Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Elisa. Let’s start with the music you grow up with and how it informed your attitudes to life? Which bands/musicians remain the most important to you?
I grew up listening to a lot of 60s and 70s rock and folk music. When I was a child, I used to listen to my mum’s records. She owned a small vinyl collection with lots of classics from the likes of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Dire Straits etc.
The band I discovered later in my twenties that still definitely remain very important to me is Radiohead. For me, it’s the best band of all time. Thom Yorke is a genius.
Can you talk us through how you produced your new single: Black Dolls? Any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you always use?
I remember producing Black Dolls in my home studio in Brussels back in October 2019. The main synth I used is a Prophet V3 from Arturia which made me fall in love with that sound and pushed me to buy a real analogue Prophet VI later that year. I used Massive for the bass and recorded the vocals in a studio.
The Microkorg is not my favourite piece of hardware but, for some reason I end up using it quite a lot. For software, I tend to quite often use Arturia’s V Collection, Native Instrument’s Massive and Wave’s Alchemy Revolution.
Do you feel the human voice has as much to say in Dance/ Electronic music anymore? What inspires you to write the words you do? (I was particularly struck by your intonation on the jazzy/ blues of Dying Stars from the new album.)
I think it depends on the song and the artist.
Dying Stars is a song I wrote many years ago on the piano. It belongs to a phase where I was mostly listening to jazz and blues. I still don’t know how the lyrics of that song came through. When I compose, I tend to let myself be inspired by the energy of the moment. The lyrics I write are very similar to those kind of dreams where you can hardly find a logic in the narrative, but if you go deeper and you try to analyse them, you may find lots of hidden meanings.
What do you hope will change after Covid-19 for club culture and live performance?
First of all, what I hope the most is that all venues and clubs forced to close their doors will be able to reopen. But I doubt this will be the case if we think about the very poor financial support they have received from governments. I think it will take a long time for the industry to recover from this crisis.
How do you see music’s future in terms of how artists generate money? Tell us about the decision to self-release your own music?
With the constant changes in the ways people listen to music, the future of the industry, and what artists stand to gain, is unclear. As we all know, musicians have always made the bulk of their money from live performances and touring. For the future, I hope they could also benefit from greater sources of revenue coming from streaming platforms. I think, there’s a urgent need for a more transparent and equitable model of streaming royalty distribution.
With regard to my music, I decided to self-release this album because I wanted to have a complete control over the creative process. I was afraid a label would have prompted me for a particular sound, selecting which songs should or should not be released.
What is your favorite instrument? Do you own one?
I’m in love with analogue and vintage synthesizers. As said before, I’ve recently bought a Prophet VI. I particularly like how it sounds.
Your new album: Unknown territories is a blend of styles, moods and atmosphere’s. What do you seek to convey most through your music?
I think it depends on the song. Sometimes I seek to convey an idea, sometimes an emotion, sometimes just nothing at all. Writing this album has been a sort of stream of consciousness, a therapeutic and cathartic act. I’ve just followed the flow.
Outside of music who/ what inspires you (in terms of any painters, writers, poets etc)?
Among the philosophers: Karl Jung, James Hilman, Noam Chomsky, Immanuel Kant, Alexander Lowen. Among the painters: Gerhard Richter, Jackson Pollock.
And finally. What are you looking forward to most for the remainder of 2021?
I look forward to writing more music and working on a live set which will probably include part of the songs from the album.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, August. Let’s start with your early years growing up and which artists/ bands were most influential in shaping what you do now?
I grew up in Sydney Australia and from an early age I would fly regularly to Italy to visit family. As far back as I can remember I always loved listening to music. I would sit in the car when my parents were working and just listen to cassettes or radio all the time. As a kid I remember listening to artists like Culture Club, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Michael Jackson, Prince and more. At the age of about 13 I remember hearing for the first time Jungle and rave music back in the early 90’s. From that point onwards, I knew that is where I wanted to be. I was hungry to know more about underground and dance culture. Also spending a lot of time in Europe it introduced me to house and techno. So basically, underground music has been a way of life for me since my early years.
Your show on Ibiza Global Radio has been running for an impressive ten years now. What were the circumstances of how you got the show in the first place? What is the one consistent thing which you are most proud of running from back then to now?
My show with Ibiza Global sort of happened accidently really. At that time I was running a little label and the guys over at Ibiza Global were supporting the releases. I got introduced to Miguel Garji and things just went off from there. It’s not easy having a weekly show for over such a long period of time, but it’s great to support a lot of artists and music that on occasion you might not be able to play in a normal club or festival environment.
Your Indigo EP is the second vinyl release for Seve17een Records. What importance do you place on vinyl in 2021?
Yes, exciting times regarding vinyl. The EP is currently out now on my friend Dubphone’s label Seven17een. It has 2 great remixes, one by Giorgio Maulini and one by Dubphone. I grew up with vinyl and I have always been a vinyl artist. Nothing makes me feel better than spending my time in records stores around the world and coming home with new music. I love chatting with people at the stores and sharing recommendations to check out. It’s great that it is back in such a strong way so the younger artists have a chance to experience the whole vibe around it. I know that sales are not the way they used to be of course, times change. But to have kept a hold of that authenticity and uniqueness makes me very happy.
Can you name some of the oldest records in your collection (any style) that still inspire you?
This is a hard one to answer. Let me try.
DJ Ham Most Uplifting on Knite records, Jungle back from 1994
2. Callisto called the Nether World EP dates back to 1998 released by the great Chicago based label Guidance Recordings.
3. Masquerade’s – Set it off dates back to 1985 released by Streetwave records from London
4. Sextravaganza – Montobi Sex Tribe mix on Tribal America back from 1993
5. Paul Hardcastle 19 – 12” Extended version out on Chrysalis Records Ltd 1985
Tell us a little about your studio set-up? What are your go to pieces of software/ hardware you most like to use? And also, which are your favourite speakers to listen to music on?
As far as studio monitors go I am lucky to say that my partner Mick Wilson has lent me his Frontier monitors. These speakers are the result of a collaboration between Output Audio and Barefoot that has just recently come out on the market. Never have I heard such monitors in my life. My studio set up can be described as minimal I work only with UAD plugins and my Apollo Twin. I couldn’t imagine not having this set up.
Outside of music which artists, writers, painters etc mean the most to you?
I like Martha Cooper who has been behind the world of graffiti and street art since the 70’s. I also like the photos of Estevan Oriol too. I find his work is raw and his shots are great. I like Jean Michel Basquiat, a few years back I went to one of his art expositions and his work had a complete different impact seen in person.
You recently played your first gig again at Hostal La Torre. How did that feel after such a long time?
Well like any artist, after a long period away it felt incredible. Plus when you add the magic that a place like Hostal La Torre can bring, it’s like a cherry on top.
What changes would you hope to see post Covid-19 in club culture?
Respect for each other in a more peaceful environment and having a good time all united. I hope we will all remember what it feels like having lost elements of our freedom that maybe we all took for granted. I would also like to see clubs focusing more on the resident DJs. Their roll is so important. Their work gives the club its identity and character. So would be nice to see promoters invest more into this side of things.
