October 05 2017

Peter Fonda's Spellbook

New York-Le Bain
We chat with Brooklyn's Peter Fonda before we celebrate the release of his EP "Witches Booty" (Parka Records) on Friday, October 6th.
LE BAIN: There is not much info about you, but you've said, “I make sound and dance moves.”
PETER FONDA: I grew up as a dancer and musician. It took a long time for me to start making dance music. By then, I was already setting up sound systems for underground parties. I wanted to be able to dance in places that I felt comfortable, which at that point was not in a club. I think a lot of people struggle to feel comfortable on a dance floor in a club because they really don't know what to do and don't want that exploration to feel so public. Now that I've figured it out a little better, I realize that's why we keep the lights low and don't necessarily play the craziest records out of your bag to make that exploration on the dance floor a little easier. So yeah, I make sound and dance moves.
Peter Fonda by Nieto Dickens

Peter Fonda by Nieto Dickens


Are you still running the Keep Away from Children parties? 
I host and close Keep Away From Children once a month at Bossa Nova Civic Club. It's a Tuesday party with the idea that if you're hanging out in the local techno bar on a Tuesday, you would've picked a different bar for a quiet drink. We play hard from far and wide. 
"It's nerdy and a little sweaty at the same time." –Peter Fonda
What about your other party, Drum Machine Circle?
It has been on a bit of a hiatus but is returning in October at a new location. It's definitely not a club experience, but it can be a really interesting way to see the tools different producers and live performers use to create club sounds. Each performer gets a stereo channel, the option to sync, and 10 minutes of playing time, overlapping with the player before and after. It forces some collaboration and improvisation that can generate some creative and unusual techniques for the studio or the club. It's nerdy and a little sweaty at the same time.
What’s your favorite drum machine?
Elektron Machinedrum is my machine. I've had four now, and the last generation with sampling is great, but I'll take any of them. I was so sad when I heard Elektron was discontinuing them, but I'll get my hands on another. I really like using it live and while DJing because you can create entire tracks from scratch or just add component parts to a mix.
Peter Fonda's "Witches Booty (Original Mix)"

Tell us about your EP, Witches Booty.

Witches Booty is supposed to be a rough idea of a club night for me. It doesn't really make sense literally and is a little dark but also a little cute or a serious joke. It's a spellbook.
You called yourself a terrible businessman. Is that a bad thing?
I've spent a lot of time writing new music instead of writing invoices. Depending on how many find release, it could turn out to be a solid investment.
You’ve tagged your music as techno, deep house, EDM, comfort, and acid, while XLR8 calls your EP, “three gritty, acid-tinged cuts full of chunky rhythms and winding synth lines.” Which description do you like the most?
[Laughs.] I'm not sure how many of those I came up with and how many were the algorithms trying to figure it out. I make the music I want to hear and dance, drive, eat, fuck, and smoke to. Often when I have the option to listen to music loudly or mix, I take the time to sketch out whatever sound is bouncing around my head or how I'm feeling. Maybe I saw a great set the night before or have two or three records I like mixing together and want to add to the pile.

On Friday, October 6th, Le Bain presents Parka Records
feat. Peter Fonda, Lawrence Lee & Milo McBride
The Standard, High Line | 10PM

Header photo by Nieto Dickens