Creative Minds: Earth Trax | Soundspace

Creative Minds: Earth Trax

Creative Minds: Earth Trax

Bartosz Kruczyński – aka. Earth Trax, aka. The Phantom – consistently impresses with each project and release he delivers. Whether he’s making synthy house, melodic techno or ambient flavours, his music is always imbued with deep atmospherics, lush textures and impressive musicality.

His Earth Trax releases on Rhythm Section International, Dopeness Galore, Phonica Records, Echovolt Records, Lost Palms and Les Yeux Orange in particular have put him on the map in a big way over the last couple of years.

He gave us the lowdown on his studio habits, including details of some of his favourite synths he uses to create those glistening sounds he does so well.

How does your creative process generally begin?

My music is based mostly around melodies and harmonic clusters, layers of pads, so I usually start with these. Quite often I work in the box, rarely using any hardware synthesizers. I use Korg M1 and Wavestation emulation a lot, SQ8L as well, some free FM plugins like Dexed. When it comes to hardware – I love my Moog Sub 37. I usually start with arpeggios, repetitive loops and background pads. I walk around my flat a lot, if the mood they create is right – I keep them.

Do you ever set yourself any creative restrictions?

I do actually; more and more I tend to make tracks sound simpler, unforced. Just a couple of loops intertwined with each other. Although there’s more to it of course when it comes to the actual sound, like multi-layering.

What do you do if you get writer’s block?

I go back to older projects quite a lot. My creative process is very often about just sketching some ideas for later. Sometimes I merge various projects into one as well.

What do you do if you’re struggling to finish a track?

I just wait a couple of months or rework major parts of them like deleting all the drums or leads, drastically changing presets.

Which bits of equipment or plugin do you go to when you need some inspiration?

I use chain of effects quite often, like a couple of filtered delays, pitch shifters, long ambientish reverbs (in the vein of Eventide), modifiers and put them on top of melodies I already have. It gives me this alien perspective on what I have so far. Apart from the synths I already mentioned, together with Adam aka Newborn Jr. — we record quite a lot of music together — we mess with Korg MS-20, Juno 106, Yamaha DX200 or Roland JV-2080 a lot.

Sometimes it’s about finding a right synth at the right time like getting one from your friend for a couple of days. I really enjoyed working on JX-3P (I used its boutique version on a remix for Into The Light too recently), Arturia Microbrute and Korg Triton. Sometimes I just use specific synths on particular projects like Korg microKORG XL, Korg Minilogue or Yamaha RX-21 used on ‘Baltic Beat’ album.

Do you have any studio rituals to get you in the creative zone?

I usually prefer my home studio to be clean and tidy.

And finally, what’s your one golden rule for making music?

Don’t rush, be patient and be brave.