Separate _ Interview With Stormfield [Combat Recordings / Fausten]

Stormfield _ 2

You were telling me you were in Subland @BTM for what, 18hrs? Some stint haha. Looking at the line-up, you had a fair bit of business as you were doing the AV workshop too?

Yeah it’s a long time to be in a venue but bear in mind the organisers like Dean, Sarah and Nico spend even longer there setting up and running the whole thing, plus cleaning up the place after everyone else has fucked off. The bar staff stayed till 10am too. It just happened that my workshop was on the same day as the Fausten and Stormfield sets, so I had to be in the venue from 4pm. Saying that, a mate texted around Sunday noon saying “come to the Berghain!”

The workshop is basically an AV workshop, demonstrating how to  build a set from scratch using 2 different softwares (Live and VDMX) and making them talk to each other,  automatically, linking elements of audio to elements of visuals. It’s a slow process to make happen but the results can be amazing. In hindsight the workshop probably needed longer than an hour, especially with the  Q & A section. But it was handy being able to pull up mates from the audience to explain stuff like Reaktor and Ableton. We were all hungover.

There was a bottle of Febreeze on stage as someone said they detected a faint whiff  of garlic…My own fault really. Julien was ill and I was starting to come down with a bad cold  just before Berlin. There happened to be this bottle of mega concentrated garlic oil. RIDICULOUSLY STRONG. The oil kills the cold dead but unfortunately kills all other humans around you. The bag even got stopped at the airport and they had to swab it for dodgy chemicals!

I seen you talking about that on Facebook, but I didn’t realise it was as strong as that. Must have been stinking.

On Thursday night, the venue owner thought there was a gas leak. Next morning a friend said “right, you need to get new clothes and mouthwash, chewing gum (THE STRONG SORT) and etc etc etc.” It seemed to work although come the next day there was still a faint whiff. Most of the feedback was about that.

Oh dear…

Any new music in the pipeline for Fausten?

There’s a few works in progress, yes!

Winter will be time to focus again.There was also a Fausten sample pack (for Ableton) released as part of Burn the Machine fest. And also sample packs by Monster X and Stormfield. It’s available only to those with armbands from the fest but will be available for public in December I think.

Great.. looking forward to hearing those.

I’d like to say thanks for the mix by the way. It’s been a while coming hasn’t it Derek? Haha! We’ve rescheduled a few times, but listening to it this morning, its wicked. Definitely worth waiting for. Will you tell us a little about it?

Yeah I remember you asked around April or something. It’s worked out in the end because the mix tracks are sounds for late nights and the return of the cold season. I’d already done the banging acid on Electronic Explorations earlier this year so decided to go a bit deeper, more melodic and abstract on this one, using less obvious tunes, especially the weird but interesting ones I haven’t had a chance to use before. It’s all in techno-tempo but very trippy with some deliberately fucked up arrangements held together with stringy sections. The mix begins with a track by Huron, a new artist I saw at Burn the Machine and ended up getting his album, really good stuff if you like Gridlock or Access to Arasaka.

There’s a few unreleased bits in there which will come out on Combat next year, and also an exclusive track which I’m not allowed to name just yet. The tunes speak for themselves, really. If they make you feel like you want to be in a dark room on mushrooms, then mission achieved. I suppose you could play it the car; it might not work on a motorbike as only acid lines or harder beats can get heard over the wind noise.

Process-wise, it’s all arranged, and not a “proper” DJ mix as such. There’s usually 3 or 4 bits layered, some parts looped with random envelopes. The tracks got beatmapped manually, then clustered in groups with similar tempos. The key / melody of the tune was a big consideration; if things were in the same key then I preferred to mix them together, so the tracks are singing off each other, the build-up is better too.

That Seiji track towards the end is something I’ve waited years to drop in a set, so cheers for that.

Excellent. Usually I don’t listen to them until the night they air, but I played it the other day when you sent it. Worth waiting for.

Music production and history are my biggest passions in life. Though people often say that Techno is faceless and should be about the music blah, blah, blah.. I believe in the need to document the people and stories behind it. Techno is a very small world in reality and I think it needs a proper resource. I hope that everyone who is interested in Techno finds this blog accessible in terms of the way that it is written. I personally prefer to hear the artists voice as loud as the music and never enjoy synopsised and pasteurised versions of old conversation; the sort that's peppered with the occasional quote here and there.

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