Skip to content

Gastón Arevalo: trying to reach the end of the chain

November 5, 2012

Gastón Arévalo(born March 17, 1981) is a Uruguayan electronic artist who has performed in various international festivals and events. His music is a combination of ambient textures and organic rhythms, noises, and sounds, mixing electric-acoustic collages and visual landscapes. He has an aesthetic interest in nature as fundamental influence in his sound. He works with visual pieces that incorporate in his live presentations, experimenting in live cinema and visual code. In 2007 he released an ambient techo work called “Ultramar” on Thinner label, well known on the netaudio scene for his releases from artists like Vladislav Delay. He showed live his work at places like De Unie Theater, Rotterdam at 2008. At 2011 he compose a work called “Deriva” based on the tales written by Horacio Quiroga. This work is released at limited edition tape format. He shares line-ups with artists like Biosphere, Sun Ra Orchestra, Minilogue and many others. He also composed the soundtrack for a short film edited on the collection “La faute à Rousseau” realized as tribute to the birth aniversary of Jean Jacques Rousseau.

How did you get in touch with music?
>I think my influences come at two fronts from my childhood: tapes, vinyls and industrial machines.<

What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
>good question<

…and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
>in fact, i think that on my works I make an abstraction of various genres on an implicit way<

What’s your (original) profession?
>web designer, creative coder, philosophy student.<

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
>places, landscapes, moments<

What’s your next plan music-wise?
>Well, my second cassette was recently released, I have plans to continue releasing on physical format, and actually a very nice ambient album on CD format is scheduled for early next year. I think physical releases look more like a piece of art, something that you can touch and put on a rack at home. On the other side I would like to keep and increase my European tours every year.<

Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
>I never thought about this carefully, but thinking aloud I could say: native people, some jazz player, as some of things that come to mind.<

Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
>I could say that my preferences try to escape the obvious and predictable music.<

Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
>I don’t think so.<

The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
>The perfect combination of both.<

What’s your favourite album ever?
>Could be unfair choosing one, but I have been loving for a long time the album “Because Before” by Ulf Lohmann.<

…and your favourite album cover?
>Same thing, but I could say: Brian Eno – Ambient 4: On Land<

If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
>I imagine something on the shoegaze side I think.<

Do you have a role model?
>No.<

Who would you like to meet the most?
>Need a time machine or something like that.<

What are your favourite movies?
>Gerry by Gus Van Sant, 2001 by Kubrick , Dream by Kim Ki-duk. Nymph by Pen-Ek Ratanrunag. The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner by Werner Herzog. I also like Aki Kaurismaki movies.<

If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
>One without words or dialogs. I’ve been experimenting to watch movies replacing the original audio for a particular audio soundtrack as background.<

Which language would you like to speak most and why?
>Just now I like how French or German sounds. But any dialect that works as gateway to understand a culture or system (code).<

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
>Instrospective, fragile, persistent, particular (could be 4?)<

What are your vices?
>Research on inspirative art, discover new music labels, try to reach the end of the chain.<

What are your vices?
>Research on inspirative art, discover new music labels, try to reach the end of the chain.<

What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
>Would be found on my memory<

The best moment in your life?
>Not happened yet.<

What does beauty mean to you?
>Originality, the real thing without make-ups. El gesto y la impronta natural.<

What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
>Just wait, think over and reflect.<

Which places you love the most?
>I like to contemplate landscapes and discover cities by myself, getting lost and remembering paths.<

What’s your favourite food?
>Anything cooked by my grandma, natural food, pasta.<

What’s your favourite flavour?
>”Dulce de leche” (typical from my land).<

Three things you could never get rid of?
>my thoughts, my dreams, myself<

Your three favourite websites?
>http://www.wikipedia.org/, http://www.hardformat.org/, http://www.garevalo.info. But as i don’t have TV i use YouTube a lot.<

What’s your favourite picture about yourself?

What’s your most favourite picture you made?
>It is somewhere in my mind…<

What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
>Don’t know really, maybe could come unannounced some day.<

 

Useful links:

Stendeck: the enigmatic worker in the factory

June 20, 2011

Based in Lugano, Switzerland, Stendeck is an electronic music act fronted by Alessandro Zampieri (born June 14, 1977), and is heavily associated with the industrial music scene.

