NWS006 : A deeper look on Quatri’s debut EP “Into the Oblivion”

Artist: Quatri
Title: Into the Oblivion 
Label: Nie Wieder Schlafen
Cat. No. NWS006
Format: Digital Download
Release Date: 4th December 2017

Our little bird is now finally in the air and it feels weird to close this chapter for good. Working on Quatri’s debut release was a true passion project, that ended up to be a 5 tracker EP (3 Originals and 2 Remixes), which explores as many energy-levels within the styles, we wanted to focus on. Throughout the months, the selection of tracks never stayed the same… From rather heavy techno, to softer melodic pieces, we explored a lot of different ideas that could work for a strong introduction. Before we go on about the whole story and how it all started, we invited the young man himself in, to talk about a few key things we thought might be quite interesting, when trying to understand who this new talent from Paris is and how his debut EP came together. It’s important for us to publicly present the process of this release and what it means for all of us.

01. In order to be on the same playing field with the readers, introduce yourself Quatri, what is your name, where do you live, how did you get into this scene, why are you here now?

QUATRI : “Hello! My name is Ahmad Qatramis, I live in Paris, France. For the past 2-3 years I have been a big fan of the deep house and techno music, that has been put out in the scene by labels like Anjunadeep, Afterlife and others. I am here on this journey to present my work, my part of the story to the scene and the world.”

02. As ‚character’ in music is one of the most important parts for us and the label, your music touched us right from the start – was the oriental influence a reason of  the recent underground movement in that direction, or was it purely a personal direction you wanted to head to?

QUATRI : “It was, and it was not. It is true the whole oriental movement few months back captivated me in a way. But from the start, from my very early projects years back, I included oriental elements into my music. There was a big movement, a trend, but I wanted to stay away from it by delivering my oriental side in a very different way – a dreamy and progressive way.”

03. We discovered you have a lot of love for trance and all the perks that come with this genre! What is it about that genre that fascinates you? Why did you suddenly change your style into a deeper, slower environment? What do you try to bring over from your old music and where are the positives and negatives in both genres for you?

QUATRI : “Trance music back then was my favorite genre. I really liked the melodic, progressive Trance productions. There was such a meaning in it, emotional melodies with fast dancy basslines. At some point the Trance scene really faded away and the music started to get very commercial and hectic, which made me stop producing it. In the meantime, between me quitting Trance and searching for another type of music that would fit my style, I was testing out multiple genres such as House music and summer deep house music. I didn’t feel comfortable with it yet, and kept searching for a deeper sound, until I discovered the underground world. Deep House and Techno music really started to get my attention with fantastic releases by Cubicolor or Stephan Bodzin’s album ‚Powers Of Ten‘. I used to listen to all the Anjunadeep Edition Podcasts, where each episode had such a nice way of storytelling. This is what ultimately hooked and motivated me to start producing this type of music.

Since Trance for me was based on emotive melodies and lasting stories, it is what I try to bring to the table now. The advantages of the slower bpi-count is that you have space and time to tell your story in the track, where Trance’s fast approach can feel very artificial, immature in a way, when you first listen to it. I am very happy with the scene and the place my music is taking a part in.”

04. Your debut EP ‚Into the Oblivion‘ is such a well rounded package and as we know, it took quite a while to get it right – why did it take so long, how many tracks were potentially in the EP at one time and how did it shift from the style and overall flow ?

QUATRI : “This EP is indeed a whole story by itself. I think I produced between 6-7 potential originals before the 3 final ones were fixed to be “the” release. ,La Mer Orientale” is the only track, that has never left the EP.  “Ozora” was included in the EP fairly early, but after support from Jonas Rathsman on his ELEMENTS Podcast series, Edu Imbernon’s ‘Fayer Music’ was truly interested in signing the track. It was such a big offer that we decided to give it away, but months passed and I just felt like the track truly belonged to Nie Wieder Schlafen. While „Ozora“ wasn’t planned in, I produced  yet another bunch of tracks to replace it, but since its comeback, they were excluded again. The main title, “Into The Oblivion” was finally introduced to this EP when I got back from my Berlin trip, where I played at Nie Wieder Schlafen’s 2nd Showcase. I felt really inspired on my way back to Paris, and a lot of things were happening in my life at that time – all of these things led to a lot of emotions and this track came very naturally and in such a fast way.

