Rendered _ Interview with Ronny Pries
Right, so what was the quality of music like as compared to now? The fact that everyone has access to the tools to make a track, were they overcompressing it and uploading it back then too?
Depends on whether we’re talking about Amiga or PC. As far as it goes for the Amiga, imagine producing music on a very basic standalone sampler without outboard fx and a mixer. It was quite noisy and lo-fi. We always did our best to get rid of artefacts, noise and that 8bit ring.
In contrary to the 4 channels on the Amiga you could have up to 32 channels on the PC which enabled one to create more complex delay effects, fake reverbs or flangers by hand. It was possible to get some pretty rich sounding tracks going. However they lacked dynamics processing. It could never sound as glued together as music nowadays, which did had its charm on the other hand.
Could you export to .wav and play it normally?
We’re talking the early to mid ‘90s here. Rendering audio to .wav didn’t make sense since the sheer size of a 50mb .wav file exceeded what you would have wanted to transfer through a 14.4K modem. Plus.. there were no servers to send it to. Apart from the fact that, 200mb hard discs were all the rage back then.
Luckily times changed and you can easily render one of those tracks to .wav these days.
I’m sure there are lots of forgotten or unheard of key artists / tracks from that time. If you had to pick out some essential listening, would you be able to link us up?
Some of my all-time Amiga favourites are:
Sanity – Turmoil (music by Bit Arts – ‘91)
Just looked up the video on Youtube, the music started to play and i instantly got goosebumps again. It sounded so damn futuristic in ’91 and it never wore that flavour off for me.
Da Jormas – Floating Joint #58 (music by PAM – ’96)
The guys from da Jormas were sort of a proof of concept to me that one can actually make kicking Techno on the Amiga 500.
And a complete mindfuck from the PC: MFX – Within Minutes ’96
Was that some of the stuff that was inspiring you when you first were getting into Techno? What sort of music were you listing to at the beginning? At what point did you start DJ’ing.
Gotta rewind to ’91 here. Yes, that Budbrain Megademo definitely had its place in my influences even though I didn’t know jack shit about Techno or underground music at all when I first saw it. Most of the music I heard and loved until then was lots of stuff from the radio, TV themes and computer music. Nothing i could possibly categorize, apart from the few bits of Acid-House that went into the charts. Bit later in ’92, I was talking to a guy (Stereo Jack) at the local swimming pool about music. His appearance looked like he was into classical music or something rather uncool. However, he gave me a mixtape and some vinyl to check out…
I’ll never forget the moment I listened to the tape for the first time. It started with Joey Beltram’s “Jazz 303”, then went through the Nu Groove, +8, Transmat, R&S, Atmosphere etc. and built and built in an exquisite way that I’d never heard before. I’d never heard a DJ set in my life. I fell in love with that music in an instant. It put whatever I heard before into a different perspective. And that 12” he and some friends made under the moniker of V.D.T. had just the same quality.
So I ended up visiting his studio and the local record store. I got myself two lousy turntables from the garbage collection, a lousy mixer and just went for it.