August 09, 2011

MWED Interviews: Sonic Union


With multiple job titles under his belt and a tightly packed schedule that includes running his own label, producing and touring the globe constantly, he does it all with ease & perfection. Erik Pettersson aka Sonic Union is one of the leading DJs/Producers in today's progressive/tech scene.

Earlier this year, Erik had visited India for a mini 2-city tour where his performances in both Pebble (Bangalore) & 1 Lounge (Pune) were highly appraised.

I've been following his music & label releases since his wickedly exclusive set on The SF Show. His collaboration with partner Daniel Sandberg aka Bastards of Funk have bought out smashing tunes, one of which is up for remixing on More on that later.

Read on for the exclusive interview with the man himself.


01. So Erik, this maybe the most basic question ever to start off with but I have to ask. The name, ‘Sonic Union’, is it just a cool name you wanted to go with or is there a story behind it?
 The name ‘Sonic Union’ actually came about back in 2005 when Neil Barber (Nelski) came over to DJ at the club I was resident DJ at in Vancouver, Canada and he missed his flight back home so we decided to do a track together with another of the resident DJs from the club and the name came from that. I just stuck with the name afterwards.

02. DJ/Producer/Co-founder/Label Owner. That’s just a short list of all the job titles you have. With your busy schedule how do you manage to keep up with everything? 
I don’t sleep  J. Sometimes it’s definitely tough and stressful but in the end the passion I have for music makes it all worth it.

03.  I've also heard that you've got an interesting day job! Do shed some light.
I develop video games as a senior audio programmer for a very well-known British game studio. I’ve been making video games for close to 12 years now and it’s a lot of fun! It’s also been the reason I’ve moved around the world so much, from Sweden to Canada to the USA and now the UK.

04. Apart from the daily music scene & your day job, what else moves Sonic Union?
I’m a big gamer so I spend a bit of time playing Xbox. I also have a freakish fetish for gadgets so I like to check out the gadget blogs.

05. Your collaboration with Daniel Sandberg aka 'Bastards of Funk' has been termed as "a musical match in prog-tech heaven". What made this dynamic combination happen?
We first met in Estonia playing at the Sun Dance Music Festival back in 2004 and became really good friends first, but it wasn’t until Daniel remixed the first ‘Sonic Union’ track in 2005 that we actually started to work together. We realized we had very similar taste in music (and all other things really) and just made a great fit.

06. I was listening to your phat remix of "Interplay - Ignition" on Anjunadeep. Finally making your first appearance on Anjunadeep, how does it feel being a part of the oldest and biggest progressive label?
It’s been something I’ve always wanted so it was great when Interplay requested us specifically for the remix and we were of course thrilled to do it. Anjunadeep is a staple in the dance music community and I’m very happy to be part of that now.

Interplay - Ignition (Bastards of Funk & Sonic Union Remix) [Anjunadeep] by Sonic Union (Lowbit)

07. Any future releases planned with Anjunadeep? An original maybe?
At the moment we have nothing else signed with them but they have shown interested in new material so we will just have to wait and see. We do have a few tracks and remixes signed to labels like Afterglow, Mirabilis, Movement and of course Lowbit, and we just had our remix of Jim Rivers ‘Black Keys’ released on McGroove. We are also super excited about the remix competition we are currently running with Findremix where people get the chance to remix one of our biggest tracks to date - ‘Glitter’ - and also win some nice prizes.
08. Back to your label, Lowbit Records, when did you decide to launch it? What's the hardest/easiest parts of running your own label during the initial years and up till now?
The idea came to me at work back in Los Angeles in 2008 while chatting to Daniel online. We both thought it was a great idea and had absolutely no idea how much work was involved. At first the label only had releases every 6-8 weeks which were generally tracks from us with remixes from good friends like Shiloh or Thomas Penton. During the last year the label has grown quite rapidly, and we now have over 60 different artists on board and receive about 50 demos a week. The easiest part is working with all these fantastic artists we have signed. The hardest part is going through the massive amount of demos trying to find a hidden gem and to run a release schedule that makes everyone happy.