With „Ozora“ and „Into The Oblivion“ I felt like the EP was missing a dreamy and progressive side, which made me rework „La Mer Orientale“. The final version turned out to be the missing part of the story I have been trying to tell…”

05.  Getting you in the family and giving you projects went very smooth, with a perfect start on the collaboration-remix with Sam Goku for Himbrecht’s „Anything Else“ – do you feel like a lot of artists involved in Nie Wieder Schlafen give you inspiration and create the kind of sound you feel happy with? Did the family-like support and feedback influence you at all?

QUATRI : “Absolutely. What is fascinating about this family, is that every member has his own talent. Every single one has his sound, his vibe, his story – and each one is amazing. Everybody is moving forward in this journey and there’s such a great connection with young, very decent people. It was a pleasure connecting with each one, like Robin (Sam Goku), Edwin from ApM, Benji (Yarni), and the Nie Wieder Schlafen label team Steppi, Aquiles, Andres etc… Truly exceptional people with love for good crafted music and that results in a very high standard of music.

Since you’re working with great people, the feedback influences your music, no doubt. The feedback was always on point, very helpful and smart. Such an honour to be part of this project.”

06.  You had the chance to play out some of the tracks included in the EP on our 2nd Showcase in Berlin – how was the feeling, to finally put your passionate music out on the big speakers in front of hundreds of people?

QUATRI : “The second showcase in Berlin was one of the best nights of my life. I was very stressed though !!(laughs)… – Before that night, I never had the chance to play my music live in front of more than 2 people! It was very special and very stressful at the same time. The club was packed, and before my set, Steppi (trustless) and Aquiles (Ama:rú) did really one of the best sets, I have heard. During the last 10 minutes of their set, I was like “Fuck, I have to provide a set with music on that same level”. The first track I played was an unreleased track of mine, the reaction started insanely well with people just vibing, hands up and whistling – it gave me confidence. Throughout the set I had the courage to play „Ozora“ from my EP and the feeling was just out of the world, when people simply loved it.”

07. You were born in Syria, moved to France and speak english quite well – Since you have implemented a lot of oriental and african touches into your music, are you fascinated by traditions and cultures? Do you wanna explore and get to know even more cultures and implement them into your music, or where lies the future of the „Quatri“ sound, where do you feel like you need to or… want to evolve?

QUATRI : “Yes of course! Cultures and traditions are always so interesting to discover – it forms you, and gives you maturity. It makes you think and opens your mind to the world. When I’ll be in a good state of my life, I’m planning to travel and discover other countries and cultures and maybe implement all this in my music.

Of course I want to evolve, we always move forward in life and we have to be persistent. Everyday we learn new things and we gain wisdom, therefore our sound changes and the story evolves with our life.”

08. When you sit down in the studio, do you have a routine of starting a new track? How are things usually evolving with a production of yours?

QUATRI : “I have some sort of routine! I always tend to start by writing a chord progression. It is the base element of my tracks, I feel like without it the track loses it’s pilar. But it all depends on the style of the track… When I do some faster productions, closer to techno-music, chord progressions don’t really matter, but it’s always good to have one, to write melodies based on it afterwards.

In the majority of the tracks, I first have the chord, then I start making the drum structure, then when the groove is settled, I make the main lead and everything that goes with it. I finish it off with percussions and FXs and transitions… But as I said, it depends on the moment,  the inspiration, and the story I am aiming to build.”

09.  Where should your adventure go, where do you see yourself in the next years, musically but also within the scene?

QUATRI : “I am starting to have a new approach on my tracks. Making 10 tracks without a real story are nowhere near the value and the maturity of making 1 track with a proper tale behind it. So from now on, I think I am in the state of actually taking time on one track, one that can last in the heads of people for a long time – writing memories. I am digging my recent vocal projects as vocals are a great way of writing a whole theme and vibe to a track.

I have a few EPs coming out in the next months, but after these, I want to go a step further and start working on an album. I need other challenges and need to prove myself – an album is the perfect opportunity for it. It has to be continuous, and the storytelling grows to a larger scale, it’s a whole story within multiple tracks, so the music has to be connected with each other.”

