Monday, 22 July 2019

Interview With Techno Musician Alexander Church

In 2001 Alexander Church turned his then 7-year love affair with electronic music into his very own offspring in the form of industrial techno and melodic soundscapes of his own making. This child now grown into maturity has resulted in the artist's own label Configurations of Self. This label has come as a sort of self-therapy/explanatory session through which Church hopes to reflect on his own life, journey and where he is in that moment. And then, in turn, use that platform to help others do the same - “I aim to help other people who are living their lives in a dysfunctional and self-sabotaging way.”

Alexander Church lent a bit of his time to us for a few questions about his craft, how it all started for him and how important an artists psychology is to their art.    

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?

Mmmm, that’s a difficult one, I would say that my sound depends on my mood and feeling at the time. Currently, I’d say my sound was melodic and humanistic, it kind of represents a shift and change in my life, however, this can change over time and dark industrial music can take over.

How did it all start for you?

It all started around 1996 when I was fortunate enough to be given a YTS at my local record shop, the Disc in Bradford. I was completely consumed by vinyl and all kinds of releases from industrial techno coming from France and the UK based techno and rave scene. I was only 17, however, I would go to the UK raves and immerse myself in the darker sound of techno. My knowledge of the scene and the music releases was quite comprehensive, I used to catalogue my vinyl releases in order and knew all the cat numbers and track titles of all the releases I had. I used to go to the phone box every week and call a small distributor in Paris, who would send me these rare limited industrial noise records. At the raves, I always remember the PRS workers who were tasked with logging down each of tracks the DJs were playing, the DJs were supposed to pass their vinyl to the PRS so they can be catalogued. One of my favourite DJs at the time (The DJ Producer), would never let anyone else touch his vinyl’s, so his sets could never be documented, I asked the PRS if I could have a go at documenting his set, He played his set and I knew every single track, label, artist and cat number he played. After his set, he was shown the document and he was like who did this? And they pointed to me, he came over and was like wow that is awesome, from that moment he helped me with production and making tracks and invited me to his studio so I could watch how he made music, things started to gather momentum from there and I started to collect synths hardware and practised making music.

What three albums would you say influenced your sound the most?

Ed Rush and Optical Wormhole
Bladerunner Soundtrack 
FantasiaTwice as Nice 

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you can't live without?

I am quite a keen synth collector and in the past, I have been guilty of thinking that the equipment I have defines the output I get. It took me a lot of years and a lot of money wasted to realise that time spent learning my equipment is much more valuable than the money spent on my equipment. Currently, I am using the Dave Smith OB-6 and the Prophet 6 a lot, they are fantastic synths full of richness, I would be a little lost without them, however, If needed I could live without them.

What are some of your key influences in your music? Whether it be the sound created by others, imagery, films or any kind of art form.

My key influences have always been using music to help me capture my emotions sadness and inner struggles. I had to take a few years away from music, as I started to let my sessions in the studio define my mood. I would feel pressured to make something and feel happy and joyful if it went well, and then sad and down if I could not put anything together. It was a really dark time and I needed to escape from music a little. Now I am not defined by my music making and am using my studio time as self-reflection and a means of understanding the pain and hurt of others, I am studying to become a counselling psychologist and part of my journey involves working with people and trying to help them through depression, anxiety, bereavement and all kinds of abuse. When I finish my work with clients, I usually come home and go into the studio. This helps me capture my feelings and process what is going on for me. I have also started to use rural locations and photography as a means of escapism too. It’s a release for me and the basis of my new label called Configurations of Self. 

What is one sub-genre you think doesn't get the attention it deserves?

I struggle with the categorisation of music and genres and sub-genres if I am honest. There is so much now it really is hard to keep up with it. I do like and follow the ambient noise and drone scene a little though. In terms of it having more recognition or not. I could not really answer that.

Any new or upcoming artists on your radar?