Your remix with Mick Wilson (who you also co-release on RAWAX) of Do It Again on Do Not Sleep is fierce to say the least. Can you talk us through how the collaborative process works between you?
We’ve been doing a lot of work remotely, due to the fact that the COVID restrictions meant we couldn’t be in the studio together, however that doesn’t hold back our approach to the work. We both use UAD soundcards and plugins so in terms of in the box this area is covered, hardware, we employ Moog Matriarch which is hooked up to Erika Synths Black Sequencer, this is an amazing set up for sound design, The Moog SIRIN is great for some of those basslines and lead sounds that we like to use. Novation Peak adds to the pack as well as TB303 and various Roland Boutique bits. For sound sculpting we have the Korg Wavestate. We do a lot of external and internal processing on our sounds to create something unique. All which can be heard in both the remix and our other music.
Listening to your mixes I was wondering about your thoughts on vocals and songs in Dance Music today? And about the power of rhythm versus melody?
I believe they both have an important role. Depending on the situation or event the music is played in. I am more a rhythm type of person, however regardless of it being a vocal track or an instrumental the important thing we as DJs must do is share emotions and leave memories.
On a personal note. How would you describe your own philosophy when it comes to life and likewise on music?
I would say, be humble and respect others. This might seem very ABC but I think many people need to be reminded. Learn from people who will give you their time to become a better version of yourself. On all aspects of life, whether it be career wise or life lessons. Eat healthy, exercise and never ever go a week without a pizza and beer.
And finally. What are you looking forward to most over this summer?
Just going back to living a normal life. Playing music at my wonderful residencies between Ushuaia Tower and La Torre. Starting to see about some club and festival events even though it’s still early doors. I’m also looking forward to a little project that’s about to give way here in Ibiza. Can’t really say too much yet, but it will be a community for local artists and all music related people.
Welcome back to Magazine Sixty, Sean. Let’s begin with the styles of music which initially inspired you growing up and how they shaped what you are about today?
There was always something about dance music that struck a chord for me, even from about 9 or 10 years old. I just connected to it and it was a golden era for popular dance music too with lots of tracks in the charts from the likes of The Farm, Blackbox, Adamski, Massive Attack – it was that era that grabbed me first and its never really let go.
Then at about 12 or 13 I discovered hardcore and I was an obsessive collector of the flyers and tape packs. Then I started buying 12 inches and I would travel all over the south to towns and city centre record shops (pre internet) Reading, Southampton, Basingstoke and sometimes London buying hardcore and what was to become drum and bass. Then by 15/16 I was getting into House and Uk Garage. The love for Disco came after, once I discovered all the records that I loved were actually remakes or sampled from disco records. Then it was like wow, there’s a whole other universe of amazing music.
I also just loved the culture of dance music, not just the music itself, but what it represents. I love the idea that anyone from anywhere and any background was into the music and sharing that passion. It didn’t matter if you were male or female, black or white, rich or poor – it was this unity over the music and there were opportunities to be a producer, create a party or start a magazine or label. I found that quite liberating and interesting.
Especially recently I try and remind myself of that passion and innocence. A lot can be discussed and debated about success in music, but if I take myself back to when I was in a record shop aged 13; I would drop the needle on a record or you would hear a snippet play and you knew after 1minute if it was special (or you had to gamble because they would sell out). I try and keep that excitement, that need for great records at the centre of what I do.
Your next Future Disco compilation: Dance Club features some nineteen tracks, most of which are vocal based. What is about the human voice and melody that stands the test of time?
I compiled this one in lockdown so it’s ironically called Dance Club. I wanted it to be a feel good party album, hence lots of vocals and an uplifting vibe. I wanted it to be the remedy to a year without dancefloors, to isolation and so it’s fitting that it drops just before we are allowed out in force the UK. I love the name Dance Club is just feels positive – a place where you can be free.
I’ve always loved vocals and songs too. Great songs live on through generations and while I’m a fan of a dub mix for sure, Disco is so much about great vocals and emotion, so I’m pleased to put together an album pointing in this direction.
Future Disco – Dance Club is out now via the Future Disco label.
We last spoke back at the beginning of 2014. What highlights and personal achievements are you most proud of over the last several years?
I started Future Disco in 2009 so that’s twelve years of albums. parties and records. I think the biggest achievement of the past few years has been moving Future Disco from purely compilations into releasing singles and soon artist albums. It’s a natural transition but to make that successful is an achievement.
As a label and along with the other labels I run, we’ve grown the team and the number of releases and I think the quality of what we do to.
Dance Club, is set to welcome back dancing again into the collective consciousness. While dancing together in a space full of people is undoubtedly a communal act do you think it is more about personal liberation, or does Disco/ House still have the ability to transform society? Seth Troxler made a recent observation of some European dance music being more cerebral than tuned to the body, do you think that’s true?
I think there’s always a balance and everyone responds differently to different music depending on their tastes or the time and place. There are some tracks that can move nearly everyone at anytime, that are so special. For me Disco is dancing. That’s what was so strange about lock down. Disco or even house music didn’t have the context anymore.
I’m not judgemental in terms of what makes different people move, as a DJ you are always trying to judge the crowd and what’s right in one environment won’t be right in another. Some of the best moments I’ve had DJing are at 5/6am and it’s a totally different mind set and a deeper musical output that’s required at that time.
In terms of transforming society, I’m not sure any music genre can do that now just because of social media and musical landscape. Saying that there’s no doubt that dancers have and can be a force for good and can make change. Like the points above I feel like dance music has changed society for the better with more acceptance and more creativity. If you think about many topics we discuss today Disco and Acid House were very progressive and I think a whole new generation will find their own way to be even more progressive, maybe in a more digital way too in the future.
Tell us about the album’s funky cover art?
About three years ago I worked with a very talented designer Simon Moore and we went on a journey to create a new look and feel. It felt like time for a refresh. We commissioned a photographer called Emily Cole. I think I found an image of glitter on the tongue and we thought why not give it a try. The day of the photo shoot it was about 40 degrees in this studio in Tottenham and the model couldn’t swallow for about 10 minutes. Top marks for dedication for the shot as I think it looks great and suits the uplifting party vibe to the album.
A criticism of House-Disco is that is feels stuck in a time warp repeating the same sounds, words and arrangements? How do you see it?
I’m not sure why we instantly fall in love with those 808 sounds, certain drum breaks, old strings or certain arrangements. There’s just something about an era of music that created certain sounds and then they become part of the fabric and a reference point for dancers. There are times, especially when going through demos you do think ‘give me something new’ but I think dance music is much like digital culture. You are taking the inspiration from the past and adding and morphing it with some new technology that’s available to you. But also paying homage to the past.
I think it’s harder with the internet for things to incubate. Dubstep and Grime, maybe the last big musical emergence and that was just before the internet and social media were big. But maybe we haven’t yet seen what the future holds for music, maybe in a purely digital environment it could get really experimental. I have a feeling that in the future, the next generation is seamlessly moving between online and offline worlds so I feel like there could be some mind bending trends coming from this in the next decade.
