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An Interview With Undertone

Buzzslayers - Hey Undertone! You've made quite a name for yourself in the EDM

scene with hits like Rolling Circus, Atmosphere Analog, Pomodoro, Let’s Be Free,

and Broken Record. What’s the story behind your name?

Undertone: Actually, there's very little to it. Back in the 1980s, I lived in the

Netherlands and there was a band called Toontje Lager, which translates to "ower

note" in English. That didn’t sound quite right to me, so I went with Undertone.

Buzzslayers : Tell us about the first time you realized you wanted to make music.

Undertone: When I realized the power and versatility of a computer, I knew this was the way to go. This was around 1998.

Buzzslayers : You create from a home studio in Benoni. Tell us how that feels now

and how it felt when you first started creating EDM beats.

Undertone: I started creating EDM music in 2000 on a basic Pentium100 with 16MB RAM using Multiquence and Goldwave. I loved it, though the listeners less so. Things have evolved, fortunately.

Buzzslayers : What's the classic Undertone trademark style, or are you always


Undertone: Wherever possible, I try to add a bit of Amapiano in the percussion

because it's South African and very cool. I'm also a fan of a one-note off-beat bassline, as perfected by ArtBat, but this sometimes doesn't work in a track.

Buzzslayers : Your styles range from classic EDM like Old School Electric to more

mainstream pop sounds like Harmony. What are you trying to achieve with both


Undertone: True. Harmony is less Undertone's style, though. The vocals took me

there and fitted so well in the final product. I’ll try to be more selective next time!

Buzzslayers : If you could travel anywhere in the world now and play in any venue

with any two musical peers, who would it be and why?

Undertone: No need to travel too far. Ultra South Africa is a great venue while

working with ArtBat or Deadmau5. A giant pipedream, this is...

Buzzslayers : What is the South African music scene like, and is it harder to get your music out to the world?

Undertone: SA's music scene is diverse like her population. Good music is

appreciated, and you will get a shot at being playlisted at a few radio stations

because we all support each other.

Buzzslayers : What tips can you give a newbie EDM producer?

Undertone: Get a good computer with 16GB RAM and any DAW of your choice.

They all can get the job done. When you think you're done with the track, spend another week on it and listen to the track on your home speakers, in two different

cars, and on a portable speaker. You WILL go back and make changes. Only master the track after leaving it for two days and listening to it again. When you're happy, get it mastered by a third party. It's affordable and worth it.

Buzzslayers: What’s your next single Vibe all about, and where do you go from there? Is there an album in the works, or are you a singles man?

Undertone: Vibe is Undertone. There is another track completed after Vibe in a

similar style, which is slightly darker but still Undertone. If all goes well, an album is in the works for the end of 2024.

Buzzslayers : Describe a day in the life of Undertone in one sentence.

Undertone: Early to rise, work on production for one hour, get to work, get back, work on production for two hours, early to bed. Now weekends, that's a whole different ball game. Damn, those were two sentences...

Buzzslayers : Lastly, what is one of your favorite tracks you have produced, and

where do you see yourself in a year’s time?

Undertone: The favorite is mostly the latest track. So, it would be Vibe. But then, I

have a new track almost ready after Vibe called Carry On, so that's actually my favorite. I see myself getting better at my craft, producing better tracks, and loving doing it with every minute passing by.

Buzzslayers Fantastic! Thanks so much for chatting with us today. We’re looking

forward to hearing more of your beats!

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