Zampieri is a classically trained pianist, forming Stendeck in 1999 as part of a growing interest in electronic music. In 2002 he made his first demo album, A crash into another world, which was very well received in his native Switzerland. Stendeck’s current sound, marked by ambience, distorted beats and noisy keys with acoustic instruments was developed while working on his 2005 album Can you hear my call?. It was released by Geska Records and was mastered by Mike Wells of Gridlock. After the release of Faces in 2007, also on Geska Records, Stendeck switched to Tympanik Audio for his next album, Sonnambula (2009). His latest album Scintilla, was released this year on Tympanik Audio.

The name Stendeck is a variation of “stendec”, the final strange Morse code radio message sent by the plane Star Dust on August 2, 1947, before its disappearance.

 

  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >I started playing music when I was 7 years old, playing piano… then, thanks to my bro I discovered a lot of underground music that influenced my “career” and when I was 15 years old I started playing my own music…<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >So, is it true that in 2011 there is the end of the world???<
  • …and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
    >I listen to a lot of rock, metal and classical music… if I will have the time I would like to produce some energetic music with friends + I have in mind since several years a very experimental album…<
  • What’s your (original) profession?
    >I’m working in a foggy factory, I produce a lot of different things and in different shapes, but unfortunately everything is top secret, so I can’t tell you more!<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Everything that is around me, my experiences, my everyday life…<
  • Your tracks’ titles express really deep feelings, where does all this emotional profoundness come from?
    >The titles are written by my brother Andrea, he knows me very well and he is able to translate my feelings from my music… He did an amazing work!<
  • Someone said that your music is the best example how proper electronic music should sound. What do you think about this?
    >I produce my music in a very spontaneous way… I have in my mind the sound, the atmosphere I’m looking for and I try to manipulate the sound until I find the right “emotion”… I’m happy that a lot of my listeners feel my feelings!!!<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >I’m working on some remixes and trying to book more dates to play live… but is **cking hard!<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >Currently I would like to collaborate with Karin Dreijer Andersson, I like a lot her voice and music…<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with from Switzerland?
    >…maybe the Young Gods and with some friends…<
  • Which one do you like better: producing or playing music?
    >Both, they are different feelings and sometimes I prefer to produce and sometimes to play… it depends on my mood…<
  • What is your most cathartic experience while playing live?
    >It is very difficult to say, it is something special and different every time… I like a lot to be on the stage…<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >No, I like a lot of music and a lot of bands, I’m not addicted to one in particular. Music is music. I love music, but sometimes, when by mistake I switch on the radio or on MTV, and I listen to the crap they are playing, I think that nowadays mainstream music is really bad. You feel the emptiness there is around, no feeling, just the sound of money!!<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >I don’t have problem to say that I like some very commercial songs, when I think that are very well produced. And it is not easy to produce these kind of songs.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >Both, it always depends on my mood, eheh<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >I have more than one:

    • Formless by Gridlock
    • Up Evil and Off by Front 242
    • Dead Cities by FSOL
    • A day in the stark corner by Lycia
    • Angel Dust by Faith no More
    • Violator by DM
    • () by Sigur Ros
    • A fine day to Exit by Anathema
    • Necroticism by Carcass


    and many more…<

  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >Neurosis, Live at Roadburn 2007<

  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >No one in particular…<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >No. Maybe my parents did a good job, so I don’t need one!<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >My fans.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >Blade Runner, The Prestige, Apocalypse Now, Martyrs, Donnie Darko, The Thin Red Line, Black Swan, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and many more…<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >Sick, evil and at the end…a romantic end!<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >I never thought about this…<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Enigmatic, Determined, Fidget, Good and Evil…<
  • What are your vices?
    >Drinking, eating and many more…<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >Where is the singer?<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >It is a translation of something you are looking for or listening to, and gives you a special, beautiful feeling.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >I would compose my last song and look at the world’s end until my last second…<
  • Which places you love the most?
    >The sea and the mountains…<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >I love the Mediterranean flavours.<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >My piano, my Waldorf Q and a case of beer, eheh.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >I don’t have a favourite website…<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)
    >I like a lot this one from my show in Rostov, Russia… it looks like I’m an alien…<

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)
    >This one I did a few years ago in Sorrento, Italy…<

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >Do you wanna make a tour worldwide? ;-)<

Useful links:

Dirk Serries / Vidna Obmana: how silence and desolation can turn you on.

