I’ve been ACHING to blog Lenno‘s remix of The Knocks‘ ‘Brightside’ for weeks and FINALLY the wait is over!!!
Dammit I don’t know exactly how he programmes his synths or how he goes about melting music down in the Lenno lab, but this much is for certain; Lenno magics up a unique alchemy that enables him to infuse his work with such sheer joy that it’s totally irrestistible. Taking the synth-pop of the original, Lenno rightly places the rousing lead vocal centre-stage but turns it into a dance classic by serving up the perfect accompaniment of trademark sharp, sassy disco synths plus uplifting piano hooks and glorious electronic 80s riffs.
Big, bouncy, bright, shiny and above all HAPPY, this isn’t just feel-good – it makes you feel full-on invincible!
This remix is out today on A&M/Octone – buy a copy on iTunes and it’ll be one of the wisest moves you’ve made all year…
Yet another incredible remix from the Finnish tour de force that is Lenno! HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE THIS INSANELY TALENTED AT THE AGE OF 16???
Tighter than an Olympic gymnast in a lycra body stocking, beautifully produced, brimming over with dirty disco bounce and catchy as hell – Lenno has already established his own trademark sound and it is the most addictive, feel-good funkathon you could ever wish for! This is the kind of music that makes you feel like anything is possible, that will make you dance all night, that will make you smile so much your face aches!
You remember Lenno, right? The flying Finn I interviewed the other day, who’s only 16 years old and so ridiculously precociously talented it makes you want to cry in comparative shame?
Well he’s only gone and done another funkin’ awesome track – the aforementioned remix, which is out today! It’s worth noting that Sony have chosen to release it as a Spotify exclusive, which I haven’t heard of any other label doing before – I’ll be really interested to see how this does sales-wise compared to a ‘normal’ release.
Anyway, back to the music! Adding pumping feel-good piano hooks and rainbow-coloured nu-disco stabs and synths to the pure pop of the original, Lenno’s remix is like a musical kaleidoscope of pure happiness!
Lenno. He’s 16, he’s from Finland, he produces retro chic nu disco-tinged house and he’s one of the dance music scene’s hottest rising stars right now. He came to my attention when I heard his recent remix of Labtracks’ ‘Robotic Love’ on Macarize – so ridiculously feel-good that you would have to be an actual robot not to get up and dance to this, it instantly became one of my tracks of the whole year. But I wasn’t alone – thanks to his ear for stunningly good production as well as insanely catchy disco hooks and melodies, Beatport made the remix of one their Top 10 Must Listen To tracks. He’s also just done a guest mix for LMP DJs on Ministry of Sound Radio, has remixes forthcoming on Sony and Eye Industries and he already has professional management and booking agents. But – did I mention this – he’s just 16!!! How did this happen?! Happily, Lenno himself is here to tell all…
Hi Lenno. Let’s start off simple – how and when did you start making music?
As both of my parents are classically trained musicians, it was pretty natural for me to pick up the classical guitar when I was seven. I then got an electric guitar at the age of eleven and played it for hours every day, wanting to become a rock star one day…until I found out about The Young Punx in late 2009. That’s when I decided “I need to get into this” and I started to produce my own tracks.
How would you describe your sound to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I don’t like to limit myself to a very special niche so I’m just gonna say house music with big melodies and that disco feel!
What process do you go through in creating a track and what software/studio setup do you use?
I try to keep my studio setup pretty straightforward, I’ve been experiencing with various hardware but I always end up going back to just my Mac and Logic Pro 9. I do have some Genelec monitors and loads of live instruments (three guitars, bass and a big box of various percussion instruments) too, but other than that, I try to do as much as possible in the box. When making a track, I usually start with melodies and chords and try to make a nice loop out of them before moving on to drums and stuff. Then it’s just about going with the flow and experimenting with millions of things.
You’re still only 16 but already have professional management, a prolific discography and releases on labels including Warner, Sony, Bonzai, Macarize, Eye Industries & more. How have you managed to make a name for yourself so quickly?
By not sleeping enough, haha. And not being able to say no No but seriously, just working hard, trying to network with people, finding the right remix contests to enter etc…and most importantly, just doing the music I like.
Your remix of Labtracks ‘Robotic Love’ recently featured in Beatport’s Top 10 ‘Must Listen’ chart and has garnered you a LOT of attention among the blogosphere and fellow producers – how did that feel?
Pretty awesome really, being supported by the likes of Louis La Roche and Anoraak is really crazy as they’ve been some of the most influential producers for me since I’ve started making music.
You also recently collaborated with Cosmonaut Grechko on a mashup of your Labtracks remix and his version of Daft Punk’s ‘Harder Better Faster Stronger’ – how did that come about?
He’s an awesome guy and really wanted to have that track in his minimix so I sent it to him and in total secrecy he made this super crazy Daft Punk mash-up out of it. We decided to keep it as a super secret dancefloor destroying DJ weapon that only a selected few people have access to, but you can hear a version of it on my mix for Ministry Of Sound radio here.
You’ve got a remix of Foster The People’s ‘Helena Beat’ coming out soon on Sony – can you tell us more about it?
Yes! It retains the awesome pop chorus from the original but replaces the indie pop background with pumping nu-disco. You can listen to part of it on the Knocks’ new mixtape here, and the full track is coming out soon on Sony.
Who would you like to collaborate with/remix/be remixed by who you haven’t already?
Oh god it changes all the time! Been listening to Bestrack a lot lately, his synth lines are always brilliant so it’d be great to remix one of his tracks. And having Phonat to remix one of my tracks would be pretty rad, his tunes are always so creative.
What are your top 5 tracks right now?
1. Justin Faust – Girl Talk
Tune of the year for me so far to be honest, the amount of win in this track is astonishing. Great groovy sample, 80s synths and fattest drums ever, what more can you ask for?
2. Barretso – Ultimo
Builds up and up and up and when it finally drops, it’s more powerful than ten Chuck Norrises combined. My official biking theme music.
3. Koobra – Night Running
This has been pretty much everyone’s favourite track in Helsinki for the past year or so and it’s finally getting a release on Top Billin in October. Big nu-disco action with an awesome vocal hook.
4. Russ Chimes – Tonic
Still awesome, the second breakdown absolutely kills it every time. Really nice clubby beats too.
5. Sam Padrul – All I Do
Really great pop track with loads of funkiness.
What else is coming up for you and what do you hope to achieve next in your music career?
Lots of cool stuff is brewing! I’m working on my second EP at the moment and the first track is already finished. It’s gonna be a bit poppier than Streets/Your Style but still very danceable and all that. That will hopefully happen during the autumn. And I have lots of remixes coming out as well! I’ve already finished working on remixes for Foster The People, The Knocks, Koobra, DATA/DEBT (with Funkhameleon) and StardonE (with HEMO DJ’s). And we’re also working to get me some gigs to play now that I have a booking agent and all.
Lenno live?! Now that’s going to be a MUST SEE…
Lenno’s remix of Helena Beat ‘Foster The People’ is forthcoming on Sony.
This is his remix of Labtracks ‘Robotic Love’ – if you haven’t got your copy yet, get it here.