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Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Interview with Eitan Reiter

Sunday, July 18th, 2010
Welcome to Ambient Explorations! This is your first visit so please feel at home. Comments are appreciated! -Flict

Morpheus music published a nice interview with Eitan Reiter. Read it here.

Carbon Based Lifeforms interview

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

If you read this blog frequently you probably know that I’m in love with the new CBL album (Interloper). Here is a cool interview with the guys made by Gad K. and published by Isratrance.

There is a strong feeling that Interloper is the last part of a CBL trilogy.
I feel that there is a strong connection between your three albums, like they are tied to each other. Did you intended to release a sort of a trilogy already from the beginning or is it something that just happened by itself? Tell us the story behind those albums.

J: Well we did not set out to make a trilogy, but it felt natural for us to make it a continuous flow rather than isolated albums.

D: To be honest, no. Hydroponic Garden was a dream come true, to actually release a full length album on a real record label. It contained all sorts of tracks we made in a ten year time span. World of Sleepers was easier to make because we had some sort of sound to relate to and there were tracks on Hydrophonic Garden we thought could be better, on the other hand it was really scary to release it because by that time Hydrophonic Garden had become some sort of milestone. Interloper was a struggle, firstly intended to be a pure ambient album, but was delayed for many reasons. So we got to rethink it all and make an even better album, this time not inhibited by previous albums. But it was at the same time very hard to finalize almost the same album twice.

I know that you guys love your Roland TB-303 synth. Where in your albums we can hear the presence of this synth?

D: We use it more or less in every track actually :)
J: Yeah, even if it’s not in your face on every track we usually sneak it in somewhere in the textures…

You developed a very unique sound and style, how would you describe it?

D & J: Our inspiration is nature and technology and the possible interactions between the two. So one way to describe it could be potions of sap extracted from cyberneticly enhanced plants. Others call it psybient :-)

Among other things, music provides a window to the outside of reality, where our imagination can blossom freely and our souls can find some peace, excitement or whatever they need. CBL’s music definitely provides that magical window. Tell us how does it make you feel, knowing that you give this beautiful thing to people all around the world?

D: It’s very rewarding. Sometimes it’s very hard to actually accept the impact our music has on some people. At the same time, I’ve been deeply moved by music so I can relate to the feeling. I write the music I want to listen to and I get very warm inside every time someone other than me really appreciates my music.
J: For me it’s a bit unreal, but it makes me very happy that other people, not just me and Daniel, gets it.

What are your musical influences? Name a few bands, artists that inspired you.

D: With CBL, it’s Johannes that is my inspiration, and the world of sounds we create together.
J: aaww :) Well of course we inspire each other, for me that’s the beauty of not doing stuff solo.
As to bands that have inspired us, well a lot of stuff… to name a few: Solar Quest’s Orgship album, especially in the beginning, was a huge pointer in the right direction for us. Future Sound of London’s Lifeforms, of course. Some of Ralph Lundsten’s earlier work, Bo Hansson’s Lord of the Rings album, Kraftwerk, M83, etc. There’s a lot….

Tell us about your relationship with Ultimae. How much they are involved in the making process of your albums, and in what ways?

D & J: Ultimae is family, so they are involved in our personal life, even. When it comes to the process of making an album we wait until we feel ready to present the whole peace. They give feedback and if they feel something should sound better. Sometimes we change, sometimes we stay firm with our idea. We let them do the track list as they are accomplished DJ’s and have more experienced in setting up moods. Also we’re not objective enough, after a couple of months producing to see an actual pattern. But of course it’s a dialog even there. We are involved in the making of the cover art even though Ultimae does the main part.

Tell us a bit about the relationship between you two. How is it to create music as a duo?

D: We work very exceptionally well together. Johannes strives for unique and interesting sounds, whereas I want to produce as soon as I hear something I like. This means that I make Johannes let go of a sound before it becomes something totally different, in which case I tell him to save both and he stops me from going too mainstream in my strive to finish a track.
We have worked together for over 15 years and have very similar taste in almost everything, which means that we almost finish each others sentences and work with two brains as one.
J: I love synthesizing, Daniel loves beats and we both love making melodies, harmonies and soundscapes… So it’s a pretty good match actually :) And it’s really good to have someone take over when the other gets stuck…

Sometimes your music contains that morning twilights atmosphere. Did you ever think about making a morning trance album?