What changes, if any, would you like in club culture as a result of the fracture caused by Covid-19?
I would love to see everything less headliner driven. The obsession with one big DJ or act is a relatively new thing in dance music, fuelled by the EDM boom. There is nothing wrong with it as many people deserve to be huge. Yet sometimes it feels like it gets in the way of the party, the line ups become a bit similar and it’s harder for up and coming talent to break through.
I would love to see more local talent emerge. People to party in their communities more and build up a more local network around dance clubs. Big isn’t always better and I guess that’s one thing I hope may change. Also everyone just generally being positive and kind to each other. Thankful for what we do have and how lucky we are to dance again on the other side.
Likewise how would you like to see the industry reset in terms of how artists and labels generate income. How do you see the future in that regard?
The big talk is of NFT’s, hard to tell if that’s to stay or not, but that feels like a bit of a gold rush. I think it will remain fundamentally the same, so streaming and ticket sales. There are always new models and conversations but they tend to favour big artists with big fanbases so they have more options. If you are an unknown artist in particular, a label plays an important part in getting you out there.
I do really like bandcamp though, and I think the last year has shown anyone can sell direct if you have an idea, talent and the energy.
Outside of music which artists, writers, painters etc have inspired you most?
I’m definitely inspired by art, but more just immersing myself in it, rather than specific painters. I often feel like art is everywhere if you look for it. I have quite a lot of art in my office and house to keep me inspired.
Actually, it’s travel and places that most inspire me. I’m like a yin and yang, I like the city and countryside in equal measure taking inspiration from both. You can find me zipping round London but same time I love walking by the sea.
And finally. What are you looking forward to most for the remainder of 2021?
Travelling and seeing new places. Dancing and having a good time. Actually if 2020 has taught me anything just seeing some friends and hearing some music in situ will be great. 2022 mind you, I’m really looking forward to going to Ibiza, I’ve spent a lot of time there and I’ve definitely missed visiting this year.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Joram. How did you first become involved with wanting to play the piano? Who influenced you to do so, where you taught by somebody or self-taught?
Well thank you Greg! And thank you for these great, thoughtful questions! I was very little when I started playing piano, simply born out of the fact I think that my mother played piano so we had a piano at home. Also, I guess I had a creative urge early-on… so my mother was a main stimulus, and then later my piano teacher, Marijse, who I had lessons from each and every week in the little village I grew up on in the north of the Netherlands. One day she showed me the piano score of Ludovico Einaudi’s I Giorni: with very minimalist, soft, melancholic, serialistic, almost pop-music-like harmonies. That was a key moment for my musical journey up til now, which very much leans towards the neoclassical genre of which Einaudi is one of the forerunners. First playing a lot of Einaudi’s work and some other neoclassicists, later I then gradually started making my own compositions and drawing musical inspiration from a broader palette of artists and styles.
Tell us about how your relationship with the label, Bigamo happened?
When I was starting to compose and record songs, I would put them online on Soundcloud. One day, don’t ask me how, Frank apparently stumbled upon one of those pieces of work and he ended with that song in a mixtape for the Ninja Tune label. From there I remained in good contact with Frank and the rest is history, or at least: we co-produced two albums from then on through his sublabel
Your new album: Flux features a collection of music from 2017-2020. What do you seek to convey with the listener, or is it more open to personal interpretation?
I’m very much leaving it open to personal interpretation, although I do think there is some kind of generic ‘mood’ or ‘emotional tone’ that I often want to convey with my songs and I hope some of that finds its way to the listeners. But even that can be perceived differently I’ve noticed. Some works that for me are quite raw, awry and bitter can ring hopeful and sweet to others, and perhaps even that’s not such a bad thing. Life is ambivalent, so I understand when music is too…
Can you talk us through how one of the tracks was composed and tell us about how you record and then produce the music? Do you have a favourite microphone?
Almost everything is recorded with three Aston Original dynamic microphones, which I find very sensitive, and everything is going through Ableton Live. I tend to put the microphones very close to the piano’s hammers so as to also catch the inner mechanics of the instrument in the audio image.
Some tracks of the Flux LP are more experimental, such as ‘Struck’ in which I experimented with using a friend’s cello bow on acoustic guitar. Also there’s ‘Dropped’. This piece was performed and recorded in one single take, looping multiple layers over one another using a TC Electronic Flashback looping device connected to my Hammond Melodion. Consequence of the looping improvisation method is that I will never really be able to replay this piece but that’s okay!
Is music more powerful without the use of words?
Good question… for me, yes it is. Or at least it is more fitting in terms of the music I want to make and what I want to convey… for me words are maybe too precise and would give me the sense that I would be telling a rounded, rational story with the music, whereas I don’t. I seek to work under the surface and seek to convey blurry, imprecise moods – not clear-cut sharp images. I don’t want to dodge ambivalence, I’d rather express it.
You are also an Assistant Professor in Utrecht working in public policy science. Can you tell us more about that role, and how it influences what you create musically?
Yes, I teach policy science at Utrecht University and conduct research on various topics related to public policymaking, such as how the government is trying to change the behaviours of citizens using new psychological insights. It’s been an interesting journey combining this science and musician life, sometimes feeling like a split between the more rational and emotional side of my live, sometimes feeling more integrated. To give a sense of how it is integrated: in my music I try to capture personal experience alongside some of the current zeitgeist – what it means to be alive right now – and with such an ambition it can help to draw from the vocabulary and insights of historical and sociological works. For instance, last year I was teaching a course in which we talked about Max Weber, the renowned German sociologist, he talks about the ‘disenchantment’ of mass society from the 18th century onward as the result of the secularization, industrialization and bureaucratization. The world as an ‘iron cage’, producing a lot of social benefits but also coming with increased feelings of alienation and existential uncertainty… I think my music ties in with some of those latter experiences… The modern experience of feeling somewhat alienated in this mass society is a great source of musical inspiration.
What is your favourite piano? Do you own one?
I have my own Rippen upright acoustic piano, I love its soft, warm tone. There’s a few piano’s I’ve performed on that I still have keen memories from… I really loved Frank Wiedemann’s piano in the Berlin Muting the Noise record store where I did a solo concert once. It had this very mellow and authentic tone, with its inner mechanics making all sorts of little ticking and cracking sounds that made it very soothing and beautifully old.
How do you feel about the way artists generate income given streaming etc? Do you think the model could be improved?
Good one… I’m still getting my head around this one actually. It’s my second album, with that I’m still finding out how the financial system works and whether its structures are fair. From what I’ve seen… it seems that for a lot of musicians it can take quite a while to earn any decent money and they have to work another job ‘by day’ to support their music activities… which does raise questions.
And finally. What plans do you have for the remainder of 2021?
It feels like I’m in an in-between-phase at the moment. Having just released ‘Flux’, a big multi-year project, now there is time for a new experimental phase and to engage in new projects with other artists. I want to do more on the electronic side, and maybe experiment a bit with cello. I’ve also started some collaborations with electronic music producers, including with the label Nie Wieder Schlafen and the music duo Esteble, which feels like a wholly new avenue to be explored.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Daniel Inzani and Harriet Riley from Spindle Ensemble. Let’s begin with the name Spindle Ensemble and its meaning?
