[Music & Interview]: Opuswerk

 

Music & Interview
Opuswerk

 

Introduction:
Opuswerk … Hendrik van Boetzelaer aka Opuswerk, based in Geneva, is an artist whose love for what triggers his raw emotions is highly contatigious.

 

Interview:

Hello Hendrik. nice to “meet” you for this short interview. Let‘s start at the very beginning. When were you born and where did you grow up? Which music did you like in your youth (e.g. being a teenager)? And when and how did you discover electronic music & techno as one of your favourite music?
Nice to meet you too!

I’m born and raised in Geneva Switzerland and I still live here. I was lucky to have my teens in a period when it was as rich culturally as it is financially. Back then, the numerous squats offered fantastic opportunities to discover all types of music. Going to those is when i really opened up my ears and mind to a lot of things from music to different ways of looking at life.

It was during my first years of high school that I discovered UK dub (which was and still is huge here). From there it my love for underground and lesser known music simply grew to an obsession. From then on I kept discovering one genre after the other as i was digging my way through.

Techno is such a broad term nowadays, and encompasses lots of music I do not relate to at all. So to call it my favorite music wouldn’t be accurate. However I would argue that its the futuristic and visionary aspect of tracks and songs that get me the most interested, and some of techno has a lot of that 🙂 .

 

Opuswerk 1
(people freaking out during an Opuswerk set)

 
After discovering this kind of music … was there a special moment/event etc that convinced you to start your own “career”?
It was a slow process, music creeped its way into my life to the point where I had to accept it was all i wanted to do.

Over many years, step by step, I acquired some records; one turntable, which I used to learned how to beatmatch while I had a tape deck playing on my hi-fi. Then a mixer (a trusty DJM300) and lastly finally a second MK2. This allowed me to have endless mixing sessions in my parents basement, playing music for hours on end to myself. I never had the goal of being a “DJ”. It was always sheer passion that drove me, and still is what gets me to dig new music and go to my studio. Career or not, I would do it anyway.

As to a special moment where it cliqued; It was after playing at Mosaique in St Petersburg for the 1st year birthday tour of Nikita Zabelin’s project Resonance. After my set, cooling down in a corner of the club, I realised I wanted to do all I could to pursue being an artist every moment of my life. Music was really giving me so much back humanely and emotionally, compared to what I had studied and was doing, that i decided to jump ships and pursue ways of making a living of what is making me the happiest every day.

 

Opuswerk 2
(Opuswerk promo picture)

 
What inspired you to start with DJing and producing?
Coming home from the haze of night outs, I always had beats in my head that i didn’t want to stop. That’s what made me crave to find a way to continue the experience before the next weekend. DJing was the only way to experience the music I liked in the same way as in a club in the form of a continuous mix. I couldn’t find any drum and bass or dub mix cds in the shops here, had rinsed whatever mixtapes friends had made for me and I needed more. Learning to mix with the very same 10 records, allowed me to discover the magic of how a fleeting track appears out of a mix and become something completely new. Combinations seemed endless.

Producing came about from an obsessive curiosity to understand how things work. It was also a way to get my head out of my architecture studies. During those long years, I had very little time for anything else than studying. There was a copy of Cubase on my flatmate, and I ended up borrowing it a lot. I remember it took me a long while to discover what the Amen break was, after I had spent countless hours trying to make my drums sound like this from one shot samples. From there, learning the tools allowed me to find ways to express myself differently, connecting with my inner self and letting go.

 


(snippets of “Kähler E.P.”, released on Knotweed in 2012)

 
You started Opuswerk as duo with Benoît Hamard but he left later. What is the difference working with him and now working alone?
Opuswerk is a solo project since 2010. We had innocently started it with Benoît as we wanted to make music together, and have fun. The first 2 releases were done together without much thought about it. Pretty quickly my obsession outgrew his, so we drifted away musically. I believe every release needs to add a little something to the bigger picture of music. I’m not sure I achieve that, but it’s what I strive for.

Working alone allows more freedom, and more self doubt, but also a more immediate connection to the music and the moment, I find it easier to let go and have my body instinctively build sounds. On the other side, I still love collaborate a lot, like with François X or Ripperton more recently. Exchanging ideas, opinions and techniques is wonderful too.

 


(full stream of the track “Zuev”, released on ARTS in 2017)

 
Where does the name come from? Any special meaning? It reminds me of an Austrian band from the 80ies – perhaps also because the word “werk” sounds German to me.
The name came from trying to find something that sounded cool and had a german consonance too (Benoît and me were big Studio 1 and early Auftrieb / Kompakt fans).

Werk sounded very much like it, and Opus is the latin word used to enumerate every constructive part of a building which touched me as an architect. We understood it as a “part of a work”, although I think it actually translates to work-work. At the time, there was nothing coming up in search engines using that word, and it sounded like Kraftwerk, so we went with it and it stuck since then.

 

Opuswerk 2
(Hendrik aka Opuswerk in action)

 
As mentioned Opuswerk is now a solo project of you but you also work with François X on stuff released under the moniker HISS:1292. First of all: what stands the name for? How do you work together? Who delivers which part?
HISS:1292 stands for the hiss that the music had due to the gear we used on the records. 1292 stands for both our postal codes, 12 is Geneva, 92 somewhere in Paris. The first records happened as a result of studio sessions at my place when FX was living in Geneva.

Working remotely didn’t really give satisfying results. So we stick to getting together in the same room for making music. Unfortunately this has been tough to make happen with our touring schedules and the fact that we live in different cities. Still, we are in touch daily, and do send music to each other all the time.

Collaborating with him was really a game changer for me, we both have very different musical backgrounds, but we click to similar stuff. He has a huge insight on techno and house history which I am was missing. As for me, I’m a bit more of machine and studio geek than he was. With time, those skillset got blurred, although he knows still way more about house music than I do, and how to make a groove groove. There is some sort of magic happening when we make music. We learned to make a flow happen, with no predefined parts and listening and vibing of each other’s ideas. With time I’ve become the one doing the final mixes of our collaborative tracks and sometimes for his solo work too, like his Murky Dreams EP which we mixed in my studio in Geneva.

 


(snippets of the EP “VéVé” by HISS:1292 on DEMENT3D Records)

 
You already had releases on labels like Krill, Arts and now Bipolar Disorder. How did you get in touch with them? Did you send demos or did they find you? How much are you usually involved in the process for the finished product like artwork, promotion etc? What differences do you see in working with several labels?
Those records came about quite naturally, and with not real plans behind them at the start. I’m a believer of having things happen organically and of helping yourself get to the goals you aim for.

As to getting to the finished product; I like to be involved in the whole process. I also feel it’s part of the job to make sure the music I made gets out in the best way it can. Especially as nowadays, there’s little to no money in it for labels. It is the artist’s duty to do as much as possible to help the persons who have put trust, money and effort into getting their arts out to the world.

