. PRODUCE LIKE SALLY SHAPIRO | djmag.com
Sally Johan

PRODUCE LIKE SALLY SHAPIRO

#519

words:

Mick Wilson

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The method behind 'This City’s Local Italo Disco DJ Has A Crush On Me'

“I got the idea for this track after a DJ gig in Turku, Finland, inspired by the music the other DJs had been playing. I created a basic groove inspired by '80s electronic disco funk (such as Shirley Lites' ‘Heat You Up’), using the kick and the snare from the Oberheim DMX drum machine which I programmed in a Detroit electro-ish pattern rather than four-on-the-floor, and programmed in a fat sawtooth bass pattern using Subtractor in Reason. I almost always add chorus and sub bass to the bass, to create a deep and wide sound.

“In this track, the bassline is quite central, and after having played it on the MIDI keyboard, I didn’t quantize it completely, to create more of an organic feel. I also layered a sample of a real handclap together with the snare — this handclap is sometimes played slightly before or after the snare, also to increase the natural feel.

“The lyrics of our tracks are often about lost or in some way problematic love, but this is a less melancholic track with a more party feel, so we decided [on] lyrics describing Sally going to an Italo disco club, the DJ flirting with her, but Sally ultimately turning him down (”Sure we can drink, and we can flirt like this, but I think that I’ll save my kiss”). The chorus goes just ”na-na-na-na-na” in a careless way, [as] if she’s not bothered, and somehow I think it’s a fresh alternative to all the other tracks on the album where she’s really entangled in different love stories.

“In the break, to add to the party feel, we added the sound of a party crowd in a bar, and then when the drum pattern is starting again (first without the kick, to leave more room [for] the other sounds), I added the sound of a whole audience clapping their hands together with the snare, to make it sound like a full-on club crowd really digging what they’re hearing. All these details — the imperfect drum and bass programming, the real sounds of handclaps and party crowds, the ”party and flirting” lyrics, and finally the heavy compression of the track, makes it sound loud, giving the kind of feeling of an '80s night out.”