D: I don’t really feel for trance music in general and it’s not really in our sound so I doubt that. Sometimes tracks end up in that direction but it’s more a coincidence.
J: We’ve talked about it, but since neither of us really is into trance it will probably never happen.

What are your plans for the near future? Any gigs planned?

D: Yes, we’re playing in London, Lithuania, Hungary and Ukraine. Got some more planned but not confirmed.
J: And we still have a drone album to produce as well. .We’ll see what becomes of it…

Let’s play a little game, I’ll throw a few words and you’ll say the first thing that comes to your minds.

Electronic music?

D: Arpeggio
J: Machines and possibilities

Hardware synthesizers?

D: Knobs
J: Cords, knobs, basslines and joy :)


D: Done!
J: What?


D: Obsolete
J: Yay, collectibles!

Carbon Based Lifeforms?

D: Nature
J: Water

Thanks for your time guys.

Solar Fields new album and interview

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Magnus Birgersson (aka Solar Fields) is a musical workaholic! He is releasing a ambient remix album (“[ Altered ] – Second Movements”) and later this year another one (!) called “Origin 1”. I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of his style. Über quality high-tech and warm at the same time. t’s a happy year for ambient music! As soon as I receive the album I’ll write some word here but for know I’ll leave you with a nice interview made by Jack Chuter @ the online magazine ATTN.

First of all – how are you?

I’m very good, just back home in Sweden after a trip to France. Been in the alps to play at the Hadra Festival. Also went to Lyon to finalizing the mastering of my new album [ Altered ] – Second Movements.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on various things at the same time (as usual). I just finished on one my new albums. I made some remixes for other artists (Abakus and some artists from Warner Music Sweden). I’m also in the beginning phase of designing an audio samples series. I recently rebuilt my Studio. I’m finalising my second release for this year – [ Origin 1 ].

You’ve got a few festival appearances coming up soon. Do you enjoy taking your music live?

Yes, for sure, this is the occasion to meet fans and new audience, share my music, try new tracks, revisit older stuff.

How do the crowd tend to react to your music at your performances?

It depends on what kind of show I do. At ambient gigs, most of the people in the front tend to dance, and around people are sitting down and chilling with the music. With my progressive sets, the crowd is dancing much more.

How does the compositional process work for you?

It often starts with a small sound that opens up the door for inspiration. I never know in the beginning what direction the track will take. I love to explore all my machines, take details and develop them to sounds I’ve never heard before.

Is there a certain environment that works best for you when composing your music?

To be home in my studio is the best for me. I built up this specific place during many years and I know my machines perfectly well. I feel comfortable and in accordance with this environment.

I saw that you refer to Solar Fields as developing an “evolving dream”. What do you mean by that?

I guess that the listener is a huge part in the track and decide where it goes when it comes to feelings and emotions after listening.

What would you say is the optimum listening environment for your music?

Everywhere, from the sofa with headphones to a cruising trip in the car. Morning coffee, evening alone or with friends. It’s not up to me to decide what is the optimum moment. I think my music can be listened from background music to pure immersive experience.

I noticed that you collaborate with Aes Dana for your project H.U.V.A. Network. How easy do you find collaborating?

All goes really smoothly when we compose, we have a lot of different ideas that we put together and evolve. Each album, or each composition time brings new explorations. Sometimes we work from my studio in Goteborg, sometimes from his Studio in Lyon and quite often via the internet. We just recently thought about our third studio album and we agree that it will be a huge barbecue! The first basis are found, now we will take our time to develop the songs.

Do you have a composition that you’re most proud of?

No, not really any specific ones. If I need to pick one it would be the track “Sol” featuring Krister Linder for vocals. The track is not released yet but i recently uploaded it to youtube. It is really interesting how the vocal turns the track to something completely new.

Which artists are you listening to at the moment?

“Manual – Drowned In Light” gets played a lot at home at the moment. This is a fantastic album. “Hammock  – Chasing After Shadows… Living With The Ghosts”, also an amazing album.

Anything else coming up for you in the next few months?

A couple of festivals and gigs are in the pipeline and my next albums and some surprises.

When can we expect to see the next Solar Fields release?

In a couple of weeks for [ Altered ] and [ Origin 1 ] in a couple of months , both to be released on Ultimae.

