Nikos Tryfonopoulos, also known as 3voice, is a Greek dj and producer currently based in Athens. His music ranges from dub techno riddims to deep dubstep tunes and is also influenced by Ambient and experimental sounds.
He has a degree on Audio Engineering and Music Production from the SAE Institute of Athens. Together with Cynic_al aka HMISU he runs the Craton net label and is an active member of Urban Danja Crew and Deep Beats. During the currently lockdown due the Coronavirus situation we sat down to have a chat.
Hey Nikos, how is it going in Athens at the moment? What do you do during the lockdown?
At the moment Athens is like in a movie, as in many European cities based on the information we have. Empty roads are a bit creepy for everyone I think. However, I believe that people who like arts such as music, painting, graphic design, etc., they pass their time at home in a more creative way. Concerning my isolation the same holds for me too. I spend my time creatively. Nevertheless, in any circumstances, mandatory isolation certainly is not a good thing.
How is the techno scene in Athens on a normal day?
The truth is that the Techno scene in Athens has been booming in recent years, but in some specific genres and harder techno styles, dub-techno is not that much in taste of the party organizing teams.
A few years ago, about 5-6 I think, we started with a good friend and partner (Insom aka Wosui) a series of events and podcasts dealing with the “deep-dub” part of electronic music from deep / dub techno to deep dubstep, drum n bass and more. we called it “Deep Beats” even though it has not been active for the last 2-3 years, maybe it can start again.
What was the key moment that got you into house and techno?
When I listened to Prodigy for the first time, this was the key moment to get into the rhythm of electronic music, and secondly when I listened music from the Detroit Techno scene.
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Together with Cynic_al you produced the track “Lost Path” for our Etui Winter Camp 5 compilation. What is the idea behind the track? Can you take us through the production process?
The whole idea started a few years ago. During that time Panagiotis (Cynic_al) was dealing with modular systems, and we decided to start some projects together.
At the moment Panagiotis lives in the Netherlands, so he sends me the key sounds from the modular synths and I build and work on them. “Lost path” was produced in that way, and when I finished the track, I wanted to play it live, and that’s what I did.
Your describe your music as “dub techno riddims to deep dubstep tunes”. Tell us about your studio setup and your DIY stuff.
The description is about the influences on my productions not only from the techno scene, I often write and release songs at 140bpm and above, hybrid music, no limitation, as long as it sounds deep.
My equipment is cheap and old I would say, I would like to refresh it. I have a Diy echo unit made by Sunjaman, a friend from the reggae / dub scene in Athens, an old diy springverb and a siren made by Cynic_al and an old Alesis QuadraVerbGT. I also work a lot with midi controllers in a decade old DAW of course, and sometimes I even use little korg synths.
From what do you draw your inspirations?
From reality, nature, good and bad things, the people around me, from other artists famous or not, it’s many things.
Please name 3 artist that inspires you and why?
“Aphex Twin” because “Ambient Works 85-92” is one of my favorite albums which I’ve listen more and more in my life and “On” is my favorite song in general.
“Rhythm & Sound” definitely for mixing techniques, I still have that sound in my mind, all the releases are brilliant and pioneer for the time. “See Mi Ya” is also one of my favorite albums and I’ve listened to it 10.000 times, like many other albums.
The “Prodigy” have all the respect for all the explosion they did in the 90’s, “Music for the Jilted Generation”expresses a lot of people in electronic music.
Do you have any tips to visit in Athens? Hidden spots to eat, listen to great music or just watching sunset?
Athens has a lot of things to do, good food, take a walk under the sun. The sea and mountains are in a close distance. The center is surrounded by hills so you can see the chaos with apartment buildings along with ancient sites. The truth is that either in the hills at the center or in the mountains around the city, sunset offers the most incredible view. Especially when you visit Sounion, an area in the south part of Athens.
You can find many music scenes depending on your taste, although the trends in venues are changing in time. There is definitely a bar that has given a lot to “Techno-House” scene of the city for more than 15 years now, the legendary “Astron bar” where many locals and global artists famous or not have played in the “room”.
You are also co-running the net label Craton Records together with Cynic_Al. What is the idea behind the label?
It started as a experimentation with different sounds from diy and modular synths, before Cynic_al leaving permanently for the Netherlands. We shared a musical time together and “craton” came through modular sounds and BBC documentary series for the cratonic masses.
What is the idea behind your mix?
For all mixtapes, the idea behind is that we go on a journey and change images and perspectives.
What can we expect next from you?
With Cynic_al we will have the next release at Markus Mashur’s label “Insectorama” in a VA compilation. Now I’m working on some of my own stuff, along with the new ones Cynic_al has sent me. I’m waiting some remixes that are now getting ready from two new tracks I already have and I hope to have a full release soon.
01. Upwellings – Stones Lullaby (Original Mix) [Tiefenrausch]
02. Van Bonn – Gold Ramen [Tiefenrausch]
03. Helly Larson – Inside [Etui Records]
04. Marko Fuerstenberg – Site312 [City Noises]
05. Frank Hellmond – True Lines [Etui Records]
06. Monodisc – Confined Spaces [Cold Tear Records]
07. Salzinger – Le Plsdfj [Etui Records]
08. Biodub – Form [Tiefenrausch]
09. Mystik – Seppuku [Modern Hypnosis]
10. Drafted – Ascending [Etui Records]
11. Twin Peetz & Moolsaasa – Absence Of Gravity [RoHS Records]
12. Tomas Rubeck – Cadence [Echocord]