Jul 312015
 

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We recently had an interesting chat with Quentin McFadden, widely known as Quentin Hiatus, whose interesting music runs parallel to the more than one exciting publishing activity, performed through his own imprint Free Love Digi, one of the most futuristic D’n’B labels in the US, at the moment. I would put him in “Next Big Thing” folder, as he has released so many incredible tunes! Check out his tunes and his words, right here!

 

Chain D.L.K.: Hi Quentin. How are you?

Quentin Hiatus: I’m well, man; pretty hungry, at the moment. I’ll need to eat lunch very soon.

 

interview picture 1Chain D.L.K.: Could you introduce yourself (or should I rather say, the myth of Quentin Hiatus) to our readers? Have you ever spoken to Greek Gods or Alien Monsters? You’re born in Mars, USA, according to your bio. Was it annexed by the Yankees back then? 🙂

Quentin Hiatus: Haha. My real name is Quentin McFadden. I’m a full time father, husband and career man. Music is a massive part of my life. I’m just a regular dude, plus my amazing goddess of a wife. Love you girl 🙂

 

Chain D.L.K.: If I remember well, your first vinyl release was under the label IM:Ltd. Was it just a flirt with French labels?

Quentin Hiatus: Hehe. Yes, my first vinyl release was with IM:ltd a label run by my long time counterpart Bastien. He and I had other releases planned out, but they’ve not come to market yet. I’m not quite sure if he’s still got the label or not. Great label and music, in any case. I’ve had my nose stuck in FLD land, so I’ve missed quite a bit going on outside that world.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Who’s the author of that grinding heart which appears on many covers of Free Love Digi?

Quentin Hiatus: I’m glad you asked. A very talented friend of mine, Aaron Smith from the UK, drew them. I met Aaron about 4 and a half years ago. We created the vision for FLD together. It wouldn’t be what it is without him. Thanks Aaron 🙂

 

Chain D.L.K.: Many musicians, producers or DJ’s launch their own imprint, in order to feel more free, from an artistic point of view. What if the labels you got in touch regarding Free Love Digi, did not consider the (very good) stuff you’re providing as “marketable”?

Quentin Hiatus: I agree man. Many musicians seek to create an outlet for their full creative spectrum. This is why I created my label Free Love Digi, as well. I wanted the label to be a place where I and others could release music and feel free to do as we wish – within reason, of course. I used to care about “marketability”, but I’ve found that just isn’t for me. That’s not what I care about. I care about spreading great music. The fact that I happen to be pretty good with marketing – that’s a totally different story. I utilize marketing to help my artists reach a larger audience. But we dictate what our fans hear, not the other way round. I’m interested in transforming minds, not catering to them.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Are you going to keep Free Love Digi a digital label or are there any vinyl’s on the way?

Quentin Hiatus: I’ve toyed around with the idea of physical media. Everyone will have to wait and see.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Does your “deep” understanding of dubstep/dnb have any connection to the the most intimate voices of soul?

Quentin Hiatus: I grew up with soul music in my home. As I’ve mentioned in previous interviews, my mother’s musical taste has always stayed with me. Gospel, R&B, Blues, Jazz, Hip Hop were all mandatory in my home, growing up.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Could you introduce your last two awesome releases – Chocolate Cosmos (I have to confess that I often imagine a raid by angry Oompa Lumpa’s against selfish teens while listening to it, due to its title!) and Passive Boycott – to our readers?

Quentin Hiatus: Haha. Oompa Lumpa’s!!! Yes, man, Chocolate Cosmos was an exploration piece for me. I really just closed my eyes and imagined what I wanted to hear at the time: deep emotion, space and thought. The name “Chocolate Cosmos” comes from a very rare flower found on Earth. Passive Boycott was inspired by the civil rights movement here in the US, in the 60’s. I wanted to make an album that was aggressive, but still had thought-inducing themes, as well. The title track “Passive Boycott” features a dialogue with a prominent civil rights leader, Stokely Carmicheal.

 

interview picture 1Chain D.L.K.: The intersection between the inner and outer spheres of yourself made me think about some “mystical” acts from the bass-driven music scene. For instance, some wise thoughts about music and art, in general, as a kind of strategy for existence by DJ Spooky. Any connection with “That Subliminal Kid”?