June 2, 2011

Dirk Serries has never shied away from leaps of faith. A decade ago, he stunned the ambient scene with an incisive twist to his personal style on the classic the river of appearance” and in 2005, he shed the renowned moniker of Vidna Obmana, replacing it with the immersive guitar eruptions of his latest incarnation Fear Falls Burning. On microphonics, he has now taken his boldest step yet. Defying superimposed concepts and pseudonyms, he returns with the first material under his own name and at his most personal and vulnerable. For years, Serries has experimented with spontaneous guitar improvisations over a continuous atmospheric drone. initially intended as a means of rehearsing and developing ideas, these sessions were never intended to be released officially. Over time, however, Serries came to realize that these painstakingly pristine and painfully pure pieces constituted the very essence of his musicality, the foundation of what makes him “tick” as an artist. Composed of a minimal array of delicately attuned and interrelated themes, the music develops through the continuously shifting relations of its constituent currents. because of this outward simplicity, microphonics has turned out a work of great intimacy and immediacy, a yearning sonic breath which seamlessly fuses the elliptic ambient worlds of vidnaObmana with the dark mysticism of fear falls burning: this latest leap of faith is the sound of the morning awakening, of the day dreaming and the night speaking in its sleep.

  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >Can’t recall really, I just remember that I started out with spinning soundtrack albums backwards or making lockgrooves with my turntable.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >A label or if music isn’t allowed, photography for sure.<
  • …and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
    >If I would have the skills, classical music I guess.<
  • What’s your (original) profession?
    >Accountant<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Silence and desolation<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >Recording the long-awaited 2nd Microphonics studio album.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >Unfortunately not possible : John Coltrane for his wilful, uncompromised vision, The Necks for their highly original take on minimal jazz or Elbow for their ability to write just beautiful songs.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >House<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >Nope, I proud to say I love Neil Diamond.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >Without a doubt, the beauty of silence<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >A tie : Arvo Pärt – Tabula Rasa and Eno & Fripp – No Pussyfooting<
  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >Theo Travis – Slow Life (2LP on Tonefloat)<
  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >Nobody, I guess. Really.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >Not specifically but I draw now & then inspiration from Goethe, Nietzsche and Dante.<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >Generally for sure Clint Eastwood because of his incredible pace in life and his professionalism in making classic, pure and straightforward movies (especially the last years) and musically most likely Neil Young or Arvo Pärt.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >The Elephant Man, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Unforgiven, Mystic River, 21 grams, Into the wild, Caché, Revolutionary Road, Gran Torino, Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind, Shutter Island, The Machinist, Scanners, Videodrome, A Serious Man, Manhattan and others I just forget right now.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >I’m afraid it would be a very minimal, silent and slow movie, dealing rise and fall of us human beings.<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >English, it just fits the way my mind thinks and operates.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Control freak, perfectionist, obsessed, fanatic but friendly.<
  • What are your vices?
    >Perfectionism, wine, pedal effects, belgian fries and Neil Diamond.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >That I’m Richard Wagner of the Ambient.<
  • The best moment in your life?
    >Meeting my wife Martina, finding the pace in my creativity with Microphonics and finally after all these years getting to know Tonefloat, the perfect home for my music and hopefully for a long time.<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >Silence, purity, honesty, respect, minimalism.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >Isolate ourselves at home and listen to some music.<
  • Which places you love the most?
    >New York, home and the creative side of my mind.<
  • What’s your favourite food?
    >I guess that’s sushi.<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >Dior’s Homme Intense<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >Just one : My 1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >Everything about Robert Fripp’s frippertronics : http://home.cogeco.ca/~frippertronics/Frippertronics.htm
    The ultimate music encyclopedia : http://www.discogs.com
    Just one of the best written music webzines and the only one that combines experimental with classical : http://www.tokafi.com/<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)
    >I never really liked being in the front of the camera but sometimes you do need to compromise in order to meet the promotional expectations of labels and magazines.  I think this one, taken at the St.Theobaldus chapel in 2001 by my wife Martina Verhoeven is one of the few favorites.<

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)
    >Although I did quite a large collection of photography myself during the early years of vidnaObmana, including the cover photography for Passage In Beauty (one I’m really proud of), it’s not that’s currently part of my state of mind.  Therefor I selected one of my all-time faves, for sure, taken by Martina Verhoeven in the Microphonics series.<

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >Which labels ripped me off ?<

 

Useful links:

 

Subheim: sensitivity and cupcakes.