 


(full stream of the track “Extensum”, released on “Forms Of Multiplicity EP” via Bipolar Disorder)

 
You live in Switzerland. A small country with a few big cities and huge mountains. How is the techno scene there – are there with clubs, Swiss DJs and producers? Any party or club you love and recommend? Any Swiss DJs and producers you like?
Electronic music in Switzerland is pretty healthy despite the small size of the country.

We have “super clubs”, like audio, d! Club, Nordstern and Hive; as well as music lover havens, which I’m personally more attached to, like Elysia, Zukunft, Folklor, La Coupole, Le Zoo, Klub Kegelbahn. I do feel like we miss smaller clubs with a less than 200 people capacity.

As for DJs and producers, I’ve got to give a shout to Agonis and Garçon who I feel a strong connection to musically. Also worth checking are Pascal Viscardi, Mod21, Ripperton, as well as Eli Verveine, Princess P, Honorée, Mah’Mood and WTF, Androo, Jean Toussaint, Lexx who are all very fine DJs, also record store-wise, Bongo Joe and Plattfon are must visit. I’m sure there are many I’ve just haven’t discovered yet.

 


(Opuswerk remix for Steam’s “The Blacksmith’s Apprentice”, released on Obscuur Records)

 
We just talked about the Swiss techno scene. You are resident at Techno Legends nights taking place at Le Zoo in Geneva. When did you start the residency and how did it happen? What is the special thing about playing there?
Le Zoo is one of the places where I started going out to and it is a staple in the swiss scene for 25 years now. As such, being a part of it means really a lot to me. It was some sort of extra living room as a teenager and party goer, and became one too as an artist later on which feels like a blessing. Playing there is always a pleasure, and it’s very special to think that somewhere on the dancefloor someone like myself many years ago is dancing and discovering this whole world of music.

The residency came about as a realisation after the fact. I had already played many sets for those nights, when the former club booker realized she was always calling me for those nights as she wanted the best local act she could get. I was the one popping to her mind all the time, from then I was officially resident for those nights. To this day it’s one of the best compliment I’ve received as an artist. With the new booker those nights have come to an end.

I’m now pushing an itinerant party concept called OPUS where I act as the curator of the night which is really fun. Some of the previous guests were Sandrien, Iori, Garçon, Agonis, JP Enfant, Ulf Eriksson and Nikita Zabelin.

 

Opuswerk 3
(“Techno Makes Sense W/” … Opuswerk)

 
You travel a lot to international bookings. What extreme or funny situations did you experience?
While touring Russia with Nikita Zabelin, we were in Krasnodar, which is deep in southern Russia. We were heading to the club which is in an industrial complex, but it really looks like in those russian mafia movies, no lights, endless industrial buildings, no roads. Really dodgy. Back then I didn’t know Nikita so well, so I could only trust him, but I was not feeling very comfortable during the ride to the club, as it took a good 15 to 20 min in the industrial area before we got there. Party turned out fine, but I did have a cold sweat on the way. Not that extreme, but a funny memory every time.

I’m going to Colombia soon, so will see what that will bring…

 

Opuswerk 3
(Opuswerk playing with some equipment)

 
I read that you love gear / technical equipment. So what equipment do you own and how do you use it for your productions? Tell us something about your production process.
I recently did a studio feature for Bitwig, which is the DAW I use since the beginning of 2018. Equipment-wise, after being in my living room, I’ve now got a dedicated space for it. Although it took me about a year to get all settled in and too many computer woes, I now feel very comfortable making music there again.

My studio is centered around hardware and software driven by a Sequentix Cirklon and all going to an APB Dynasonics Spectra Ti mixing desk. Everything, synths, FXs, is plugged and accessible at all times. Thanks to several patchbays, I can easily replug whatever I want into whatever else, as well as record everything separately or as a whole.

With time, I’ve learned my process involves hours of noodling until my brain suddenly clicks and tracks get done, and more often than not tracks spawn from a technical idea rather than a musical one. That final process is often very fast and either ends up being a final track or 95% of one.

This jamming / flowing process is at the core of how I work, but I can never know how or when it’s going to happen. Sometimes it’s at the beginning of a session, sometimes at the end, or in the middle of finishing the last 5% of a previous tracks. I’ve lost so many great jams and tracks thinking I would finish them later that I cannot count them no more. So I designed my current setup so that I can record everything all the time and catch the magic of the moment as easily as possible. Interestingly, this way of working has produced much more honest and close to myself music than before.

 

Opuswerk 3
(some of Opuswerk’s equipment)

 
Please name 10 records that were/are very important for you and your musical development and explain why.
That’s a really tough question, so here are some records dear to me, and whose memory resonate with a special moment of my life.

01. Live at Wembley by Queen
This was my wake up cd for many years. Must have done something to my brain.

02. Armagideon time pt1 by Mighty Massa
This was an anthem at the dub parties I was going to. That bassline still gives me goosebumps every single time. It’s also the one track that pulled me over to the dub side, along LPs by Earthquake Studios and Iration Steppas. I got to meet the man behind the music many moons ago in Tokyo and it was really special.

03. Up All Night by John B
This was my first ever 12”. With a copy of Cause 4 Concern Cerberus. I learned beat matching playing those 2 records while a cassette from a recorded radio show was playing.

04. Up Color serie by Studio 1
The first minimal techno project I heard, the whole collection still blows my mind to this day.

05. Inacunabula by Autechre
I remember borrowing this album along with many Warp CDs from the CD library. It blew my mind, and I’ve had it on repeat for so long that the minidisc copy it was on broke.

06. Nek Salanet by Kit Clayton
This album accompanied me for so many long nights drawing architecture plans. It was also the one that pulled me from drum and bass, which was getting extremely dull at that time to the more technoid side of things. It’s dubby feel, and futuristic vibe is fantastic. Was also really interesting to read there was a connection between him and Juan Mendez (Silent Servant).

07. Sandstorms by Carl Craig
François X showed me this tune and it was an instant love affair, getting me deeper in the sounds from Detroit, which I knew very little of at the time.

08. Affenstunde by Popol Vuh
That album opened to me the world of Krautrock and more cosmic music, I’m still on the journey discovering it.

09. Aste by Ø
On the way home from a party, Chaton/19.454.18.5.25.5.18 sent me to explore the Sahko label. Mika Vaino’s Ø project blew my mind. Perfect minimalism and grooves with a fantastic taste of space. RIP.

10. Second Woman by Second Woman
That recent album really inspires me in how it sounds futuristic both in its sound textures and its rhythms. I hope more music like this will come out.

I’ve got to also mention the following who are having a big impact on me recently, Cerrone, Patrick Cowley, Vakula, Oliver Ho, Nina Kraviz, James Blake, Jonny Nash, Forest Drive West, Ma Spaventi, Cosmin TRG.