There are a few reasons actually… Wood is a theme, Spindles are wooden like (almost) all our instruments: piano, violin, cello, Celtic harp and marimba, and there’s a very beautiful tree with a distinctive bright pink fruit called a spindle tree. It’s also a reference to the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, the princess pricks her finger on a spindle and it sends her into a long, long dream. I love those old magical and creepy stories, and want to create music which has an unspoken narrative so it seemed like a serendipitous name. (Daniel)
Your stunning second album: Inkling is your ﬁrst for Hidden Notes. Tell us about how your relationship with the label came about?
We played at the ﬁrst Hidden Notes festival in 2019 which we loved. There were so many fantastic acts and everyone running the festival was super engaged and passionate about the music – plus being in nearby Stroud, it was great to see such a wealth of experimental classical music so close to home. They decided to create a label and ours is the ﬁrst record to come out under Hidden Notes Records! (Harriet)
The music combines the traditional alongside a more radical, teasing of the senses. Is there a particular piece of music from childhood which set each of you on the path to the music you now create?
Certainly for me, the fantastic Ruth Underwood, who was percussionist for Frank Zappa in the 70s. She often had an array of massive percussion instruments around her: marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, bass drum, tubular bells etc. Plus she was often the only girl in the band – something I have related to a LOT in my career. We’ve got a fairly unusual ratio in Spindle! Check out St Alfonzo’s Pancake Breakfast by Frank Zappa. (Harriet)
Can you talk us through the process of how one of the tracks from the album was created and then produced? I was also curious to ask about the recording process itself, which microphones are best suited to each instrument and about any eﬀects etc you use?
I set up a location recording studio specifically for this album consisting of ribbon microphones, some handmade from Extinct Audio and some vintage refurbished ones from X-Audia. They have a very warm tone which suits our whole instrumentation but the real advantage is being able capture a 3D sound image of the space we’re performing in using a Blumlein array with a matched pair of BM9 ribbon mics. We record in concert halls and churches where the acoustics suit our music and set up around this pair as if it was an audience member positioned in the best seat in the house. This stereo image is the bulk of the final sound which is spacious and allows the listener to feel like they’re hearing us perform live in concert, even able to pick out the position of each instrument. (Daniel)
How would you say the atmosphere of living in Bristol has fed into the music you make? Which (pre-Covid) venues are your favourite to play at in the city?
We’ve had some fantastic support from venues with Spindle! I love playing in the incredible acoustic of St George’s, but also smaller venues like the Forge where there’s a really intimate vibe. (Harriet)
How would you describe the power that music has without words?
I think there’s that extra sense of subjectivity. I know it can be a diﬀerent experience for musicians and non-musicians, but I certainly hear a conversation happening. There’s voices and emotions and it’s like tuning into another language. It can be an incredible way to getting know someone by playing them, getting to know their insecurities and strengths and supporting each other within these. I think with great music you can hear these relationships play out. (Harriet)
Should music always be political in some shape or form, or purely about emotion?
Everything you do can be perceived as political. It’s political to make music about emotional and reject the ideas of suppressing your emotions which daily life often involves. Our music certainly doesn’t have catchy chorus’ about systemic change, though those can be great, but we have our own take on connecting to nature and ourselves and our music reﬂects that. Sometimes being completely abstract is like rejecting the whole system. (Harriet)
Outside of music which artists inspire each of you most (Painters, poets, writers etc)?
I absolutely adore visual art, speciﬁcally paintings. Georgia O’keeﬀe’s super enlarged ﬂowers, really detailed surrealism by Dali and impressionists like Degas would deﬁnitely be up there with my favourites. But I also love to support and buy local art – Bristol and Stroud have some amazing designers and artists and supporting their process and work is really inspiring in a totally abstracted way to music. I recently got a painting by Nettle Grellier which is incredible – check out her work! (Harriet)
(Music video/animation by Marie Lechevallier)
Your recent single, Caligo is elegantly accompanied by a video from Narna Hue which captures and then blurs memory in amongst the reﬂective arrangement. What can you tell us about the making of it and what it represents for you?
Narna Hue and I have collaborated on a lot of music videos now. Caligo combines two of the different approaches she used in previous videos: filming on super 8 and creating animations from scratching directly onto 16mm film. The colours and patterns are very visually satisfying and her editing is very musical, she has created a narrative that flows perfectly with the music. (Daniel)
And ﬁnally. The obvious question. What is each of you looking forward to most in 2021?
I’m looking forward to performing and connecting with people. It’s so hard when such a big part of your life like sharing music with audiences is taken away, it really makes you value your place in life. Releasing ‘Inkling’ will be a really emotional event coming out of this. Plus just meeting people for a casual drink and a hug! (Harriet)
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Garrie. Let’s start with the sound of the music you currently create, can you tell us about the bands or artists which drew you in that direction growing up?
Hello and thank you for the interview. So, when I started listening to Minimal Techno the artists that drew me in this direction were Super flu, Audion and Richie Hawtin and other artists along those lines. It was that blippy / glitchy rolling bass, minimal Techno kind of groove that i fell into and has stuck with me for all these years. They have definitely helped shape the sound that I create today.
You launched your own label Gaddison Music at the beginning of this year. What made you decide to start a label and how have you found the process, has it been what you thought it might be?
I had been releasing music on various record labels for some time which I enjoyed as my music was being heard across other parts of the world and it was great that someone liked my music enough to want to release it. Looking forward I thought the next best move would be to start my own label and so far it definitely feels like the best move. I am now in control of release dates, promo and most importantly, the music itself.
The labels third release: 848 if also from you. What’s the significance of the numbers?
These numbers are simply my date of birth which is ’84 and I had grown up in a house which the door number was 48, basically I combined the numbers that meant a lot to me. Also 8:48 is that time I tend to catch when looking at a clock, Its like a good luck combination of numbers that seems to make me happy.
Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks, including any favourite software /hardware you like to use? Do you tend to start with a single idea/ note or does inspiration come from something you have watched or heard from outside the studio?
These tracks especially, started with Native Instruments hardware/software controller “Maschine” where I created the initial ideas by tapping the pads to form a pattern in the direction of the style I wanted to make. As soon as I had the feel of the track I dragged each part individually into logic creating audio files. I think the most important thing is to get an idea written down and move on with the track as quickly as possible to capture the sound and the mood that you are in. Most of my inspiration is from little ideas that pop up in my head either from watching TV, my children or when I am out working.
Do you think that House/ Techno constantly reinvents itself? Or do those terms refer more aptly to music from the past, could contemporary sounds now be called something new? Are musical labels important in the first place?
Yes, I think House and Techno constantly reinvents itself. It is always evolving and moving with the times. Although elements of the original genre are getting left out in the “new age” House and Techno music that we hear today I think it is important that we remember the roots of where it came from. House and techno does cover a wide range these days therefore I think sub genres are important.
Outside of electronic music what inspires you in term of artists, writers, painters etc? Or does inspiration always come from hearing other pieces of music?