May 23, 2011

Subheim is the deeply personal project of electronic music composer and visual artist Kostas K., a downtempo, experimental venture fusing IDM elements with rich ambiance and female vocals by Katja. Complex and uncompromising, Subheim’s debut album on Tympanik Audio is full of intricate rhythms, deep reverbs, and bitcrushed sounds, combined with pianos, cellos, and beautiful synthwork. Haunting melodies and distant voices meet complex beats and luring atmospheres to create a unique blend of dynamics and emotion. ‘Approach’ flirts with post-rock and atmospheric downtempo styles, while still maintaining an original sound that is both captivating and inspirational.

Kostas is also the co-founder of Spectraliquid, an independent label, promoting innovative art & music and hosting events with important artists from the experimental scene around the globe, hoping to achieve a better luck for people creating original, fascinating and non-compromising art.

  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >I bought a guitar at the age of thirteen because I wanted to play death metal.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >I’d probably revert to painting and visual arts. Or kill myself.<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Tiny fragments of everyday life: sad faces, open fields, the sea, street musicians – especially sax players.<
  • What kind of equipment do you work with, how does your studio setup look like?
    >I’m on a quadcore PC with an RME Fireface 800 audio interface, a good pair of cans and loads of plugins/synths and sound libraries. I have a couple hardware racks such as a preamp and a few effects processors and, of course, my guitars and string instruments. I’m lucky to be studying in a music university, so I can use some high-end equipment and stage instrumentation for recording sessions. Other than that, my studio looks like a wardrobe, I barely fit in there so not much of a studio, more like a dog’s house!<
  • Seraphic female and male vocals, classical and experimental ambiences, cello, violin and lots of other instruments. Where does all the inspiration came from to combine all these various musical types in your project?
    >Just trying to keep an open mind for all sorts of music. It’s very easy for me to become fascinated – even obsessed – with artists of largely different backgrounds. All those influences have their place in my own music.<
  • What does your artist name Subheim mean?
    >Nothing really.<
  • You are the co-founder of Spectraliquid, a label which was focusing on different kind of experimental genres, you also released Blackfilm’s first album for example. It was a great success but ceased in 2009. What happened?
    >Poor sales which made us unable to run the label efficiently. Plus we all moved away to other countries.<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >I’m working through some new ideas with Pete Scott, an amazing English pianist. Some of this material will hopefully end up on a new album.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >Max Richter because I’m in love with his music.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with from Greece?
    >Dimitra Galani.<
  • What kind of music does Kostas Katsikas listen to at home?
    >Latest artists in my playlist are Danny Saul, Poordream, Mobthrow, Brian McBride and the Fugata Quintet.<
  • What is your opinion about music piracy?
    >It helps spread music through the internet but makes indie labels and artists suffer financially. It’s sad because the industry will always find a way to squeeze money out of listeners, while the independent will always struggle.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >Indie rock.<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >Synthpop, although not too ashamed to admit it.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >My vote goes to the chaos of noises since a complete lack of sound would be terrifying.<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >Earth Inferno, a 1990 live album by The Fields of the Nephilim.<
  • …and your favourite album cover? (click on the image for larger size)
    >Tool – Lateralus.<

  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >Warrel Dane.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >Simon Posford. The man is a genius.<
  • Where do you see yourself 30 years from now?
    >Hopefully in a big, cosy studio with a monstrous sound setup and many happy dogs.<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >Darth Vader.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >The Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner, The Truman Show.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >Somewhere between Philip K. Dick and Tarkovsky, with music by Bohren & Der Club of Gore and Murcof.<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >German. I’ve been thinking of moving to Germany over a long time now but language has always been an issue.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Friendly, warm-hearted, stressed, unsure, sensitive like a girl.<
  • What are your vices?
    >Cigarettes, cupcakes and good food.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >A guy at a gig said he expected me to look a lot more impressive and taller than what I actually am.<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >It means a lot and it comes in small moments. We did a piano recording session a couple of days ago and there was such a great chemistry, an amazing vibe. This is pure beauty. Nature is beautiful too.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >Stay at home with the people I love, listening to music that speaks to my heart.<
  • What’s your favourite flavor?
    >Ultra-sweet chocolate brownie.<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >The internet, my guitar and a hairspray cause my hair is awful.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >Imdb, Al Jazeera, Youtube.<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)
    >The cover artwork for Stendeck’s ‘Sonnambula’.<

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >Can’t think of something. Perhaps cause I talk too much and usually answer a lot more than asked.<

Useful links:

Tor Lundvall: beauty is everything in a hostile world like this.

