Planetary Interscapes 001

Planetary Interscapes
— Episode one

“Heavy Meadows”

Sound mixed and compiled by Clovis
Visual interpretation by Max Binski

Welcome to the Planetary Interscapes podcast series. 10 years after its debut on Pluie/Noir and 90 audio-visual podcasts later, the series is reborn in collaboration with Rings of Neptune. Planetary Interscapes will follow the same motto and feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from artists, friends, and other collectives we admire, visually interpreted by our favourite graphic wizards.

Hiatus over, Pluie/Noir podcasts are back, this time with a name little name change, in anticipation of a new collaboration with Rings of Neptune. This podcast has been ready for over a year, but the series was put on pause due to the uncertainty of Pluie/Noir’s next steps.

We’re delighted to welcome Clovis to the series. Clovis’s music selection is remarkably timeless and perfect for the last moments of Winter (in the Northern Hemisphere, mind us). Artwork by Cleymoore himself, signed as Max Binski, giving the honours to the fresh reboot. You can scroll down for interviews, serve a nice cup of tea, press play and enjoy. 



Hi Clovis, welcome to the Planetary Interscapes series. How have you been?

Thank you. I am finally feeling back to life again after the strange time warp of the last two years.  

You recently moved back to Berlin? Is this a long-term goal? Why Berlin?

I left Berlin for Bucharest during the pandemic in search of a change of scenery and to make music with my close friend Herodot in his amazing studio. Nothing much was happening in Berlin for me during the lockdowns, and I felt I needed to move somewhere to challenge myself and try something different. It was a very interesting experience, and I grew a lot in the new spaces I discovered there, but I always aimed to return to Berlin. 

My connection to Berlin is much deeper. All of my favourite friends and musical peers are here, mostly revolving around Club Der Visionaere, a fantastic musical hub where I feel very much at home. I’m very excited for what is to come now that we are normally back open for what seems like a much-needed proper Berlin summer. 

“All of my favourite friends and musical peers are here, mostly revolving around Club Der Visionaere, a fantastic musical hub where I feel very much at home.”

As an American, how stark are the differences in the musical panorama and mindset of people post-pandemic? Did something change?

The energy I felt at parties even last year after the end of the first round of restrictions was incredible. There is a whole new generation of people going out after two years of restrictions now. While many trends are exactly the same, there is an openness to fresh sounds and possibilities in the USA. 

We have a new crop of DJs and DIY crews building their own communities that are extremely important to any healthy scene. We still live under a capitalist grind and a very rigid gridlocked political system, but there is a lot of hope and gusto going around. The pandemic has really made many of us, myself included, realize the value of our cherished musical spaces and communities and how much we need them, and seemed to spur a strong reinvestment in them so that they may continue to endure against whatever obstacles come in front of them.

“We started collecting music from friends that we felt needed a home, as any label starts.

You’ve recently created a label of your own. What’s Understory about, and how has the project been developing?

Understory was born out of myself and my best friend, and great American, Matt Foley, realising we have a very similar music ethos. We like a lot of different music styles but have very strong singular taste. We started collecting music from friends that we felt needed a home, as any label starts. The pandemic was obviously a difficult time to release your first two records….but they did well, and we are going to continue. We have a large 20+ track bandcamp compilation that just released. We collected it slowly over the last two years, and I am very happy about it, having become a big fan of this format for bandcamp during the last two years. The proceeds will be used to fund our next vinyl releases!


Are you thinking of investing more or your own productions too? Will we see a solo Clovis release anytime soon? 

Some of the music I made during the pandemic with Herodot will be released on his label Unanim. Some has already come out on our Understory compilation and elsewhere, like Trommel’s large Christmas charity compilation. As far as my own work, I plan to finally build my own studio in Berlin as I settle into a permanent place.    

“‘During the whole pandemic, I had been collecting a lot of music to help me relax and tune out”


Tell us more about “Heavy Meadows”: How, why and when was it recorded?

This mix was recorded in early December 2021 in Bucharest when the 2nd winter of lockdowns hit everyone quite hard. During the whole pandemic, I had been collecting a lot of more ambient and experimental music to help me relax and tune out of the hysteria and madness of the world and take my mind elsewhere. 

