Category Sound

Inspiration: Grimes, “Genesis”


Inspiration: Kupio Album Preview


Philosophy I.

(Excerpts from Bad Vibes interview with Vladislav Delay)

Why do you feel a need to classify your music under different pseudonyms?  Do you categorized music under each name, during the creation, or are the ideas immediately begin life for each project?

They are my children, my projects. I couldn’t give same name for all my children (musical or otherwise). It’s personal. And then it’s very much also practical.

I play around with so many different musical styles that I think it serves the purpose to give them different names. I can appreciate people doing music that mixes everything up; one of my biggest influences is Frank Zappa to begin with. But I can’t do that myself, and rarely I like the mash up music beside the Zappa stuff. So for me the different productions are very conscious and I guess I enforce them with different names. I also assume, and partly know also from the long history of experiencing audience’s reactions, that many people like only narrow selection of music. so it makes no sense to offer everything I do under one name, it would just confuse and piss people off, at least more than it would satisfy people by surprises in each release.

I also like concepts, musically, but also giving them titles. I mean in the end there are just few, but Luomo and Vladislav Delay for example have strong conceptual ideas behind them which I’ve had for long time already. And having new ideas for each project is very exciting. there’s something like a foundation but then you move around in that space and try to create something new, I like that.

You’ve described where you live ‘as in the middle of nowhere’ – Do you feel your environment lends itself to the creation of your musical aesthetic?

I think environment plays a big role to everyone. There’s probably the most suitable surrounding for each and everyone and it’s different to each and everyone. The big thing and the challenge is for us to even begin to look for it, never mind to find it.

I noticed while living in Berlin that I’m going to be ##### if I can’t find my “place” and then spent few years trying to figure it out, and luckily had faith and power to go through that and also a partner to support me in that and of course very importantly share my views of life.  So to a point. When you have “your place” where you live and feel well it totally benefits your creations. I have seen it very clearly already.

You’ve described your relentless work ethic as a personal vision – what is your perfected musical manifesto?

I don’t believe in manifestos actually at all. I learn new things every day and change my views accordingly, and many things I felt in the past feel already ridiculous. So I try to question myself and what I do constantly. So maybe that is the manifesto if one has to be said.

But also I don’t work so much or so hard in the end. You lose the necessary “something” if you just do and do and do without a break, and you also begin to repeat yourself. So older I’m getting more I’m trying to do other stuff, my daughter also helps a lot in that…

But my musical quest is relentless still, for sure. And the musical vision I have is also quite relentless and maybe little bit unforgiving, to myself that is.  The main thing is, there’s so much possibilities to do, and not everything is easy to achieve so what can I do? I really want to do lots of things musically. Only difficult thing is that more and more it becomes very hard to make a living out of making music, especially if you don’t want to constantly tour around. And the thing is, if you tour around you end up not making any music, good music at least. There’re sadly way too many proofs out there about that for sure.


Parallels: 1984+2012


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Analog & Digital Chemistry (“Reverso”).

This is another song by Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto that was performed at the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt several months ago.  One of the key benefits of seeing them live is witnessing the graphical representation of their music shown directly behind the duo.  The imagery is created via complex computer algorithms programmed to be directly in sync with the music.

While there are many examples of this on YouTube, I’ve chosen to link to the original track below.

This song is incredible.




Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto

I am planning to see Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto in late May at the Cocoon Club in Frankfurt, Germany.  I stumbled upon them while searching for clubs in the area, hoping to time my visit with electronica artists with which I am already familiar.  Needless to say, I was thrilled to learn about them and to get an opportunity to see them live.

While their music pushes the limits of minimalism and experimentation (even for me), it’s worth watching the entire video below.  It’s fascinating to see how Sakamoto is intensely in-tune with Noto’s electronic “foundation” and how the timing throughout this song goes beyond perfection.


Alteria Percepsyne: “Smoke”

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What makes ambient electronica “work?”

I was driving this afternoon listening to the Rain In The Park mix of Mr.Cloudy and asked myself – “What makes this (piece) work?”

After all, ambient electronica can, depending upon the artist, seem random and somewhat repetitive, and admittedly it’s not for everyone.  But if this music makes me happy, there must be something here worth understanding.

If you’ve taken any type of music theory class, you’ll learn that music patterns developed hundreds of years ago can be heard in virtually all types of music today.  A basic example is the use of a repeating chorus – nearly every song on the radio today uses this pattern.  This isn’t true with ambient electronica, but yet it still “works.”

A useful comparison is modern art – i.e. art that isn’t a visual replica of a particular scene or person.

When I was younger I thought modern art was just a random collection of brush strokes and didn’t require a tremendous amount of skill.  I would sometimes go as far to claim “Even I could do that!”  And, of course, some modern art is made out to be more than it really is.  But at its core, this art style encompasses solid design principles and embodies true creativity.  While randomness is an aspect of creativity, they are not one and the same.

So, is ambient electronica random?  For the listener to truly appreciate a piece of music, true randomness doesn’t work; there has to be a true sense of progression and structure for the piece to resonate with the listener.

To elaborate, I believe music embodies three main characteristics: joy, comfort and a sense of forward movement; joy being a natural byproduct of the latter two principles.  So, what is it about these latter two principles that is so important?  And how do these relate to ambient electronica?

One could argue that comfort is synonymous with predictability.  For example, I’m comfortable in my residence because I know that it’s structurally sound, the water and HVAC systems are working properly, and I have electricity to make everything else happen.  My comfort is closely linked to a (safe?) assumption that these core facets of my residence are going to remain intact for the foreseeable future.