In - CONVERSATION w/ Giulio Aldinucci (2020)
Congratulations on Music From Organ, this is your first release on the label, but also the labels first release. What made npm stand out for you to release on?
I really like it when somebody gets in touch with me and we start speaking about a project together. I’m always happy to meet new people, new music enthusiasts. The first thing for me, is that there has to be a sympathetic connection. When I speak with someone and notice we share something, this is very important for me to start a project together and it can be: music, video, art etc. For sure there was research and what I found I was happy with. I was curious when we shared music enthusiasm and this is what made me choose npm.
It’s clear you have a very visible love for ambient/experimental music. What drew you to produce this style?
It was a long process because my music taste is very eclectic, I really listen to everything. My house is full of records, from: early music, classical music of course, techno and even punk. I have always been very fascinated by sound and how you can create and manipulate sound. I remember when I was a kid, my father had an old gramophone. He used to own a few vacuum tube radios and what really fascinated me the most, were all these extra noises and frequencies. I used to have a lot of fun tuning this very old radio from the 30s. I was probably 8/9 maybe, when I was doing this. Then when I started to listen to music, I really fell in love with everything that sounds unconventional and that sounded futuristic. In a way it was natural to arrive at this style of music, but it was a slow process.
What is the meaning behind each name of the track, each starting with ‘Music From Organ, movement in…’
The movements of a composition are usually marked with a number, as they are performed in succession. The compositions on this EP are four and I consider them "seeds" and "sections" of the EP concept. So "movement" here is used in a metaphoric way; they are self-contained parts of a whole. They can be played either: following the EP tracklist, separately, or by the listeners choice. The "movements" here are also not numbered because these compositions are part of an open set that could be expanded in the future. I also took into account the environment when composing the music. For example, one of the recordings was in a one thousand year old church, in the countryside of Siena and the sound of the organ was stunning there. The colours around the church whilst playing on this organ were beautiful and this really helped with the naming of the tracks.
How did the process of the EP come about?
I tend to compose music freely. I use a lot of sound material when starting a project, from a field recording to recordings of instruments, like I did with ‘Music From Organ’. I also modify samples I hear, from anything I pick up, so I’m very free and ‘Music From Organ’ started this way. I wasn’t thinking about an album or an EP, I just started from this sound material, then I took more recordings and it started to shape and everything felt very natural. When I see that something can be expanded, it can stay worked together with other stuff this way, the beat of an album or an EP. Music From Organ was a similar path.
Farron joins the EP with a very contrasting remix, what are your thoughts on having this approach joined with your style?
I'm always very curious to listen and to discover how other artists use my musical material, in order to create something that "belongs" to them, the more the remixers background is far from mine, the more I'm intrigued.
In - CONVERSATION w/ Mause (2021)
What did you want to express in this release (XOR)? What was your production criteria?
I didn't write anything during lockdown and it was one of the things I felt quite bad about because suddenly having all this time and not actually doing any music, I felt bad. So I just wanted to really create something that felt quite unique, you know? But at the same time it was a product of what I was just doing at the time, which is this kind of acid based sort of techno that I guess is quite reminiscent of the analog series, like Aphex stuff, a lot of Rephlex kind of emotional. I mean that's all, it was just sort of trying to squeeze some emotion out of hardwares and write some interesting music.
How would you define your sound?
All over the place. I don't know, It’s a difficult one. I'm never really quite sure how to answer. Just adventure would be where I describe it, because I'm just trying to explore different things all the time and there's no real agenda to have a little adventure. To be more specific, I've taken a lot of influence from Jungle, Drum & Bass, Acid, techno..all over really. I like the feeling of not being tied to a single sound, being able to keep things fluid you know? It keeps things much more interesting.
Over the past year, Covid has had a substantial impact on the music industry, how has the pandemic affected your creativity?
At the start, it was alright. I was listening to a lot more music than I was making because I was locked down in the house. I decided I don't want to write any music, step away from it and just listen to as much new music as I can. I was just going on eBay, buying records like a madman and just sitting there listening to all these crazy weird things or like Discogs, I would just go through the recommendations on Discogs and just buy it, whatever it was.
In terms of creativity, as I sort of hinted at earlier, I got a bit and I started feeling a bit bad about not doing any music at this time. I think that's when it started to actually affect me because then I thought actually I should be making music and then maybe forcing myself to do it, made me feel bad and not quite as successful and you know, in the endeavours of making music. It did have a really big effect on me and it was a very slow burn until it got to a point where it was like, this is really not a good situation to be in as an artist. It was an interesting time that's for sure.
What do you like and dislike the most about the electronic music scene today?
I like the variety. I think that's what keeps me going with electronic music. Especially with the internet, it just seems like you can just dive in. I enjoy that because it’s an adventure. I dislike…..I don't know. I think, it's gotta be this idea that, music and artists have to be a kind of character and have some sort of egos, and it becomes about a person rather than about the music. I guess there is a bit of that in IDM, but it seems to be more from the fans than the artists and that's slightly better than, you know, in EDM where the artists have to create such a big sort of character around themselves, for some reason. And I just think it's really shallow. It really detracts from the art. EDM, Progressive house, whatever, that stuff is pretty cool. Not going to lie, the production value and the skills that go into it is pretty interesting. I got a lot of respect for it, but don't cheapen it by trying to pretend to be some, you know, a character. It's a strange thing. I just think it detracts so much from the music. It sort of turns me off of it.
Do you have any artists you look up to?
Most of, sort of the, you know, the IDM cliche classics, I guess Aphex has always been a massive influence, in the sense of just the way that he writes and the production value and the mixing of it all, it's all just, you know, there's always something that you listen to and you just think, fuck, I haven't heard that bit. I haven't ever figured that thing out and never heard it before. Like Syro, I must've listened to that record so many times, every time I listened to it there was something new in there, It's just this stream of creativity. Same as Squarepusher as well. The guy's just a fucking machine, the amount of detail and finesse to his tracks, he's also a very talented musician and performer, albums like Hard Normal Daddy and Go Plastic, there's a real blend between a musician and his instruments and then also the sort of counterweight dance music side to it. I wish I was anywhere near as good at playing instruments as he is.
What do you think of the artwork we chose for the EP by Zac Hacmon?
I think it’s great. I was thinking , if I was going to do the artwork, how would I have done it? And I had all these ideas of sketches that I've made in my head of like pretty digital videosynth stuff, then the artwork came through and I'm like, fucking hell this is great. It's really organic, but like really clinical and also just surreal. It's fantastic. Such a strange image in a good way. I followed him on Instagram and I was looking through his stuff. I was like, this guy is fucking great. All these awesome looking sculptures in just the most random places.
Find more about Zac and his artwork here
Afterlife, Zac Hacmon’s at LMAK gallery