I would say that most of my inspiration is from other musical artists from listening to radio stations and mixes. On a weekly basis I listen to Nicole Moudaber with “in the mood radio” where she plays music from all over the world and is on a level I can relate to when out at festivals and nights out. Another place I get inspiration from is either Ibiza Global Radio or Ibiza Sonica Radio, both really cool stations I listen to on the app whilst going from job to job, always good music I can also relate to.
What are your feelings on the future of music in terms of artist revenue? And how do you see club culture changing (or not) post Covid-19?
This is a hard one as the music scene has been hit really hard and the outcome of all this is still unknown. I am optimistic though and I do see it getting back to somewhere near normal when everything opens up.
And finally. What are your plans for the remainder of 2021?
I am continuing to release my own material on Gaddison Music and there are some remixes in the pipeline for this year. I am just going to keep it rolling and see where it goes.
Gåddisøn – 848 – Gaddison Music is released 30-04-2021
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Feiertag. Let’s start were music began for you and which childhood songs set you on the path to playing music and producing?
I started being interested in music around my 11th birthday, when I got my first Sony hifi set. One of my first singles was “Pretty Fly” from The Offspring. From that point I wanted to play every instrument. Drumming really sticked to me from the very first moment and I did never let go of that. I started taking drum lessons and played along to a lot of different bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine. Later on, as a teenager, I started being more into breakdancing as well, as I became more interested in the hip-hop music scene. Playing along to A Tribe Called Quest and what not, also my first love for producing was born. That developed more into the electronic (big beat) music scene, listening to acts such as Fatboy Slim, Underworld and The Chemical Brothers.
I’ve always been in different bands and I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to go the conservatory, which I did from 2007-2011 in Amsterdam. I was kind of searching at that moment and wanted to play drums for five hours a day. Some teachers were asking questions about what I really wanted and what I was listening to etc, and they slowly inspired me to start producing and this is how I started my first solo act (under a different artist name), graduating in 2011. Now, ten years later, it’s time for my debut album “Time To Recover” ;).
Your excellent new single: Saccharine 374 for Sonar Kollektiv combines elements of traditional musicianship along with electronic creativity. And can you talk us through how you produced it, including any favourite software/ hardware you like to use?
I’ve recorded with a lot of different musicians throughout the years and somehow I found this Rhodes loop, which I loved right away. Can’t really remember how I got it, but surprised that I had it, I started making the beat around it. Inspired by the lockdown video of Jordan Rakei’s “Song from Nothing”, I ended up chopping up six different drum grooves and merged that into one. It became a combination between my own recorded rolls / percussion and other weird samples I found. I always try to make the main ‘loop’ with all the ingredients as interesting as I can; I want to be able to listen to it for hours and still like it. I really had that feeling with this track.
I mainly used software for this track; VST’s such as the Diva, Serum, Rob Papen’s Subboombass synths, along with effects as Soundtoys, Fabfilter, Waves, Soothe and Valhalla.
At the very last stage of the track, I had the feeling the track was 95% there, but wanted to get the maximum out of it and decided to visit my synth-wizard friend Len van de Laak, and he did the finishing touches in a subtle way. He recorded additional Rhodes, Clavinette etc, with some cool effects on it. Exactly the finishing touches that it needed.
What attracted you to playing the Drums as opposed to another instrument? Which drummers have given you the biggest inspiration?
As a child I had a lot of energy. Playing drums reflected that the most, I could literally hit it off of me. Later on, during my study, I became more interested in other instruments as well, especially in playing the piano. I’m taking piano lessons at the moment, which helps me in writing better harmonies and creates better understanding in composing.
There are so many great drummers out there, it’s hard to choose one. Definitely The Godfather of the drums is Steve Gadd to me; his timing and his linear grooves are just beyond this world. I also like Nate Smith, Dan Mayo, Yussef Dayes, Deantoni Parks and Richard Spaven, to name a few.
Listening to your recent mix for Worldwide FM Berlin sounds like a fiery fusion of lots of diverse influences. Can you tell us about what inspires you creatively both within music and from the world outside of it (painters, poets, writers etc)?
I get mostly inspired by other musicians and artists. And yes, it’s true: I’ve got a wide interest in musical genres. It’s a blessing and a curse at the same time. Especially a couple of years ago I created a wide array of music. Now, I feel like I’m a bit more focused in what I want.
I’m really inspired by weird musical instruments from all over the world and try to incorporate them into an electronic mix. On this album I worked with the Tanzanian singer / multi-instrumentalist Msafiri Zawose and that’s the perfect example how traditional African music is combined with synth-heavy club material.
The human voice and song obviously pays a big part in what you do. How do you feel about the strength of contemporary song writing, and what is it about words that an instrument can’t convey?
Well, I have to say, I’m not a real songwriter. I always kind of start with creating an instrumental atmosphere first and when the track structure is developing slowly, I will decide if I’m going to need real vocals or not. Sometimes vocal samples are just enough for me as well; I really repetitive vocal lines when these are strong enough to carry a track.
Luckily enough, I’m surrounded by a lot of talented friends who can help me writing songs and translating my feelings into words and melodies.
Vocals, sampled or not, are giving it a more human touch, and it’s obvious that this triggers something in our emotional brains.
How do you see the future of making a living as an artist in terms of the direction of Streaming etc? Is live performance the only answer?
The covid-pandemic has forced me a bit more into producing only. So, yeah, it’s hard if the only income would be streaming. For me personally I’m doing fine at the moment. I also produce more calm piano-focused ambient music as “Bunraku” and I work on music for commercials once in a while. Besides that, I also teach drums at the Herman Brood Academie here in The Netherlands. So luckily enough I can make a living off of music.
Do you think club culture and dance music will change at all as a result of the effects of Covid-19, or will it be business as usual?
Yes, I think it has already changed. People are listening to other, more relaxed music at home I think. Also, the producers are making other music as well, since they are at home as well most of the time. On the other hand, I feel that when we’re all allowed to go out it will be booming again. People are longing for dancing and partying, and hopefully everybody will go crazy when they can. I’m working on some live bangers at the moment for that occasion.. 😉
And finally. Your debut album: Time To Recover is due out later this year. How would you describe it? And what else are you looking forward to this year?
Time To Recover is a mix between calm and relaxed atmospheric sounds combined with more energetic up-tempo tracks with vocalists. I like to work with an organic mix of live instruments such as the harp, kalimba’s, hangdrum, tonguedrum and then mix it up with more of an electronic approach. I worked with a variety of singers which was great, because they really felt what I intended to say.
The whole album feels like one piece to me, from the beginning until the end. Like a mixtape flowing into the next song. I had to deal with a breakup last year, so at some parts, the album was one big healing process for me as last year wasn’t an easy year for me personally. This, in combination with the covid-pandemic, made me choose for “Time To Recover” as my debut album title. I hope you guys like it and I’m looking forward to play some of it live later this year. Fingers crossed!
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Alton. Let’s start with some of your early musical memories which inspired your path to DJ’ing and producing? Are there a particular songs heard on the radio, or elsewhere, that struck a childhood chord with you?
