Could you take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your work? Do you have a fixed schedule? How do music and other aspects of your life feed back into each other - do you separate them or instead try to make them blend seamlessly?
I realise I use the word “feeling” a lot, but yes that’s what it is for me, a lot of things I do are based on how I feel at the moment. It’s the same with music, I simply make it when it feels right. Usually I’m more creative at night, I prefer to go to bed late, work well till 3am and then sleep having no alarm clock in the morning till when it feels right to start the day.
Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that's particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?
Early 2018 I released an album called Dame De Bahia LP on Obscura Records. This one was an important step for me. It represents me perfectly and to date this is my most complete solo work. As for describing my creative process based on this album, take for instance "Polichinela". I first came up with the groove and textures, all this was jammed in one shot. Then I started looking for synth atmospheres to build tension. And then, I always try to find THE element that stands out and makes the track be unique. This I found with playing the 303 by hand in "Polichinela", I recorded it one shot too and that’s it. I also remember it took me a while to get to it, that’s probably why I like it so much, I guess when I recorded it it sounded weird to me, I didn’t even like it. Then maybe a year later I would undust some projects I had from the past and I was like “wow did I really record this before”. I like the whole process behind this particular track, it even looks like I was not ready myself to listen to it when I made it! It has a unique feeling that is important for me. And so does the whole album.
Anyway, to sum this all up, I first jam grooves, then build atmospheres based on grooves. That’s what I always do. I like to see synths as “decoration” around the rhythms, still super important and needed decoration though, but if I can’t listen to the grooves on their owns for hours, then I don’t even bother looking for synths to finish the tracks.
There are many descriptions of the ideal state of mind for being creative. What is it like for you? What supports this ideal state of mind and what are distractions? Are there strategies to enter into this state more easily?
Tough one here, but to try replying in a constructive way, I realized many times that I often end up with recording music when I am in a good mood. If I am in a bad moment or mood, I’ll probably record nothing simply because I won’t feel confident, so no matter how good the music, I’ll feel low so everything will end up blue. The respective opposite is also true: sometimes I record things being in a great mood and it turns out later to be lame recordings/ideas. So I know my moments on when to jam. Better not push it and let it go otherwise it goes only to frustration.
How is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? What do you achieve and draw from each experience personally? How do you see the relationship between improvisation and composition in this regard?
Playing live music is like showing to people the result of my last works. I don’t adapt or “try” tracks on the dancefloor to check if they are good, I don’t care about that. Obviously I’m happy when I see people dancing to my ideas, I also know/guess which tracks “work” better than others and which are more to chill at home. I improvise a lot during my live sets otherwise it would be super boring both for the audience and me; it allows me to play more dynamic when needed or deeper in other situations. I also tend to not over-prepare my live shows following the same purpose. It allows me to be surprised together with the crowd as I go with the flow, it makes it more “risky” in a way, because sometimes the same idea behind a track sounds completely different, sometimes it’s not as good as you wished it was, and sometimes it’s pure magic… And I guess people feel these kinds of things from a live set. I had feedbacks from past performances that stated this idea based on what I felt in specific moments of the shows.
How do you see the relationship between the 'sound' aspects of music and the 'composition' aspects? How do you work with sound and timbre to meet certain production ideas and in which way can certain sounds already take on compositional qualities?
I make electronic/techno music, I don’t consider this type of music (at least techno) to be complicated, I don’t see the need for it, it’s simply based on my feelings at the moment and what my ears tell me sounds good or not. I did a lot of complicated work before as I have a master degree in mechanical engineering, it implies a lot of mathematics, physics, aeronautic applications, programming… Yeah I want and need my music to be intuitive and based on ears’ feelings. 100% of my work is based on implementing the right loop.
Art can be a purpose in its own right, but it can also directly feed back into everyday life, take on a social and political role and lead to more engagement. Can you describe your approach to art and being an artist?
To me, my art is not meant to spread a political idea or whatever related. I don’t feel the need to share these kinds of things in public, and neither read them from others. I simply like to share my emotions through grooves and names I give to my tracks, I don’t have a big concept behind what I do. What I release is a piece of my inner Me. I remember talking about this with Karim, Tikita’s head, I have this feeling when I release a track (through EPs/LPs whatever) that a tiny part of myself goes away, that I loose somehow a bit of my life energy. It sounds sad if you put it like this, but that’s how it feels like, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. After finishing a project and sending it to mastering, I need some time off music environment, just to recover, recover from my emotions.
It is remarkable, in a way, that we have arrived in the 21st century with the basic concept of music still intact. Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?
I kind of disagree with the statement here: the basic concept of music is not intact to me. It is not intact simply because of Internet. Nowadays, everything is based on social medias, likes and number of followers … I find it super sad. I don’t want to dive too deep in this topic here. I simply hope at some point that music will get back to its roots, where people do listen to it for real. That sounds like a step backward, but I’m pretty sure that’s when we will finally be able to move on to something new.
Our sense of hearing shares intriguing connections to other senses. From your experience, what are some of the most inspiring overlaps between different senses - and what do they tell us about the way our senses work? What happens to sound at its outermost borders?
Definitely touching music through instruments is the most inspiring overlap of senses for me. You have an idea/a feeling in your head, and touching a synth to make it real so that your ears can finally listen to it is a beautiful experience. To me, the most complete cross between senses is when I get the exact sound I wanted to make and end up shivering to it … This is one of my purest experiences, pretty much the most selfish and important one to me, almost everything I make in music aims at it and it’s so frustrating that it happens rarely. But when it does ... oh man.