May 16, 2011

Tor Lundvall (born 1968) is both a visual artist and ambient composer from Wyckoff, New Jersey. His early works were collaborations with Tony Wakeford of Sol Invictus, and much of their artwork came directly from Tor.

Tor Lundvall started writing and recording his own material around 1988 when his brother let him borrow his Tascam 4-track. Tor Lundvall soon learned how to push the machine to its limits, enjoying the simplicity it offered. He has always preferred primitive recording methods and equipment over elaborate computer based programs, and his basic recording setup hasn’t changed much in all this time.

His first self-produced album, “Passing Through Alone” (1997) could be categorized in the Industrial music genre, as it shared little in common musically with subsequent releases. At the time “Passing Through Alone” was only available at Lundvall’s gallery showings, and has since been taken out of print. Lundvall’s music came to prominence with the release of “Autumn Calls” (1998), a collaboration with Tony Wakeford released on the now defunct British record label World Serpent Distribution. Three solo albums followed, continuing the seasons-themed concept: “Ice” (1999), “The Mist” (2001) and “Under the Shadows of Trees” (2003).

After the demise of World Serpent in 2004, Tor Lundvall released his recordings through the American label Strange Fortune until November 2008. His releases for Strange Fortune included “Last Light” (2004), “Empty City” (2006) and the “Yule” EP (2006). “Empty City” featured Lundvall’s first attempt at an instrumental approach for an entire album. All of Tor Lundvall’s recordings are mastered by his brother Kurt Lundvall.

