May 14, 2024

Written by Callum.

The sixth instalment of our //SNCMIX series sees San Francisco-based artist Federsen explore the deeper, groovier side of dub.

Federsen, could be considered an outlier within his native San Francisco scene. Preferring to sit outside of the cities historically vibrant scene, he has chosen the calming presence of his studio over late night parties. The result is an artist who has truly set the stage for mastery of his style, nailing down the intricacies of dub techno in a way many haven’t. 

Growing up in Scotland, he has witnessed the infamous Acid House era, which pulled him into electronic music and started his lifelong fascination with music equipment. From there, Federsen has mapped his sound down to a science.

His deep, dubby, and groovy records have seen releases on the likes of ETUI, Avant Roots, Lempuyang, including his own label, Fifth Interval. With a freshly launched new label, Federsen’s interest in exploring new sonic possibilities through dub is far from over. 

We spoke to him about his //SNCMIX entry, the new label, growing up in Scotland, and more.

Tell us about your new label. What inspired its creation, and why was now the right time to launch?

Alt Dub came from a place of realization that there aren’t any labels releasing strict dub techno sounds on vinyl out here in California. It’s not like Europe, with an abundance of labels releasing the kind of music I love. So, I decided to start a label out here in San Francisco.

The name is simple in that I see it as a label focusing on alternative dub sounds. Alt dub!

What is your approach to label management? Do you already have an idea of where you want things to go, or are you viewing things from a more experimental standpoint?

I have a good idea of what I want with the label. Firstly it’s a place for me to collaborate with other musicians and release the results that come from that, whatever that may be. I have invited the talents of Hidden Sequence for the first release with their originals and remixes.

Going forward it will keep to that model, at least for the next few releases. I’m lucky enough to have some great producers lined up for the rest of 2024. 

Talk to us about San Francisco. How is the scene there keeping you inspired?

For sure, there’s a strong scene here. However, I am pretty focused on producing in the studio and not part of a scene at all, so I can’t really comment on it. However, people all over the city are running great nights and inviting artists to come and play here.

Are there any groups/people that deserve to be recognised right now?

Yes, Blackcat Records / Whitewolf Records in NYC. They are doing some high-quality releases. So far, every record they put out is a gem with really talented producers. 

Let’s talk about music production. You have a lot of gear in your studio. When did this love affair with music equipment begin?

In 1989, I was a teenager in Scotland when Acid House hit the UK, and my good friend had 101’s, 808’s, 909’s Junos etc., and it all started there for me really. It was a long time until I had anything that could be considered a remotely decent setup. I try not to fetishize gear though, and I’m at a place now where I don’t need to buy anything else. I have everything I need. 

If I was brave enough, I would strip way back to nothing but a mixing desk, an MPC 1000 and some effects. But I have a few other things I like to use.

Can you describe your creative process when you are in the studio? 

I usually start by jamming on my Elektrons like a sketchbook, just getting raw ideas down. Then it’s into the big Midas Desk with everything, and I pretty much always record a live jam with lots of Aux channels on the go.

What are some of your favourite pieces of gear to use and why?

Well, there’s one thing that functions as the heart of the studio. I couldn’t be without it.

It’s the ACME SND. It’s my rock-solid MIDI trigger for all my hardware. I would say that and my MPC1000 and Roland Space Echo. And my old 101 is pretty much always on bass duties.

Tell us about your mix for //SNCMAG.

It’s taking us into the depths with some deep, heavy dub sounds with a few recently just released tracks and a few classics.

What’s next for Federsen?

A lot is coming up in 2024. I have a few remixes I just finished going out on vinyl with various labels soon, and I also have a lot of interesting plans for Alt Dub.

//SNCMAG · //SM.006 – Federsen


  1. Hidden Sequence- Polarity Remix 
  2. Sonuga-Isolate
  3. Malin Genie – Duppy
  4. Youandewan__Bad_Orb (Original Mix)
  5. Steve O ‘Sullivan vs Paul Simmons – Inner glow
  6. Philipp Priebe – So Glad
  7. Exos__Gegnum_Skráargat_(Thor_Remix)
  8. Hess & Harrison – Infrasonic Navigation
  9. Bluetrain – Perfect Circle
  10. Hart_Thorson__Psychological_Thriller_(Original_Mix)
  11. STL__Make_Believe_(Original_Mix)
  12. Federsen – Fazed [What Robot Says]
  13. Federsen – STLR10.1A 
  14. J_Gabriel,_Chuffing_Buffy__Transform_Dub_(Steve_O_Sullivan_Version)
  15. Soft Traffic feat Prince Morella – Find Ya
  16. Soultek__Groove_Control_(Original_Mix)

Follow Federsen here

Pre-order ALT001 with Federsen & Hidden Sequence here