Quentin Hiatus: No direct connection, aside from similar inspiration, I guess. I’m a bit of a thinker and I love to inspire others to think more, as well. For me, music allows me to say things I don’t normally say and reach people I’d never meet otherwise. Sharing my life experience is at the center of my musical processes.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us something about the dubstep and d’n’b scene in the US? What are the main differences between this and the stuff that comes from the other side of the ocean?

Quentin Hiatus: Hehe. I’m not much of help on this topic. I’m a bit of a hermit these days. Recon D&B out of CO, Bassrush, Onset, Soma, Phat Ent, Respect and others hold it down nicely, with great shows and talent. I don’t go to shows or really participate too much in the scene. I’m a dad and husband first. This leaves me little time for going out 🙂

 

Chain D.L.K.:I won’t ask you the usual question about the state of drum’n’bass, but I’d like to ask you what are the main requirements for being in this genre, in your opinion (both from listener’s and producer’s point of view).

Quentin Hiatus: I’ve always loved drum and bass. There’s nothing else like it on the planet. The energy is fluid and eternal. I find that listeners just need to hear that “one track” that changes the way they hear drum and bass. For many, it’s a hard genre to comprehend. My goal, from a producer’s point of view, is to transform others’ and my own perception of drum and bass. I believe drum and bass can be whatever it wants. I use whatever I need to in order to express myself through my tunes. House, dubstep, neo-sound, hip-hop, techno and whatever else feels right in that particular moment.

 

Chain D.L.K.:My favorite track on “Chocolate Cosmos” is “Understatement”; all that electronic spacey gurgling! Is it just an exercise of style or is there something else behind it? What did you have in mind while making it?

Quentin Hiatus: I love that one too! Space; that’s what I had in mind. The absence of sound is just as powerful as the presence of it.

 

Chain D.L.K.:You quoted Zanj Rebellion in another release for Translation Recordings. What’s the connection with “Passive Boycott”? Just a change of policy and sonic strategy?

Quentin Hiatus: Zanj Rebellion refers to a huge revolt African slaves pulled off, back in the day. An amazing story – Google it. Both Zanj Rebellion and Passive Boycott speak for African civil rights and the pursuit for equality around the world.

 

Chain D.L.K.:Whose voice is it on the title-track? Do you believe in “passive boycott”?

Quentin Hiatus: Stokely Carmichael, Civil Rights leader. He later changed his name to Kwame Ture, I believe.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Any upcoming releases (by yourself or on your label)?

Quentin Hiatus: I’ve just finished putting together an amazing artist compilation album for my label. So many acquaintances involved! Check out http://freelovedigi.com for details. I’m also finishing my second full length solo album, to come out this year, as well. I’ve also got more singles coming out, together with Onset and Translation, later this year 🙂

 

Visit Quentin Hiatus online at: quentinhiatus.com

Jul 302015
 

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We’ve had a chat with Graham ‘Dids” Dowdall, aka Gagarin, after listening to his recent release “aoticp”, on his imprint GEO records. This new ring in his chain – after the acclaimed album “Biophilia” – features really atmospheric and melodic music, which doesn’t adhere to any style or genre, but “draws on influences ranging from contemporary classic to techno and every point in between and beyond”.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Hi Graham! How are you?

Gagarin: I’m well, sweltering in the London heat for once.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Even if lots of our readers know you and your experience is really remarkable, could you introduce yourself?

Gagarin: I’m Graham, aka Dids, aka Gagarin. I was originally a drummer, worked in a Manchester band called Ludus, then worked together with Nico for 7 years and did loads of other projects. I now make solo electronica as Gagarin, play in Pere Ubu and in Roshi ft Pars Radio.

 

GagarinChain D.L.K.: Your name came up a couple of years ago during a chat with your collaborator Roshi Nasehi, who praised your creativity. What were your impressions when you met her? Any work in progress with that talented singer?

Gagarin: She struck me as a fabulous singer, but also someone with a wide ranging musical taste and talent; with a strong will, but also open minded – classical, jazz, pop, avant-garde.