  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >By listening to distant lawnmowers, chainsaws and other strange sounds echoing through the woods as a child.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >I’d realize that the Gods had finally given up on the human race and I’d pray for the birds to start singing again.<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Nature.<
  • Tor Lundvall sounds absolutely Swedish, how come that you were born in the US?
    >My grandparents on my father’s side emigrated to the US from Sweden.<
  • You have a special relationship with nature. How do you manage to build it in your music so vigorously?
    >I absorb Nature and it flows through my work. My microphone is always close to an open window which always helps.<
  • You also have a great past in painting, where does all this inspiration come from?
    >Nature, childhood memories, dreams, ghosts, lost love and solitude.<
  • Both your paintings and music have the same mysterious strain, your style is written all over their texture. Is this something you do consciously?
    >It’s instinctive and I never question or analyze it.<
  • What kind of equipment do you work with, how does your studio setup look like?
    >Apart from a digital 8-track recorder I purchased in 1998, I’ve basically been using the same synths, sampler and sequencer for almost 25 years.  It’s best if I include a photo of my working space:< (click on the image for larger size)
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >My latest album in progress is inspired by a local park.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >I’m not a big fan of collaboration, however I’d love to record an album with Robin Storey someday. I think we’d come up with something unique together.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with from the US?
    >Asher Tuil (A.K.A. – Asher / Asher Thal-Nir). He’s one of my favorite music makers in recent years.<
  • What kind of music does Tor Lundvall listen to at home?
    >Lots of things that have become permanently tied in with the seasons. For example, I only play Rothko on rainy Spring days, Daniel Lanois in the Summer, Flying Saucer Attack in the Autumn and the first four OMD albums in the Winter.<
  • What is your opinion about music piracy?
    >It’s become so rampant and commonplace that I don’t waste my time getting angry about it anymore.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >Certainly, however the thing that annoys me the most in any genre of music is when a singer adds a contrived “sh” sound to certain words.  For example, “so sad” becomes “shhho shhhad”.  Hearing this affectation makes me shudder in the supermarket.  OK, now I’m hoping I haven’t done this myself!<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >I love the Thompson Twins.  Im not ashamed to admit it, but theyre probably not the first band Id mention as an influence… even though they were!  Great synth-pop from my youth.  I also still love various songs from my childhood like Mike Batts brilliant Wombling Song and some Partridge Family tunes.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >Silence please… unless someone’s playing an early Coil record.<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >That’s an extremely difficult question to answer, however in recent years it would be “Melancholia” by William Basinski followed closely by Slowdive’s “Pygmalion”.  Pink FloydAnimals, BowieStation To Station”, OMD’s Architecture & Morality and Thomas DolbyThe Flat Earth are some long-time favorites at the top of my list.<
  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >Coil’s “Horse Rotorvator” LP.  It’s the most effective and unsettling album cover I’ve ever seen.  I think you have to be in touch with certain childhood fears in order to sense the apprehension and quiet terror this restrained image transmits. Growing up in the 70’s helps!<
  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >David Bowie circa 1976 or Adam Ant during the “Kings of the Wild Frontier” days.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >No, however I greatly admire Roedelius and his approach to life and music.<
  • Where do you see yourself 30 years from now?
    >Painting, recording and probably living alone but hopefully not suffering from any ailments.<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >A funny, kind, insightful, sensual and independent woman who understands me.  In other words, a Goddess.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >The Shining, Blue Velvet, Sling Blade, Dumb and Dumber, The Big Lebowski, Waiting For Guffman, Blade Runner, most Woody Allen films and the original Star Wars I saw in the theatre as a kid in 1977.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >Open landscapes, unfamiliar architecture, strange figures and no plot whatsoever.<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >French because I love Paris.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Humorous, Guarded, Aware, Angry, Misunderstood.<
  • What are your vices?
    >I sometimes get too distracted by cleaning and doing yardwork and household repairs.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >A former gallery owner once told me “I really see your paintings in one of those New Age shops!”  Actually, that was more insulting than unusual.<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >Everything in a hostile world like this.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >I’d take a long swim in the bay and make a beach fire in the evening. Then I’d go back home, lie in the hammock and pray that I’m transported to my dream world before the black sun rises.<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >It’s a tie between Lime and Mint Chocolate Chip.<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >My art supplies, my 4-track and my bicycle.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >http://www.math.sunysb.edu/~tony/birds/
    http://www.jackstargazer.com/
    http://www.microforever.com/<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)
    >Probably this photo my father took of me with my trusty “bug catcher” at Sterling Forest, NY in September 1974.<
  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)
    >”The Years #2″, oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″, June 1999.<

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did? (Ask
    >How did a sensitive soul like you manage to survive and persevere in a world like this?<
  • How did a sensitive soul like you manage to survive and persevere in a world like this?
    >I’m protected by fragile buffers which maintain my sanity and keep the worms at bay.<

Useful links:

Marcus Fjellström: the perverse sense of freedom.