Hello and how’s it going Magazine Sixty. Yes indeed there were lots of songs that pulled me right in. As a very young kid I listened to the radio every day when I was preparing for school in the morning. In the 70’s every there was fusion of different genres of music being played on the stations that played R&B. I was listening to lots of James Brown, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Stevie Wonder. Bands and artists at this time were very prolific and it seems like the tunes just kept coming. Too many songs to list but I do remember that the things that peaked my interest were fusion. Steely Dan and Parliament Funkadelic. They were and still to this day are masters of fusing different styles of music that created their own sound.
Your new single is: From The Future EP on Roots Underground Records. Can you talk us through how you produced one of the tracks? Do you have any favourite software/ hardware you always use in the creative process?
I have been using Logic for a very long time. It’s the simplicity in using the software and the sound that I get that keeps me loyal. I use the Retro Synth that come with Logic religiously. I most always start with programming drums first and create melodies from the way the drums flow. Everything starts from the drums.
You have mentioned Ken Collier and Luomo being an important influence. Can you tell us about the music he was playing and what is was about the club that left such an impression?
Ken was a pioneer. He was our Larry Levan. That 1st impression is the one you remember and last the longest. Going to Luomo was my 1st experience inside a true dance club. The sound, decoration, people and the energy that I experienced that night and at that age was life changing. Ken was playing post-disco dance music along with New Wave and imports from Europe and it was incredible. The music reflected the times as it always does.
How would describe the legacy of the Music Institute in Detroit’s history? Are there any lessons you feel could be applied to today’s club culture?
The Music Institute was ground breaking as we bridged the gap between the iconic dance club and the future of things to come, that being Techno and how it became a worldwide phenomenon. Keep it simple. It has always been about the music and the sound. They are the only elements that matter. If those 2 key elements are done well people will commune in the spirit of dance which is the highest form of expression. Without that there is no party. It does not matter how many people. I have played to 40-50 and we got down!!!!!
Seth Troxler said recently that he felt a lot of European dance music was more cerebral, less about Soul. How do you see it?
I have heard and played some incredibly soulful music coming from Europe. There is still incredibly soulful music coming from Europe. I think it’s more about the individual artist and what they are saying artistically. You find what you seek. Do black people make soulful music? Yes we do. Do Europeans make soulful music? Yes they do but not in large numbers. Soul is about what resonates within.
Outside of Dance Music what other Art inspires what you do – in terms of any writers, poets, film-makers, painters etc?
Everything!!!! You said it. Writers, films, painters, dancers. Everything. I can’t make music if I can’t feel the expression that from one’s art or things that I see or experience every day.
(Pre-Covid-19) Where do you get your music from, are there any record stores you would recommend, or is all on-line these days. What are your thoughts on music streaming and the ways artists are able to make a living from music?
All over the World. I really love Moods Music in Atlanta. When I am there I always just go and sit, listen and take in the vibe. It’s a beautiful store!!! Cosmic Arts in Brooklyn is a super dope store!!!!! Again the vibe is spectacular. I buy music that resonates to me and speaks to me as an artist and a DJ. Everything does not speak to me and hence I have never owned a huge record collection. I buy things on-line as well. I think it’s a good thing if an artist can make money.
And finally. What things are you most looking forward to in 2021?
A continued and fruitful musical journey!!!! I finished my album for Sound Signature last year so looking to get things moving in regards to making it fly. Hopefully Covid will cease to keep me from plane hopping and playing some tunes in a city, country, village, town, island near you!!!!
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Spaniol. Let’s start with the story behind Sonido Trópico and your involvement in its creation, its goals and philosophy?
I helped create Sonido Trópico in a time that São Paulo was in a great cultural and peoples freedom in the city. I was very inspired by the forms how artists back then like Thomash and Urubu Marinka were uniting classical Brazilian sounds with this contemporary clothes around the sounds and wanted to explore it. Back then, we were kids in college who wanted to discover and rediscover Latin American and Brazilian sounds and the freedom that we had back then. We started throwing illegal parties in abandoned spaces in São Paulo Center, and this connected us to the world. Once we brought Rampue and made in an old shoes factory complex in the center that was completely taken by trees and made a special night to 10k people. Today Sonido grew. Our goal is to be a force that helps and develops cultural and music projects that symbolizes what we believe musically and culturally. That the contemporary sound of the Brazilian and worldwide generation is a melting pot of cultures that blend every stimuli that surrounds the artists culturally. This is what we want to show. How everyone is beautiful.
Your new single: Suites do Amar features six tracks on The Gardens of Babylon Records. Tell us about your relationship with the label and why you felt it to be the right home for the music?
Gardens has always been my second home. It all started when I did back in 2017 a b2b with Kurup, an amazing dj and music producer from Brasília. Since I’ve put my feet in there, that first day in De Markantine, the whole team, the friendship and love with everyone involved made me fall for them, and I was embraced with nothing else but love and care. I knew this was the place for me. Working alongside Shishi and Yvette has been a blast since day one.
The EP’s title in English is Ocean Songs About Love. Can you talk us through the meaning and inspiration behind each number?
When the pandemic started I was touring in Istanbul and living in Barcelona. I got stuck for a month in Turkey for a month without knowing what will happen in my life. I lost my apartment in Barcelona with all my belongings and had to take a repatriation flight to Brazil. I was forced to go back home…I’ve been living my life since forever and now (for me and everyone else in our tiny but amazing planet)…I did not know what to do. How to handle with the total powerlessness in this new confront of the world. Simultaneously my grandmother died, one the women of my life, lost love…friends…I felt I had lost myself. In a desperate attempt to save myself from myself I went to my families house in an Island in Brasil called Ilhabela and stayed alone there for 7 months in the middle of the jungle trying to refind me. This EP is me trying to hold on to myself. My true self and the meaning of love for me. Suites do Amar (Amar is the verb to love in Portuguese). It was my confrontation with destiny and my only companion in this journey, who was the ocean. I became very inspired by artists that honored the ocean and love in Brazilian culture like Dorival Caymmi, João Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Amor:Perdão – is my ode to how I felt in 2020. Who I wanted to become. Learn to love, you’ll learn to forgive. That was my quest, to be more kind to myself and my loved ones.
Lundy de Santa Maria da Tempestade – this one I was in Ilhabela, which is very famous for its very windy vibes, had a massive storm, that I thought was gonna blow my house. I was studying at the same time in the piano Chiquinha Gonzaga, one of the pioneers in brazilian classical music. Lundu, is a piano style that derives from samba and afro-brazilian culture. I tried to incorporate the elements and the harmonic way that makes the track a Lundu.
Algernoia Brasiliensis – while alone in the middle of the jungle with my dog Nina, my only companion in this journey. I started to notice this tiny beautiful flower everywhere in the island. I went to research it, and its a native flower from ilhabela and the Mata Atlantica Bioma. I wanted to make something that remembered the sweetness of this flower.