To be honest, I am not very good at keeping up with the scene and would not know who new or old artists were, I missed a few years away while I pursued other things, so I am just catching up a little. I do however buy lots of vinyl from Decks and Juno, and sometimes buy digital releases too. I must say there is some amazing music out there at the moment and some very talented producers, regardless of genre I try to look for depth in a track and I always try to imagine what the artist was thinking when they made the track, what triggered them into using the sounds they used and what processes were going on inside for them. I do also love the artwork for labels especially vinyl, sometimes there is so much to listen too, I might be drawn to the cover or the artwork and it will make me stop and listen.

What makes your live performances different from the rest?

Currently, I am working with my friend on developing a VR based performance that we are trying to put together. It's in its early stages of development, however, we want to perform it at an art or media centre. A few years ago, I played a live set with my friend Martin under our Dronelock guise. We immersed ourselves in this stage and media was beamed around us as we played live with some modular and other equipment. It was great fun, however, it was really stressful setting everything up and praying it all worked. I would never take as much gear out these days, for our VR project I am using an Octatrack MK2 and MPC live synced and it's really fun, I would not call it live, however, the combination allows you to experiment a lot.

What single night out has been the most memorable for you? As a performer? As an attendee?

Far too many memorable nights to mention. When I was younger, it was the Sanctuary in Milton Keynes and The Void in Stoke On Trent, as I got older I’d say Fabric and Tresor in Berlin, Sonar by Day and Woodstock in Amsterdam are my favourite places as an attendee. I have not really performed in many places however Corsica Studios in London was a great venue to perform.

What is your favourite venue of all time?

To be honest, I have to say Woodstock in Amsterdam is my favourite venue of all time, the sound, the location, the people - it is an amazing place to go. I would recommend it to anyone. It finishes around 11.30 pm too, I can’t party like I used to anymore. From a nostalgic perspective, I would have to say the Sanctuary in Milton Keynes.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

My plan in terms of projects is to grow my Configurations of Self label and use this as an output to process my thoughts and feelings as I progress with my academic study. I am learning about lots of psychological theory and will present theory, media and music with each release on the label. If I can also work on the VR project I’d like people to be able to go on a journey of my mind while they listen to the releases and submerse themselves in Virtual Reality.

Famous last words?

Drink plenty of water daily – it solves a lot of issues and helps us feel good.

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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Boris Brejcha drops melodic techno roller ‘Gravity’

Marking his first release of the year, German DJ and producer Boris Brejcha returns with high-energy single ‘Gravity’, out today via Ultra Music.

 Clocking in at over nine minutes, it’s an immersive track that takes the listener on a high-octane journey. The melodic breakdown roughly midway through allows Berlin-based singer-songwriter Laura Korinth to apply her ethereal, transcendental vocals, before the thumping kick-drum returns and jolts the single back to life. ‘Gravity’ also features a ten-and-a-half minute long extended version, a shortened radio edit and a sombre, downbeat piano edit delivered by Nick Schwenderling.

 The release comes amidst a typically stacked summer schedule for Brejcha, with a set alongside compatriot and fellow techno titan Sven Vath at Ibiza’s Ushuaïa Beach Hotel preceding two of his own ‘Boris Brejcha F*ckin Serious’ parties at Hï Ibiza. This will be followed up by six North American dates to round off the month of August, as he takes his idiosyncratic brand of dance music to Halcyon in San Francisco (23rd), Exchange in LA (24th), Space in Miami alongside Chris Leibing (30th), and more. 

 Emerging onto the scene with the double release of ‘Monster’ and ‘Yellow Kitchen’ back in 2006, Brejcha has spent the years since developing his own style of music, coined as ‘High-Tech Minimal’. Most recently he dropped a track on the Best Of Cloning Sound compilation to mark the tenth anniversary of the imprint.

 Released ahead of a slew of performances at some of the world’s finest clubs, Boris Brejcha’s first single of 2019 marks the next chapter in the story of one of electronic music’s most prolific artists.