 


(“Radio Ga Ga (Live At Wembley)” by Queen)

 
Coming to the end of the small interview we would like to know what‘s coming next. Any releases already scheduled? Some special events?
Since 2017, I’ve started curating events called #OPUS, where I invite artists I like, the last one was with Sandrien at the Folklor, and following this it will be with Blawan at le Zoo in May.

Release-wise, there’s a solo EP coming on the new Dement3dXXX labelwhich I’m really happy with, a track on the upcoming VA of Norite and more than I’m finalizing. I’ll be touring Columbia for the first time in March and I can’t wait to be there!

 

Recommendations:
Opuswerk’ s “Forms Of Multiplicity EP” on Bipolar Disorder
BYLLY’s “Mouth Full Of Sand EP” w/ Opuswerk remix on Bipolar Disorder

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Varg – Kvarteret Helvetet
02. Convextion – Venus In Spurs
03. Vedomir – Dreams (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
04. T++ – Audio1995#8
05. Wrong Assessment – Rebirth Cosmin TRG remix
06. DJ Sodeyama – TEST PTTRN 014
07. Anastasia Kristensen – Donni
08. Marcellus Pittman – Dirty
09. Shadowax – A & B (Buttechno Remix)
10. Nina Kraviz vs Snazzy – U Ludei Est Pravo!
11. Carl Craig – Angel (Japanese Mix)
12. Forest Drive West – Persistence of Memory, Pt. 2
13. Upsammy – Another Place
14. Ploy – Unruly
15. Simo Cell – Ego Death
16. Echopplex – Your Place (A Made Up Sound Remix)
17. Barker – Cascade Effect
18. Solar Quest – Flying Spirals

 

Websites:
Opuswerk

 

[Music & Interview]: Abyssal Chaos

 

Music & Interview
Abyssal Chaos

 

Introduction:
Abyssal Chaos … Greek based in Berlin and man behind the Advanded Group

 

Interview:

Hi Alex, welcome to your personal edition of „Music & Interview“. Let‘s don’t waste time and start right now. Please tell us something about your childhood & youth. Where were you born and how did you grow up? Into what kind of music did you fall in love when you started listening to music (being a teenager)? When and how did you discover techno? What situation/event had such a strong impact on you that you started to dj and produce?
Hello dear Jurgen. Thanks for the invitation – I love what you do through NovaFuture and that means a lot to me. I was born in beautiful Crete, the big island in Southern Greece, however I moved to Athens when I was still very young. We had a very tough life financial-wise but yet fulfilled with love when I was a kid. When I was 15 I lost my beloved dad in a terrible accident (whose details I don’t want to share publicly) and that in a way led me being homeless. I lived in the streets for quite some time which was nightmarish but yet the biggest school in life. It showed me the very depths of darkness so I can appreciate much more the light now. People who haven’t experienced darkness take some very valuable things for granted and therefore it is way harder for them to become happy. I feel happy everyday for the fact that I have a roof over my head, food to eat and so lovely friends/family. I feel so happy that -maybe as dark techno DJ in Berlin I shouldn’t say this as I’m supposed to be always angry and sad (joke)- I regularly catch myself even singing on the street. That period toughened me up and brought me so much darkness that I now can take this ‘darkness’ (through raw dark techno) and produce light and smiles on the dancefloor.

After I somehow managed to return to “normal” life after living on the streets, and being slightly more mature from other kids at school, I learnt to play drums and I joined a street-punk band called “Τα Αρχιδια” which in Greek means “The Testicles”. That was my first touch with music. I liked punk and classic rock music. A while after my cousin (the son-in-law of my mother’s sister) showed me electronic music through psychedelic/trance. He was the leading member of a psychedelic band called “Space Odyssey” (they had appearances at Transistance and all those big trance compilations). I explored psychedelic/trance for a while but it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I wanted something let’s say in between punk/rock and psychedelic/trance. And there the greatest love of my life (alongside Liverpool FC) came: TECHNO!

I was almost 18 when I started going to raves and techno parties. My first ever club night was 14 years ago when I was 17 to 18 at Athens’ most underground club at that time “Luv” which had invited DJ Hell. He blew my head off and that was the start of everything. I started digging techno record labels and artists, started going to more and more techno events and meeting people from clubbers to promoters, and very soon started working first as a PR to techno events. I remember I was getting 1,50 euro for every person I was bringing in my “pay-guestlist” and I was making some bucks. I was doing well and then I started climbing up the Athenian techno scene and by 20 years old I was already a promoter together with some partners. Meanwhile I was focused also in school and I got into a good university where I had started studying business management and marketing. And that’s how I started managing artists and record labels. We were bringing big international names to Athens and some became clients for artist/record-label digital services. The very first one I worked for was UMEK and his label 1605. Then more and more followed with some such as my brother Marco Bailey and his label MB Elektronics (and now also MATERIA) being still with me until today, without stop. At age of 23 I went to UK to take my master and one year later, I moved to Berlin where my music management agency (Advanced) started expanding and my dream kept unveiling itself more and more everyday.

So yes, I started and I was for a long while just label/artist manager, booking agent and event promoter. It was a bit more than 5 years ago when I started exploring DJing/producing and I created the Abyssal Chaos alias. I received some judgement at the start which I understand and accept. Most people were like: “look – the booking agent and promoter who became a dj”. Especially in Berlin, with so many artists existing around who unfortunately see you as “rival”, it can become really toxic. That however made me work harder and harder, and I believe by now, I have made most of them to shut their mouth when it comes to the “Abyssal Chaos” matter. Having said that, I’m having my 30-tracker album out in March and I’m beyond excited to show it that to you!

 

Abyssal Chaos 1
(Abyssal Chaos 2017)

 
Let’s talk about producing. What are your general inspirations for starting the production of a new track? How do you start with a new piece of music? How looks the whole production process?
As stated above, I’m still quite “new” with producing. Just 5 years which for me is still not much. It could be for someone else but for me, that I have to do office work 10-12 hours per day, I haven’t invested that much time as 5 years might imply. Due to my office work I listen to insane amounts of music and every little thing is an inspiration. Sometimes a demo from an unknown artist can be an inspiration. Or a track that I will listen at a club. I get some ideas in my head and then try to make something in the studio. Sometimes something else pops up in that process. So, let’s say that I just “go with the flow” when I work on something.
 