Nina – my love, my dog. She stayed with me this whole journey. I made this track while she was annoying me to throw her little tennis ball for the 12873618273618762 time…and it just remembers me of her. This amazing love and happiness energy that she emanates. She deserves more than just one track to symbolize how she was important to make to try to be my best.
Papaya Azul – I was a little (a lot) depressed in my journey. It’s not easy to face your demons, yet alone. My friends came to visit me. We have this shared love in common me and Salvador Araguaya; which is a deep love for Jazz, Samba and Bossa Nova. You could even say that those styles of music are cousins from the same grandma, Africa. Sometimes you need your friends to show you how life is not that hard.
São Pedro – It’s my homage to my neighborhood in Ilhabela. This is my way of showing, sound wise, how my environment was. Flowers, jungle, storms…completely overwhelmed by nature. This is my thank you. For giving me home, for taking care of me.
The music creates a distinct, unique atmosphere with the flair of musicality running throughout. What/ who first inspired your love of music? What lessons did you learn at the São Paulo Conservatory which have then translated into your production of electronic sound?
My first love with music was with the Guitar. My mom is a big psychedelic rock and mob fan. I remember when I was too young to know my age I was watching on TV this guy schredding this amazing solo…was love at first sight. My love of music comes from the necessity I have with music for my own life. For me music is like breathing. I think music in my head all the time. Like its accompanying me throw life. Makes me feel more. It’s more than love, it’s life for me. I started music at 5 years old; it’s like I don’t know how life is without it – The Conservatorium I studied classical and Brazilian guitar alongside composition. It made me who I am musically. The Brazilian music system is based in its own history, harmonies and melodies. It made me learn how to dig deep in my own culture. How to find the gems in such a vast country with so much history and peoples. Also we put the guitar in the centre of study. One professor that I studied a lot was Almir Chediak. He used the popular Brazilian songs to write a book with two volumes called: Harmonia e Impovisação. He takes a totally Brazilian way of teaching how to understand the bedsheets of how our mix of cultures musically and our own way of composing.
Outside of electronic music who are your most important influences in term of writers, painters, poets etc?
I love Carlos Drummond the Andrade (1902-1987). He’s a poet from Minas Gerais, that really understands the daily pain; and with such finesse and gentleness he always shows how the despair can be turned into hope. I’ve been also inspired by artists that value our ancestors and change completely with our surroundings and how we grew. This artist called Catarina Gushiken – she studied her Japanese ancestry (Brasil has the biggest Japanese population outside of Japan) and dug deep in the Jidai periods of art in Japan; mixed this with her own experience as Brazilian, creating something unique, beautiful and deeply hers. I also love the movies from Alejandro Jodorovsky. The way how he shows the beauty of human feelings, making total simesrty between directing a movie, but seeing the movie as a poem, and himself as a poet. It’s marvelous.
Tell us about the guitar which is most precious to you?
It’s my safe place. When I am happy I play guitar. When I feel sad I play guitar. I think I love it so much, and feel so safe when I feel my fingers around it…it’s this almost child feeling. Like a kid having just fun playing with something that it really loves. That’s how I feel every time I touch my strings.
Do you think that club culture will change in any way after Covid-19?
I actually don’t know…here in Brazil, our government is so incompetent that I have no idea what’s going to happen here. We have a president that is actually trying to destroy any type of culture or any kind of activity that embraces the different and the diverse. It is a shame really. He and what he represents disgusts me profoundly…around the world I think when we have the vaccination we’ll see a big increase in our industry for sure. In countries that take their citizens seriously.
Listening to your excellent mix: “Oh! Sweet Nothing” for RAMBALKOSHE it’s such a refreshing combination of styles and sounds. How important is being yourself and having your own voice, while not sounding like everyone else?
I think that as an artist I have to find something that show who I am…not anyone else. I grew with a blend of genres of all types of music thanks to my mom. It’s my way of telling histories. Giving a big tour on the globe, but in the end, still good old Felipe ;p
(illustration by: Khoren Matevosyan)
And finally. What plans to do have for 2021?
Well…music wise I have an EP for Sonido Tropico coming on March this year, and remixes for Camel Riders and a remix to my brothers from Istanbul Headwaters for trndmusik. Show wise…we’ll see how the world flows…
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Brueder Selke (Sebastian and Daniel) and Eric. Zero Crossing is formed by a production from each of you. How did that idea for a joint collaboration come about?
BS: Hey there, nice to e-meet you. Well, to be honest we do not exactly remember how this journey started. But we are more than happy about this close encounter with Eric and his music – there is a very special quality to it. A few months ago we did a collaboration with the duo Constant Presence made from songsmith Peter Broderick and Daniel O’Sullivan. It was an intense experience to evolve two 11 minutes drones inspired by the meditative wisdom “Nothing Special“ by Zen master Shunryū Suzuki. We still carried these thoughts with us when we created the first fragments for Eric to let him build his steady floating synths around it. We soon felt in love with his Bladerunner aesthetics. When we met with Eric to talk about the project we were also introduced to his nice family and we noticed their direct and personal access to music and life in general. For us this was an essential element to make all this happen.
EM: I’m also not really clear on how this happened! We admired each other’s music, I went to go see them play as CEEYS, and was really impressed with the show, afterwards we spoke and I think that was when the seed was planted. We took our time with all of this, the whole process had a very natural, human pace, which I really appreciated.
Can each of you talk us through how you produced the music you created for the release? Is there a single piece of equipment (software or hardware) which you couldn’t live without in the recording process?
BS: Readers might know our recent album HAUSMUSIK. It is formally a double LP focussing just on our main instruments; the cello and the piano. But our full setup includes some other, almost forgotten devices from the former Communist-era Eastern hemisphere: tape echos, organic string machines, rhythm boxes, some weird custom stuff…
In contrast to our acoustic full length, our long dream was to contribute our ambient Kocmoc to a pure electronic track. So we recorded some spherical noises straight into 4 restored preamps made by former East German broadcasting company RFZ. And then we let Eric answer with his voices.
EM: I’ve been enjoying this aesthetic idea of a piece of music where nothing happens. How can I make nothing happen for 7 minutes and have it be interesting to listen to? So that was sort of my personal approach, which by pure coincidence, syncs up with this Zen thing Sebastian and Daniel have been dealing with. So in hindsight, it’s the biggest factor as to why Zero Crossing sounds the way it does. None of us knew this about one another going into it, so it’s really quite beautiful. It was effortless, creating this music with the brothers.
Recording process wise, I work really heavily with the laptop. I gather sounds from everywhere, and am writing and recording something new on a daily basis. This is more important than any gear or software, because over time I have developed my own library, my own system of sounds, melodies, ideas, which are ready and waiting for me.
Eric: Flower Myth is a relatively new label. How would you describe its ethos, where does the name originate from and how have you found the experience of running it? How do you see record labels existing in the future in light of streaming etc?
I really just dove into Flower Myth. It’s named after a Paul Klee painting. It means something different to each person, it is like a little poem. Initially I was using the label as a platform to release my own music, but in the process realized that for me, this was quite narrow-minded. Who wants to listen to someone talking to themselves? And if that’s what I’m doing why bother with having a label and all that it implies? So now I am focused on creating a conversation between artists over time. This resulted in the muzine Acoustic Jaguar, whose second issue will be out Spring 2021, and is also leading to collaborations with various artists, recently with Shipibo vocalist Rawa, and now with Brueder Selke.