09. You've got some fantastic names in your artist roster for Lowbit from the likes of: Cid Inc, Shiloh, Ben Coda amongst many others. The most recent EP on Lowbit, comes from Nikko. Z called "Down Town". I heard the previews, massive tunes. Him & Chris have gone far since their debut EP "Cavo Sunrise" on Lowbit. Your thoughts on their work? Any collaborative work with the duo soon?
Nikko and Chris have done some amazing work recently and I actually discovered them through one of the hidden gems that I received in our demo box. When I was in Greece earlier this year to DJ we did start a collaboration which I hope we will finish. The quality of music these guys put out you can tell that these guys are going to be big!

10. Speaking of Nikko, you had Nikko. Z & Chris Mozio recently on your radio show Lowbit, on Proton Radio. This particular episode topped at #1 that month, passing John Digweeds Transitions. How stoked were you about that?
It was absolutely amazing taking the #1 spot with the Lowbit show and the guys. Something I hope we will keep on doing! J

11. 14 years as a DJ, that’s a lot of gigs, festivals, clubs and people you go by. What has been the most: 1) memorable event 2) embarrassing one - in all your years of DJ'ing so far?
Wow…there are too many good events to mention but one that is really special is the first Lowbit party we threw in London in February. Despite a broken sound system and a double-booking of the venue, the turnout was amazing and the crowd was absolutely stellar and I was so happy with it in the end. I was actually told by someone that “this is the best progressive night I’ve been to in 18 months” and that really made my night!
On the embarrassing side I did screw up a bit at WMC a few years ago while DJing. I had gotten ill with a really bad cold and was eating cold medicine like candy for our show and at one point I didn’t realize I had managed to mute the main out, while I was still mixing on the headphones.

12. You did an exclusive set on Episode 16 for India's 'The SF Show', then a few months later an India tour. Your thoughts about the EDM scene here. How different is it from the rest of your gigs around the world?
It’s an emerging market and still hungry for all kinds of musical flavours. I thought the crowd was great and I felt really appreciated after the shows. The early closing time was definitely something I wasn’t expecting and threw me off-guard a little.

13. Since we're on the India tour, how did you like your short visit to India? What was the best thing about our country that you liked the most?
It was very special. So many new sights and impressions it was fantastic. The people that came up after the show were very nice and expressed their thanks. And of course the food!

14. Also, you've started a series of club nights for Lowbit. How is that coming along? Is there anything special lined up for your future events?
We are creating Lowbit events around the world and are currently securing a venue for a monthly Lowbit night here in London. We have a couple of guys that have taken control of this for Lowbit and we are starting to see some cool stuff coming together.

15. Getting in to your productions, what are your favourite tools (hardware and software) in the studio?
Our main DAW is FLStudio 10 and a slew of different plugins. The studio has become more and more a software only thing due to the fact that it’s so much easier and you can work on the road, which was almost impossible a few years ago.

16. Could you tip us on some future releases from Lowbit as well as your own productions?
We have tracks/remixes from artists such as Marcelo Vasami, Sound Process, Kassey Voorn, Deepfunk, Lank, Stimpack, Soundprank, Ben Coda, Steve Haines, Andrea Cassino & Danny Lloyd and many more. I am really excited about the future and the things coming in the near future. On our own side we have a new original that will be released soon with remixes from NORD and Alex & Filip on Lowbit and new original on Afterglow with some very special remixers. We also have the ‘Glitter’ remix competition ( which I am really excited about and I’m hoping to discover some new talent from that.

17. Here's a fun question: If the world were to end tomorrow, what would be the last few things you'd do?
Spend that time with family and girlfriend!

18.  Lastly, a message to your fans in India:
Thank you so much for the support and the hospitality I received when I was there in March! I can’t wait to come back! 

-------------------------------------------------------- & Lowbit records have teamed up to give budding producers an opportunity to remix "Sonic union & Bastard of Funk's - Glitter". Some amazing prizes to be won. ‘Glitter’ by Bastards Of Funk & Sonic Union was originally released in 2009 and climbed the beatport charts like an inferno. It also got licensed to Global Underground and featured on their GU2009 compilation. Get your production cap on and get cracking!

Follow Sonic Union - SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter.
Follow Lowbit Records - YouTube, Lowbit, Facebook, Twitter.


  1. Great interview! Erik's a hard & smart worker in this field & wish him all the success. Looking forward to all the material from Lowbit as well as his own Sonic Union productions.