The Artist Feature is a new series by Yoshitoshi aiming to tell the story behind the music, to get in touch with what lies at the core of each artist’s creative ethos in three pictures: The Roots, The Studio, The Club.
For this edition of the artist feature series, we hear from Bosnian producer Sinisa Tamamovic, who has been a staple artist on Yoshitoshi since the early 2010’s, with multiple remixes and EP’s under his belt, including the recent Rings EP which features a stellar remix from Egbert. Sinisa is also the co-founder of Night Light Records with Mladen Tomic. Sinisa is known for his groovy, minimal techno style, and we learn in this edition how he arrived there and what makes him tick.
I started with DJ-ing in my hometown Banjaluka in Bosnia and Herzegovina back in 1998. I met one DJ from Serbia who decided to let me play at a Club called Lav and on my first gig he left me to challenge the night without any help. That’s how everything started and how I discovered what I wanted to do with my life. At first I had to learn how to interact with the crowd and educate myself with all kinds of different music, then later I developed my mixing skills. At that time electronic music in Bosnia was something completely new and I got the residency at Club Boomerang where I got the freedom to bring some new music to this country. That’s where I started to play only techno and house music. After a while, the club became the iconic place in town for revelers and after I gained quite a lot of followers I started to organize my own events in the Music Hall Club alongside my friend Mladen Tomic.
In Bosnia, at the time, it was really difficult to get your hands on vinyl so every record I would get had a special story to tell. I was picking records and building my sets that suited my own taste without knowing much about what other DJ's were playing internationally. I was mixing on three decks, experimenting with deep sounds and techno beats and layering all different sounds together. I tried to create sets where nobody would be able to recognize the records I was playing. After making a big impact on the electronic music scene in the region I started to play in other cities and countries further afield especially in regions such us Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia. For years, I played almost every night of the week, and then I felt a desire to produce my own music and bring my own sound into the clubs. Since my first release on the Dutch vinyl label Fly Life I continued to release music for some solid international labels and that kind of opened the door for my international career.
These days I spend a lot of my time in the studio. Before I used to do everything on a computer and now my process of creating music is quite different. I build first the basic groove in Ableton and then I usually record the bass line. I record the bass line from my modular synth and from there I follow the notes and work on melodies and some weird FX to produce a track. Sometimes, I modulate and create a sound which actually does not fit into the track that I’m working on, but in that case if I like it, I just record and save into my folder where I keep a library of sounds that I create for future use that may gel nicely on some other projects.
Inspiration comes to me in different ways. Since I changed my setup recently, I enjoy to start each track from scratch and I challenge myself to create a song from a different approach. In this case, I can control all my layers live and get more creative. With this specific EP I tried to create a lot of different melodies which are not common to hear these days especially that’s evident in Rings. I created the melody in Rings with a few analog modules. I tuned three oscillators together and with the filter and Decay I modulated the sound that rises through the song. The bass line came from Moog Mother 32. The other track Jam, is actually recorded pretty much as a live jam session. That’s the reason why I gave it the name Jam.
When I play in clubs I always watch people and first try to test and establish in which direction I will take my set, mainly by following the general vibe of the people. I never prepare my playlist. I download a lot of music and have different ‘vibes’ so I could a play a House or Techno set or one that is quite dark or a more funky, groovy set. I never know in which direction the night will turn out but the set always at least has 30% of my own production and some distinctive signature sounds of mine.