(full length streaming of the EP “Illusions”, Abyssal Chaos’s debut EP on Advanced (Black))

 
One track seems to have a very special meaning for you with a strong message: „FCK NZS“. Could you please tell us something about your reason to compose this one? What is the story behind it? Usually techno is not very political but in the past few months there were several demonstrations in Berlin eg against the right-wing party AfD. Do you think more producers & DJs should stand up and articulate their opinions?
Techno is an expression – of acting/doing/being. I want my music to mean something about me in many ways. And the whole part of me is all the way against fascism, racism, sexism…

Indeed more DJs (especially in rave scene) should stand up for especially a matter like this but honestly I do believe not many want to lose potential fans. Getting out any message like this limits down the target groups of an artist. I knew that releasing this track, right immediately all the techno-lovers who happen to be racists or sexists (oh, the irony…) immediately stopped being my potential fans. In the madness of social media and in an ocean of artists, where artists go hysterically crazy for the numbers of fans, almost everyone wants to get the maximum possible and therefore don’t want to limit down anyone. They just make techno hoping as more as possible people will like it and like their facebook page – no matter who.

Personally, I want to really and intentionally filter my fanbase. I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, in a way techno should be for everyone and some people tell me that I can’t say “far-right party voters are not allowed to listen to me” because it might make me appear one of them BUT I show my middle finger and here is why: The term of democracy is created for and based on high values such as freedom, human rights, acceptance, self-expression and equality – those values are absolutely broken by what the nazis/fascists/racists/sexists represent – it’s the ultimate contradiction. They can’t play a game if they don’t accept/follow its rules, right? That way I exclude far-right fans from my music and that track is there to shout it out loud for me. Techno supports the actual spirit of democracy -freedom, acceptance, equality and unity- way more than any political party. Fascism has no place in the world and I want to shout that out through everything I have – my techno included. In my opinion techno is very political and whoever can’t see this, is ignorant. My personal humble (but maybe wrong) opinion.

 


(Video for Abyssal Chaos’s “FCK NZS”)

 
… back to music itself. You just announced the release of an album for March. What is the idea of it? Is it an album with a specific topic? Is it a bundle of single tracks or did you produce them with the knowledge that they will be part of the album? Is there a difference between producing tracks for an EP and tracks made for an album? Which? A different process? Tell us something about your album please.
Yes my album “Dark Fairytales” will be out 4th of March and it will have 30 tracks. 16 new and 14 of my most-favorite old ones where I will include in the package for a special offer through bandcamp (all 30 tracks for 15 euro). I didn’t try to actual create a “story” in this album even though eventually a story got created. I started creating tracks for the album as I decided to do it over a year ago and those tracks will vary (some more raw, some more hypnotic, some ambient) but no, I can’t say that those tracks have any specific relationship or continuity between each other. As stated above, all track-titles are specific and dedicated to something/someone: to my best friends and to the dog I would take a bullet for, things I love (wolves or ayahuasca), to things I hate (nazis, clowns, system)….
 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(cover artwork of Abyssal Chaos’s album “Dark Fairytales”)

 
You run the Advanced label with the sublabels “Advanced Black” & “Advanced White“, a booking agency and many other music-related services. What is your job at these different companies? How do you select the artists you release on your label and these ones you sign for your booking agency? How important are services like you offer for a young artist in times when you can easily start your own business? Is it necessary to release on a label or sign to an agency to get booked?
My company Advanced Music Management offers all kind of office services a label and artist needs. I do everything needed to help the product (aka label or/and artist) be created such as mastering, distribution, press, PR, promotion, social-media management and then trying to sell them (through booking agency). Some clients I just create (do the management/promotion part only) and I have them at other bigger shops (aka booking agencies) so they can be sold more effectively – some I sell also myself being the booking agent.

Unfortunately (or not – that’s relevant to someone’s success) in our era image does the work and not the music only by itself as it used to be back in the days. Social media image and numbers are highly important for an artist to get bookings and in many cases in the less underground (mainstream) and therefore kind of less educated techno scene it is the only important. Promotion and social media are a necessary evil for someone’s success in our days. I can’t say if I agree or not with this (as underground techno artist possibly not), but yeah – I will be honest, my company makes money out of it.

 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(Advanced logo)

 
In 2018 you started organizing a fetish & sex positive party called “Sweat“ at Polygon in Berlin. Additionally one of your EPs is called BDSM. What is your special interest in this topic? How did the idea of running a fetish party come up and what was your idea of organizing such kind of party? How did you start the organization of it? What things are different in comparison to normal techno parties?
To me, techno and open-spirited sex, are really tied. Techno is hedonism and hedonism is techno. Techno –at least the style I like and play- is very very sexual to me. I want people to let loose and explore all the dimensions of hedonism. I want them to explore the freedom that techno represents with the maximum of their bodies too. I want them to dive in a sphere of hedonism – both acoustic and physical. My first couple SWEAT events in 2018 took place at Polygon but now in 2019 they are moving to another, bigger and more fitting place. I have big plans for it with stellar line-ups and erotic performances, erotic cinema, erotic shops and more surprises (I have the idea of everyone before gets in the club to be given an elegant erotic masquerade mask at the door as long as he pay so the event be more anonymous for those who want). I’ll announce news about it very soon!
 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(facebook banner for “Sweat” party series)

 
Techno sets contains often the tracks of the last 3-6 months. Do you have some favourite tracks/records that inspire you so you play them again and again? Please name 10 of them and tell us why they are important for you.
I do actually a hybrid set so I play tracks that I like as “base” and with ableton I add on top loops or effects or vocals from other tracks/samples, my own kicks or hihats with roland tr8 drummachine (connected with a distortion pedal so I can make usually the kicks even more aggressive) and a roland tb3 to add some (mostly acid) effects. But yeah – you are right indeed, the tracks I use are 80% of the last 3-6 months and plenty of promos that I am lucky to get because of my business. I like to play some old EBM or techno classics (such as from Thomas P. Heckmann or The Horrorist or Front 242 or Front Line Assembly or Nitzer Ebb) and usually towards the end of my sets some new-wave, synth-wave or dark-wave gems that I love.
 


(Video for Nitzer Ebb’s “Murderous”, released in 1987 on Mute)

 
Let’s get more personal. Before being a musician, label manager and booking agent, what did you want to do for your daily living? Did you study a certain profession? You also identify yourself as a wolf. How and when that started?
When I was young I wanted to be a football player. I was in a young team of a big club of Athens. That was going on until I go homeless at age of 15. When I “returned to normal life” I started partying and to enjoy booze/junk-food so I dropped the football-player dream. I wanted for a while to study football science so I can become a coach but that was during my first days exploring techno and eventually techno won 😉

About wolves, I just love them with all my heart. It’s something way beyond than just my spirit animal. Call me crazy, but I really do believe that I have been a wolf in a previous life. I had this attraction since very young kid. If I would see a wolf on TV I would run to hug/touch the screen with a big smile on my face. It’s a kind of recognition. I can’t really explain it. Words can’t describe how much I value and connect myself to the personality/spirit of this animal.