 

 

Chain D.L.K.: You are a member of Pere Ubu, at the moment.How do they handle their legendary past, in your opinion?

Gagarin: PU always look forward – the next record, the next adventure, whilst always being aware of their heritage. There is no nostalgia in Pere Ubu.

 

Chain D.L.K.: You also collaborated with another music legend, Nico. Are there any mistakes or untold stories in her official and unofficial biographies you’d like to share with us?

Gagarin: Hard to find one to start with. A lot has been written about Nico – most of it, not very accurate. She had an amazing character. Here’s a short one that sums her up. We were in Italy; it was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. Gigs were going well; Nico was smiling and happy as she sat in the van and started to sing “This is the place where he found the blade to cut his wrist”!!

 

Chain D.L.K.: Is there anything in your musical past you’d like to perform live again? Or a moment in music history you experienced that brings back nostalgic thoughts?

Gagarin: It’s all nostalgic, but I wouldn’t want to go through any of it again. I wish Nico had lived longer – whenever I remember her, it’s with a mix of happiness for her friendship and sadness for her loss.

 

Chain D.L.K.: What’s the origin of Gagarin’s moniker? Nothing related to your work about Moscow for Fishpool Dance Theatre?

Gagarin: I was in Russia in the mid-90s playing Britronica with an electropop band I had and I came back inspired to start a solo project. I’d always been fascinated by Yuri Gagarin – the heroism of going into the unknown, the old school futurism.

 

GagarinChain D.L.K.: Speaking of nostalgia, you recently made an experimental cassette based on sounds from analogue radios. Could you tell us more about this release? Do you think that format is really dead, in spite of many musicians seeming to have rediscovered it?

Gagarin: Cassettes are interesting instruments. They never sound good, as such, but they age quickly and interestingly – the sound degrades as wow and flutter arise. Everyone is looking for a way to stand out; an odd format can help you do that. I like the fact that it’s a cheap and DIY format and, of course, the nostalgia for the Walkman generation still exists.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Let’s talk about your recent output “Aoticp”. What’s the meaning of the title? And what’s the connection between Aoticp’s music and the field portrayed on the cover artwork?

Gagarin: The title may or may not be a real word. I’m saying no more. The connection with the cover art is related to the interface between the urban and pastoral – city and country-side, industrial noise and ambient melody – it’s all about contrasts and collisions. I’m obsessed with this and the photo of the South Downs, in Sussex, which my artist, Vince, desecrated with the Gagarin logo!

 

Chain D.L.K.: Some sounds resemble the “trance ambient” of the second half of 90ies that labels like Warp or Rephlex made popular. Is there any connection with that phase of electronic music?

Gagarin: Yes – I draw from all generations of electronic music – from Varese to grime. I like to play with little elements from a particular genre, but not stay within its boundaries. Certainly, in Aoticp I touch upon the 90’s ambient-trance, but also happy hard-core – the 90’s were a very productive period for dance and “post dance” music!

 

Chain D.L.K.: You used plenty of field recordings. Which sources are the most hard to recognize?

Gagarin: Everything I do has some sort of field recording in it, ever since David Cunningham (producer of Flying Lizards) came to my studio and I complained that the trains outside my window were always very loud. He said “well… use them – they are part of your sound”. So I did – I always have a mic out in the garden so that birds, trains and traffic are always recorded. I use some of the sounds raw and others I process so that they are indeed unrecognisable – Aoticp includes a fridge, radios, rain, birds, planes and many others.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Is there any connection between the above-mentioned “Outside Broadcast” and any other releases of yours?

Gagarin: Yes, I have revisited a couple of tracks from “Outside Broadcast”, so they could be heard in hi fi, as well as lo fi. In particular some, very low bass frequencies originating from the fridge can’t be heard on cassette.

 

GagarinChain D.L.K.: You quoted Epidiolex for the title of a track. How come?

Gagarin: Like most musicians, I have a creative relationship with cannabis. It does not give me creativity, but it certainly helps getting quickly into the zone where sounds can be heard and analysed in a particular and detailed way. I’m pretty old and worried that recent breeding for high THC has taken away much of the balance that old weed used to offer. Part of this process has involved the reduction of CBD which seems to have a lot of potential medical benefits. Epidiolex is how one of the pharma demons has named their CBD product.