To find out more about Boris Brejcha, go to:
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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Techno Music Artist VII Circle will release his album 'From The Depths' on Barcelona's HEX Recordings in September

Techno dynamite VII Circle to deliver ‘From the Depths’ on Barcelona’s HEX Recordings in September.

Appearing in 2016, VII Circle’s post-punk and metal inspired techno have arrived on labels like Flyance Records, Illegal Alien Records and their own Rapid Eye Movement. When not performing in Poland, Germany, Spain and Georgia the talented VII Circle is a regular at HEX’s renowned Barcelona-based techno events. Having contributed a remix to the debut release he now returns to HEX Recordings for the label’s second outing with a release inspired by Dante’s Inferno.

‘Conflict’ opens the release with fast-paced percussion, sustained atmospherics and frenzied high hats before ‘Arise’ weaves acid dipped synths into metallic clashes and hard-hitting stabs. ‘Timeless’ is next, pairing haunting textures with stormy effects, leading into ‘END’ which swiftly builds into a powerful cut complete with growling bass. Tying everything together, Nexe Records founders NX1 remix ‘Conflict’ incorporating warped frequencies and a murky low-end.

Follow VII Circle:

Some of their previous work:

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Friday, 24 May 2019

Music Composer and Talented Drummer NHOAH Releases His New track ‘I Can’t Satisfy You’

German electronic producer and drummer, NHOAH released his new single ‘I Can’t Satisfy You’ on 17 May via R.O.T following his last single ‘Mountain Calls’ which released with a stunning video by Mickael La Goff was premiered by TRAX Magazine.

For this track, NHOAH built it around the sound of a preaching sermon. The goal is to take the approach as if aimed at a congregation and with an intent to inspire unity and a motivation for makind to have a greater love for one another. 

NHOAH himself explains it, “... I love to work on this kind of music, to pass on to people parts of my experiences, and see how it waves over the dancefloor. When I play my music on stage, I am a listener and dancer in the audience as well. To evoke emotions and share a subconscious level with the listener is a wonderful thing. ‘I Can`t Satisfy You’ is directed to the inner self, the one with a twinkle in its eye. The track is my attempt to intensify the music by using certain words. I hope it will give you something new, or at least something you want to experience once more.”

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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Music Artist Luca Mortellaro Introduces a new track 'The Light Touch' as a idiosyncratic piece

Caustic, dense and centred around complex but exquisitely executed percussive motifs and driven, rising sequences – many would argue an alliance between Shifted’s heady, monochrome recordings and Lucy’s beloved Stroboscopic Artefacts label is long overdue. The music draws on much of the British producer’s previous work, assembled carefully using a characteristic sonic palette – but as ever, Brewer finds fresh space between sounds – showing off a tentatively more extroverted side to his work.

Title track 'The Light Touch' is perhaps one of Shifted’s more idiosyncratic pieces. Instantly recognisable with it’s heavily granular finish and subtle shifts in delay and reverb composition, the track is rich with groove and moves relentlessly across it’s five minute run time.

Seel showcases the artist’s talent for building tension with minimal elements – built around a single warping lead, noise racks drift in and out of the mix to generate effective builds and subtle releases. EP closer, Mixen, riffs on it’s predecessor’s approach but strips back the percussive elements further and ups the ante with searing drone signals rising up above the lead sequence driving the track.
As ever, Brewer’s musical output looks to the heart of the genre – remaining true to purist sensibilities that favour economy of sonic components and studio prowess over unnecessary fanfare, but all the while forging new ground & refining a genuinely personal aesthetic. 

A powerful debut on a label in fine form that represents some of the best of the British artist’s work.