It’s in the wolf’s nature to be kind, sweet, honest, gentle, loyal and loving but when it comes to matters of protecting himself or especially his loved ones, he can be the most relentless wild beast you’ve ever seen. I love that. He can actually be the most cuddly and sensitive creature but also the most wild one – within seconds – depending how anyone treats him. Same with me. Not everyone gets the same version of me. Some will tell you that I’m the sweetest and generously kindest person they have ever met. Some others will tell you that I’m an aggressive asshole. Believe them both. I’ve been giving my everything to the ones that I love but I’ve also fought and took down without mercy or hesitation some very powerful people who tried to harm me or the ones I care for. A wolf is a mirror of someone’s energy/behaviour towards him. Be nice to him and he’ll be 10 times more nice to you – the most loyal, supportive and protective friend. Try to unfairly harm him, and he’ll instantly jump to rip your skin apart. Freedom is my and every wolf’s greatest virtue. I highly value freedom of others so it’s always someone’s choice what will get from me – cuddles or bites. A wolf has two very contrasting sides – white and black – good and bad. It’s wrong to choose just one side as life isn’t only good or only bad. The white wolf and the black wolf inside me are polar opposites and therefore the perfect pair. I have to feed them both so I can survive life.

 


(full stream of Abyssal Chaos’ “White Wolf” from the EP of “The Wolf”, out on Advanced (Black))

 
Originally from Greece you now live in Berlin which is still famous for being cheaper than other cities, for a long and heavy night life, for being a creative city. You don‘t speak fluent German as I know. So please tell us something about your daily life as a foreigner who became a citizen of Berlin. Is it easy to handle all the small things like shopping (I know many of the shop assistants at German supermarkets don‘t speak English fluently)? Always trouble with German „Bürokratie“?
I am coming from a very conservative place in Greece. My hometown is just an island.

Imagine that in my hometown Crete, if you sleep with a girl, he has to marry her otherwise her brother/father will hunt him with a shotgun. I’m not joking. That wasn’t the place for the free-spirited, open-minded and polyamorous me. In Berlin I found my true home. Berlin is not Germany. It’s an utopian magic bubble where everyone from every nation/culture/background/race beautifully co-exist and enjoy the ultimate freedom of acting, doing, being. That’s the magic of Berlin. It is full of colors and contrasts. It’s not a german city and that’s it’s beauty. Before any angry Germans get triggered and start yelling at me things I don’t understand, I mean this for every city/country. Athens misses magic because it’s just mostly a greek city, Rome misses magic because it’s mostly an Italian city, Sydney misses magic because it’s mostly an Australian city and blah blah blah (insert every city here but Berlin). Berlin has no specific identity – it’s nothing and therefore it’s everything. That’s what I love here – that at actual “Berlin-y” parts of city everyone feels accepted and not judged. Personally I don’t feel comfortable at any other metropolitan city in the world. I’m 7 years here and exploring something new almost everyday, still falling in love with this city. Of course I’m aware that it’s located in Germany with german bureaucracy (not a fan…) but I manage do right the things that must be done. Not a biggie. I don’t know if I want to “die” here. My dream is to get a beach house somewhere in the Caribbean side of South/Central America (I’m not far than getting a land in Ecuador which is incredibly cheap) but comparing to city-life which is something I want in the foreseeable future, I can’t change Berlin. Nothing else is not even close. I love being here.

 

Abyssal Chaos 3
(Abyssal Chaos on tour)

 
And already coming to an end of our small feature I would like to know more about your future. Except the album: are there any releases planned? Any special gigs or parties? A new edition of „Sweat“?
The highlights so far are:
My album which is coming in early March, an “album remixes” release where 10 great friends/artists will pick a track out of the album and remix it (I did a similar release recently with my productions so far – it’s out since last month called Abyssal Chaos – The Remixes EP), some planned album-release label nights in Berlin/Stuttgart/Rome/Amsterdam/London/Athens (and more to be confirmed), my south/central America tour in October through our new project Klubnacht which aims to promote Berlin club culture/sound at other places in the world with already confirmed gigs in Brazil-Argentina-Colombia, my SWEAT events and some other extra nights in Berlin. I have in general several gigs lined up at places that I was looking forward to play such as ://aboutblank, Tresor and Sisyphos.

Follow my facebook page to be updated with news 🙂

 

Recommendations:
Abyssal Chaos’ album “Dark Fairytales” on Advanced (Black)
Abyssal Chaos’ “Unicorns On Acid” on Advanced (Black)
Abyssal Chaos’ “BDSM EP” on Advanced (Black)
Space DJz’ “Hidden Systems LP” on Advanced (Black)
Kevin De Vries’ “We Are All Prisoners EP” on Advanced (Black)

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Abyssal Chaos – Through Darkness Comes Light
02. Rezystor – Shut You Down
03. SNTS – Violence and Force / Loyalty and Devotion
04. Abyssal Chaos – Unicorns on Acid
05. Abyssal Chaos – Litany Of Curses
06. Corroid – Wenn Eine Maschine
07. Mayeul – Allnite
08. Ethan Fawkes – Forget The Sunrise
09. Delectro – Mechanic
10. Adult. – Irregular Pleasure
11. Crystal Geometry – Social Injustice
12. Kotai – BA3 Breathing (Len Faki Hardspace Mix)
13. Halo Effect – Melt My Brain (Abyssal Chaos Remix)
14. The Horrorist – The Hell You Love

 

Booking:
MainFrame Artists

 

Websites:
Abyssal Chaos

 

[Music & Interview]: Sept

 

Music & Interview
Sept

 

Introduction:
Sept, Polish DJ & producer

 

Interview:

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 1
(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 2
(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 3
(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. 
 


(Lostpool S02E01)

 
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.

01. Stress by Justice watch video
02. Cornelius by The Bloody Beetroots watch video
03. Signatune by DJ Mehdi watch video

 

Sept 4
(Sept Press Pic 2018)

 
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.

 

Recommendations:
compilation “Sammelwerk I” w/ Sept track on Konflkt
sampler “Demise” w/ Sept track on Abyss Recordings
all stuff on Voxnox incl. Sept releases

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

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)

 

Booking:
Elite Music Management for Sept

 

Websites:
Sept

 

[Music & Interview]: Arthur Robert

 

Music & Interview
Arthur Robert

 

Introduction:
Arthur Robert, a young talent based in Amsterdam

 

Interview:

hi Arthur. nice to have you for this small interview with also includes an exclusive mix. I am not sure how I discovered your music the first time but I know I was impressed by your output presented on your Soundcloud profile. Later we worked together on the promotion of your first EP “Flut”, out on your own imprint Reduktion. After that I was surprised and proud/happy to see one of your tracks on Marcel Fengler’s compilation “IMF010”. So let’s start with the very beginning. Your youth. Where was you born? Where and how did you grow up? What kind of music did you enjoy first eg being a teenager?
Hi, I was born in Vienna, Austria to Romanian parents. My father fled the communist Regime installed there and initially wanted to go to either US, Australia or Canada but ended up staying in Austria.

