hi Michel. Nice to have you for this feature of “Music & Interview”. We discovered your music already a while ago. I guess it was a release on Voxnox following your activities since then. So for sure you were already on our wishlist for a mix but now we have the pleasure of an interview and a mix. Let’s start. Please tell us something about your childhood and youth in Poland. Where did you grow up? What kind of music did you listen then, being a teenager etc? When and how did you discover techno?
First of all thank you for having me in your series! If it comes to my childhood in Poland, I was growing up in a small but welcoming city called Brwinów, located around 30 km from the city center of Warsaw. I have been living there until 2016, so basically most of my music discoveries happened while living on the suburbs, however the most important period of my musical explorations started in 2009. That time I was totally influenced by Justice, Danger, SebastiAn, Kavinsky and so called french electro styled tracks. Not that long after I started to produce music alike my role models, which is a the natural course of events. Some time later, in 2012 I went to Audioriver Festival for the first time, where I had an opportunity to listen to all aforementioned artists, except of the first ones. That was the main purpose of my attendance. When all long awaited performances of French artists got finished I started wandering around the festival. That’s how I reached Circus Tent (techno stage), where I actually discovered 4×4 sounds oscillating around house, tech-house and techno. I remember it was around 5 am when Anja Schneider was starting to perform her dj-set. After that event of course it took me some time to understand techno properly. Some of my friends have been sending me constantly their favorite tracks and to be honest that was really important part of my musical taste forming.
(Sept Promo Pic 1)
After you found the love for techno … when did you start to dj and produce? Was there a special moment that inspired you to start?
I started to produce techno in 2014. It took me around one year to make my first EP, which was not that long after released on Voxnox Records. I am not sure if there was any special moment that had impact on my start. I just started to feel it the way I would like to express myself.
(full length streaming of the EP “Path”, Sept’s first EP on Voxnox)
What inspires you for your tracks? How do you start the work on a track? How looks the production process in general? Which equipment do you use? Do you already have in mind that it will be an EP or do you bundle these single tracks later?
Sometimes I get inspired by movies I watch, sometimes by the things I read, but basically the biggest source of inspiration are the emotions I experience during tour and people I meet, as well as the music from the artists I really admire. If it comes to the production process I usually start from writing drums and bass line. After that I work on leads, pads and fx section. All this come out of my modular synthesizer, Access Virus A, Elektron Analog Rytm and Elektron Octatrack, all connected to the Mackie 1604 VLZ Pro mixer. When I produce tracks I am trying to not limit myself into „frames” of EP, however the tracks I make one after another usually refer to the previous one and that’s what keeps it consistent in a way.
(Sept on stage)
In your bio the production of an album is mentioned already for a while. Do you still work on it? What do you think it is the main difference in producing tracks for a 2-3 track EP and for an album? Is the process different for you? What are the inspirations and influences for the album? Does it deal with a special topic?
Producing an album is a time consuming process. I think it should sound like a unity. This is why I am not rushing with it at all. Last few months I was focused more on making dance floor friendly music, rather than tracks dedicated to my album. What can I say about this one? It is going to be different appearance than you can hear in my past releases.
(Video Teaser for Sept’s performance at Audioriver by Visual Family Collective)
You are part of an emerging techno scene in Poland which we at NovaFuture together with Gramofonowa portraited in our Poland series (see “Gramofonowa. x NovaFuture Blog – Poland Special”). What do you think is the reason of the growing interest in techno from Poland? How were/are your experiences when you started to the point now? Please tell us how you see and what you think about the Polish scene.
I think the interest is rapidly growing along with the awareness of the crowd, which is fueled by the youtube channels like HATE, facebook groups where people are sharing their favorite music and some local podcast series (Polish Technology, Lost In Ether). Also clubs are doing great job – Jasna 1 in Warsaw, P23 in Katowice, Szpitalna 1 in Cracow, Sfinks700 in Sopot, Tama in Poznan and Ciało in Wroclaw are definitely the ones that deserve mentioning here. When I started my experiences with electronic music, there were clubs that unfortunately are closed – 1500m2 and Nowa Jerozolima – that were the clubs I was, let’s say, educated by. Our native producers and DJs should also feel responsible for this success – Blazej Malinowski, VTSS, Vertical Spectrum, Michal Wolski, Concept of Thrill, Violent, Dtekk, Olivia, Private Press, Epi Centrum, Melania or Deas to name a few. The very important part of this development are also music festivals like Audioriver, Instytut, Tauron New Music, Unsound and Up To Date. The prospects are really promising and I am really happy to see how from year to year the popularity and the quality of the events, clubs, as well as native producers skills are growing.