 

Chain D.L.K.: How did you involve Bakelite in the amazing sound processing for the homonymous track?

Gagarin: Bakelite is the material from which most old radios, but also my home telephone, were made . It was once the material of the future, but now it’s just a pretty expensive plastic. The solid feel that Bakelite possesses – chunky, almost organic, but still synthetic, represents that track pretty well for me.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Have you tested “Aoticp” on live stage? If yes, what was the most unexpected feedback from the audience?

Gagarin: Quite a lot and I’m keen to do more all over Europe. When I take the stuff out live, I re-interpret it without a computer and use the same material to create the ambient, the abstract or heavily composed versions. People are surprised with how different I can make the same tracks sound, with just a sampler, drum pads and iPad – people always comment that it’s like “real music” i.e. played, not programmed.

 

Chain D.L.K.: Any news about forthcoming releases on GEO?

Gagarin: Not sure – we are working on the next Roshi album, but she is having a baby (who won’t be released on Geo), so not sure when that will be finished.

 

Visit Gagarin online at: gagarin.org.uk

Jul 252015
 

DIE FORM ÷ FINE AUTOMATIC
BAIN TOTAL PRE-ORDERS / RESERVATIONS

July 2015+

Dear friends and partners,

These new products will be soon available,
signed and dedicated on request !
Please, contact us for exact shipping costs calculation

• “DIE FORM ÷ FINE AUTOMATIC” VOL. 1 + 2 (1980-1985)
(Rotorelief Records)

“This release is the unique and complete full album from one of the Die Form side-projects, named “DIE FORM ÷ FINE AUTOMATIC” (from the “Endless” short tapes serie). This one is released in double albums as two separate vinyl LPs in the context of the Archives of Industrial Music from France (offering inside this collection : identical covers, excepting specific typography of the artist or of the band and personalized logotypes) in order to point out its radical aesthetic unity and strong artistic coherence.”

Different vinyl editions :

• LP 1 + 2 “Deluxe Edition” :
Ultra limited first 80 copies black vinyl in an original silk screening gatefold-poster, signed and numbered, with 2 additional A4 prints and 3 new badges :
60 EUR + shipping
http://atelierimprimerie.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/dieform-fineautomatic-iii/

• LP 1 and LP 2 “Ltd. Standard Edition” :
– LP 1 (Ltd. 200 copies Red) : 19 EUR + shipping
– LP 1 (Ltd. 300 copies Black) : 17 EUR + shipping
– LP 2 (Ltd. 200 copies Red) : 19 EUR + shipping
– LP 2 (Ltd. 300 copies Black) : 17 EUR + shipping

(Prices including 20% VAT / TVA)

Thank you for your support !
All the best,
Philippe & Éliane

ROTORELIEF RECORDS

• You can like us here 😉 www.facebook.com/DieFormMusic
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Jul 172015
 

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Im guessing that a lot of our readers have never heard of these names: Achim Wollscheid was formerly known as S.B.O.T.H.I. He was one of the brains behind the influential label Selektion, together with Ralf Wehowsky. Using Selektion, he produced a number of very interesting pieces, such as the entire discography of legendary German noise/industrial band P16.D4. After lots of catching releases that gravitate around proper computer music and avant-garde electronics, he reduced his output with regard to sound in the last decade. Bernard Schreiner is a photographer, filmmaker, musician and installation artist who prefers – like Achim – playing live rather than physical releases. His seven years at the Academy of Fine Arts, spent under the wing of experimental film maker Peter Kubelka are worth mentioning too. Together they recently appeared on Baskaru‘s catalogue on “Calibrated Contingency”, the recording of a collaborative live performance they held in Graz in 2011. This was labelled as “dizzying and otherworldly”. In a twist to our usual interview format, we wanted to put the two of them face to face again for some questions/answers and we managed. Instead of us asking the questions, they interview each other. Next up – an interview that could very well be considered a calibrated contingency!