I grew up going to a French international school with a very diverse background and being surrounded by many different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. I think I must have been listening to mostly everything in my life. I had phases of rap/hip hop, when I was young I even like some pop music, crappy electro house and tech house even for a short amount of time and drum and bass/jungle, dubstep so mostly everything. While still in school I already remember sitting hours in front of my very own first computer I got when I was 15 and downloading rap and drum and bass to show my friends at parties. It was mostly the beats and rhythms that really stuck with me. Soon later I discovered DJ’ing and I was immediately obsessed with the idea of being able to mix two pieces of music together and make one. The fact that it was “technological” also made it even more interesting and exciting since I was always into futuristic, technology based stuff.Whether it was video games, movies about the future, some weird tech or anything innovative. I lived in Vienna until I was 19 and left to study interior architecture in Montreal and had a small hiatus musically speaking.

When I moved to Amsterdam after 3 years in 2011 I slowly but surely got back into DJ’ing and eventually also tried out producing a little but with very little success since I found it quite challenging at first.

I did have some piano lessons when I was younger but did not like it as I would have preferred to play the drums.

 

Arthur Robert 1
(Arthur Robert Promo Pic 1)

 
How looks your daily life? What is your profession (or what do you study)? Any spare time activities or hobbies beside music? We usually communicate in German. What’s the reason for your very fluent German?
For about 4 and half years now my daily life revolves in some way or another around music, especially music production. After I have met my now girlfriend in 2013, she and my best friend encouraged me to start taking up production seriously as they saw something in me I did not see myself. I was mostly still messing around Ableton and not really doing anything but they kept insisting I should do this properly. That was around end 2013 and in April 2014 my girlfriend and I moved to to a really nice apartment where we built a studio.. That year I got my first real setup with a modular, a drum computer and some speakers. The studio was setup in the garden shed which has now been fully rebuilt into a really nice music studio. Lots has changed in the meantime.

I usually wake up, do my house hold chores and other personal hygiene matter then usually go into the studio and work on my musical patterns, modular experiments and just general study into the foray of sound creating through technological means. Next to producing music Im also giving private lessons in music production since I love explaining what I do to other people (and myself especially!) which is a nice addition to my weekly routines. I learned most of what I know through the internet, trying out my modules, reading manuals and trial and error. I secretly always wished someone with all the knowledge would come and explain it to me but it became clear that I had to become that person in a way. Like being my own mentor so to speak. My other activities next to music are video games, watching sci-fi movies/shows with my girlfriend and cooking. But it’s mostly just music. I have realized that it was the red thread in my life, always passing through one way or another. I speak 5 languages fluently and therefore music is just another language.

 


(stream of the 3 track EP “Frontal” on Soundcloud)

 
I mentioned your tracks on SC and the first vinyl on your own label Reduktion. When did you decide to set up a label? How did you do it? What are your experiences?
My best friend and the graphic designer for my label Reduktion came up with the name for the label at a rave party in Rotterdam whilst Ben Klock was playing. We were all having fun and my friend was so impressed with the minimal nature of the sound yet the maximum effect it had on us. The name reflects my mindset about this very well and he captured that in this moment. After we did the first release it was nice to get some attention but the vinyl unfortunately does not sell extremely well since I have barely done any promotion myself except through your channel which was already very helpful. I know that I will sell all copies eventually one day. Im not in a hurry. There will be definitely a second release and probably more but I first have to be a little better know in order to release it in a manner in which it sells a bit better with little promotion. Im not necessarily interested in doing promo work and I rather wait for the right time and then do it. But it will happen for sure. The first release was a bit of a try out. It was a bit expensive and I made some mistakes but for the next one I will do things a lot better. I think 2020 seems realistic in terms of another release on Reduktion.
 

Arthur Robert 2
(Reduktion Logo)

 
Your track “Schwäche” was featured on IMF010, a large compilation on Marcel Fengler’s label IMF. How did that happen? Was the track already finished or did you produce it on request? Did you meet Marcel in persona (if you did tell us something about it)?
I contacted Marcel (as all other DJ’s/Label owners) through Facebook hoping to get some of my stuff heard. I admittedly did not send music to many artists since Im only interested in sending it to people I feel I could have a connection with. That does not mean I don’t want my music played by anyone or everyone. It’s more of a personal thing. He responded nicely and loved this track instantly. It took 3 years to realize it but Marcel kept his promise. It was a very nice moment when it finally happened and felt almost surreal. Marcel invited me to play in Vienna at a renowned night club called “Grelle Forelle” to celebrate his IMF 10 compilation tour and he invited artists to join him along the way. I played my first really professional gig in front a very supportive crowd right before Marcel that night which was exhilarating. The crowd loved it and the promoters and Marcel said it was very professional and well done. It was a defining moment after almost 4 years of non stop producing in my studio. A sort of culminating moment.
 


(snippet of the track “Schwäche”, released on Index Marcel Fengler)

 
Let’s talk about your way to produce. What is your inspiration? How do you start with a new track? How do you carry on producing a track til it is finalized?
I produce using a mix of hardware and software. The main focus are my Elektron machines for drums/percussion, my prophet 6 polyphonic synthesizer, modular synth which has been ever changing since I first got it and various other mono synths I have been using lately. Ableton live 10 is used for processing my sound with professional plugins and recording my sessions. All is done live and recorded along the way via the master output. Mixing is done on the machines themselves and inside Ableton. I prepare patterns and patches on the modular and other machines and when something is interesting I press record and then just see what happens. It is a rather intuitive process that depends on the moment. I can make 5 good recordings in one 6 hour session and I can end up with nothing good for one week. Its all a matter of searching for the right combination of elements which at times can be very elusive especially if you do not want to end up repeating yourself too much. Tracks can start from anything like a synth sound, a chord, a modular patch etc. I love designing drums and percussion sounds with synthesis on my computer, then recording those sounds and putting them into samplers for further mangling/processing. Best way is to start with something simple. It yields the best and most rewarding results in my opinion.
 

Arthur Robert 3
(Arthur Robert Logo)

 
What are your influences? Who serves as example for you (producer, DJ, artist in general)?
My influences are definitely science fiction, video games, movies and movie soundtracks, the technology which I use daily to create my music, be it the laptop and plugins/ableton etc or the hardware especially my modular synth. The sheer possibilities of sonic exploration is incredible and promises to keep you interested and preoccupied for a lifetime. As for artistic influences I can definitely name old school hip hop such as nas, gangstarr, krs one, wutang clan, mos def, dead prez, trip hop with tricky, massive attack, Kruder & Dorfmeister, Portishead and so forth. Jungle music and drum and bass was a turning point for me and introduced me to going out and experiencing the power of sound systems. In Techno, the Sandwell district collective, Shed and the older Ostgut ton sound has had a huge impact on what I produce to this day. It has inspired a feeling of nostalgia within me for events/moments which I have personally never experienced but been able to feel through the music. Magical.
 


