Tomas Barfod creates an exclusive mix for Wonderland featuring a whole load of old-school rhythm-based house tracks, we catch up with him to find out more
So tell us about your new album…
It’s always hard to put words on music, but when I think about it, it’s actually a pop album I’ve made. But with influences from my background in electronic music. I’ve focused on bringing the music ‘out of the computer’ so even though it’s edited on one, a lot of music comes from outside: vocals, synthesizers, guitar and even horns and strings. Right now I feel like it’s the best album I’ve ever made. But that might change, it’s always a cycle of euphoria and self-hate, being an artist. I have been blessed with amazing singers on this album, especially Nina.
What are you trying to provoke with this offering?
I want to add to the good feelings that people already have. However, one thing that I have been playing around with that might provoke on a more subconscious level, is that most synths are slightly out of tune, it’s a long technically explanation but the short one is, if you have fx. 4 layers of synths and 2 of them are out of tune, they then get their own organic life.
You’ve taken a break between Salton Sea and this new release, was there a reason, what have you been doing?
It’s actually not a super long break. It was two years which I spend on making the album and waiting for the release. But I’m always working a lot, I produce for a lot of other artists including my band Whomadewho. Besides studio work I have been blessed with amazing tours in South America, Central America and Europe.
What about when it comes to remixers for your work, how do you select them, is there always a personal connection?
I like the idea of selecting remixers that are connected to me, either personally or through the music. Fx for the Kant remix and I really needed a proper house mix for Busy Baby. Whilst I was thinking about which international artist I should pick, all of a sudden Joachim, who is Danish, posted one of his songs on Facebook. I then realized that I didn’t need to search the world over, I could just look within my own personal network. I picked other remixers because I knew they would kill it, like DJ Tennis and Oliver Nelson did.
Talk us through the mix you have created for Wonderland…
It’s basically a lot of the tracks I’ve played a lot as a DJ, some of them are quite unknown others are real classics. There’s some deep techno, but also a lot of old school rhythm-based house tracks. I think there’s a lot of insignificant club music. Because it is a tool for making people dance, people tend to stick to one formula, so it’s very important for me to pick the tracks that have something special to them – either alternative programming or an extra layer of ‘soul’. Not Soul as the genre, but as the meaning of the word.
What about gigs, where’s the best one you’ve ever played?
I think it would be Kompakts beach party during Sonar, I was playing as one of the first DJ’s so didn’t expect that much from it. When I arrived to the venue there was already a good crowd, but it more than tripled during my set whilst the sun slowly set. A lot of the biggest house DJs where in VIP area behind me, and I had 3000 people going crazy in front of me! That was quite something, but it was more about the scenery and the vibe than the numbers.
So what would be your dream performance?
I think something like the beach party, I love playing outside and seeing what it does to people, they tend to be more loving and happy. I guess my dream venue would be an island in the Maldives, as the headliner for a two day yoga and love festiva. The crowd would be full of crazy neo-hippies – good looking but spaced out and filled with love.
Sounds like a fun vibe! What does the rest of 2014 have in store for you?
I have quite a lot of touring with my new live show planned, I’m really looking forward to that. Besides that I’m going to LA to produce during the autumn.