Aesthetic _ Interview with CTRLS
On the 3rd December, CTRLS is about to drop his excellent Centrally Processed Unity EP on the mighty Token Records. Troels is one half of the rather intimidating Northern Structures, and I regularly post here on subsekt as endfindead.
Don O’Macronite: Hey Troels! To begin, tell us about your studio setup, and how relates to how you start a track… are you using the studio to find the sound in your head or searching for one that you haven’t heard before? Seeing as you’re fresh from a live performance, would you like to talk about how it’s put together in terms of software and hardware, and how did you approach it, as in, have you a framework for improvisation or is it a means of playing dissected tracks that already exist?
CTRLS: It’s still kind of in the last phases of development but the CTRLS live PA, laptop set, whatever you wanna call it, is an attempt to break free of relying too much on linear sequencing. I started using some new software called Teleport, thought up by a friend which is only geared towards performance style composition. It doesn’t let you program out a whole tune; you have to perform or record your track which is the kind of setup I’ve been wanting to get at for a while. My stuff isn’t that experimental so it is all based on sequences but unlike an Ableton set I’ll have access to a lot more parameters as there’s not a single sampler or recorded loop in my new self-imposed way of doing things. But I won’t be locked to a specific set list and I’ll be able to combine different components of my tracks together (already having a lot of fun with that). Teleport also has some interesting and unique midi features I’ll be using to try and make thing less static and a bit more organic.
The thing is that when Fabric asked me to do the live set I only had 1 EP and a remix to the CTRLS name. So I’ve had to craft a good hour’s worth of loops and sounds I can jam with on stage, some of which will turn into releases later on. I’m not quite so deep into the software yet that I can come up with stuff from scratch right there on the spot but I’m giving myself a lot of choice at certain parts of the set so hopefully it’ll turn out to be a new progression to the set every time it’s played. Most of the sequences (especially melodic/lead type stuff and atmospherics) need some kind of musical input from me, either a looped controller movement or live note input. There’s definitely plenty of ways for me to fuck it up on stage and while that does sometimes stress me out I’d much rather have that unpredictability then one of these near jukebox/playback type sets you see people doing off laptops now.
So is the work you’re doing for the live performance influencing your studio techniques? What’s in your studio at the present?
Well I’m splitting things into writing and mixing to begin with. So you could say Teleport is going to replace what I’m doing in the studio, at least for CTRLS. So at the moment, I’ve got a desktop with a pair of Adam monitors, and then a fast laptop, an iPad and some midi controllers for the production/composition setup.