(Sept Press Pic 2017)
Today there is a massive flood of releases on thousands of labels. You also released on few of them like Sonntag Morgen, Konflkt, Flash Recordings, Abyss but you are strongly connected with Voxnox. How important are established labels for the career of a young musician? Isn’t it easier and better to set up your own imprint or just release via bandcamp? What are your thoughts about the current situation e.g. the delay/waiting time for pressing vinyl.
I assume a lot of artists would love to release music on their own, on the other hand not everyone has resources to deal with it properly. When you decide to press vinyls on yourself there is a financial risk that you take on. As you said, there is a flood of releases, with better or worse music, but I think it’s not the matter of well established labels, which obviously may help every upcoming artist to get hyped, but the way how each release is promoted. The pressing delay sometimes can cause problems with music promotion, as you have to postpone the whole publicity thing, which may be sometimes really problematic.
(full stream of “Schörl” from the sampler “Demise”, out on Abyss Recordings)
Let‘s stay with the topic of labels and how they work. You are the A&R of Voxnox Records. Please tell us something about your work (tasks, processes, how you select artists) there.
As a DJ I am spending pretty much time on looking for fresh stuff that I can play in my sets, so basically this is how I am coming across new artists. This is how I got interested in Lars Huismann, who is about to have release in Voxnox Records soon. I also listen to every demo we receive on our mailbox. If it comes to our core roster artists (Alignment, Kaiser, Opal) and other releases I pick all music together with Fabio (label owner).
(full stream of Alignment’s “Spectral” from the EP of the same name, out on Voxnox)
You just signed to Elite Music Management for your bookings in October 2017. Similar question like the one about labels: how important are agencies for the career of a DJ? Many start with a friend doing the bookings and sign then to an agency later. Some artists change the agency very often, some stay with one for many years. What are the characteristics of a good agency in your eyes?
It is always helpful to have well working agency, which helps artists focus on making music, rather than having thoughts absorbed by the logistics, negotiations etc.
The reasons why artists are changing agencies are usually very individual, but I think some of them are not so patient and they expect that agency will find loads of gigs, because of previous collabs with the promoters on other artists gigs. Of course it should work like this, but artists should remember that it is also important to be musically active, to surprise the audience and simply to entertain the crowd.
(full stream of Sept’s “Chaos Collider” from the EP of the same name, out on Voxnox)
We already talked about the Polish techno scene. You still live in Warsaw (Poland) – many other artists move to bigger „music“ cities like London or Berlin. What‘s your reason to stay? Wouldn’t it be better/easier to live in Berlin or London to have more direct connections to the international DJ scene, many labels and producers?
I was thinking about moving to Berlin in the past. First thoughts appeared in 2015, when I was starting from the scratch, as the project Sept was established in July. That time I was also involved (pretty spontaneously) into techno events organization called Lost Pool, which appeared to be a great success. We made a several open air parties, which attracted something around 1000 ravers each, where mostly Polish DJs were playing. This is when I realized how big impact on local scene may have such independent activities. Later on I got involved into another promotership project called Bóg Jest w Techno (eng. The God Is In Techno), club oriented one, where we hosted Ansome, Kangding Ray, Boston 168, Regal, Cleric, Kwartz, Pearl, Stranger, Perc, SNTS, Remco Beekwilder, Inigo Kennedy, Cosmin TRG, DYAD, Ossian, Blue Hour, Yan Cook and I/Y. All this made me really connected to local scene and postponed my decision about moving from Poland.
At the beginning of the interview you told us something about your favourite music in your youth. Anything that you still love? What are your all time favourites e.g. you play regularly and why?
Most of the tracks I adored in the past are not matching my sets at all, however this ones will always stay in my heart.
We reach the end of our short interview so let’s talk about the future. What’s coming next? Any nice releases? Some special gigs?
I have some releases in the pipeline, but unfortunately can’t announce anything yet, however I am very excited about what is coming. If it comes to the gigs I am really keen to play this Saturday at Lehmann Club in Stuttgart and next week at KHIDI in Tbilisi, Georgia. Also next month I am playing at Berlin’s Griessmuehle for 5y Voxnox. You will find my full confirmed schedule here.
Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. ANFS – Aktzaros
02. Opål – Revenge
03. Blasted – Mad Monkey (Ben Techy Remix)
04. Raffaele Attanasio – Lust
05. Blurred Boy – Advantage
06. D. Dan – Sudan Sedan
07. Thomas P. Heckmann – Violent Stains (Al Ferox Remix)
08. Sept – Vicious Circle
09. Perf – Look What Your Love Has Done To Me
10. Tim Tama- Unrelenting Assault
11. Go Hiyama – Philosopher (NX1 Remix)
12. Fairground of Tears – Pain is God
13. Jerm – Breaking Point
14. Joe Farr – Hanger 1
15. LLY – Midgard
16. Aahan – Becoming
17. Thomas P. Heckmann – Belzebub (Scalameriya Remix)