At this moment, I’m in Detroit. I come back to USA every few months. I am sorta living in Berlin right now, which is where I was last 3 months. I feel rejuvenated by traveling and changing my environment so much. The problem is transporting my studio but I have a travel studio and split my equipment between the two cities.
From as long as I can remember, I’ve been making music. I started very early. My first record came out when I was 17 and I got signed to Warp the same year. I love inspiring people and my curiosity is intense with all multimedia art forms, thats why I’m tripping between photography, video, and all that. I’m an insomniac but i love working a lot. I released my first sample library a few years ago with Fixed Noise called RHYTHM OBJEKT for Kontakt I am currently endorsed by Intellijel, Elektron, Native Instruments, Symbolic Composer, MAXMSP/Cycling 74, dave smith Ins, Apogee, Erthenvar, STG.
Current Favorite Hardware
I just got an octatrack, which is blowing my mind. The sound quality isn’t as great as an MPC but the software on it does some pretty amazing things. I like it because its a new way of working. Not much you can’t do with Ableton, but still sounds better than a computer.
I got about 24U of modular and I’m a big fan of Makenoise. Cant wait for the new 2012 modules. Intellijel (Danjiel) is amazing guy and love his stuff. STG is a great guy too and they both have helped me out with my setup. Pittsburgh is also mentionable.
Richie got me into modular, so I owe him a lot of my inspiration. Trash Audio is a great site so I’m happy to be doing this (even though its years late :) Studio Electronics. Omega/SE1. I don’t mind spilling my secrets because its how I play them, not as much the actual sounds. I made most of RHYTHM OBJEKT with those.
Slices Issue 2-12
Current Favorite Software
Soundtoys is great and some of the best sounding plugins. Alex (Boyz Noise) hooked me up with a lot of my cool new stuff. Sylenth sounds great, Razor is very cool and unique. GRM tools of course. I don’t do much max/msp programming these days but I am using it for my new performance using LED lights. Plogue Bidule, Symphonic Composer, and Metasynth are used really heavily in my music. Everyone asks me if I use Waves. No, I don’t like waves at all. I like my production dry, if you notice I don’t use so much effects in my music… its more like a collage rather than a wash of sounds.
KOMA Elektronik Interview
Workspace and Environment
Its always changing. The lighting and the space and the city. I need change to be inspired. Plus I like visiting my friends studios and having friends hang out in my studio while I produce. I like when my closest friends can do their own thing while I’m making music in the studio. I’m not much into working on airplanes, that when I do my transcendental meditation.
I love performing but if I could, I would just be in the studio constantly, but its nice to change my environment, as I said. I consider myself a visual artist above all, so the visual aesthetic is what I’m working on this year to get my studio up to par. Lighting is key for me, and colors. I’m looking into getting a new place in berlin, somewhere new that I can transform into mine. I’m finally at that point in my life where I want to settle into a place instead of traveling around everywhere and not really having a permanent home.
I need a nice chair, I need visual stimulation. It’s just as important as the sound equipment. I have to be in that mind state. A lot has changed in this respect since I started meditating. I always wondered what constituted inspiration and non inspiration and I realized something. You can create inspiration by imagining yourself in that state. Staying positive. Before I studied meditation I was taking classes for hypnosis for fun… to my surprise they have a lot of similarities. Hypnosis helped me help other people, and myself But meditation is more of a personal thing.
Berlin is a bit overpopulated with people who want to do things, but aren’t very motivated because its so cheap. I lived in NYC for 5 years and this was a good time for me to realize things about people and myself. Detroit was the most inspiring city for me because there is such a lack of something, and people have amazing imagination there, because of the lack. Urban detioration is good for inspiration too. I still can recall this Detroit feeling thats so strong and immediate, its hard to describe but you can hear it in my music. I’ve spent my life trying to recreate it.
I create it. Everyone should. Positive energy. Good people, comfortable. Silence. color very specifically. Ability to take breaks and do other creative things.
Silence is used just as much as sound. I usually change what I do for every project otherwise I feel exhausted. My recent thing has been imagining my song as my band. For instance the bass is my bass player and I give them characters attitudes and personal attributes. Like my drummer and percussionist is really egotistical and likes to show off. This creates a virtual environment and personality in music.
I also love splitting up my parts into bands and imagining music in 3d and attempt to make 4th and 5th dimensional music. I put different effects on the highs, mids, and lows and create layers bands on frequency bands. I’m always combining the best of digital, analog and computer music because they all have something amazing to offer.
Most of my time is spent writing music on piano, since I spent a long time studying with black baptist church jazz pianists, they have a very DIY style of playing and taught me to play from heart. Once you got the structure, its easy to build electronic song around that. Thats why I can effortlessly make melodic cuts and effects into my music, because I’ve organized and structured my music into chords, progressions, melodies and other song structure applications.
First Piece of Gear
The ensoniq ASRXPRO.. then soon later came the808. Still one of the best pieces ever. I think everyone can agree. I remember playing live when I was younger and that thing kills any sound system. You could rock a show with an 808 and a mic any night, in any city, all over earth.
Last Piece of Gear
Octatrack. I think it’ll be sought after for a long time. It’s definitely a time piece.
It’s always quite a surprise hearing my music out. Especially the ones that the DJs didn’t know I produced it. I remember the first time this happened. me and Travis (Machinedrum) were 17 and walking into virgin records in Japan and they were playing my record as we walked in. Amazing feeling. Bunch of people in line were buying our records… just wow yaknow?
I’m an accomplished fashion photographer and I’m working on making short films and have done music videos for artists like Beta Band/Black Affair and Emika on Ninja Tune. I also have a graphic design and multimedia project that I am working on consciousness changing artwork and from my contact with extra terrestrials, and my work with meditation, occult, and alchemy. It’s called magenta, like my new album