10. Now, that your debut EP is finally out, what is next? What are your next forthcoming productions? Any new projects you wanna work on or are already working on?

QUATRI : “I have EPs in the making, and few originals and remixes that will be revealed in the coming days. Certainly an EP on Fayer Records, which will be a big thing for me, as the label is amazing and the support Edu Imbernon gives me is pretty big! I have a very exciting EP on Oleeva Records, the feedback and reactions on it have been so overwhelming! And as I mentioned, few remixes and a couple of collabs with talented people like Ciano from Keller, and Z0ne+ from All Day I Dream!

And last but not least, I have been working on a new project, that will soon see the daylight…but not today ;)”

11.  Which artist or labels are your current inspiration and what did you learn from them?

QUATRI : “I have been inspired by a lot of music labels and artists throughout my journey so far. But there are some main ones that I need to mention :

Cubicolor, Stephan Bodzin, Tale of Us, Christian Loffler, James Grant, Max Cooper, Olafur Arnalds just to name a few… These artists are just out of the world, they’re on a different level and very inspirational for me. Being on that same level of maturity and high quality sound is something I want to achieve with my music. Mentioning these artists means I should mention labels like Erased Tapes Recordings, Exploited, Fayer Music and as mentioned before Anjunadeep & Afterlife really have a big impact on my music.”

12.  If you had the chance to convince someone to listen to your music,  who has never heard about such music – which tracks would you show first?

QUATRI :  “I would show La Mer Orientale, or Ozora, they are for me tracks that can speak to a vast audience. But there are some unreleased tracks of mine that I would show for sure show, most certainly my Oleeva Records main track of the EP.”

13. We know this is a hard one, but give us different situations,  each with the perfect track for the moment.

QUATRI : “It is indeed a hard one, haha!”

  • The first one I could think of is Finnebassen’s “Sanguine” at the 2nd Showcase in Berlin on Steppi and Aquiles’ set, it was the perfect track at the right moment, insane 5 minutes of my life.”
  • Another perfect time is me sitting at home, being all cozy – late at night – about to smoke a J and play some FIFA. In the background I have Bob Moses’ track “Far From The Tree” playing – it really does such an effect on me, its so deep!
  • My late night cruises with friends are also a fantastic part of my life, especially when Kora’s “Nuit D’afrique” is playing… this track is mesmerizing! So lush and perfect for a night cruise.
  • When it gets more intimate with a girl, I tend to play the latest Bob Moses album, it is the perfect album for a 1 on 1 time. It goes up and down and just takes you on an adventure together – the first time I tried it, was one of the best nights I’ve had with a girl.
  • While not necessarily the perfect track for the moment, but I had this on time in Paris – I was in the ‘Buddha Bar’ with my ex girlfriend for her birthday, really chill vibe and a lovely evening. We were talking about Syria and its problems and how it is evolving…at this exact moment the DJ plays “Unders – Syria” – I was shocked haha! It felt like the DJ heard our conversation and played the track to relate! (laughs..)

14.  Last but not least, we traditionally wanna hear the current TOP 5 of the artist we interview, but since we have the end of the year and this is a special interview, we wanna hear the TOP 5 tracks of this year and then your all time TOP 5 within the scene (another tough one to answer)

QUATRI : “With pleasure, my current top 5 tracks would be” :

  1. Cornucopia – Letter For Poly [Tale + Tone]
  2. Hosini – Laomedeia [Anjunadeep]
  3. lorie – Creep [Metonia]
  4. You Kultura – Aurora [Laut & Luise]
  5. ApM – Just Cookin’ [Nie Wieder Schlafen]

QUATRI : “And the second request is indeed a though one as well haha, here is an approximation of my all time top 5 tracks” :

  1. Stephan Bodzin – Wir 
  2. Tale of Us – North Star 
  3. Olafur Arnalds – Oldurot (Tontario Remix)
  4. Pan Pot – Sleepless (Stephan Bodzin Remix)
  5. Stephan Bodzin – Singularity 

What an Interview, thanks for going through these questions with us and thank you for your special music. We can not await what the future will hold for you!


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