Chain D.L.K.: Hello Bjorn. How are you?
Bjorn Svin: Great! Spring is reaching Berlin in a way that makes a trip to the dentist a lot more easy than it actually is.
Chain D.L.K.: We know you’re touring a lot in this period throughout Denmark and you’re going to begin a German tour as well… any rumors about dates outside the Old Continent?
Bjorn Svin: No, sorry, could be great though..
Chain D.L.K.: Many years ago I was luckily enough to found your single “Mer Strorm” in a little independent record shop in Berlin. That single came out on the glorious April Records (they were promoting a lot of very interesting Danish bands outside national boundaries…) and I was really impressed by your sound. When you think about those years, how do you perceive them from a musical standpoint? Which item was missing in your musical formula?
Bjorn Svin: I composed “Mer Strom” in 1996. This was when my musical career really started to spin off in Denmark. A lot of people that could be my neighbours expected a lot of me. I DJ’ed in Copenhagen and I did it in a new an quite musical way, that made people open their eyes and ears. I wanted to express myself as quite catchy and simple, and I wanted to surprise people. And myself. Out of this came “Mer Strom”. Perhaps nothing was missing at that time, I wanted to be a reaction to the minimal techno and the pre-electronica such as WARP-records and CLEAR records that was playing in the underground at that time. I wanted to create something new, and I knew exactly what it should be, and it was inspired by what was happening at that time.
Chain D.L.K.: I know there’ve been some changes between the original track list of “Browen” and the definitive one… any particular reason?
Bjorn Svin: Finishing “Browen” was quite an act, because of a deadline that was hard for me to handle, therefore both track names and the tracks themselves changed a lot after the press material was sent out.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s you personal relationship with technology in general?
Bjorn Svin: Music machines make me rock! The ability to express oneself through music that you create rather than that you play is very important for me.
Chain D.L.K.: So many capital letters in your track list! O, R and W in abundance… are all titles onomatopoeic by choice?
Bjorn Svin: I don’t know what that means, but the fact is that I had to come up with the track listing before I knew which tracks I was gonna use. Therefore I came up with a lot of different track titles out of the album title “Browen”‘s letters. I got carried away by the graphical aspect and after 10 minutes I had some titles that I both liked the look and the sound of.
Chain D.L.K.: “A Whole Fucking Country”… Which one amidst many ones??? 😀
Bjorn Svin: “A Whole Fucking Country” is not on the album, because it didn’t fit in, we are making a hard tech twelve inch with this and other older tech tracks from my time with the AKAI MPC machines.
Chain D.L.K.: You mention a lot of influences… Mozart, Steve Reich, Ligeti and… African singers?!?!? What are the similarities between such different sources of inspiration in your own words?
Bjorn Svin: There are hardly any similarities, I am only inspired by this music as creative vibration so to speak. Because I listen to it at home, with my family. Electronic music is mostly something I create, I don’t listen to it so much anymore. My path of creativity is mostly created by what I get out of working with the machines I use.
Chain D.L.K.: What are the real milestones of techno music in your viewpoint?
Bjorn Svin: I have artists that have inspired me a lot, even though I do not listen to them anymore. And it is mainly things from the nineties: Cristian Vogel, Autechre, Subhead, Neil Landstrumm, Ken Ishi/Flair, The Black dog, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, Terrence Dixon, Aphex Twin, Like a Tim, Peter Ford, Basic Channel, Surgeon, Patrick Pulsinger, Pan Sonic, 0, Mika Vainio, Monojunk, SIL electronics.
Chain D.L.K.: What are the records you recommend listening to in order to better understand your style?
Bjorn Svin: Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works, The first Flaire album on Sublime Records. Autechres Untilted and Quaristice. Cristian Vogels Body Mapping.
Chain D.L.K.: Your style doesn’t show any particular stagnancy on a specific genre or branch of electronic and techno music… it’s what one might refer to as “fuzzy” and a definition of “freedom”… how do you define “freedom-in-music”?
Bjorn Svin: In my case I work mostly from musical principles rather that musical genres. For example: I learned about the impact of repetitions and sound through techno music. I learned about the impact of the odd and catchy melody through f.ex.: Like a Tim, The Black dog, Neil Lanstrumm, Subhead, and many others. But these things are just musical facts that I aim to produce in my own path of creating music. You could call it free-of genre, to a certain extent yes, but the deeper musical principles am I quite traditionally connected to and un-liberated from, I would say…
Chain D.L.K.: You’ve been recognized as the first Danish techno star, but you left Denmark in order to move to Berlin and New York… is it still correct to refer to your departure abroad as an exile?
Bjorn Svin: I like to be in between places, a little here, and a little there. I earn most of my money through music in Denmark. And if I am there both when I work and when I live then I get tired of it. And then I really like to live in Berlin, that is the main reason for me being here.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you think when you push the on button of your sound system???
Bjorn Svin: Ok, now what..!?
Chain D.L.K.: Are there any musical instruments you’d like to see patented before your passing?
Bjorn Svin: I guess that the forthcoming Octatrack from Elektron Music Machines quite captures the missing machine nowadays. So if the sound is rocking and the machine is tight and reliable then I have no more wishes…
Chain D.L.K.: How do you imagine the future of music?
Bjorn Svin: To follow the future of mankind.
Chain D.L.K.: If you could alter the order of tracks in your album…
Bjorn Svin: Then I would do so. But I am actually happy that I can’t, “Browen” is over now.
Chain D.L.K.: Anything to add before clicking that Send button???
Bjorn Svin: I want to go out in the sun, super spring!
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