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 Melchner – The 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:
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!
“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”
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
INTERVIEW — LENNY MAILLEAU aka ZZY
M: info (at) pluienoir.com