 

Bernhard-Schreiner

Bernhard Schreiner

Bernhard: For our concert in Graz, you built a “machine” using the PD software. The machine takes everything that is audible in the room and transforms it, in real-time, in various ways. As it’s the machine that reacts to and builds up the sound, could the result be understood as a kind of machine-made music?

Achim: I guess that any music could be considered machine-made. As Vilem Flusser said about analogue photography: the camera is an apparatus that incorporates a program the user is supposed to utilize. Likewise, any analogue musical instrument can be seen as an apparatus involving “programs” that the instrumentalist utilizes. (Listen to Jean Dubuffet’s non-programmatic use of instruments – and you hear what I mean). To use an instrument via software gets rid of our human counterparts – and thus, of the virtuosity problem („Mum, listen how good I am“). As hands cease to be obstacles, other obstacles arise, of course.

 

Bernhard: In your understanding, can the machine be considered the musician, or is it you, the constructor of the machine?

Achim: I guess none of us. I feel like an operator (sometimes I have to adjust certain parameters). Generally, I consider artwork functional – meaning they inhabit the varying spaces between in-=puts and outputs. Sound from the environment is recorded and transformed in real time and, then, put out. Transformation only works within a certain context, and thus the “musical” task is to design functions that correlate with the context or certain aspects of it.
Analogue music usually doesn’t directly register inputs (for example, from the audience). Of course, the piano player will become quiet when he’s shot – but usually the man or woman on stage puts out, not in. To adjust to and navigate within the context means to “listen” and put out, at the same time. Such input comes without annotation or selectivity. Therefore, selection (or designing the way in which the machine receives input) becomes as important as the output itself.

 

Bernhard: In what way do you influence the machine’s output during a concert?

Achim: Sometimes I restart or reboot. It might happen (though I take a lot of care to avoid it) that sounds feedback or silence occurs. Both may also be acceptable – or not.

 

Bernhard: What is your main concern regarding “playing” or avoiding playing (music)?

Achim: It’s what I call the “party-principle.” There are two kinds of parties: the ones where hosts are extremely attentive to everything. Usually the guests enjoy themselves and the hosts don’t. The other, opposite, one is when hosts throw parties because they want to party themselves – meaning drinks are out after an hour and – well, you know.
Same thing with playing music. I’d like to be part of the party and organize it, at the same time. That means (in a metaphorical sense): to “ex-corporate” the maker of music (the function) allows me to roam around and listen to what “I’m doing”, from different places and perspectives.

 

Bernhard: Do you think a distinction between “music” and “sound art” or any work with sound outside the realm of music makes sense?

Achim: No.

 

Achim Wollscheid

Achim Wollscheid

Achim: You do sound installations and you also perform in a concert-like way. Which of the two makes you feel more at ease? Or is ease something you don’t want to achieve?

Bernhard: Both are equally important to me. I wouldn’t like to lose one or the other. In a way, “ease” is indeed not the thing I aim to achieve, meaning I’m fine with not feeling uncomfortable during a concert. At the same time, I need to keep myself in tension; the whole experience needs to be risky, somehow. I try to construct setups I’m not able to control entirely; setups that have potential to surprise me or that are just too complex to be securely managed in all their parameters, without losing the overview. In that respect, the main difference between a sound installation and a live situation is that the installation works lack a kind of “where do we go from here?” tension – not that all my installation works are completely predetermined -. I often work with concepts that incorporate (pseudo-) chance or are “self-mixing” etc. But I like to leave the installations alone, so (ideally) they develop and change themselves over time.

 

Achim: When you play in an improvised setting, which time frame (allocated to planning ahead or considering the musical events that just happened) do you usually consider?

Bernhard: In many cases, between 20 and 45 minutes, but I think that’s a concession for the audience, the promoter etc. – I like to break that time frame I feel is kind of imposed on myself. Keith Rowe once told me that, while being in a live situation, he sometimes feels like he has done everything that is possible with his setup, after 10 minutes, while sometimes he can go on for hours with exactly the same setup – that’s one of the powerful qualities of improvised music.

 

Achim: Concerts involve drama – voluntarily or involuntarily. Are you telling stories? If so, what are they focused on?