Putting the puzzle together for this seemed daunting at first because any direction is possible, but in the end, it came together quite quickly and naturally. I think it goes through a full spectrum of emotions and feelings and is a dear collection of artists and pieces I love, put together in a way that makes sense to me. It was mixed as a collage in Ableton, without pitching any music and arranging and letting tracks work together naturally and harmonically. The title comes from something a friend said to me as a joke at CDV, and in the absence of any better idea, it seemed to fit. 

Are you performing such mixes live anytime soon? 

I’ve been enjoying exploring this kind of music live at Kranut in Bucharest during the past 2 years and elsewhere. There are a lot of new venues and events that are giving this kind of music a space to be properly presented, it’s nice that “experimental chill-out floors” and whole festivals based around this like Intrinsic are coming back! 

8) Short, medium and long-term goals?

All three: Eat more ramen.


Anton Kubikov – Levitation
The Dead Texan – The Struggle
Hugo – Eone 1
Pan•American – The Cloud Room
Yo La Tengo – Acera Or The Witches’ Dance
Ryan Crosson – Anniversary
Harold Budd – Down The Slopes To The Meadow
Hotel Neon – Monolith
Max Richter – Infra 1
Brian McBride – Beekeepers vs Warfare Criminals
The Soft Pink Truth – Shall
Harold Budd – Abandoned Cities
Ground Tactics – Drealms
Shcaa – Until We Meet
Daisy Moon – Halcyon
Huerta – Plant Memory
Jon Hassell – Manga Scene
Daniel Pemberton – No Wisdom
Dan Berkson – Unity
Lenny – Making To Me
Rithma – Ambien after Vicodin
Nikolaienko – Ambianta IV
Jon Hassell – Dreaming
Mike Shannon – Her Everything
Kamran Sadeghi – Unknown Hour Of Feedback
Terry Riley, Kronos Quartet – One Earth, One People, One Love
Jonny Greenwood – Sandalwood II

Screenshot 2023-03-03 at 10.54.53


Coming Soon


Pluie/Noir Interscapes 11

Interscapes 11

“Shake The Mind”

Sound mixed and compiled by Davy
Visual interpretation by Max Binski

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series. 9 years after our debut we decided to press the reboot button and return to our roots. With a new format and back to a regular monthly schedule, Pluie/Noir Interscapes will feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives we admire.


 Interscapes 011 welcomes Davy Vandegaer – The DJ, producer and Futurepast curator – for a very personal and bold sonic ride full of twists and turns and plenty of room for introspection. Digital artwork using gradient manipulation techniques by Max Binski, the Pluie/Noir and Rings of Neptune head-honcho aka Cleymoore. Interviews below: 

Davy 1


Hi Davy, welcome to the PN Interscapes series. How are you feeling lately?

Hey Bruno. Thanks for having me.

Am feeling good, thank you. Especially since clubs re-opened earlier this summer, I got very motivated and excited again about the future of electronic music – and club subsistence in general. I was lucky to play in some exciting gigs already, including club Kalt in Strasbourg and Belgium at C12, Listen Festival, and Voltage, which was the first after 18 months, and to be honest, I felt quite moved by the whole thing. Fingers crossed that we can get through the upcoming winter without any major issues.

Are you keeping active & creative since last year? You feel this past period had an impact on you and your music?

I certainly did manage to keep active. Even though reality got entirely upside down, and it was quite a punch in many ways, I have to admit it impacted me in a pretty positive way in terms of creativity and time management. I could entirely focus on studio work and take my time in there, which I enjoyed a lot. At the beginning of COVID, I started finalizing many projects, structuring and labeling them, including my debut album, which I’m very excited about. If all the timings run as planned, it will be coming beginning of 2022. 

At the beginning of COVID, I started finalizing many projects, structuring and labeling them, including my debut album, which I’m very excited about.

Did it also have an impact on your imprint futurepast and its creative direction? Will you explore ambient and downtempo further on futurepast, on par with your podcast series?

Definitely, by perceiving how isolation and alarming news got under our skin and being lucky enough to have the chance to observe and reflect on the situation. As a result, I started the parallel “Alternative Earth” series (only digital) that focuses on more experimental music, not just ambient and downtempo but with an open mindset for many genres, even instrumental or mixed (instrumental-electronic). Indeed a bit similar to the direction of our podcast series, where the aim is to push boundaries of (electronic) music and get very personal mixes from the artists involved. 

So you’ve been working on new music? What is driving your creativity lately and what are you focusing on?

On the producing hand, I have spent most of my time making music these last two years, experimenting with different styles and concepts. There are two new aliases in the pipeline which I can’t wait to reveal, such as the projects they brought to life. I can get inspiration from many different channels: moods, exhibitions, live events, the city, nature, and just by turning knobs in the studio. It’s very often the synths and drum machines that guide me somewhere as if they knew already what had to be created that day if that makes sense.

“…by perceiving how isolation and alarming news got under our skin and being lucky enough to have the chance to observe and reflect on the situation. As a result, I started the parallel “Alternative Earth” series‘…”


Tell us more about your contribution to the series, “Shake The Mind”? What was your creative process and idea for this mix, when and how did you record it?

I love challenging myself to experiment with different moods and genres in a podcast and try creating a journey with it, like storytelling to take the listener to different places. With this ‘Shake The Mind‘ mix, I started picking records randomly from my experimental shelves and going with the flow, from super slow to 142bpm towards the end, which was an interesting challenge. I had created 75% of the mix spontaneously. Then I prepared a bit of an ending to it to mix the whole thing again from the start. A lot of the records in the mix had been on my shelves for 5-6 years, pretty much untouched, but knowing I would do something with them someday, so here it is.
 For that reason, this mix became quite special to me personally.

Setup used: 2 x Technics 1210MK2, Allen & Heath Xone92


Any personal projects on your mind apart from music production and DJ’ing?  

We launched a T-shirt campaign in summer with Futurepast record label to raise awareness about the climate change crisis we are living, donating a percentage to Rainforresttrust. This organization actively protects the Amazon rainforest. I can genuinely feel connected to nature when spending time in it, taking pictures, and going on hikes. It inspires me and is where I always find a peaceful mind. Nature is by far the most beautiful art form there is, I find it. I will definitely keep trying to combine the art of sound-making and nature in my musical language. Possibilities are infinite.

Short, medium and long term goals?

Short term: A new Futurepast release is coming out mid-November by legendary Swedish trio ‘Frak.’ For decades, they have had a sound of their own, which I always admire and support! I feel honored and proud to release them. 

Medium: My debut album coming out early next year is definitely my big personal highlight. I’m counting down the days to it. I can’t wait for it to see the light.

Long term goals: To keep working with music for as long as my body allows it, improve my skills on my path, keep learning, and always prioritize curiosity and fun above all.

“My debut album coming out early next year is definitely my big personal highlight. I’m counting down the days to it. I can’t wait for it to see the light.”


Photos by Leandra Rollo, Rebecca Steimer, Davy Vandegaer


Healing Force Project– Analogic Prospectus – Acido
Oni Ayhun – OAR004-B – Oni Ayhun Records
Harry K. – Sense – Elektrolux
Gamma – Prang! – Big Dada Recordings
The Posterboys Of The Apocalypse – Dick Slots – Violent Turd
Duplex – P.O.M. (Time Dilation) Remix by Heinrich Mueller – Clone
Smea – Koala Grip – Börft
John Hughes Daydream – Drinking Gasoline – Cut Mistake Music
Tolouse Low Trax – Metal Tent – Antinote
Small Fish With Spine – SQ4 – Apollo
DM – untitled – Hör Zu!
John Hughes Daydream – Ebony Eyes – Cut mistake Music
B.W.P. Experiments – Download – Bonzai
Tritop – Reume – INFRACom!
Pavel Miljakov – Metal Ambience II – The Trilogy Tapes
Global Communication – Excerpts From The Land Of The Rising Sun – Evolution 17. Small Fish With Spine – The Hilltop – Apollo
John Hughes Daydream – Walk The Walk – Cut Mistake Music
Larry Heard – 25 years from Alpha – Black Market Records
Flexi – Untitled (Atelier Records)
M Gun – Intent – Futurepast
Drexciya – Habitat ‘O’ Negative – Tresor
Itinerant Dubs – Monkey – Itinerant Dub
Vintage Future – The Toxin – Underground Resistance
Suburban Knight – Night Vision – Underground Resistance
Plastikman – Digital / Divide – Novamute
Receptor – Antenas – Winsom Music
Silex – Holder – Vibrant Music
Jeff Mills – Glen21 – Tomorrow
Noisome – Dentate Gyrus – Kontakte


Buy the music you love — don’t stream your life away !

Futurepast Soundcloud
Futurepast IG
Futurepast Bandcamp

M: info (at)

Dynamic Range: The 9th Passenger Aboard the Nostromo

Unveiling the Invisible 9th Passenger
Aboard the Nostromo 

Words by Bruno Santos aka Cleymoore
Reading time: 16 minutes

This is an essay on the role of sound and music in our inherent perception of fantasy films, taking 1979’s “Alien” as the main subject.
Although the article contains no spoilers, at least one viewing of the movie is recommended before reading. 


Celebrated and admired throughout history, cinema is a peculiar but expansive source of both wonder and outstanding inspiration. Being exposed to a world different from our own can be a mesmerizing experience, one that has the power to influence entire generations. Audio-visual experiences that transcend time & space.

Consider the Science Fiction genres: We were used to marveling at a reality that was different from ours, but ever since we landed on the Moon in 1969 our cinematic depictions of space started to seem ever more uncanny. Back in 1979, the science-fiction horror film “Alien” directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O’Bannon hit the cinemas with moderate success. Dubbed “Alien: The 8th Passenger”, it follows the crew of the commercial spacecraft Nostromo, who encounter the now-iconic Alien, a deadly and primal extraterrestrial being, in an unknown planetoid after receiving a distress signal. It was undoubtedly the most terrifying film I’ve experienced during my childhood. 

Fast-forward to 2020, and SpaceX is also shooting people into space in a commercial aircraft, and I can’t help but wonder how familiar it all seems. But science-fiction is a hefty topic. Instead, I want to explore and dissect the role of sound and music in our inherent perception of fantasy films and explore why “Alien” was, and still is, a terrifying Sci-Fi tale.

Alien is a film about primal fear – namely, the fear of the unknown – and every character and set piece in it has a life of its own. The visual aesthetics adopted by Ridley Scott for the spacecraft Nostromo and its interiors are quite grim: Massive engines and weirdly shaped structures, hulking pieces of unstylish sharp metal, long dark corridors, hanging chains everywhere as if looking into metal gibbets, bizarre hypersleep gear and obsolete CRT display screens. These are shockingly contrasted by bleak interior design structures of the purest white, reminiscent of the sterility found in most of “2001 Space Odyssey” spaceship scenes, providing a powerful dynamic range to its visuals. The look and feel of the planetoid LV-426, The Derelict and the ominous Alien itself were all H.R. Giger’s creations. The interior of the Derelict, by comparison, resembles more a living organism than a spacegoing vessel, with bony walls, circular gangways, narrow passages, and extremely sexual undertones. 

“every character and set piece in it has a life of its own”

Giger’s perversion over nature and matter echoes throughout the entire film, and it’s arguably one of its most unsettling elements. It’s also a quite visceral film, depicting violence that’s not only graphical but also profoundly symbolical: there’s allusions of rape in the Alien’s highly sexualized attacks or the Facehugger’s forced impregnation, grotesque depictions of childbirth agony in the famous Chestburster scene, and nods to extreme sexual transfiguration in the Alien’s visual motifs and artefacts, often shifting the whole setup to the Freudian realm. But there’s another element in particular that drives this discomfort to new heights: the sound, and it’s outstanding dynamic range.

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith, Alien’s soundtrack is one of the most chillingly effective horror scores in film history, and most likely one of his most outstanding achievements. From the ghostly trumpet & flute melodies of its central theme to the sleek, spine-tingling textures and long-decaying echoes of its most suspenseful arrangements, Goldsmith’s craft relies on a carefully executed orchestration to full effect. It juxtaposes the cold emptiness of space with its stellar, awe-inspiring beauty.

Although, Jerry Goldsmith didn’t precisely score Alien’s opening credits as heard in the film. His take on the opening credits was a much calmer, romantic take on the vastness of space and its alluring grace – miles away from the straightforward and obscure version you hear in the film, which carries a slightly menacing and dissonant tone. Goldsmith originally intended these incongruous moments to be used later in the movie. Still, Ridley Scott and editor Terry Rawlings decided the film needed to convey horror right from the start. Which of the two opening themes was more appropriate? I think it boils down to cinematic taste or vision. The rather romantic motif, classically composed in glorious harmony that subverts the audience slightly; versus the horror inducing theme, focused on 2 major/minor chords played back & forth in a hexatonic scale, which amongst ghastly textures evokes instant dread.

Alien’s bony-chilling opening sequence is drenched in mystery and an overwhelming sense of dread.

Regardless of its brilliance and/or effectiveness, the music editing process of the film was, in fact, a complete disaster, and suffered from a colossally controversial post-production stage. From temp tracking to the final piece, both director and editor saw fit to chop Jerry Goldsmith’s music into bits and pieces, and even replacing it with cues from other scores he composed in the past, specifically 1962’s pseudobiographical movie “Freud”. Goldsmith’s ending theme for “Alien” was also, quite pointlessly, replaced by Howard Hanson’s opus “Symphony No. 2 – Romantic“. 

But however badly his work was treated, the effect of the final score on one’s psyche is quite a nerve-wracking, unforgettable experience. And while it may not quite compete with the Satanic heights of the composers score to “The Omen”, which was the composer’s only Oscar thus far, Alien’s sound structure conveys a very unique horror in itself. One that is both familiar and otherwordly, often blurring the lines between music score and diegetic sound (sound fx/foley). It expands our understanding of the world within the film itself in a game of tone and contrast. 

“A score without a range of different moments and moods will more often than not result in a movie soundtrack that has little to no dynamic range.” 

And while the theme of science fiction concerns a grasp of the known, horror is usually defined by the human struggle with the unknown and our quest to survive horrifying circumstances. Unless, of course, we talk about the likes of Jordan Peele and his cinematic depiction of real-life social horrors. Music in horror films plays an extremely critical role in establishing the requited amount of mystery, trepidation, and fear. In conventional horror movies, this seems quite a straightforward task, but when the mysterious beauty of space is a character on its own, quietness plays a fundamental role. That’s where the dynamic range of sound becomes extremely important, and an indispensable tool for emotional support.

In cinematic photography, the dynamic range is the difference between the darkest and lightest tones of a scene, what one might consider pure black and pure white. In sound, it describes the ratio between the quietest and the loudest noise in a musical instrument, musical arrangement or piece of electronic equipment.

A score without a range of different moments and moods will more often than not result in a movie soundtrack that has little to no dynamic range. Alien is a beautiful example of a soundtrack that has been carefully designed to have moments of calm quietness, often evoking a mixture of fear and awe, versus moments of intense action that result in high volume sound, music and dialogue.

It creates a structured experience, and the audio-visual dynamics grow from these structures as well, building the intensity of a moment before that specific intense moment actually occurs, driving the audience. Junji Ito comes to mind: page after page of his mangas usually grow slowly in tone and dread, only to deliver enormous shocks or to drop the reader into the uncanny valley after a simple page turn. Using such dynamics, he subdues the reader, and masterfully controls the narrative.

From right to left, the masterful subdued shocks of Shunji Ito.

Most of the film’s alien settings use quietness as a tool to elevate its otherwordly sounds and enable razor-sharp emotional manipulation. Long moments of calm allow clarity and provide the space and headroom needed for delicate gain staging, from the quietest wind to the loudest echo of strings and drums. These elements ebb and flow in a very dynamic and organic manner, and inject subconscious themes of gripping bodily invasion, attack and infection. But there’s a constant melodic cue that cuts through the film, evoking different emotions depending on its tempo, volume or tone.

Goldsmith’s known to employ flexible secondary motifs in addition to the central theme by using smaller repeated musical statements throughout the whole score  and in Alien there are specific timbres and melodies recurrently recalled. Virtually every cue has a life of its own that is born from the same core, something which assists the score’s musicality and motion. The Alien’s leitmotif, the 2-note and sometimes 3-note flute arrangement, is a constant: it continually reminds you everything alien, and the fact that it’s employed in its most introspective moments mutates it into something all the more terrifying.

“Long moments of calm allow clarity and provide the space and headroom needed for delicate gain staging”


The scoring on LV-426 and the discovery and subsequent investigation of The Derelict ship is a great sonic representation of everything Alien. Goldsmith used his familiarity with acoustic and electronic elements to create an engaging atmosphere of atypical nature. The famous “alien wind” effect was generated using the Indian instrument Shankha run through the Echoplex tape delay machine – an industry standard for this effect at the time and the successor to the EchoSonic, one of the earliest magnetic tape delay & amplifier machines from 1959. Cues like “The Alien Planet” and “The Shaft” are an accurate depiction of incoming horror and aggressive action through the innovative use of echoes and reverbs on its orchestral and percussive parts.

To create the sound for the alien and its world, Goldsmith used an array of intriguing instruments, including a Didgeridoo, original from the Australian Aboriginal tribes, and the Serpent, a unique wind instrument originally from France that resembles a giant snake – and a distant ancestor of the modern tuba. Goldsmith also used detuned wind and string effects to convey stress (influenced by Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki). The wise use of magnetic tape delays on drums or these unusual instruments represents the terror of the unknown world and its ominous central creature. 

Some pieces like “Facehugger” or “Breakaway” demonstrate some of the composers most aggressive and challenging writing, making full use of the dynamic range by carefully mixing foley with instrumentation under precise volume shifting. These quiet moments contrasted by nervous sounds very quickly break-the-nerve of the listener and subconsciously implant ideas of severe aggression. It becomes a very feral experience.

Understanding dynamic range is key to achieving a good sound, just like understanding contrast is key to achieving the right image. Goldsmith’s soundtrack has vast differences between the loudest peaks in its cues and its quietest sounds, resulting in a very unique dynamic range – one that eventually requires a specific sound system to fully enjoy. 

“Understanding dynamic range is key to achieving a good sound, just like understanding contrast is key to achieving the right image.”

Considering the cinema nowadays is becoming more and more a living-room thing, such a soundtrack could feel either too loud or too quiet at times, primarily when heard in smaller sound systems / TVs. If we were to apply severe levels of compression to the soundtrack to achieve higher volume and a shorter frequency window we would gain an overall feeling of increased ‘loudness’ and virtually making it sound better in such environments. At the same time, loud moments would be toned down, and quietness wouldn’t be so mysterious, severely impacting the whole emotional articulation of all its parts.

I do believe, although, that such a score wouldn’t be nearly as dynamic nowadays; this is mostly due to the approach most current musicians and audio engineers have towards volume. The loudness range of the sound before mastering or even mixing has increased at the same time as compressing/limiting has been getting more dramatic, a tendency born out of the stylistic changes in music during the era of the ‘loudness war’ — aka the ’90s. This quest for volume became an industry standard, with platforms like Spotify employing Loudness Normalization with the use of digital limiter algorithms that quite often break the dynamic range of a track. These platforms state louder tracks have often been cited as sounding better to listeners, so normalization was employed to avoid unfair advantage between songs with different volumes or dynamic ranges.

“The loudness range of the sound before mastering or even mixing has increased at the same time as compressing/limiting has been getting more dramatic.”

I’m often puzzled by such perceptions of loudness and sound quality in music. They make me wonder if, for instance, ambient music mixes should be mastered or normalized. Virtually everyone would be able to listen to it clearly, even on lo-fi speakers, and accessibility should be a concern. But moments in the mix that should ebb and flow, be it in emotion or volume, would probably be spoiled and taken miles away from the original intentions of its creator.

In 2017, Mondo re-issued Alien’s OST in a gorgeous special edition 4xLP package that included both Goldsmith’s original vision and Scott’s edits, transferred, remastered and restored from the original multi-track tapes, and its native dynamic range impeccably preserved. But, however remarkable, the original soundtrack album, also re-issued by Mondo, remains the best way to listen to the score as envisioned by the composer: an utterly authentic soundscape of atonal motifs bookended by its Romantic theme. It elevated the original material from overblown b-movie to interstellar artistic heights and serves even today as a perfect example of pioneering sonic artistry full of character, where its details and dynamics make it a character of its own — the 9th passenger aboard the Nostromo.