and I feel I have got too much of everything. Also, progressive house has taken over quite a bit of space in today’s’ radioshows and sometimes even mixed with trance (might be the genre police in me). I think the energy in the music is something that's missing today and everyone that has been on the dancefloor and has experienced that fanatic must-continue-dancing-feeling (trance?) knows that today’s’ melodic trance in not that suitable for dancing. You can say the music style "trance" won't live up to its name anymore. And I can go on for a while more.
Doriath: Okay, yeah. Anyway, should we expect new simple 94 music from you?
Whirloop: Yes, might appear more Simple 94 in the future, since I still enjoy that kind of music.
Doriath: Now, about your plans: we know already that you are looking for a label, either for a song or an entire album. We also know that you'd like to be a film editor who makes nice 3d effects, like Gollum. How do you see your next year in terms of this? What is your plan?
Whirloop: That's a set of heavy questions. I'm aiming for a university that deals a lot with 3dgraphics with an artistic approach. That's my style. And for the music, I really don't know at this moment. I'll take stuff as it comes and hope for the best. Oh, and did I mention I will release a remix in March? Which is the first work I release on a vinyl.
Doriath: You did now. Cool. Tell us more!
Whirloop: It is nothing more than a single release, but at least something: www.inspiredrecords.com.
Doriath: That is your friend, Progresia.
Whirloop: Yeah, actually he forced me (in a nice way) to do the remix. And it turned out well in the end. Since the original is not of my style (you know a bit of that modern stuff I don't like that much), but I was quite happy with the end result.
Doriath: Very nice. Well, we came to the end. What would you say to your fellow ctg members?
Whirloop: A kind and gentle "good luck".
Doriath: Well, good luck to you also with all what is ahead of you! Thanks for the interview.
Whirloop: Thank you too.