(full stream of “Hochwasser” from “Die Flut”, out on Reduktion)

 
Which equipment do you have at home and use for the production? What’s your favourite gear?
My equipment consists of a modular synth that now acts as a drum/percussion and mono synth with multiple oscillators and filters namely wavetable, and FM (Buchla)

I use two Elektron mainstays: Octatrack and Analog Rytm plus the Analog Heat processor for some overdrive /saturation. I own two semi modular mono synths: MS20 Desktop module and Oberheim SEM pro.

Furthermore there is a Sequential prophet 6 polyphonic synth that runs through a strymon Big Sky Reverb pedal, a really good 808 clone/replica called the 8raw8, a Syncussion clone called the SY-1M and last but not least my recently acquired powerful MacBook Pro 2018. I don’t have any favorite gear since all tools have their advantages and disadvantages, but if there was one thing for me to chose it would be either the computer or the octatrack. They are by far the most complete systems to make complete music on them.

 

Arthur Robert 4
(Arthur Robert Promo Pic 2)

 
You live in the Netherlands which has a rich scene e.g. ADE. Could you please give us a little insight of the scene? What do you like/hate about it? What are your favourite clubs? Any other young talents we should have an eye on?
The scene is very strong here in the Netherlands. Unfortunately Im less of a socializer and therefore little involved in the scene here at the moment. I spend most of my time producing and practicing my live set. The time will come when I will be more involved I’m sure about it but for now my priorities lie otherwise. My all time favorite club in the Netherlands used to be Trouw which is gone now. I don’t really go out anymore because I spend most of my time in my studio or with my girlfriend, When I get an invitation from a nice Dj such as DVS1 which I have a good relationship with then I go out and listen but otherwise I prefer to hone my skills. Some younger talents I have faith in are Utrecht based friends Shoal and Vela Uniform as well as my lazy full of excuses good friend Joris aka Deauwd. Last but not least there is another friend I make music with called Ard, going by the name of Ghetto House drum machine or Vamos Tados. Very very talented and attentive to detail.
 


(video of “Self”)

 
On the 15th of September you performed together with Vela Uniform as AR&VU. How did you prepare the set? What equipment did you use? Which parts did you do, which Vela Uniform?
My set in Utrecht at WAS together with Vela Uniform was a very healthy and nice experience. We played right before Karenn (which are a veteran live act in the scene) which was quite nerve wrecking as we had an extensive array of machines with us and there is always the possibility of something going wrong and of course the dreading feeling of performing well and to not disappoint, Especially if you get such a good time slot. We had very good feedback and even Karenn told us afterwards that they really liked it. We used mostly my equipment and the modular synth of Vela uniform which provided a solid base of sounds throughout the whole set. There will be a recording of it posted by WAS on December 20th 2018. Most of the work was done by me in terms of mixing, drums and processing through my usual live set with Vela Uniform’s added Modular synth. We practiced extensively during the weeks before just jamming and trying to find a way to communicate with each other. A very interesting and challenging project/exercise.
 

Arthur Robert 5
(Soundcheck for the live set at WAS)

 
So this is already the last question. Please tell us what you have planned for the near future. Second release on Reduktion? Signing to another label? Any interesting gigs?
For the near future I have been in talks with Zak Khutoretsky aka DVS1 for a possible release on his label Mistress. He is a main figure in supporting my music and I have been sending him stuff regularly for about 4 years. He was in fact the first person I have ever given music to back when I still needed much more practice and time. He replied humbly and told me that I needed to get back to work but that I should continue sending him music. I had been sending tons of music and there was sometimes he would download stuff. In Aprill 2018 he played a string of gigs in Berghain, Printworks, Amsterdam DGTL where he was playing tracks of mine in every set to some very good reactions apparently with one track standing out in particular he said. He ended playing it as a closing track in Berghain and got lots of messages requesting to ID my track. That was another turning point in which I got a sort of confirmation that it was going the right direction. We then met at Shelter in Amsterdam shortly after and discussed future plans for a release. I don’t know exactly when it will be released or if its 100% still sure but my guess is if it will happen then it will be sometime in 2019.

As for other projects I am in the process of perfecting my live set and will be recording lots of new music in 2019 with the newer setup I have recently finished building. The last 3 months were a bit of a restart and the new year will consist in putting in a lot of work to get some new material out. I am also involved in scoring the sound for a arthouse science fiction movie made by friends in Berlin which is very exciting since I always dreamt of delving into movie sound and using sound design as a means to interpret images. I find the world of techno, sound design and movie scoring, especially science fiction to be quite intertwined and therefore feel a very strong connection throughout this process. I will gradually show some bits of work here and there and generally keep uploading my tracks and experiments to Soundcloud. Always more to come.

 

Recommendations:
Arthur Robert’s EP “Flut” on Reduktion
compilation “IMF10” w/ Arthur Robert track on Index Marcel Fengler

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
01. Arthur Robert – Offering
02. Arthur Robert – Ankunft
03. Arthur Robert – Yearning
04. Arthur Robert – Cloak
05. Arthur Robert – Temperament
06. Arthur Robert – Frontal
07. Arthur Robert – Confidential
08. Arthur Robert – Prelude to war
09. Arthur Robert – Cataract
10. Arthur Robert – Forthcoming
11. Arthur Robert – Sovereign
12. Arthur Robert – Lost
13. Arthur Robert – The Aftermath

 

Websites:
Arthur Robert
Arthur Robert’s own label Reduktion

 

[Music & Interview]: Newa

 

Music & Interview
Newa

 

Introduction:
Newa, female shooting star from Tbilisi, Georgia

 

Interview:

Hi Ana, nice to have you for our “Music & Interview” series. You are one of the main characters of the young Georgian techno scene which is also important for the political development of the country. But let’s start with the very beginning. Your childhood and youth. Could you please tell us a little bit about where and how you grew up? And what was your first favourite music? What kind of music did you listen when you were a teenager?
Thanks for having me for this interview. I grew up in Tbilisi, in the capital of Georgia. During my childhood Georgia as a country was having a lot of difficulties. As we had a civil war and war with Russia. So the situation was not good, we had shortage of electricity I remember learning on candle lights and doing “concerts” for my family as we were gathering in one room to economy the candles I was in the center of attention. As a child it was fun for me. But when I look at it now it affected me a lot and not in a good way. My favorite music when I was kid was jazz, because my grandmother was a piano teacher, she had her jazz band and I was singing in the band. Occasionally playing drums and piano. My father and grandfather had a huge collection of vinyls from frank Sinatra, Earth Wind and Fire, Steve wonder, Keith Jarrett, and lot more. Also rock bands like pink Floyd, led zeppelin and many many more. So I grew up listening to this music and I remember when I first heard Keith Jarrett playing “the wind” I felt so much love and disappointment in it, I cried a lot.
 