May 9, 2011
  • What’s your (original) profession?
    >I’m actually lucky enough to have gotten by working as a full time composer / multimedia artist ever since I graduated from music university in 2005. Of course, it only works because I’ve got a very inexpensive, ascetic, frugal lifestyle…<
  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >Music was kind of ubiquitous when I grew up, I was always surrounded with music and musicians. When I started composing on my Amiga 500 at the age of 12, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >I’d probably throw myself into some other random creative / artistic discipline.<
  • …and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
    >I think I would get me some old electronic music equipment and do some kind of stripped down lo-fi techno, like Drexciya or early Aphex Twin…<
  • You just released your newest album (Library Music 1), what are the feedbacks so far?
    >Feedback’s been good so far, it’s my first self release and I’m not really sure what I’m doing, but people seem to appreciate the easy going ‘candy bag’ nature of the album, which is nice.<
  • Contemporany classical music, experimental electronica and vintage film music – how did you manage to combine this triangle?
    >This might sound cheesy, but the truth is I just let myself be inspired by whatever inspires me and then I create naturally from that. I think that if you consciously try to combine different genres it’ll be very forced and self-conscious, it won’t be a natural fusion. It’s like some of the ‘neo-classical’ people who make Michael-Nyman-like music and then put Alva-Noto-like glitch rhythms on top. That’s no fusion, it’s just one thing on top of the other. I aim to make the outcome a third, new element, I’m aiming at a+b=c, not a+b=a+b. The way I do it is to let the influences work on a deeper, subconscious level where they can truly merge, and then try to create as honestly as I can from there.<
  • You have a special relationship with movies, you have provided many scores for independent productions. Tell us about this.
    >There haven’t been that many, maybe 7-10 short film productions over ten years. What’s embarrasing is that I enjoy it the most when I get to do real cheesy, clichéd soundtracks.🙂 There’s a perverse sense of freedom in that, no artistic demands, just the joy of making and instant gratification. But of course, most often I do try to bring artistic qualities into it, and it can actually be quite difficult at times, since you must take special care to really support the scenes you’re working with — as well as meeting the director’s demands, whatever they may be — while trying to be artistic and original.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >Off the top of my head; “Eraserhead” by David Lynch, “A Clockwork Orange” by Stanley Kubrick, “Stalker” by Andrej Tarkovsky, “Blow-Up” by Michelangelo Antonioni, “Brazil” by Terry Gilliam.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >It’d probably be something that includes elements of all of the above… and maybe in the style of Guy Maddin, who I also admire.<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >I’ve got some commissions for classical ensembles coming up, most of them actually also including animation and electronic music. And then I’m working on some new audiovisual works including books/booklets, but that’s gonna take a while, the concept isn’t quite worked out yet.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >Hmm… I was very impressed by György Pálfi’s “Taxidermia”, would love to work with him on something similar. Also, Ilya Khrjanovsky’s “4” was very impressive, would love to work with him too. And Takashi Miike, and Guy Maddin… I’d like to work with good, unorthodox directors with original visions that I can relate to.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with from Sweden?
    >Since I seem to be way too autocratic to collaborate with other composers/musicians, I’ll just keep going with film directors… I was very impressed by Tomas Alfredson’s “Let the Right One in”, as well as the films he did with the Swedish “Killinggänget” troupe. I wouldn’t mind collaborating with him.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >Not really, it’s all about specific songs in specific situations.<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >Probably.🙂 But I can’t think of anything right now.<
  • What kind of music does Marcus Fjellström listen to at home?
    >Not much — I spend so much time working on my own stuff that I usually can’t find the energy to listen to other things — which may sound a bit arrogant but I don’t mean it that way at all. When I do listen to something it’s usually old records that I already know I like, or new albums that I get from friends in the business.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >Silence, no doubt.<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >Hard to say… but Aphex Twin’s “I Care Because You Do…” is a strong candidate.<
  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >Probably Kraftwerk’s “The Man Machine”.<

  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >Christoph Schneider, the Rammstein drummer. Seems like great fun.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >I don’t think so…<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Introverted, tired, friendly, creative, restless.<
  • What are your vices?
    >Too much coffee and sugar… and not enough sleep.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >Thaddi Herrmann (the editor of De:Bug magazine), who I’ve never met, called me an “arrogant asshole” in his review of Gebrauchsmusik (2006). That was quite unusual…!<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >Call my friends and family.<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >Pickled ginger.<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself?

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >May I be your patron and support your art financially for the rest of your life?<
  • May I be your patron and support your art financially for the rest of your life?
    >Yes.<

Born in Sweden in 1979, Marcus Fjellström is a composer and multimedia artist. His work ranges from the purely orchestral through electronic music and audiovisual work. He has worked with the Swedish Royal Ballet and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra as well as numerous ensembles and soloists, independent record labels, artists and filmmakers including “Salad Fingers” creator David Firth.

Fjellström studied composition and orchestration at the School of Music in Piteå, Sweden, graduating with honors in 2005. One month after graduation his debut full-length album “Exercises in Estrangement” was released by Lampse Audiovisual Recordings to enthusiastic reviews. The following year his second album “Gebrauchsmusik” was released by the same label, after which he focused on orchestral and chamber music for two years. In 2008 he completed his first major audiovisual work, the experimental cartoon / electronic music piece “Odboy & Erordog, episode 1”. Since then he has written several audiovisual works involving classical instrumentation, including “Lichtspiel Mutation 1” for Sinfonietta Cracovia and “Odboy & Erordog, episode 2” for The Peärls Before Swïne Exerience.

