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Playmaker Interview

There is nothing like the feeling of hearing just a few chords of a song to send your emotions high and lift you right up there, “bring it on” you say and the music does. Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I heard the first few chords of 4th Triangle, one of the new tracks on the latest in the DHN Soundscape series, from Swedish based musician, dj and producer, Playmaker.
Deep, yet uplifting in a very funky way and filled throughout with sweeping breaks, it was very danceable and made me feel very happy, all the right elements for prefect house music. After conducting the interview and reading the answers, I must say I had to laugh when I read the conditions under which it was written, just as I thought, perfect house music.
I had never come across Playmaker or his music before, and was delighted to find behind the alias, is a very humorous, pleasant and musically talented Swedish guy, by the name of Christer Gustafsson.
Where had I been, with my head stuck in the sand of deep house? After all, releasing on a label like Subliminal Soul surely demands respect, and also I am sure, that after this release on DHN and the many more that are to follow, that pretty soon, Playmaker will be a name associated with great vinyl everywhere.

DHN-How and when did you first get into electronic music?

C.G-It all started when I was around 13 years old (29 in May), when my brother bought a stereo, we only had a simple tape recorder at home before, but now we could buy and play vinyl! Very exciting indeed.

Every Friday I listened to a national radio show that played mixed club/dance music, and I loved the sound and what the DJ made with the records, mixing it up. I got introduced to scratching and a couple of years later I bought a DJ mixer, and destroyed my brothers expensive turntable, as I was trying to scratch myself!

I also got an Atari 520 for my 15th birthday, and got hold of a “tracker” program, a 4 channel, 8 bit music program and started to experiment with my own tracks. It sounded really, really bad, I actually have some tapes left from my “sessions” back then, and i’m really glad I’ve developed my skills i bit under the past years. ?

In the mean time I was also listening alot to bands like Depeche Mode and similar. My first big concert I went to was DM in Stockholm..um… can’t remember the year.

Then during the following years I bought more and more records, had my own local radio show, and started as a DJ at a local club.

DHN-Do you think your location in Sweden has ever influenced your taste in music?

C.G-Well, I don’t know really, I was born in the middle of Sweden, in the woods, (well actually in the hospital) and maybe I got some influences from that, when making moody, deep music… like wood music… hm….

I know you have produced under many different names, can you give us an example of some please?

C.G-Hoof, Gunnar Underground, Playmaker, Chris Pointdexter and Doubledose with a good friend of mine.

DHN-Is it true that you were involved in techno and trance before you got into house?

C.G-Yes, I hooked up with an old friend and we made some trance and techy stuff, but I got drawn more and more into house, so we split up and I continued my journey with house music instead.

DHN-What, in your opinion was the best trance or techno record you have put out?

C.G-None really, we just played live a couple of times and the first release we had was a remix of a Swedish house group, and the remix for mostly done by me, so it where more house than trance/techno.

DHN-You recently had a hit with a track called Black Pony, how did that go for you?

C.G-That was a big step forward for me, as it was released on a major label, and it did very well on the charts, I also got the opportunity to get in contact with one of my favorite producers, Stonebridge, as he where the one that hooked up with the track at the WMC in Miami.

DHN-I also just saw another release of yours on Subliminal Soul, please tell us more about that?

C.G-I’m really happy with that one, as Subliminal has been a favorite label for long. I actually started on this track last spring, and made some new remixes a couple months ago. I really enjoyed making this track, in someway it have all style that I like in house, deep, techy, jazzy, funky, and some 80s synths here and there. Also it’s me on the “radio” vocal in the original mix, I made that just for fun, but kept it in the finished mix. The idea was that “Supersoul” is a radio show and I’m the radio dj, crazy I know. ?
It’s been starting to get good feedback and is supported by guys like Paul Farris. Should be out in the shops as we speak.

DHN-So from techno to trance to house to deep house, can you tell us about the record you did for DHN, ‘4th Triangle’?

C.G-I made this really late after coming back from a club, ready for a chill-out session …
As I saw the sunrise from the windows, I came up with the main chords and melodies. After a couple of days I sat down in the studio and finished it.

DHN-How do you like Jori Hulkkonen’s remix of 4th Triangle?

C.G-I really like it, very cool indeed, great that Jori did it, I like his stuff a lot.

DHN-Who are your own favourite producers, music makers, dj’s or bands in the music industry?

C.G-That’s a really though one, as I listen to so much different music and styles, it’s a jungle out there, and so much good producers/dj’s… but as mention before, Stonebridge has meant alot for me, and always been an “idol” with all the SweMix stuff he started with.

Other’s…. Junior Jack, Physics, Tom Middleton….

I can enjoy listening to classical music one day, as my sister is a concert-pianoist, and one day deep, dark techno. Depends on the mood i’m in really.

DHN-On the whole vinyl v’s mp3 thing that seems to be such a hot topic at the moment, where do you stand, are you in the vinyl camp or digital camp?

C.G-I'm a great lover of vinyl, I really am. At the same time I can totally appreciate how the whole digital movement, seeing more tracks being spun from CD-r, is becoming more and more popular.

When talking about mp3’s, the good thing is that people can share there own produced tracks, all around the world, and get feedback and contacts with labels etc. I guess also if you Dj / produce like I do then it's also fantastic means of hearing how a track you're working on goes down in a club.

All the piracy business is of course destroying alot, as it is so easy to get all the hot records same week it’s released…. Sad really, with all the people getting fired at major labels, and smaller ones have to shut down.

I havent played for a while, but really looking forward to start again, to get the contact with the crowd u can’t get in the studio

Cheers Playmaker

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