Newa 1
(Newa, live pic)

 
You are a classical trained musician and have a background as Jazz musician. What exactly did you train? How did you become a Jazz musician? Did you play in a regular band?
As I told you in the beginning I was playing in my grandmothers’ jazz band. She is a piano teacher and teaches classical jazz and classical music. She had a small jazz band and I was singing there, was playing piano and drums occasionally. We were having concerts around Georgia and it was fun for me. I earned my first salary from singing in the band and I was 8 years old.
 

Newa 2
(Newa Pic)

 
After performing Jazz you decided to spin and produce techno music. When and how did you come up with the idea to switch the genre? Was there a special moment that you impressed? Who are your musical influences/role models/heroes?
I started producing experimental music at first, I wanted to learn more, find out more, it’s a part of me that is always looking for the answers so I found techno and acid techno particularly. It felt really pumpy and playfull and interesting to know so I started making techno. I remember the first techno track I’ve heard and it was acid. It was from Datacide ‎– Datacide II album from a collaborative project by Tetsu Inoue met Uwe Schmidt. It’s a mix of ambient and techno music and it impressed me a lot and I started digging deeper.
 


(stream of “Turtle” from “SUB.REC.5” on Subspiele Records)

 
As mentioned you are vital part of the Georgian scene. So you play regularly at clubs like Khidi & Bassiani. Could you please describe these 2 clubs and say why you lile them? Please also tell us something about the scene itself in general (parties, producers, audience etc)?
Both of the clubs are very special for the Georgian scene, they have different souls, although they are both techno/house clubs mainly. Both have their own unique soul and for everyone they are different experience, some find their home on Khidi others on Bassiani. I just recommend to visit this clubs, and have your own opinion about them. The scene is getting bigger and bigger day by day I just wish the quality to be on a higher level amongst producers and for me artist who has followers and people who like their music has a great responsibility towards them, we have a power to change so we have to use it wise. Because you can kill with music, and why not do the contrary?!
 

Georgia
(Flag of Georgia)

 
Both clubs got some attention from the “European” club scene because of amazing line-ups etc. So many people here were shocked by the (temporary) shutdown of Bassiani and another club by the Georgian police earlier this year. This led to protests in front of the parliament building. Also Khidi supported the young demonstrators who also expressed the political views there. Could you please tell us something about the background of the closing, the political situation in Georgia and your personal thoughts about it?
I was there for two days, first day was happier then the second. We were nearly attacked by fascists and nationalist groups who came up there. Dance is a political act in Georgia. There are a lot of people who were tired of this war and just went to leave in Europe or somewhere else and I understand them it’s tough. But we are here to defend it and we will dance together and fight together till the end. Political situation is in hand of pro-Russian government and Russia for us is a cage, is a monster who is tearing us apart everyday taking our citizens from their houses, during many centuries this country was causing controversy amongst Georgians. We are for freedom we won’t take this any longer and we will win this war.
 

(BBC video)

 
Enough politics – let’s get back to your music vision. You released e.g. EPs on La Chinerie & Subspiele Records and tracks on Semantica, Ben Klock’s label Klockworks & Bassiani’s label. How do you start with a track production? What are your inspirations? Which equipment do you use? How is the production process?
Track production process starts very early in my head. I get inspired by people, nature, music, books, I get those emotions in me and process them for a while, before that I’m just a librarian, who is gathering sounds and training the skills, and when the right time comes I just sit next to my equipment and everything just comes out of me like I’m giving birth to something that has a soul and you can’t touch it but it’s in there. I’ve been making music in my computer but now I can afford to buy machines, it’s more fun with them.
 


(stream of Newa’s remix of Dold’s “Version”, out on Interstate Records)

 
But you don’t just release stuff on several labels, you are also involved in running the label Icon Trax. In total three samplers were already released – including two tracks by yourself. What’s your idea / philosophy behind it? What’s your task there? Any special image you want to create?
Icontrax represents light in the darkness. As the world leaves in the darkness unfortunately we want to discover the light in it. We want to focus on light. We want to avoid releasing “regular” mainstream music. We focus on Georgian artists and their soul through music. We always listen together with Berika he’s labels boss. And when we feel it we understand instantly. We want icontrax to be a truly Georgian label, represent Georgian soul and our feelings
 


(stream of the third release on Icontrax)

 
You support the local scene e.g. with your label mentioned above. Could you please name 5 Georgian artists who we should check out and have an eye on? What’s the reason for you to like them? What makes them special?
Skyra – he’s also released on icontrax, he has two tracks in two different released. I love how he looks at music, he’s way of thinking is totally different. We are now releasing Ep consists of 4 skyras track.

Nicole – she had a boiler room debut on Bassiani couple of months ago, she was making music in a duo named by body thrills but now she’s making music alone. She hasn’t released her music yet but I’ve listened to couple of her tracks and she will take you away for sure.

Phonothek – he works in the field of dark ambient and uses his horn delicately in his music, he has several alias and plays horn professionally in a Georgian philharmonic orchestra.

Octachoron – it’s a duo from Georgia and they released their first album this year “Octachoron – Land Of Meta” you should definitely check out their spacey sounds.

 


(Electronic Beats feature about “Photon”)

 
Getting closer to the end of the interview let us talk about your DJ career again. Beside releasing on Klockworks you have another connection to Ben Klock – you played 3 times at his “Photon” show. What is so special about it? How did you experience these nights? Any other gigs you kept in mind because of special moments and experiences? What happened at these parties?
I feel very honored to take part in Photon nights, which are combined with the amazing lights that creates the atmosphere along with the music. First one was at Berghain, and it was absolutely thrilling for me because I knew I would play there 6 months before so as the date was approaching I felt more and more anxious and nervous, we went there by 8;30 as I had to start at 9 and as soon as we entered I felt at home, Sterac was playing before me with his warm vibes and when I stood there I saw all my friends around the world standing very close to me it was such a special moment. I don’t remember what I played which tracks I played it was going simultaneously with the people with the lights and I felt that connection which was unforgettable and I’m thankful for ben and Klockworks that I can be part of those amazing nights.
 


(snippets of “Split One” by Newa / Mariska Neerman on Semantica)

 
This is already the last part of our small chat. So what do you plan for your near future? Any releases coming up? Or some new special gigs?
Releases are mainly V/A-s, also just released on split Ep on Semantica and I’m really happy about it. My schedule is getting busier and busier day by day so I’m trying to stay in shape and continue loving music as I did before. Thank you
 

Recommendations:
“Split One” by Newa | Mariska Neerman on Semantica
Dold’s “Version” w/ Newa remix on Interstate Records

 

Exclusive Mix:

 

Tracklist of Exclusive Mix:
soon

 

Booking:
Outlined AM

 

Websites:
Newa