From what I’ve heard on your LP sound design is an integral part of this record, but you also do graphic design. Do you see a relation of sorts between sound design and graphic design?
When working on sounds and design I think in terms of curves, color, shape, lines and texture. In that sense I feel there is connection between the sound and visual designs. Both are composed and written to evoke images or emotions from the observer. I like to tell stories and encrypt a message when either working on music or graphic design.
How do you manage to keep your musical personas separate?
With the three project I explore different sonic territories. Each persona with a variation of sound and story of it’s own. One can gravitate to more turbulent waters, the other in a more calm and moody flow – ranging from rough, deep, calm and everything in between. Music is an extension of memory, expression of my inner world and helps to process the experiences in life.
Does the fact of now living in a place where it’s basically nighttime for a bunch of months change anything in your sound?
The darkness influences the sound, but more so the workflow in the studio. When the light fades this early it definitely allows for more focus to work on projects. I have always preferred to work at nighttime or really early in the morning. Although the feeling of desolation can sometimes affect the sound, it is at times really peaceful.
Read you did this whole record on just two pieces of gear, Andy Partridge from XTC once never replaced a string on his guitar cause missing a string made him have to come up with weird chords. What’s was the reasoning behind just two instruments?
Limitations have always inspired me when working with electronic instruments. I like to focus, program and explore a selected set of tools and see what unfolds. To dig deep and bring out the sounds that have an impact. It is usually the minimal selection of instruments that resulted in the most satisfying results. Working on Shift Register I felt that a synthesizer and drum machine would result in an interesting set of tracks and mark the identity and sound of the album.
Can using just two pieces of gear be translated into graphic design?
Like mentioned before, I can definitely see somewhere a connection. Colors, lines, shapes and space are always related and in harmony with each other. The same goes for sound. Programming and constructing a visual design starts out the same way for me in the studio, from an empty canvas. From here I start a dialogue of creation and design either a sonic or visual narrative. Interesting and accidental things happen when working with limited resources, different interfaces or tools. At the end of the day it is really not important to the listener what tools were used. It is the final piece of art that resonates with you.
I’m a huge dub techno and electro fan, it’s actually quite a good time for electro cause there’s been a lot of amazing releases, but I also feel it is a much maligned genre, there’s the electro-house misconception (not really house, nor electro) and also in Mexico people just don’t dance to it cause they need 4/4 to get crazy… Where does your love for Underground Resistance and Drexciya come from?
It is raw music, straight from the heart with pure dedication and love for the music. UR and especially Drexciya had an incredible control over their external influences and developed a critical approach to listening and making music. Their ability to transmit ideas that come from real life experiences: anger, happiness, love, hate, the environment, history. I really like the concepts and stories that are encrypted in their work, it feels and sounds very real and authentic. From rough and invasive to soft and delicate sounding tracks, Drexciya’s consistent flow and rich storytelling continue to inspire me.
Whose designer would you like to have heard music from? (again, living or dead, mine would be the Eames even though they’re not graphic designers per se.)
Andrei Tarkovsky – Poetic electronic compositions recorded in the depths of the Zone.
Vladimir Mishukov – Melancholic and detuned soundscapes mixed with field recordings from the foggy lakes.
Naum Gabo – Powerful kinetic sound-sculptures. Future-proof.
Man Ray – Avant-garde tape-recordings and surreal washes of reverberated noise.
El Lissitzky – Russian New-Wave with typographic phrases and precise sound-design.