Q&A: Vangelis Kostoxenakis

Hailing from the south side of Athens, Vangelis Kostoxenakis has had an expansive career in the music business, having developed a deep musical background through various styles of house music.

We managed to catch up with Vangelis to talk about his brand new sample pack ‘Toolroom Trademark Series – Vangelis Koxtoxenakis’ as well as music production, inspiration and hobbies – Here’s how the conversation went down.

Tell us about your Trademark Series. Where did you draw inspiration from for the pack?

This sample pack is one of my best to date. It’s been produced with care and focus into creating tools that users will find useful in their productions.

How long have you been producing music now? Can you tell us a little bit about how you got started?

Ive been producing since 1999. I was always into music since my early age as a kid. Growing up I was always listening music and my parents pushed me a lot towards it by buying musical instruments. However I’m not a musician and I cant read notes.

How is your studio currently set up? Do you produce in the box or are you using and outboard analogue equipment?

Those who know me know that I am a hardcore gear slut and I work exclusively with external instruments & peripherals. I think there’s a different kind of magic and soul in pushing and sliding all sorts of knobs & sliders. Of course it’s critical to know what you’re doing.

Tell us your secret to a great mix

If i did then it wouldnt be a secret 🙂

Vangelis Kostoxenakis in 5 records?

‘Vangelis Kostoxenakis – Selecta’ on Toolroom from my last years EP

‘Vangelis Kostoxenakis – Pay My Bills’ on Dirtybird

‘Vangelis Kostoxenakis – The Chief’ on Kling Klong

‘Vangelis Kostoxenakis – Dig It’ on Moon Harbour

‘Vangelis Kostoxenakis & Piem – Ladies’ on Clarisse

If you wrote any song, what would it be?

 I’ve written many types of music through my career, from cinematic to pop to deep house and techno. I don’t want to restrict myself in just one genre. Thank god for aliases 😛

At the moment though I’m focusing in my VK project and I’m creating a snappy, raw, analog type of tech house with funky elements.

How do you manage to juggle your busy touring schedule and making music? Do you produce music whilst on the road?

Im not that busy touring due to being a dad of 2 rascals so I’m really enjoying my studio sessions in the past year.

What can we expect from you in 2018? Any remixes, tracks, you can tell us about?

There’s loads of new stuff coming out. I can tell you about my upcoming Dirtybird EP which is a monstrosity, Claude loved the lead track immediately when I played it at the recent Campout in FL, a new Moon Harbour EP which is coming very soon in mid-June, a couple of remixes and hopefully looking to a new EP on my beloved Toolroom. I have an amazing relationship with Toolroom and I’m sure there’ll be something planned after summer.

What will summer 2018 look like for you?

Very chilled and full of sounds.

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?

I think I’d be a chef. I love cooking anyway, it’s my hobby.

Can you give us one final tip for producers who will use your sample pack in their productions?

I always like to tighten my parts as much as I can, the most convenient and effective way to do that is by grouping all of the rhythmical elements together, music, FX etc. Then you should insert into each group a quality compressor/limiter and an EQ in case you want to brighten something up or any other dynamic effect. This way the mix will be glued together and you’ll have a better manipulation of dynamics and volumes without changing the faders of the mixdown!

Also, don’t restrict yourself to the sounds provided in the pack. Everything has been layered in midi so if you want to manipulate a melody or a bassline you should do it. Of course it will be quite hard to do though as the pack is so damn DOPE!


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