Running a label like mine is tricky, it’s teaching me to be organized, it needs attention, it’s like a little living being. If I’m not putting energy into it no one else will. Using it to share the work of other artists who I respect and enjoy, it gives the label a sense of purpose for me, a focus, which I truly value.
The streaming question is a tricky one, for example, the Bruder Selke release is streaming on all platforms, but Latigi D. Icaro, my release with Rawa, is only available on Bandcamp. This may seem inconsistent, but it has to do with the respective goals of the releases. In the case of the Rawa collaboration, the goal was to raise money for him and the indigenous Shipibo community in the Peruvian rainforests. So to raise this money, it’s available exclusively on a platform which motivates listeners to invest in the music, in the story, and the people who make it.
In the case of the current Brueder Selke release, we are going for maximum reach, maximum listenership; sales are a secondary consideration. So it’s natural to make it available in all shops and on all platforms, and let the listener approach it how they choose.
I am enjoying the experiment, trying and seeing what works. My heart is telling me to stop using the streaming services, and exclusively use a service like Bandcamp. However before I make such a strong choice, I want to be sure of the decision. So right now we are in the experimental phase.
Brueder Selke: People will also know you as Sebastian and Daniel aka CEEYS. Where did your love of music come from and does being brothers add to the musical bond of how you play together?
We have been making music together for more than two decades now. After Sebastian‘s first trip to sports and ice-skating at an early age, he went to the local music school and decided to learn the cello. Impressed by Sebastian’s first trials and errors, Daniel soon followed with the piano. Since then we trained on our instruments simultaneously, but almost by accident discovered the joy of playing together through the paper thin walls from our Plattenbau, a panel construction building where we grew up. This is how we developed our first tracks and choose CEEYS as an alias to release some reworks from our favourite artists, but kept playing under the radar. After 4 albums that focus on our childhood in the former Communist-era GDR, with HAUSMUSIK we worked to reach the present. The limitations and restrictions in our childhood helped us to learn improvising with the daily lack of material, and since the crisis showed up we felt the need for another mutation. Our performance with Eric is a first walk under a new sigil, our real name: Brueder Selke, and we soon will have even more exciting news for you. For now let us enjoy this liquid trip with Eric…
Eric: Listening to Part 1 of Connecting Home is an involving, immersive experience. Can you explain how you went about recording it? And about the charities you have chosen to donate too from the profits generated? Any plans for Part 2?
This album came about as a result of weekly live streams I performed on Facebook during the first spring lockdown. I felt, along with many other musicians and creative people, the need to do something, and so I set myself up, and played improvised concerts once a week for twelve weeks. And I mean totally improvised, nothing planned, empty mind before the first note is played. It wound up being a beautiful experience, the pressure of performance and the unknown, connecting with friends and family, all of it was very special. The album itself is the raw recordings from the live streams, nothing was multi tracked or edited, so what you hear is what I played. Part 1 was taken from concerts 1-6, so there is plenty of material for the second part.
During this time there was something like 800 people a day dying in my hometown of NYC. It’s an unimaginable number. My heart was breaking. I wanted to help as best I could, and decided to donate all the proceeds from sales to the Food Bank of NYC, a wonderful charitable organization that provides meals and even more to NYC’s most needy.
The next charity I’ve chosen to donate to is local to Berlin, The International Womans Space. They work with migrant/refugee women, fighting against patriarchy, sexism, racism, and violence. To raise money for them I must put together a Part 2! I’d like to think of music as timeless, but after a month or two people move on to the next release. Even as a label you have to promote new releases and let the old ones go! To really do the IWS justice I will do a proper release of a Part 2 in the New Year, with proper promo, and really get it moving.
Sebastian and Daniel: You curate the Q3Ambientfest. Can you tell us more about the event and your current plans for the festival as a result of Covid-19?
BS: Our carefully curated boutique happening is another result of a radical change in our life. After living in East Berlin for nearly 20 years we had the chance to move to Potsdam. Sebastian already worked as sub-principal cello at Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg when Daniel got a job at the local state music school. But this improvement felt not only the right moment to establish our new Klingenthal Studio but the best time to found a platform for contemporary music. We are always looking to create physical stages here and there to share ideas with like-minded music lovers. It is still our deep hope and wish to keep that flag flying despite all dark surroundings in 2020. There will be light and we will be ready to re invite our friends to the beautiful town of Potsdam and its diverse architecture – one more aspect to link with the music.
To all of you: Outside of music, who are your most important influences in terms of artists, writers, painters etc?
BS: Oh, we revere movies, and we really love when our music gets connected to them. As Brueder Selke we will partner with more video artists. The filmmaking from the 1980s has the strongest influence on our work. From legendary sci-fi movies to epic anthologies, we think in that decade the art of making a durable piece of visual art, all by brain and hand, reached its peak point before the technology in form of computer simulations seemed to overcome this craft. That’s why the foundations of our live set are the instruments and its true sounds. We use the computer only in the final process of editing.
EM: I am a voracious reader. Right now I’m re-reading The Language of Saxophones by Kamau Daáood. Actually I just keep going through it over and over, it’s a book of poetry that has affected me on a very deep level. In addition to this I’m also reading The Soundscape by Murray R. Schafer, The Philosopher and the Monk by Jean-Francois Revel and Matthieu Ricard, Man and His Symbols by Carl G Jung, and Paul Klee’s Diaries (which I feel a little guilty about, they are his diaries after all).
I’m very deeply into the work of artist/healer Emma Kunz, the films of Fellini, Godard and Jodorowsky. I also love James Bond movies, it’s sort of like eating a big bowl of mac and cheese.
(Sebastian and Daniel): Hausmusik is a brilliant, timeless sounding album. Do you feel that playing an instrument live captures something that producing music electronically cannot? How would you describe the process of writing music together, is a piece created from a single idea/ note, or something you may have heard outside, watched or listened to?
BS: Thank you – it feels good to see our music translate well in that way. We think that it should not make a huge difference if you play an acoustic instrument or if you produce a track straight ITB. Everybody is free in the decision what to use and when and how. Today you are able to produce a 3D adventure animation or you can make it a silent movie. The technology is diverse as we are all individuals. There seems to be a natural dynamic that finally will bring us even closer together with this growing electronic universe, and there are a lot of great useful tools we can’t do without – but even with that hybrid philosophy in mind, we will need the stories that make our life.
And finally. What are you all most looking forward to in 2021?
BS: We started planning some shows to share with our friends but you fine readers should also check our new page or sign to our newsletter for exciting upcoming news. Please drop us a line if you want to partner with us. And we promise: there will be even a second waltz with Eric Maltz. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
EM: It’s always difficult to answer a question about the future, I’m very content with where I’m at right now. I have a full length album that I just completed, so if anything I am looking forward to putting that out next year. And as Brueder Selke just said, I’m hopeful we can put another release together in the coming year.