Awanto 3 and his Opel Mantra
Next to Kid Sublime, Aardvarck, Tom Trago, San Proper and Young Marco, Steven van Hulle has been a key figure in the Amsterdam electronic music scene for quite some time. Since a few year he creates music under his Awanto 3 guise. Music for the dancefloor. And again, with ‘Opel Mantra’, he has proven his immense potential. The album twists house music into intoxicating new shapes, blending influences into one thrilling, surprising whole. We asked Van Hulle for a slight introduction.
1. Before your album, you mostly collaborated with other artists. What was it like for you to create so much solo material at once?
I’ve traded the city of Amsterdam for a spot in the country side tow years ago. Thanks to my long stay at Bali, Indonesia and thanks to the lonely winter at my new place, I was blessed with some free space in my mind. I suddenly had lots of time, focus and inspiration to work on the basics for my debut solo album. A huge amount of my tropical energy reserves got out. I couldn’t stop making love to my MPC and nobody was there to stop me. So probably it was just the right time and space for me to create this piece of noise. Collaborating with a few of my favorite musicians was the cherry on top. Without those collaborations ‘Opel Mantra’ would not sound as it does now!
2. … Opel Mantra?
The name is familiar to a number of car freaks, the people who have had their drivers license for at least 20 years. I understand those Opel Manta freaks. The car is a beautiful piece of art (go to Google Images and search for OPEL MANTA). Apart from this materialistic gibber, this name is just a micro joke that refers to the way I love to produce house and bass music; to make it repeat and rise to another higher level.
3. You have a very diverse repertoire, though your album is musically quite consistent. How did the music for the album arise?
Since I touched an MPC 2000 XL for the first time, I kind of started developing my own style, not really knowing why and how. My music is inspired by Latin, African and mainly soulful contemporary music and it is driven by my appetite for never ending loops. I overdubbed the basis of the tracks with music from my favorite musicians. The album is mixed and mastered mainly trough analog mixing desks (and the one and only half inch tape machine), by a very passionate and dedicated Croatian grandmaster of sounds named Zlaya. He played a very important rol in Opel Mantra’s consistent feel as well I must say.
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