In his works, Fjellström often aims to combine opposites so that they don’t contradict each other, but rather fuse into a natural, third element. There is often a challenging of the gap between “high” and “low” culture, of the naïve and the sophisticated, of good and bad taste. Musical influences range from electronica such as Aphex Twin and Autechre, to 20th century composers such as György Ligeti and John Cage. Further influences include impressionist composers Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, and film music composers Bernard Herrmann, Angelo Badalamenti and Zdeněk Liška.

Useful links:

36: Silence at night. Noise in the day.

April 30, 2011
  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >Stealing old Fantazia tapes from my sister when I was young. Lots of local pirate radio stations like wacky fm playing old skool hardcore stuff and eventually getting into techno/acid/idm/hip-hop/whatever-step.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >Sound is music. I can step outside my house and hear a million different symphonies. Not all entirely pleasant I may add.<
  • …and what if you had to produce in a different music genre? What would that be?
    >I already produce lots of very different styles of music. You just never get to hear them! muahahaha!<
  • What’s your (original) profession?
    >Graphic Design<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Good people. Good food. Good music.<
  • Where does 36, your artist name come from?
    >It’s just a number that has been in my life for as long as I remember. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it means everything to me.<
  • You mentioned on your Twitter that naming tracks is harder than making them. Where does all the inspiration come from after all?
    >Just the usual visual cues you derive from the sound. If all else fails, i’ll just rip-off someone elses titles I like.<
  • What kind of equipment do you work with?
    >I’ll use anything to get the sound I want. Software/hardware/field-recordings/samples/etc.. theres nothing special about my setup at all and I’m always changing it with each release. The setup for Hypersona and Hollow for example was very different and I think this comes through in the actual recordings.<
  • Where does the Tape Series’ cassette-idea come from?
    >Simple really, I just love tape. It was the first recording medium I used (even before vinyl) and I enjoy all its little quirks and charms. It’s not some hipster-esque retro thing, nor I am trying to be different. I also think my music works nicely in this format.<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >Currently working on an ongoing 7″ vinyl series for this year. There may be a CD compilation (plus extra tracks) by the end of the year too and possibly another tape release. I change my plans so often though and just put out whatever I feel works at the time.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >I’m not entirely convinced collaborations result in an artists best work, since individual ideas and direction often seem to be diluted to accommodate the other artists ego. All my favourite artists work best alone and I wouldn’t want to interfere in their process.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >Not really.<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >I always say that every particular genre has it’s own unique charms and if you look hard enough, you can find something you like from it.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >Silence at night. Noise in the day.<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >I couldn’t possibly answer that. I rarely listen to full albums anymore anyway, since I have the attention span of a vole. I will say that my favourite single track ever is Change – The End<
  • …and your favourite album cover?
    >Milkways – Milkways LP<

  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >Bono, so I could throw myself off a cliff and do the whole world a favour in the process.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >Just anyone who forfits a part of their own life to help others. Full-time carers, nurses, doctors etc..<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >Ancestors I never got a chance to meet.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >Blade Runner<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >Probably quite crude, unintelligible, pretentious, nonsensical rubbish…. with a good soundtrack!<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >Luckily, i’m native-English speaking, so I can communicate with most of the modern world just fine. I’m rubbish at learning languages anyway.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >The most introverted extrovert ever.<
  • What are your vices?
    >Food. Thankfully i’m naturally quite skinny and have a metabolism to die for. SUCKAZ!<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >A lot of metal heads seem to dig my music for some reason, which is always fun to read.<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >Anything that stops you dead in your tracks and makes you lose all sense of time and space, if only for a second.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >Say goodbye to friends/family then party like it’s NYE ’99 again.<
  • Which places you love the most?
    >My studio, when i’m inspired and the music is good.<
  • What’s your favourite flavour?
    >Chocolate<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >I’m actually surprisingly good at throwing away material objects. I could live a simple life just fine as soon as I got over my internet-related cold turkey.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >www.bbc.co.uk / www.ebay.co.uk / www.3six.net<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >No question, just a big thank you to everyone who has ever bought a record of mine, sent me an email, or passed my tunes on to a friend. I’m still amazed that this little project of mine has been as successful as it has in such a short space of time and I have all you guys to thank for it.<
36 (pronounced three-six) is the pseudonym of Dennis Huddleston from the UK. Raised on a healthy diet of old skool hardcore and techno, these days he spends his time releasing highly emotive and melancholic ambient, mainly for his own label 3six Recordings.
Useful links:
%d bloggers like this: