[Rotate008] Labello – ‘Inner Space’

Labello

"Inner Space"
[ROTATE008]

 

“Rotate’s eighth release brings a collaborative project from the duo Labello”

[Rotate008] Labello

‘Inner Space”

A1 Good Times (07:35)
A2 Invisible Red (07:41)
B1 Pkaila (11:09)

Written & produced by Ariel-Benjamin Guedj & Loris Pugnet Frerot
Mastered by Lowris
Cut by Mike Grinser
Artwork & Design Max Binski
A&R Denise Gluck
Manufactured at Intakt
Distributed by Black.round.twelve
Rotate Recordings 2022

Order here: https://blackroundtwelve.com/product/labello-inner-space-ep/

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 11

Pluie/Noir
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

INTERVIEW — DAVY

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

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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

Tracklist: 

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 !

Links:

soundcloud.com/davyvandegaer
Futurepast Soundcloud
Futurepast IG
Futurepast Bandcamp
www.maxbinski.com


Whttps://pluienoir.tumblr.com
M: info (at) pluienoir.com

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 10

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 10

“Backyard Sanctuary”

Sound mixed and compiled by Michael Melchner
Visual interpretation by ZZY aka Lenny Mailleau

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.

For Interscapes 10 we welcome Michael MelchnerThe DJ, producer, digger extraordinaire and half of Omega Men – for a sonic ride with plenty of room for introspection. Appropriately dense acrylic painting by the Berlin-based visual artist behind The Yellow Zone and one half of Zendid, Lenny Mailleau. We interview both for the occasion:

_MG_8460 - Kopie

INTERVIEW — MICHAEL MELCHNER

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

Thank you for the invitation! I feel pretty good, enjoying the summer and the new/old freedoms in Berlin. I feel that the energy in the city is very special right now, and it’s nice to get infected by a positive vibe instead of a threatening virus. Altogether, I have the hope with everything whats happening in the world, we are finally waking up and can make some meaningful changes that will lead us to a utopia and not to a dystopia.

Do you feel these past periods had an impact on you? 

Yes, it made me realize relatively quickly what I actually want in life. And that is: creating music, DJing, organizing our label, and everything else that contributes to our scene with all its flaws. I also think it’s time to bring more politics into play. We live in difficult times, and we should say what we believe in and our values and not be afraid to take a stand. Of course, techno should be primarily unifying, but let’s talk politics a bit more often, please! 

FEB2020

“When it comes to producing, one of my main projects right now is Omega Men.”

You haven’t released music as Michael Melchner since 2016. Is Omega Men your main focus now? 

When it comes to producing, one of my main projects right now is Omega Men. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that all tracks released as Omega Men are always produced by Paul Tiedje and me together. Some tracks released under the name are also produced by Paul or myself in single sessions. Omega Men are first and foremost all people who do not feel and perform as alpha animals. Mainly that’s Paul and me for the label and as artists, but it’s essential to keep that a bit open. I still use my real name for gigs as a DJ, but I put the name aside as a producer for now.

You shared a studio with Patrick Klein and did a couple of releases together. Are you planning on exploring your work further as Klein/Melchner and DJ Gonzo & Dr. Yes?  

Yes, that’s my other big project. I make music with Patrick as Klein/Melchner and then some more “fun” tracks as Dj Gonzo & Dr. Yes. We have a lot of material, and we might even release a long-player in the future. And we are working on a live act for a date in September. 

Are you using these projects to explore other genres before you return to your solo works? Any wishes to record a solo album any time soon?

For now, I really enjoy working with Patrick and Paul. The three of us share the studio, so during the lockdown, we were so lucky to have that place where we could go and meet and just do something together without breaching all rules at the time. During the lockdown/curfew, this studio and our friendship and company during the lockdown/curfew were so good for creativity and mental health. That’s why I still enjoy working together with them right now.

But I’m sure the time will come again when I want to work alone. And yes, in the distant future, I would also like to release a solo album, but I’ll take my time for that! 

“I make music with Patrick as Klein/Melchner and then some more “fun” tracks as Dj Gonzo & Dr. Yes. We have a lot of material, and we might even release a long-player in the future.

Tell us more about your contribution to the series “Backyard Sanctuary”? What were your creative process and idea for this mix, when and how did you record it?

I like ambient sets, but most of them usually have a turning point that I don’t like. Some get a bit cheesy, some get too esoteric or ethnic, some get too “beautiful” or lose energy. I wanted to do an ambient mix that still has a straight “techno feel” to it. I like it dark; I like it when it keeps the energy and doesn’t change the mood too often. For that, I did a Bandcamp only research for tracks and then compiled them in Ableton in my studio. It was pretty exciting because its the first mix I did, which was not recorded with records.

“I wanted to do an ambient mix that still has a straight “techno feel” to it. I like it dark”

 
Michael Melchner

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

Haha, yes, this is perhaps my most significant project, which will take the most time; I want to renovate my flat. For this, I need to learn how to sand down floorboards, fill walls, plaster stucco, etc. Exciting and frightening at the same time!

Short, medium, and long-term goals?  

Play more DJ-gigs, Plan a live set, play a live set

IMAGE 2021-08-24 11:55:08

INTERVIEW — LENNY MAILLEAU aka ZZY

COMING SOON

Links:

www.basicmoves.be
contact@basicmoves.be
www.maxbinski.com


Whttps://pluienoir.tumblr.com
M: info (at) pluienoir.com

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 09

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 09

“You Must Sleep And Dream”

Sound mixed and compiled by Myles Greenwood
Visual interpretation by Daniel Ellwood

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.

 

For Interscapes 09, we welcome Myles Greenwood – The DJ, promoter, digger extraordinaire, and part of the iconic Swiss record shop Le Gram Vinyl Garden – to give us a glimpse of his vast record collection. Scalpel art and digital finish by Daniel Ellwood, the Berlin-based visual artist behind Ellwood Art. We interview both for the occasion:

Screenshot 2021-05-28 at 02.44.05

INTERVIEW — MYLES GREENWOOD

Hi Myles, welcome to the PN Interscapes series. How are you holding up?

Hello Bruno, thank you so much for having me. Things are very busy at the moment, actually. It’s been a tough, dull year for everyone, but now I’m back in the UK, I seem to have a lot on my plate.

How was it living in Switzerland? For how long were you based in Renens?

I loved Switzerland; like I said, this past year was challenging, but I can’t complain about the 8 or so years I’ve lived there; I’ve had a lot of fun. I mainly was living up in the mountains, they’re beautiful, they don’t seem real. The shop (Le Gram VG) is obviously down in Renens – it’s a sort of suburb of Lausanne. Totally different feel to the city. It’s got a great vibe, artier, and more kebabs. The last couple of years working down there with Oscar was great; I had a good routine of heading down from the mountains for a few days at a time, sorting out records, and eating kebabs. What’s not to like!

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I helped as much as I could sourcing collections, pricing, listing, and helping with the general tasks of running the shop

Did you start Le Gram VG with Oscar Conway when you moved to Switzerland? Are you still managing the project from the UK?

I didn’t start it no, It’s Oscar’s love child. He just asked me to get involved from an early stage. I can’t take any credit for the building or aesthetics of the shop; that’s all Oscar. But I helped as much as I could sourcing collections, pricing, listing, and helping with the general tasks of running the shop. There have been times before where I was managing it from the UK. For example, the first wave of lockdown saw me stuck in England with 5000 records and Oscar in Renens needing the stock for the shop. We managed to make it work. Part of the beauty of running a business with your best mate is it somehow always works itself out.

How is Le Gram VG standing out from the general international record store panorama?

I’m not sure, to be honest, but I hope we’re standing out. We have our core values and just go with them. I think the partnership with LEGRAM (restaurant & bar) downstairs helps. When the building is actually open, and the customers can get quality beers and wines while digging, it creates a really nice atmosphere. In terms of the music on the shelves, we try to maintain an extremely high standard. People are picky; they know what they want! I think the struggles of opening so soon before a pandemic has shaped the character of the shop.

“the first wave of lockdown saw me stuck in England with 5000 records and Oscar in Renens needing the stock for the shop. We managed to make it work.

And the events at the shop? Did you and Oscar curate these events too? 

This was a bit of a team effort. Oscar had some great experience from booking the parties at the Polaris festival. We’d run events and parties in the mountains before. We’d often just brainstorm potential DJs who we’d like to see and go from there. The sound system was lent to us by a good friend; cars were sometimes borrowed, basically doing whatever we could to make it work.

For me, this was the biggest thing I missed in the pandemic months. The few events that we did really helped get the word out about the shop. We somehow managed to squeeze some amazing party’s out in some very stressful times. The work that goes into the events is always so worth it.

We had some close friends start to invite some of their favorite DJs from Europe to play the in-store sessions. This was another great collab between friends and artists, using the shop to host events and benefiting from the wonderful space.

“‘We somehow managed to squeeze some amazing party’s out in some very stressful times. The work that goes into the events is always so worth it.”

 

Screenshot 2021-05-28 at 03.19.55
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Tell us more about “you must sleep and dream.” What were your creative process and idea for this mix, when and how did you record it?

It was recorded in late January, so deep into a freezing & snowy winter. I was listening to A LOT of ambient/experimental. Once I started digging more and more into the sound, I fell in love. For the mix, I wanted to create moments that would catch you off guard: relaxing at times and stressful at others. I hope the listener feels a range of emotions while listening to it.

You see yourself as a DJ and Record Collector? Do you intend on getting involved in the creation of music or maybe even a record label?

I have dabbled, and I mean, I dabbled in music creation. I’ve had bits of hardware at times in my life. But the passion is always far greater towards digging new music than creating my own. Maybe this will change one day, but for now, yea, a DJ/Collector only. 

"the passion is always far greater towards digging new music than creating my own."

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A label? It’s funny you say that as we’re in the process of compiling a Various Artists release from the shop. It’s a little idea and compilation of our 4 favorite tunes that have been sent in to our monthly online Radio Show. 

Short, medium and long term goals?

So haha, I don’t want to reveal too much at this moment in time. But the reason I’ve headed to the UK is to hopefully start a little project here. As soon as things are a little further down the pipeline, I’ll start telling people. But until then, I can’t say too much. Fingers crossed and lips sealed FOR NOW!

me cutting deep

INTERVIEW — DANIEL ELLWOOD

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

Hi Bruno, thanks for inviting me to do a feature artwork for Myles’ mix. I’ve been good, keeping as busy as possible while patiently waiting for things to get rocking and rolling once more. Had my first vaccine jab last week, which put me out of action for a few days but now I’m fighting fit again!

Are you keeping active & creative? You feel these past periods had an impact on you?

During this whole lockdown, I have had the opportunity to keep busy designing and creating, which has probably kept the wheels turning. It’s given me a chance to go back to the drawing board and look into new styles and avenues of design. Recently I have been working a lot with digital artworks and motion graphics. I specialize in graphic design for work, so it’s great to incorporate my creative side with more commercial projects. 

“my primary creative weapon of choice has been a scalpel and a black canvas which I cut and peel to reveal white underneath”

When did you move to Berlin? Do you still find Berlin and its music scene inspiring? 

I moved to Berlin 3 and a half years ago. I had set my eye on this place while still based in Leeds doing my master’s in art & design. With regular visits coming here to watch my mates spin and the unique art culture that seemed to slip in and around every corner of the city, I knew this was where I was heading. I did a couple of years in Dubai to build my design portfolio up and hosted my first solo exhibition there, then a stint in South America, and then it was time to set myself up here.

The music scene for me is growing and growing. I am surrounded by DJs and producers in their prime, so I seem to be spoilt for choice. On arrival to Berlin, I ended up shacking up with Josh Tweek from The Ghost I lived with back in Leeds. He introduced me to the tightly knit group of ‘sound heads’ that he beers with, and it’s nice to be one of the few visual artists in the group. From there, I moved on to living under the same roof as Huerta, who also offered up consistent daily bangers, so it’s always inspiring to see my mates producing at the highest level. 

 

“The music scene for me is growing and growing. I am surrounded by DJs and producers in their prime, so I seem to be spoilt for choice.”

Your style is very particular. What are your main techniques?

Since I was 15 years old, my primary creative weapon of choice has been a scalpel and a black canvas which I cut and peel to reveal white underneath, leaning into the apparent limitations of a black surface. I’m inspired by life, nature, and structure – and I love to throw these ideas into an abstract form. These ‘still’ images achieve their animated effect through the fluid lines that I favor. Using a scalpel without any guidelines is fun because it means there are no mistakes! Every work is a one-take, free-form improvisation. From here, I like to bring my artworks onto the computer to reinterpret them digitally: applying color, zooming in to create more abstraction, or else repeating patterns for a kaleidoscopic effect. 

I’ve seen your work also appearing on labels of some records. Since when have you been doing freelance work like this?

It was always a dream of mine to design artworks for vinyl covers. My first cover was for Andy Ash on Fullbarr Records back in 2014. After that, I was contacted by Berlin-based label Dreamers Recordings and have done the last 5 artworks for their releases, and last year I was invited to do 4 releases for Opia Records. It’s been a perfect way to crossover my love of music with my passion for art.

“I  have jumped into experimenting with video-based modular synths, which has opened up many new avenues for creativity”

And video? Is it another one of your passions?

Yeah, visuals and animations have been some of the most exciting projects I have been working on in the last few years. I have jumped into experimenting with video-based modular synths, which has opened up many new avenues for creativity. In the last couple of years, the gigs have started to come in, which has been great. I’ve had some incredible gigs at Gottwood Festival, Houghton, Free Rotation, CDV, and Hoppetosse… Last year, I was invited to create a feature-length visual for Huerta‘s downtempo album Junipero on Andy Hart‘s Voyage Recordings. During lockdown, I teamed up with Josh to create our own audiovisual series called Boshcast, where we have invited the likes of Bruno Schmidt and Sugar Free to lay down an eclectic range of grooves — I provide the visuals, and we live-stream each episode online. I can’t wait for clubs and festivals to open back up to get the chance to perform again, hopefully, this summer.

Tell us more about “Just Jamming”? What was your creative process, and how did the music from Myles inspire it?

After listening to Myles’s mix, I wanted to create the idea of excitement, movement, and vibrance but keep a clean structure with shapes locking together. Each track is unique and beautifully blended from one to the other. I wanted to keep that idea of individual shapes coming together to create something unique, with each object complementing its neighbors. I’ve titled this one ‘Just Jamming.’

“It was great to link up with Conxi in the last couple of years. She has been an incredible inspiration”

I’ve seen some lovely works done together with Conxi. Are you planning on doing more collaborations with her or other artists alike?

It was great to link up with Conxi in the last couple of years. She has been an incredible inspiration in terms of evolving my style and thought process. We are pretty similar in creating abstract characters and forms, so when we put our heads together for the first time, it felt right. We are currently in the middle of our third piece together, and hopefully, this will continue for many years to come as she offers up a whole fresh bag of wild ideas. I am always open to collaborations as it gives scope to experiment and develop new styles of work.

Short, medium and long-term goals?

In the short term, I would say is to keep pursuing opportunities to create more audiovisual experiences. I’ve just bought a new video synth, so that will keep me entertained for the foreseeable future. I’d love to look at applying for my work on clothing and textiles in the near future. My long-term goal is to eventually open up a gallery space here in Berlin. It was the 5-year goal I set myself when arriving here, to have a space where I can host audio-visual experiences and have a physical space for my work.

Links:

soundcloud.com/myles-greenwood
www.ellwood-art.com
www.maxbinski.com


Whttps://pluienoir.tumblr.com
M: info (at) pluienoir.com

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 08

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 08

“Random Color Swings”

Sound mixed and compiled by Pocket Club
Visual interpretation by Marlene Magnoli

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.

 

For Interscapes 08 we welcome Pocket Club aka Alex Troubetzkoy – the now Paris-based DJ, producer and head honcho of the Pocket Club label – to lay down his pocket of influences over a one hour mix full of versatility and heaps of blues. Gorgeous illustration full of fauna and flora by the talented Marlene Magnoli aka Mlen Draws. We interview both for the occasion:

Alex

INTERVIEW — ALEX TROUBETZKOY aka POCKET CLUB

Hi Alex, such a pleasure to have you at P/N. How have you been?

Hello Bruno! Such a pleasure and honor to be part of the Pluie/Noir podcast series as well; I’ve been a big fan for quite a while now. I’m alright, the past few months have been very calm but pleasant! I love winter as it’s always the perfect excuse to stay in and create, trying not to overthink the other reason we are all locked inside.

The current pandemic has proven quite challenging for the music business as a whole. Considering you are both a DJ and a promoter and record label owner, how did it affect your work? 

I’ve spent the first lockdown in Bucarest, but, unfortunately, I couldn’t find a sane rhythm during this period, so I moved back to France at the end of it last summer. I always thought everything would be alright if something like a pandemic happened, as my days were already spent at home making music. But my studio wasn’t at home anymore, and it was complicated to go there every day. So, in the end, it wasn’t an easy period for me, mentally and creatively. 

When I arrived back in France, I stayed at my parent’s place in the countryside next to Paris. Little by little, I found my balance again — I mean, as much balance as one can possibly get considering the current situation. Being out of town has its ups and downs as well, but right now, it’s working pretty good, and the creativity came back too, so … 🙂

I always thought everything would be alright if something like a pandemic happened, as my days were already spent at home making music.

How have you been using your time?

Well, I made some music… then I made some more music, and now I guess I will go make some music again! I’m also playing guitar a lot, which makes me really happy as I’ve missed it so much. I’ve been drawing a little bit, walking in the forest, and I’ve tried learning the trumpet, although this one will take more time than I thought.

You have a particular workflow or focus when making music?  

I’m not sure; I guess it depends on the kind of music I’m making. For dance music, it’s a lot of trial and error – plugging in anything into everything in a search for inspiration in sounds, textures, machines… I create a soundscape or a beat following this ambiance and dress it accordingly. Then, I’ll try to arrange in the most musical way I possibly can.

When it’s not about club music, it’s different, as I don’t count as much on the « randomness » of things. It’s way more about composition; I usually have the main idea already in my head before starting, what kind of colors, chords, melodies I want. Sometimes I’ve had a track in my head for an hour, or even years, which makes it pretty special when it finally comes out! I then write the part for the instruments, record them one by one, and once I have a good structure, I get into the details, transitions between elements, etc.

“”Pocket Club” is literally the club of influences in my head, so there will be different recipes where some take the lead more than others, depending on the EP.

Last year was also the year you’ve released your first record on your imprint “Pocket Club.” What are your plans for this project?

The idea behind Pocket Club is really to mix all my influences. “Pocket Club” is literally the club of influences in my head, so there will be different recipes where some take the lead more than others, depending on the EP. There are no limitations, really. Electronic, jazz, trip-hop, experimental, bossa nova, pop, funk… If I could put all of them in every track, I would, but it’s challenging to do so as I want to keep a certain balance, so yes, the ratios are changing.

The first EP was electronic; now I’m preparing the second one, which will be a lot more acoustic-driven. I will let it speak for itself as it should be out in a couple of weeks! I will make a few more EPs as Pocket Club to set the tone. Then, I will release music from some of my friends. And little by little, I wish all of this ends up in extensive live studio sessions between producers and live musicians.

“Some people wouldn’t listen to “this or that genre” for 3 hours straight, but maybe they will like 3 min of it between other genres that are perhaps more familiar to them. “

 

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Why, when, and how did you record this podcast? 

I recorded this podcast during the first lockdown, so in Bucarest, last May I think. I wanted to take the label’s identity, put it into a set, carry all the small parts I love about everything, and make a nice collage out of it. It was made like that; I put all the tracks in Ableton and built it like a movie to control everything – transitions between genres, etc. Some tracks play longer than others, depending on what it says and what I want it to say in the mix, kind of like a “best of” radio show. 

Also, I think personal mixes like these are a good way of presenting more “difficult” music or sounds to a larger audience. Some people wouldn’t listen to “this or that genre” for 3 hours straight, but maybe they will like 3 min of it between other genres that are perhaps more familiar to them. Right now, I’m working on another set like this, and there will definitely be more and more.

Considering your vast music knowledge and melomanous character, are you also exploring other music genres?

Oh yes! I think that’s the main point. We are not much without our influences, and the more you have, the more colors you add to your own palette. The music I’m making is only an interpretation of all those influences, peoples, instruments. So yes, yes, yes, that’s why it’s a unique and never-ending process. We are never exactly the same one year to another, same for our influences. All those ratios are quietly moving as the seasons go by — the good times, the bad, etc. — leaving an endless amount of music to be done.

Short, medium, and long term goals for 2021 and beyond? 

Although I don’t want to put a time schedule on this, I started to record my first album, so this would be a nice 2021 goal: finish the album! And a couple more EPs. Later I would like to start composing music for films, hopefully with more and more musicians, and continue making albums, always changing the ratios… Fowever (as a french would say).

Marlene

INTERVIEW — MLEN DRAWS aka MARLENE MAGNOLI

Hi Marlene, such a pleasure to have you at P/N at last. How are you holding up?

Hi Bruno! I’m good, thanks, and really glad to be here! 

Are you keeping active & creative? Was this period life-changing at any level to you?

Especially now, it is hard to stay active and creative (or at least partially). I go through phases; sometimes I’m full of creativity, but sometimes I just hang there. It is challenging to find new inspiration, and I try to bring a lot of variation these days (with moderate success, haha). Then, 20 ideas come at once, and I have to think about how I can work through them! 

I finally found the time to try new things out. And I’ve wanted to try some of them for quite some time, like screenprinting. It is for sure not on a professional level, but at least it is fun and artisanal.

“I go through phases; sometimes I’m full of creativity, but sometimes I just hang there.”

You moved to Berlin a few years ago. Do you still find Berlin and its music scene inspiring? What is inspiring you the most lately?

Absolutely. At the moment Berlin is, of course, very constrained. But it’s still the Berlin I got to know almost 10 years ago – not exactly, but almost. There is no other place where I can hear so much good music and meet so many exciting artists. Berlin is simply alive. It is a bit difficult now, but so many still make the best out of it and do what they can to keep the scene alive – like streaming their sets to virtually bring people to dance in their homes.

Lately, I’ve been listening to more music to feel inspired. In the past, it was traveling, sitting outside in nature. Going out. Living. Nowadays, it’s more the little things: cooking things I never cooked before, searching for music I never heard before…

“I regularly illustrate the covers for Hushlamb. It is an enjoyable recurring project because their ideas combine very well with my ideas and style and the music they release.”

You’re regularly illustrating for the Huhlamb imprint. Do you like doing client-specific works? Do you live from illustration alone?

I regularly illustrate the covers for Hushlamb. It is an enjoyable recurring project because their ideas combine very well with my ideas and style and the music they release! I’m delighted to illustrate for them for so many years, and I think it’s still a perfect fit. Working under client specifications is not so much what I do these days. Instead, I work freely, illustrate whatever comes to my mind. I work for others (illustration-wise) only when it really fits my style. 

 

I’m not a full-time illustrator. I’m a daytime software dev and a nighttime/every time artist. For me having both is really important. Both are creative work: one more technical, the other more free and visual (or even acoustic). The results of my free illustration projects (projected on textile and paper) are also available on Etsy.

"I'm doing some experiments here and there and have turned some of my illustrations into patterns."

One of my current projects is creating patterns for textile printing. I’m doing some experiments here and there and have turned some of my illustrations into patterns. I then print these into the fabric and sew them (not by myself – sadly, I can’t sew anything). Thus far, I’ve printed 3 patterns on 3 different garments (hoodie, bomber jacket, and light scarf). I especially like the print on a slightly shiny fabric like the “Quagga Bomber Jacket” – this is made with duchess satin. I also sell the jackets on request; these are then produced in a single edition. I’m still thinking about how the whole thing can be serialized without having to do individual editions — I hope to work together with manufacturers one day and solve this issue. For the moment, I will continue to design more patterns and print them in single editions, in whatever shape comes to mind (which, of course, manufacturers could too) 😄

What are your techniques? How do you go from primary draft to final piece?

Most of my illustrations are hand-drawn, scanned, and then digitally colored. However, I also started drawing digitally, which means I draw on the tablet and colorize them. Sometimes an idea just comes to my mind, and I immediately begin to draw. Usually, I like to do a little research before I draw – how things should look exactly, etc. – because I’m very detail-oriented when it comes to illustration. When the project is more complex, I make a little collage of whatever I find on the internet and use this as a base to start drawing.

“Most of my illustrations are hand-drawn, scanned, and then digitally colored.”

Tell us more about “Pangolin Color Swing”? What was your creative process, and how did Alex’s music inspire it?

I started listening to the mix, got a glass of wine, and began by picking up an illustration from my archive. The decision fell on a pangolin I had drawn about 3 years ago; A pangolin with many eyes, lots of botany and mushrooms, and a colorful environment. This was the starting scenario.

Alex’s set has something melancholic and surreal in it. The illustration seemed to fit perfectly. While listening to the mix, I started to work on it further: Changed colors, repeated patterns, took another sip of wine, shifted layers, and so on, until the final result you see was achieved.

I had seen your live act back in 2018. Are you still actively making music too?

I am a little bit, although not as much as I was back in 2018. I’m currently more focused on illustration, but I finished an EP this year which will be released on the 26th of April on Ukiyo music. I plan to do more in the future, somehow. I’m also planning a new live act!

 

 

Short, medium, and long-term goals?

Uff. Survive without getting mad! 

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 07

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 07

“Ventilated & Reflected”

Sound mixed and compiled by Walrus
Visual interpretation by Max Binski

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series. 8 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.

 

For Interscapes 07 we welcome Walrus – Brussels-based DJ, promoter, producer and head honcho of the superlative Basic Moves label – to bring forth his very personal way of presenting ambient music. Abstract acrylic painting on film by Max Binski, the head-honcho of Pluie/Noir, also known as Cleymoore. We interview both for the occasion:

walrus pic

INTERVIEW — WALRUS

Hi Michiel, such a pleasure to have you at P/N. How have you been, all things considered?

Hey Bruno. I’m still rolling through life and feeling alright. Thank you.  

The current pandemic has proven quite challenging for the music business as a whole. Considering you are both a DJ and a promoter and record label owner, how did it affect your work? 

My head doesn’t stop pounding-out ideas, but my legs are in urgent need of dancing! 

I hear you’re good at woodwork? Was this one of your “hobbies turned business” activities during 2020?

So happy there has been a lot of demand in the last few years towards the furniture I design and produce for DJs and collectors. People who’re collecting records had some time to be with their collection and imagined new furniture and setup, so I’m making the Clauset & Dekeyser planning for 2021. It’s looking like a lot of fun with several versatile projects ahead of us. I limit myself to two furniture projects a month, like that I keep some free time for musical projects, Crevette Records, and my personal life. So the people reaching out to me for collectors or DJ furniture need to have some patience. Slowly but surely, we’re building together. 

“there’s been a lot of demand in the last few years towards the furniture I design and produce for DJs and collectors”

Your work for Crevette and Basic Moves has been going on since 2017 now. Do you also work on the distribution part of the store? What are your current plans for Basic Moves after Adi’s (stellar) release? 

I work one day a week for the shop, and I’m taking care of the second-hand records. I’m managing the backstock and looking out if the crates are filled up carefully with used records. My Wednesdays are the busiest days of the week – very blessed to be part of Pim Thomas‘s team (DJ Alfred Anders), where I can meet so many people from different generations and with so many other music styles and sharing the same love for vinyl. Even in these uncertain times, we still hang on to those black circles full of culture.

Crevette Distribution is growing slowly. We’re searching and finding our position in “the industry” thanks to Jakob and Pim‘s hard work. They are real believers. Soon we’ll have a proper distribution website out of Brussels/Belgium, like back in the ’90s! Not 50.000 copies tho… haha… rather between 300 and 500 records, out of love for the music and the format for sure!  

“Crevette Distribution is growing slowly. We’re searching and finding our position in ‘the industry'”

 Oh, and great you dig the album from Adi! It has been a very fun journey to get this release together. Intuitive for sure. Raquel is an amazing artist with a bright future ahead. Basic Moves is continuing to release double maxis until catalog number 20. After that, we’re throwing ourselves into another adventure: artist compilations — In the vein of “K7 DJ Kicks,” etc. — a whole new world when it comes to licensing work and music rights clearance… we’re still looking for an internship lawyer specialized in artist rights. anyone who can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch. (contact@basicmoves.be).

Also brand new is the label that Raquel Rivera-Lys, aka Adi, and I, will start in 2021. Sporadically originated on an afternoon of music listening in Berlin, ‘For Playful Manners’ is based on friendship and a shared sense of what makes club music fun — pointing towards the tradition of dancing, clubbing, and of the future. New music is the message, each time delivered through split EPs and making sure there’s a healthy gender balance: male/female, robot/alien, or flower/tree. The artwork will become a crossword puzzle, where you will have to guess the tracks who own them.. fun! The kick-off is expected in April 2021, with tracks by Raquel and myself. The second EP will come just before the summer and will feature Ludovic from Lima/Peru, and Lisbon-based, French-native Penelope.. all very exciting. 🙂

“‘​Gems Under The Horizon’ is a new chill-out division of Basic Moves”

 
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I’ve read you had a particular desire to start an ambient label. Is this coming to reality any time soon? 

Yes! ‘Gems Under The Horizon‘ is a new chill-out division of Basic Moves inspired by the Sunday Afternoon events that we have sporadically hosted in Brussels in recent years. Artist Dieter Durinck has carte blanche for the complete design of each release. The logo is, just like that of Basic Moves, designed by Camiel Hermans.

The label will debut with 2 compilation EPs (vinyl + digital for the first time) from very different artists, from Lithuania to South Korea. Belgian Ambient wonder Bernard Zwijzen aka Sonmi451 will do the honours in a split release with Brussels deep-techno-cat Dylan Thomas Hays. More news soon! 

Why, when and how did you record this podcast? 

I recorded this mix at my new flat in Brussels, accompanied by two record players, one old skool hi-fi cd player, and a Rodec MX1800 mixer, somewhere during a rainy mid weeknight in November 2020. I wanted to demonstrate my way of approaching ambient music — no musical boundaries and a personal choice of sounds that make me feel grounded and at ease between my ears and through my veins. 

Your performance at CCINQ, based on the modern gestures Josef Albers produced sixty years ago, was quite remarkable. What exactly did you do? Do you intend on promoting further this kind of cultural interaction? 

Over three days I experimented with the possibilities offered by the ARP2600 synthesiser (an American instrument I had never played before) and imagined a sound drawing from it, freely inspired by Josef Albers’ squares and grid points. Each evening I presented a different performance, in which art was transformed by the links between artists. Through this research I managed to capture different ambiences, sequences and sounds, which were uploaded to the internet in the form of open-source samples, available on the CCINQ website.

It was a lot of fun to compose and perform at CINQ, especially in the context of a gallery and during several performance nights in a row. I will definitely continue to create music through artistic residencies and similar settings, but not always with public performances. Hopefully, the next one will be in Ghent experimenting on the EMS Synthi 100 at IPEM: Institute For Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music.

“Each evening I presented a different performance, in which art was transformed by the links between artists.”

 

Short, medium, and long term goals for 2021 and beyond? 

Focussing on Basic Moves (and its side labels), digging into the neverending universe of music & hopefully.. dancing again.. one day.

Tracklist: 

Franz Falckenhaus – No Morality (Strange Life Records, 2010)
Square Fauna – A Sense Of Meaning (Firecracker Recordings, 2020)
Michael William Gilbert – Other Voices / Other Rooms (Gibex, 1978)
Romano, Sclavis & Texier – Sur Le Lac (Label Bleu, 1999)
Mohammad Reza Mortazavi – Tears Of A Fakir/ opt1 (Latency, 2019)
Pretty Sneaky – C (Mana Records, 2020)
Masomenos & e/tape – The Sound Of The Earth Pt2 (Hôtel Costes, 2020)
Takagi Masakatsu – Re Pia 1 (Carpark Records, 2002)
Seungmin Cha – 지금은 우리가 (Now, We Are) (Tonal Unity, 2019)
Sonmi451 – Steady Drop (U-Cover Transparente, 2006)
Max Loderbauer– Prinzessinneneselfroschgänseteig (Bruchstuecke, 2003)

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

cleymoore pic

INTERVIEW — MAX BINSKI (aka CLEYMOORE)

Hi Bruno, welcome back to the P/N Interscapes series. How have you been, and how are things in Berlin?

Hello Denise! It’s nice to be back to the series. Always a peculiarly warm feeling — working for a series I curate myself and being interviewed after — it’s like, cooking for your own family while discussing your culinary ideas. 

I’ve been relatively ok. I feel somehow lucky to live in Berlin at a time like this; things were more or less under control, the government thinks responsibly and offers a lot of support for those in need. I also have a “normal job” with a permanent contract for a few years now, so it kept me grounded and secure; otherwise, living as a full-time musician, DJ, and label owner would be impossible. In the meantime, I put Pluie/Noir‘s releases more or less on hold last year and devoted my free time to new things and creativity: music, design, modular synths, photography, video and cooking.

You are a multi-talented artist, can you give us some more insight into what you do?  

Well, I do have a bachelor’s degree in Design, so at heart, I’m a graphic designer. I think I’ve been doing freelance design work since 2008. A couple of years after I finished my studies, I realized it was very tough for me to work for creative directors with a vision different from mine, so freelance was the only way, and that’s what I did. During this period, I also worked in the music industry through my Cleymoore moniker and the Pluie/Noir label management. I became particularly interested in working with Graphic Design for the music business, and it became second nature. Been doing visuals and design for record labels and event promoters ever since.

“I became particularly interested in working with Graphic Design for the music business, and it became second nature.”

When I moved to Berlin 5 years ago with my boyfriend, I decided to look for a job as freelancing can be quite exhausting – especially not knowing if you will score enough to pay your rent at the end of the month. Things changed a bit from there, but it grounded me, having a job. Berlin is exquisitely inspiring but quickly becomes a monumental trap if you don’t have a schedule and something steady in your life. Having a job gave me security and provided me with a reliable enough status to get a cozy and quite central flat fast in a city with an oversaturated real-estate situation. Today, I juggle my time between a full-time job, my private life, freelance design work I still do for friends, digging records, making music, managing Pluie/Noir, and now Rings of Neptune with you. I built a little office/studio space at home where I can be creative and productive; that’s where I’ve spent most of my “quarantine year.”

So did this pandemic influence you and the way you work?

I think it did, yes. I’ve tried to look at it as an opportunity to create and try new things, but especially to learn. Considering there are so many things I like and want to do, the quarantine boredom didn’t get to me. I needed some ergonomics, so I’ve turned a small room in my apartment into a place where I now can work during these successive lockdown periods — it’s tiny (about eight square meters), so I consider it as a sort of panic room for music and design.. I’ve made tons of music and many artworks during this period, re-discovered my entire record collection, and re-aligned both my music taste and my professional ambitions. Was deeply introspective, and optimistic. Together with you and our team we also created, developed, and expanded the Rings of Neptune project during 2020 (find out more about the project here); I guess in this sense, it kept both of us quite busy.

This period also made me more politically and socially concerned, so I intend my audio-visual art to carry a political voice of some sort from now on. I’ve started questioning many things about myself and the people I share my life or work with and ultimately re-evaluated my pre-conception of what humans are and how they behave during unprecedented times. But I guess this mental and emotional drift happened collectively, on a global scale.

“being away from clubs and DJ trends also helped, and today I feel utterly unbounded by club-music and its setting’s expectedness”

What kind of projects kept you busy so far?

I have a recent obsession with modular synths and started studying music theory, which ultimately led me to create music in totally distinct ways. Being away from clubs and DJ trends also helped, and today I feel utterly unbounded by club-music and its setting’s expectedness. I’m ever more interested in music’s left-field side, growing closer and closer to new-age and proto-synth music and, quite inevitably, closer to the so-called Ambient genre in all its forms. I believe it can be a ‘metaphysical transportation’ tool rather than a simple musical backdrop — and viscerally cinematic. That’s the world I want to explore under the Max Binski alias; it’s no longer only about visual art. 

And now I have two full-length albums almost ready to release — which will hopefully happen soon on Pluie/Noir and Klangstudie (a new label I’m starting only for my music). I’m also composing a film score for a project I can’t disclose yet, but excitement is an understatement. And because modular synths are now an integral part of my creative process, I’ve taken the challenge of a good friend, and I’m designing his module’s faceplate in euro-rack format.

Oh, and painting! I’m finally back to canvases and inks after several years! I think it’s mostly because of David Surman. We became friends last year after I invited him to do the artwork for Rubi‘s podcast. Following his work weekly re-kindled my will to paint again. His painting style is, to me, both an inspiration and a delight.

“I believe ambient music can be a metaphysical transportation tool rather than a simple musical backdrop”

Why did you decide to end the P/N Podcast and start this Interscapes series?

Pluie/Noir is a long-running project, and long-running projects require some changes at times to keep the boat afloat. The original series ran for nine years, and 84 podcasts later, I felt I lost control over the series. I wanted to provide an expressive platform for all the talented people I encountered on my artistic path, but in the end, it longer had the format I wanted. I got an increasingly absurd number of podcasts and not enough visual artists to cater to the project’s needs. And because I curate and manage the imprint on my own, it was becoming very tough to schedule, interview, gather visuals, and plan the podcasts as I envisioned them in the first years while simultaneously working for a company full-time. I stopped interviewing the artists, and I also stopped making the teaser videos, and the series slowly lost its strong primary identity. My digital persona isn’t as methodic as it used to be when working as a freelancer. I’m increasingly phobic of social media’s algorithms and nuances — one of the biggest and most challenging paradoxes of my life.

Precisely one year ago, I had a great podcast from Evano and CP-AK for P/N in my hands, and because the original series started with Evano, I decided to press the reset button and return to my roots. Created new design templates and a video format for the Instagram age and started doing in-depth interviews with the artists I invited to the series. My original intention was to go back to a regular monthly schedule, but the whole pandemic got in the way. The core idea is still the same but slightly expanded: feature audio collages, mixes, live interviews, and live recordings from P/N artists, friends, and other collectives I admire, all personally invited so that the curation would be absolute. Unfortunately, I closed the door to mixes sent by fans, but it’s the price I had to pay to regain some control over the project. It’s hard for me to say “no, thank you” sometimes, and it got me in trouble on several occasions throughout my life.

And because less is more, instead of the usual triptych format, this series now features only a single visual interpretation by a graphic artist. I intend the artwork to be available to purchase in a limited printed poster format on our rebooted Bandcamp after episode ten, in a pack together with the mixes recorded in tape. Rings of Neptune became the “parent” label for Pluie/Noir, so having a website to properly present the Interscapes series is also something I always wanted, and that’s why you are reading this here! 

“the original series ran for nine years, and 84 podcasts later, I felt I lost control over the series”

How did you make the artwork for this episode of the Interscapes series?

I developed a series of acrylic paint techniques in transparent film layers with visually striking results about six years ago. The possibilities for visual deconstruction are quite outstanding. I started using acrylic like I use photoshop: bit by bit, adding or removing textures according to my intentions.

Over the past six years, I did about 15 of them, took very high-resolution photos of each (including close-ups), and I’ve been using those textures and paintings in tons of my artworks ever since. I created this artwork for Walrus out of digitally manipulated and heavily layered close-up photos of one of these paintings. The original was a thick, transparent film-based painting in white, red, and blue I did four years ago. I intended it to be as mellow, organic, and fluid as Walrus’s music selection and mixing are. Opted to manipulate the original colors into a warmer and fuller palette, giving vibrant life to brutally abstract shapes. That’s the beauty of abstract art — it’s purely subjective. Let your imagination fly.

“I’ve also re-started reading comics, concretely mangas, which I always liked to do but never did enough”

What are your favorite sources of audio-visual inspiration?

Films, series, and video-games are still my favorite sources of inspiration. Avidly collecting music in physical formats like vinyl or tape is also inspiring because I get bombarded by audio-visual ideas. I’m not only buying a record; I’m also acquiring a physical product with a unique design and artwork that I’m supposed to experience in full. Labels like Light In The Attic or Music From Memory understand and truly explore this very well: music as a complete sensory experience. 

I’ve also re-started reading comics, concretely mangas, which I always liked to do but never did enough. I appreciate the medium even more now than I did when I was younger, especially Japanese manga artists like Inio Asano, Junji Ito, or Makoto Yukimura, or the American author Neil Gaiman (creator of the fantastic Sandman series). I lacked the maturity needed to understand their depth fully. They inspire me deeply, not just visually but also intelectualy.

And modular systems, of course. They opened a pandora’s box I didn’t know I had inside me. There’s nothing quite like it: they’re complicated and at times unpredictable, frankly temperamental but infinitely inspirational. I fell in love with Make Noise after trying it at Orbe‘s studio in Madrid. I studied and learned all I could learn about modular systems for an entire year before taking the lunge. I wanted to be sure about it and use my money responsibly. A year later, I built a customized Black & Gold Shared System, and I’m now expanding my system to an Intellijel 7U Stealth Case. All things modular are my primary source of musical creation, together with Ableton’s underestimated Wavetable engine and Max MSP instruments and effects. But that’s a long story for another time.

“modular systems opened a pandora’s box I didn’t know I had inside me.. they’re complicated, frankly temperamental but infinitely inspirational.”

Short, medium and long-term goals? 

My shortest term goal was to get a cat, which is already a reality today. I had cats in the past, but unfortunately, I had to give one away. The other stayed with my sister, and I can’t take him anymore as they bonded deeply. I adopted a cat through the MJM Dogs Foundation of the Netherlands (thanks, Masha). He’s a cross-breed between common-euro and Russian Blue, has emerald green eyes, he’s super cute, and seems to like my music. 

Medium to long-term plans: reboot Pluie/Noir‘s label side as I currently have four releases on hold, finally finish my first solo Pluie/Noir club-driven release, start Rings of Neptune‘s label and sub-labels, explore some artistic residencies around the globe to culturally activate the cities in the circuit, and much more I can’t disclose right now. And hopefully, dance in a club, as soon as possible? (..) What’s a club? 

Remember to donate if you can during these trying times, not only to your favorite clubs and music promoters, but also to social and health organizations that stand for the things you believe. Some countries also need external help due to oppressive regimes. If you can’t donate, spread the word, activate their voices if you use social media — it’s the best use you can give it. And don’t forget our planet.

Thanks, Denise, for helping me talk about myself.

Links:

www.basicmoves.be
contact@basicmoves.be
www.maxbinski.com


Whttps://pluienoir.tumblr.com
M: info (at) pluienoir.com

Pluie/Noir Interscapes 06

Pluie/Noir
Interscapes 06

“Return to Tomorrow”

Sound mixed and compiled by Jon Starks
Visual interpretation by Overdrijve

Welcome to the new Pluie/Noir podcast series. 8 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.


For Interscapes 06 we welcome USA-born, Berlin-based chameleon Jon Starks to expose his most sensible side, with a visual interpretation by one of Berlin’s graphic wizards, Ina Freienstein aka Overdrijve. We interview both for the occasion:

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INTERVIEW — JON STARKS

Hi Jon, such a pleasure to have you at P/N at last. How are you holding up in these hectic times?

Hey Bruno – It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in a series I have been fond of for so long. The change in day-to-day life throughout the world has been different for everyone – In particular, it has given me a lot of much-needed space for creativity to blossom. Much of the last few years had been taken over by my day job, while this year made room to focus solely on bringing my passion for art and music to the forefront. I can gladly say it was the change I have been craving. 

So you are keeping active & creative? You feel this period has been life-changing?

Absolutely! I’ve managed to dive deeper into different music genres, which played a big part in my growth over the last few years. Having the time and patience to bring thought into reality regarding future endeavors / artistic ideas kept me at ease during this unusual time, the world is going through. 

“this year made room to focus solely on bringing my passion for art and music to the forefront.”

 

And did you consider moving back to the USA at some point? 

I’ve been asked this question many times. Family is a HUGE aspect of my life. I go through moments of missing them immensely, but they remind me of how proud they are to see where my “lust for life” has taken me. The future I am moving toward has its roots in Europe, but my mind is always open to new possibilities. So, I would answer you with: never say never. 

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How did living abroad help you grow as an artist and an individual? 

Having the privilege to experience different traditions and ways of thinking from around the world questioned the Western World’s building blocks that I had been taught most of my life. You learn to trust your feelings, taking new memories every day, as a step closer to understanding what YOU truly believe in. That process can be challenging but incredibly fulfilling. 

Last summer, you self-released an experimental / techno cassette tape. Can you tell us the concept behind that idea?

Surprised anyone noticed! 😀 The idea came to mind during an LSD trip at the start of the summer. I had been reading into sound therapy and wanted to try expressing the experience of sitting in nature, blissfully, through different tones and melodies. After speaking with friends about the idea, I purchased a few special records to fill in with music received by friends. Took a hit, clicked record, and made 10 cassette tapes at home to hand over to friends while traveling to NYC, Portugal, & Brazil. 

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And music production, is it something you want/are exploring, or you believe digging suits you best? 

Yes, I’ve had a passion for producing music for quite a while now but never felt the urge to rush the process. Learning to use the world we live in as an “organic instrument” and building music from that is what I am working toward – i.e., Ryuichi Sakamoto, Nadia Khan, or William Basinski.

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“Learning to use the world we live in as an ‘organic instrument’ and building music from that is what I am working toward”

 

Why, when, and how did you record this podcast?

This recording was made at the start of the year, just before the first Lockdown in Germany. I had just come off 2 months of traveling and had many thoughts regarding Family, Challenges, Trauma, Self Awareness, & Where I was headed in life… Relating deep thought to music, art, writing, whatever has always been a way of helping me understand it’s relation to myself (to me as an individual) – I’m also an “Aquarius” … All we do is deep thinking!

Short, medium, and long term goals?

Live a long life filled with tons of love to share, health to spare & friends who care.

INTERVIEW — INA FREIENSTEIN aka OVERDRIJVE

Hi Ina, such a pleasure to have you at P/N at last. How are you holding up in these hectic times?

The pleasure is all mine. We have been chatting about a possible collaboration for some time, and I am glad to finally contribute.

Well, it’s been an insane year indeed, but I wouldn’t describe the times necessarily as hectic, though – more slow and quiet and somewhat lame, aha. Sometimes I even forget which weekday it is. But I gotta say it’s worth seeing everything from certain perspectives and never lose the positive angle, which is undoubtedly there. This period has been perfect for reflection, self-care, and improvement. Since there has been less distraction in general, it’s been a good year to sort loads of stuff and focus on the important things and people in life, which leaves and enriches you with great insights. 

Are you keeping active & creative? You feel this period has been life-changing?

I have to say I am surprised how business kept going in my case regardless, mostly because my main focus lies on the music scene for most of my projects. So yes, in fact, I was active and creative and realized nice projects. Beyond that, I am trying to get more and more into free artworks to keep the juices flowing and express myself and my vision more straightforwardly without any guidelines and rules. It’s fun, really, and reminds me once more why I am into graphics in the first place. The artwork I now realized for P/N is one good example, as I could freely choose the approach. 

About your question, if this period was life-changing – so yes. It kinda changed my life upside down, so to say. Times like these show us more clearly that change, in general, is an essential and unavoidable part of the whole game, and it’s vital to embrace it and flow with it; letting go was the most important lesson for me lately. A good one.

 

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“This period has been perfect for reflection, self-care, and improvement.”

Do you still find Berlin and its music scene inspiring? 

That’s is a tough one! Especially since I live here now for more than 11 years and the city has changed massively in the meantime. And so have I. And now, with the true spirit at the core of clubbing shut down for an unforeseeable time, I have to admit that I sometimes get to the point to ask myself what the heck am I still doing here. Most of us didn’t come here for the good food or the lovely views. But then my love for Berlin remains strong – in particular, strong with Kreuzberg, which is my home by choice for a long time. If you keep your eyes open, even during those un-eventful times, you will always notice many small things on a daily base, which cheer up my spirit and inspire me deeply.

Regarding music… the tribe is strong, and we will always find the niches to do what we love and live for. Legal or illegally, I mean, that’s pretty much how rave culture started here in the first place. And I do believe that this enforced step backward from the overhyped, capitalistic tourist boom Berlin was becoming will do us all right in the long run – to keep its origin authentic and neat. I had the most inspiring house parties in small circles this year, so yes – it’s good that we are all still here and keep doing what we do and won’t give up the belief in the strong culture Berlin was built on once. 

You’re becoming a very familiar “face” in the design of crucial event promoters and vinyl labels alike. Since when have you been freelancing? 

I am a freelancer in that field for about 15 years, and it’s where my passion truly lies. Club culture gives you such a wide array and playground to express design in its purest form – in no other field you can be as free, artistic, and innovative. I still see graphic design tendencies nowadays being born from the music scene, which can dictate the trends on a larger scale in the commercial industry. Even back then, in Düsseldorf, I started working for an agency involved with clients from the scene and which was basically the main reason for my application to begin with. I have to say I am very grateful, looking back at all those years, that I had the chance to keep doing exactly that here, in the capital of it all, and so many great labels trusted me and my work. Though I have to say, I am deeply missing printing in the poster and flyer forms. 

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“I still see graphic design tendencies nowadays being born from the music scene, which can dictate the trends on a larger scale in the commercial industry.”

Tell us more about your artwork for this series? What was your creative process, and how did the music inspire it?

Ye well, as I mentioned earlier, it’s been totally about having a free mindset for this one. So I took inspiration out of my personal life – friends inspired me deeply and were there for me the last few months, so I guess that’s where the idea came from mostly.

I’ve personally seen your DJ debut at ‘Ik Onkar’ as Ina FM. Do you plan on making more of these “selecta” appearances? 

Oh my, this has been such a fun ride, and therefore I definitely wanna dive into it more on a personal level. I am not planning on becoming a DJ or whatsoever, there are enough good ones out there, and I believe everyone should know their game, as graphic design is mine. Yet I figured that you can express so many emotions and statements thru music, and I enjoy it a lot to fuck up genres and do precisely that, with no restrictions, with no expectations, with no fame and hype and all that pressure. Only free-minded, that’s what FM stands for. 

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“I am knee-deep into music and purely interested in it.”

So yes, wanna definitely go for more fun like that. And if I get the chance to express myself again in front of an audience like the one at the Michelberger Hotel, even better. The girls were so sweet to trust me, even though I am such a rookie, yet I experienced truly flattering feedback.

And music production is something you want/are exploring, or you believe digging suits you best?

I am not a producer, nor am I a digger. I am knee-deep into music and purely interested in it.  So since I am consuming music in large amounts myself, I am naturally checking stuff and exploring. If I get the possibility, like I did just now for the London based show Icarus Blue, it becomes a pleasure to combine all this and put it out there and express my interests within a particular concept. I think my last tag line for last year’s show was: “no politics, just rip-offs,” so that’s pretty much where I stand.

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Short, medium and long term goals?

Short, getting into 2021 like …

Medium, going strong with Overdrijve once more.

Long, getting the fuck out of here and grow avocados or whatnot – self-sustainability is the future – with lovely weather, the sea.. an excellent environment to do so. Let’s see, there were never better times to mix the cards new.

 

[PNEM04] Shōen — Plant.æ

Shōen — Plant.æ

"Pluie/Noir 04"
[PNEM04]

Dear Listeners,

This album was created as a reflection of my dreams. It was produced in one week, spontaneously, using only my modular system and the organelle. The music you hear in dreams is often very hard to remember, but through a lot of meditation, I found a way to translate it. A few years ago I made the choice to live by the sea, where I can sustain myself and get inspiration from the birds, the fishes, and kinky little crabs. That’s exactly what I tried to convey in this album: my own little world. They say inspiration comes from your quality of life, and I believe in this deeply! That’s why I’d like to thank all the people who directly or indirectly helped me in my artistic and human development.

First of all, to my own blood: I’m really grateful to have my mum, dad and my sister’s daily and unconditional support.

I’d like to thank Bruno and Pluie/Noir, for allowing me to express myself on this beautiful project, and for believing in me. A big thank you to my friends: to Louise, who gave me a lot of inspiration and without whom this album wouldn’t be the same. To Întuneric, the Piñata Radio team, Nathalia, Kompo, Sabri, Paul, Johnny, Emmanuelle & Sammy, Pazu & all the friends that I missed here (you know who you are): Thank you for your continuous support and all the inspiration you provided me during this process. And finally, a huge thanks to Alexis, without you I wouldn’t have started to make my own music. Love you man.

Shout out to the universe for giving me this chance, and let’s all meet up in the astral dimension!

(づ ̄³ ̄)づ 

Released November 6, 2020

Mastered by Pheek
Artwork & Design by Max Binski

Pluie/Noir
Experimental Media
PNEM004 — 2020

Video
Track Shōen 荘園 – N7 Sentimental 
Feat- Louise

Filmed & edit Eyekino
Dress Francky Kalalo
Rings of Neptune Production

Interstellar Travel Guide – Volume II

Rings of
Neptune

Interstellar
Travel Guide
Volume II

 

To celebrate our debut, we gathered all our artists and challenged them to create music unbounded by genre-specific constrictions. “Interstellar Travel Guide” is a two-part compilation featuring the agency’s 24 artists, and showcases a versatile array of music ranging from spoken vocals & ambient drones to exploratory techno. ‘Volume II’ is the compilation’s beat-driven façade, assembling 12 compositions of distinct genres from the ever-expanding electronic music spectrum, from explorative minimal to contemplative techno.

“Assembling 12 compositions of distinct genres from the ever-expanding electronic music spectrum, from explorative minimal to contemplative techno.”


“Interstellar Travel Guide” is exclusively available on Bandcamp in both digital and limited-edition cassette format. In solidarity with recent protests against police racism and brutality, and in honour of the Stonewall riots of 1969, we’ll also be donating our revenue during the next two months to black-, trans- and queer-led anti-discrimination organizations committed to long-term systemic change, political education, and engagement within the communities such as NAACP, Black Visions Collective and Queer Refugees Germany. 

 

True out of Brew – Denis Kaznacheev

Denis Kaznacheev

"True Out of Brew"
[JFD001]

 

 

“True Out of Brew” is an EP stating Denis’s current situation: being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.”

The title track ‘True Out of Brew’ fills the A-side of the record with a clear message that Denis is a musician at heart, while ‘From the Best Sources’ is the last track he created just before his equipment was taken from him upon arrest. Denis used his own voice in both tracks, making this a very personal, career-defining EP. As usual, both tracks are long excursions familiar to those following Denis’s creative output.”

A. True Out of Brew 13:56
B. From the Best Sources 12:19

Written & produced by denis-kaznacheev
Mastered by Lopazz
Cut by Kitaro Beeh
Artwork Lala Vaganova
Design by Max Binski
A&R by Andrea Martinez & Denise Gluck
Distributed by WordandSound
JFD001 by Rotate, 2020

Order: 
Deejay
Decks
Hhv 
Juno 

Premiere: 

B1 – Denis Kaznacheev – From The Best Sources 

As well as the timing of this EP the fact that this is the first release that Denis has used his own voice and listening to the B1 ‘From The Best Sources’ makes us wonder why he has waited so long. Of course, it is not an easy thing to use your own voice as an artist and it takes a lot of balls to develop confidence in your own voice. However, like we said before Denis shouldn’t have waited so long. The swaggering groove and off-kilter musical elements suit Denis’s fluid Russian accent and with his musings on his preferred source of smoking material the abstract reduced grooves weave effortlessly between each other.

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