DD: My buddy and label mate Sphyramid is very hyped on your music! Thanks to him for sparking my interest. What are you up to right now?
I’m just back in from Spain where I did 3 days of recording for a sports car commercial – pretty hyped on this one because I’ll also do the music and all the sound design for the final spot. Music wise, I’m currently working on some new stuff and still figuring out what I’ll do with my finished album “Asymmetry”. The artwork is done, a nice video is in the making and the tracks will be mastered soon. Also, there will be a remix for Taprikk Sweezee coming out soon on Error Broadcast which I’m really looking forward to – turned out to be a melancholic piano tune with some deep basses dropping in. Hopefully, there will also be a video for that one. ;]
Basically, I spend most of my time building my new studio – rented 220m² in the heart of Hamburg together with a partner and we’re building two control rooms and two recording stages from the ground up. There really is a shitload of work and money going into this monster, but it still feels like one of the best things I’ve done in my life. I’ll hopefully be done with my control room by the end of the year so I can start working on new Skyence projects as well as client-related stuff for my company Audionerve.
DD: How long have you been honing your musical craft? The depth and diversity of your songs is astounding.
Haha, I really like the word “honing” in combination with musical craft.
First of all: Thanks! I’ve started producing when I was around 13, sampling snares from my fathers Phil Collins records, hehe…
But I really don’t feel that way about the diversity and depth of my productions and maybe that’s the reason why I always try to push it to the next level. I’m really pissed off by the way music is treated in mix and mastering nowadays. 90% of the new stuff I find sounds like shit – not musically, but sound wise. There is so much ambience and depth getting lost on the way by cranking up compressors and limiters like there’s no tomorrow. People need to learn how to use those millions and millions of plugins and hardware and start working on sound more consciously…ah man, I could go on for hours, haha.
I must say, I learned a lot about myself and my behavior when it comes to sound while I was producing a lot of neuro drum&bass some time back – there was a time when the musical side of it suddenly moved back and it was just about who’s got the most agressive snares and reece sounds. I learned a lot about equalization and making way for certain sounds in the spectrum. This is also the case when mixing rock or metal productions. You want that wall of guitars to be upfront but the drums have to be punchy also, and for me there is no compromise. If you listen to actual metal productions, you’ll find that kicks and snares both sound like *click*. I hate it! So, why not give it some more headroom in the mix and master and let those sounds live?
I don’t know who said it: “Good mastering starts with songwriting.” True!
DD: How has 2011 been for you musically, compared to past years? Where do you hope to go from here?
I think the interesting thing about 2011 was, I started to collaborate with other producers/musicians. I almost never did that, because I have just too rigorous of concepts when working on music – I like to be in control of what is happening. It’s the same when I’m sitting in the backseat of a car – I always have to lean to the side to see straight through the windscreen – I need to see what’s going on. There are maybe three drivers in this world that I trust 99%, I can even sleep while they’re driving. This behaviour can be a bad thing, but it also ensures me that, when something goes wrong, I am the only one to blame. And I like it that way.
Next good thing is, that I’ve been working on some really exciting projects with my company Audionerve. I really learned a lot about working on sound for moving images – it’s a whole different process. I hope there will be a lot more exciting projects and clients in the coming years.
Oh yeah, not to forget “Insct”, the track I did from recording bees and crickets in the italian alps and dolomites. Johannes Timpernagel did a reactive music video and we suddenly had over 150k views on Vimeo, got awarded at some festivals and wrapped up a live act which premiered at Lunchmeat Festival in Prague. What a rush!
In the future, I want to do a lot more of those projects. I think the concept of releasing an album is not relevant anymore (even though I don’t like that thought). People want to get more out of music and partying. It’s not enough to release an album with 15 tracks on it, of which 4 are skits and 3 more are not 100% to the point, there has to be some additional value. You had that with the artworked sleeves on vinyl, you had that with 40-side booklets on CDs – but what about the digital stuff? Nothing to grab, smell, feel, taste…just 0s and 1s. So I want to add more to it with videos, tutorials, making of’s etc. We’ll see where it goes.
DD: Can you remember specific periods where you experienced musical epiphanies or leaps in your creative process? What sparked these?
Oh yeah! Especially 90’s Rap is still running through my veins. Sometimes I think every human being has it’s heart beating at a certain bpm range, and mine is definately around 90, haha…Also, the feeling of 174 bpm Neurofunk from 2005-2009 by the likes of Phace, Noisia or Misanthrop really gets me every time. Turn on “Hot Rock VIP” by Phace and I’ll be shaking my arse like there’s nothing left to lose, haha….Oh yes, and listening to Burial’s first album for the first time while walking home in the rain in Hamburg. He’s one of those producers that created something completely unique. I love his work!
DD: What words of encouragement do you have for producers inspired by your work?
First of all, it’s a good thing to be inspired by other producers/musicians! Just don’t forget you’re doing your own thing. And never ever ever ever even think about making music for something else than the love of it!
Skyence Guestmix for Rhythm Inc.
Skyence Guestmix for Bassmusic
– Jimi Jaxon