Bernhard: That’s a tricky question for me. I feel more drawn towards non-narrative artwork – but the question is if one can really escape storytelling. It might just be a matter of perspective. From a certain point of view, everything tells a story. Let’s say I try to avoid telling stories but I’m well aware that we (humans) seem to work in a way that constantly compares what’s happening at the moment with an internal database of what has happened in the past. We seem to permanently try to find equivalents, for the sounds we hear, for example, in order to know what we are dealing with. That’s what makes Pierre Schaeffer’s “sound-object”, which (in theory) is completely free of any connotation, so difficult (but a desirable concept in my view).

 

Achim: When playing in Graz, we somehow (without having thought about it) got to a 45-minute piece. Could you imagine going for (a lot) more? What would that change?

Bernhard: I totally can. I would love to go for longer pieces. It would certainly affect the way of working with a setup –the timing, the pace of developing something, for sure. Even the setup itself might be reconsidered and end up being a different one. For me, it would also touch upon the question of what the piece actually is: is it like a concert with a proper beginning and end? Or is it potentially endless and just an excerpt is being presented? I guess Max Neuhaus must have thought about these intricacies when he moved away from the concert/music realm to fine arts, working with sound but freeing it from its time-based form, letting it become potentially endless; a sculpture made from sound.

 

Achim: You gave the piece a great final mix. In a rock mix, one erases bum notes. What did you erase?

Bernhard: It’s funny you ask this. I erased something quite similar to bum notes. The recording was done with two independent recorders, one for your stereo-setup, and one for mine, both taking the line signals out of the mixer. A third recorder was positioned in the audience, to get the atmosphere from the floor, as well. When mixing the three signals, I used the room recording just for the beginning and the end of the mix. Our two stereo-line signals came out very differently, and there were some drop-outs in the recordings, bad cables, whatever it was – but there were occasional complete breakaways of the signal. I took out some of these, while I left some others. After the obvious ones were erased, it became hard to say which of the extremely dynamic changes were deliberately played by us and which were “mistakes” in the recordings. Apart from this rough cleaning, there wasn’t need for any editing, just a bit of the usual mastering, nothing added, nothing panned, just my left and your left to the left and the rights to the right.

 

Jul 162015
 

LUMISOKEA
MNEMOSYNE LP
OUT SEPTEMBER 4TH ON ALTER
STREAM TWO TRACKS VIA FACT

Mnemosyne is the new album from Berlin based, Italian/Belgian duo Lumisokea.
Shedding the bass heavy rollers found on last years Apophenia EP for Opal TapesMnemosyne sees the duo welcoming space and tension into the fold.
Most of the groundwork for the record was made during a week long residency at the W.O.R.M Studios in Rotterdam which saw the duo make full use of the studios collection of synthesisers from the 60’s and 70’s. The improvisations with these peculiar machines were subsequently edited and combined with heavily processed recordings of gamelan bells, prepared piano, cello and acoustic drums. A meticulous two year period of reworking and reflection followed before finally arriving at what you have here; Mnemosyne.
An exploration of the grey area of sounds that vacillate between electronic and acoustic and aim to show their coalescence and kinship, like shadows of forgotten sonic ancestors. Shards of oblique melody merge with slow-burning rhythms, sudden changes of scenery melt into fog-drenched sonic artifacts.
In their own words, “The whole process felt like like cultivating a garden of the imagination which is no rush to be opened to the visitors. With this full length album we explore the more nocturne, narrative and twilight-like angle of Lumisokea. When listening back to it, we had strong images evoking times in an unidentified or unactualized past, like places and events that could have existed, but then didn’t. Hence our reference to Mnemosyne, the ancient Greek goddess of Memory.” – Lumisokea, 2015
LISTEN: Lumisokea – Mnemosyne LP (Preview)
https://soundcloud.com/alterstock/sets/lumisokea-mnemosyne-preview

Lumisokea
Mnemosyne LP
ALTER
September 4th, 2015
1. Flatland
2. Prowl
3. Sybil
4. Abri
5. Wiccan
6. Risacca
7. Hearsay
8. Jenseits
9. Egress