SATOTEM004 Shifted // June 21st

SATOTEM005 Denise Rabe // July 12th

SATOTEM006 Zeitgeber // September 6th

SATOTEM007 Adriana Lopez // October 4th
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Thursday, 16 May 2019

Music Artists Alina Izolenta and Kamil Ea, known as PTU present their debut album 'Am I Who I Am' on трип.

Alina Izolenta and Kamil Ea, the duo more formally known as PTU, present their debut album Am I Who I Am on трип.

The origins of PTU can be traced back to the early 00s, which found the duo spending their formative years experimenting with analog synths and sharing music onto each other’s hard drives. The physicality of this approach went on to have an immeasurable effect on their aesthetic, which bears an unmistakable live feel - rich with improvisation and surprises.

A relatively sparse discography might mislead you from the fact that they have over a decade of experience delving into the strangest depths of analog hardware and jamming on obscure synths. A brief 2016 appearance on the трип concept album When I was 14 was followed by the emergence of ‘A Broken Clock Is Right Twice A Day’ - a stand out track on Nina Kraviz’ fabric 91 mix - which went on to become the title track for their highly acclaimed 2017 debut EP. Now, the duo present their singular, uncategorisable take on electronic music across a full length album.

Assimilating references to techno and IDM, but placing them in far less familiar structures, PTU’s productions breathe life into precise rhythmic patterns with equal doses of energy, experimentation and humour. Their music (just about) files under techno, but their approach to composition rejects genre boundaries of any kind, opting instead for a free-form exploration of the weird and wonderful.

Across twelve tracks, they cut and chop their way through frenetic marching drums and spiralling acid leads, awakening an army of malfunctioning robots as they go. Whilst Am I Who I Am boasts a vast spectrum of bizarre ideas - often introduced at high velocity - each one is executed with a skillful dose of restraint, summoning energy from microscopically detailed arrangements. From the angular maximalism of ‘Castor & Pollux’ to the eerie polyrhythms of ‘After Cities’ and the relentless hammer drills of ‘Sirocco’, PTU find life in the most extraordinary of places.

Following on from a series of stand-out appearances on трип, Am I Who I Am is a thrilling voyage into techno’s strangest sector.

artist: PTU
title: Am I Who I Am
label: трип
date: 17th June 2019
cat. #: TRP024
format: vinyl | digital
vinyl pre-order: clone

 a1. doc 22
a2. pursuit of a shadow
a3. castor and pollux
b1. after cities
b2. former me
b3. how does it feel
c1. over
c2. copper mines, new machines and the future conspiracy
c3. which word is the coldest
d1. sirocco
d2. skyscript
d3. i heard you breathe

PTU perform live at Hyperreality Festival in Vienna this Friday 17th May, alongside label head Nina Kraviz.
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Friday, 29 March 2019

Techno Producer NHOAH Releases His Gripping Music Video 'Mountain Calls'

Berlin-based techno producer, NHOAH has released quite the music video on 29 March. The track entitled ‘Mountain Calls’ comes to the world as an offering from R.O.T (resoectortolerate records) and the music video premiered on the Reveral Music Youtube channel on 22 March as well as serving as a taste teaser for an album set to drop sometime in 2019.

The music video itself is just a visual burst of both organic landscapes and spacey graphics. While the camera pans over rocky ridges as individual spheres float atop the peaks and canyons. These spheres look to represent planets within our beautiful planet Earth. A meeting of a few worlds perhaps. 

When explaining the message behind the music video for ‘Mountain Calls’ NHOAH describes the idea of elements that seemingly contradict each other and his desire to fuse those elements, “Vienna has become my second hometown. As a Berliner, who has seen a lot, I feel inspired by the people here and the incredible nature. A wave of music has burst out of me. I tried to bring together events which appear to exist in distinctly different worlds. The fusion of a traditional call with techno music, the power of the mountain with melting glaciers, the vision of a saving from above (depicted in video) with the kicking of my nanoparticles. All of this makes “Mountain Calls".

Watch 'Mountain Calls' here.

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