Releases by Solar Fields can be purchased at Ultimae.

Solar Fields Website – http://www.solarfields.com
Solar Fields Myspace – http://www.myspace.com/solarfields

Interview with H.U.V.A Network

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Isratrance published a very nice interview with H.U.V.A Network (“Aes Dana” and “Solar Fields” project). They talk about future releases, the way they work together and hard drive crash.


I got the chance to interview Vincent Villuis (Aes Dana) and Magnus Birgersson (Solar Fields) from H.U.V.A Network. This is what came out.
Please introduce yourselves.

Magnus: Hello my name is Magnus Birgersson, I compose music for a living and I like it.

Vince: Hello my name is Vincent Villuis, I’m composer-sound designer and ultimae label co-owner.

I am going to begin with asking you about the name you did choose for this collaboration. Most know what H.U.V.A stands for, Humans Under Visual Atmospheres. But how did you come up with this name and what does it signify for you. Does it have any religious reference as to ZenBuddishm? Or is it just some idea that you have developed yourselves? Please elaborate.

Vince: Oki, we kill the myth. ”Huva” notion was a word we used always between us when we met us at the beginning to signify ”hello”, ”good”, ”superb”… a lot of meanings in fact. The term Huva is also a notion of secret, masked… It was like a mini contextual code. When we searched a name for our first musical collaboration, we were far from each other and Internet was the link for exchanging, sharing ideas and keeping in touch. The ”Huva Network” became evident. The work of meaning around the initials ”Human Under…” is more like a private joke but working well, isn’t it?

Haha, yes it sure is.
Could you tell us in short how you first came into contact with music and finally ended up working with Ultimae?

Magnus: I’ve been in music since childhood. This is a family affair. I’m a multi instrumentalist and familiar with various musical genres in fact. About Ultimae, I don’t know, these guys have been following me in the streets and airports for 9 years now. I don’t know who they are!!! (hahaha)

Vince: I started my affair with music as a teenager, bass guitar, singing, drums and worked with various hardcore, thrash metal, gothic bands. I was attracted by machines, especially sampling and drums programming and I concentrated on this aspect of music, working more and more in the background of some industrial and extreme music bands, sound design and post-production. The last band split tragically and I stayed alone with my machines and computer…electronic music was a normal way to follow, my axis. I set up Ultimae 10 years ago with Sunbeam for a total freedom of creation.

Could you roughly explain how it works when you are making tracks together? Are you anytime sitting together composing or is it solely by sending ideas and half finished tracks to each other?

Magnus: We travel Sweden-France to each others’ studios and compose together. We do quite long sessions each time we meet.

Vince: The first album was made more with Internet exchanges, the second like Magnus said, was long electronic jam sessions, really intensive but the keyword is to keep the fun and be happy. At the last meeting, Magnus suggested another way to work together and I totally agreed with him. It will be more creative and also more adapted to our busy respective lives. We will explain in time :-)

When listening to the Ephemeris I felt as if you had merged even better than on Distances, am I right? What are you’re feelings about both albums?

Vince: Personnaly, I like both, at the same level of pleasure. Ephemeris is 5 years younger than Distances, so yes, it sounds more fresh and connected with these present times. We added new treatments cause we search during our sessions ”new” sounds. But the initial spirit of doing something more trip-hopish, electronica jam is intact. It is hard for me to compare.

In your music do you have any message you are trying to reach out with or a goal, or are you just doing it for play expressing yourselves?

Magnus: I compose music ‘cause it’s vital, normal. It’s hard to find the words to explain why I do this and not that. I express myself for sure.

Vince: It depends what you mean by “message”. I don’t like so much art expression which talks frontally about politics or religion. I prefer when art takes a subversive way. Paradoxically I feel a strong power of suggestion in the music creation, the fastest artistic way to give sensations, dreams to people. The leitmotiv message is feeling-depth-emotions-inner journeys. But please don’t categorize us in the New Age genre for that (hahaha)

The psy scene has been growing bigger and bigger, with both negative and positive consequences, but the downtempo side of it has not really been growing as fast, do you feel that you are reaching out to more people these days than you did a few years back, and have you’re releases been getting more attention? Have you noticed anything negative following the growth of the scene?

Vince: Sincerely, I don’t know how the psytrance scene is growing… I’m not a specialist at all. About down tempo-ambient, the problem in my opinion is that there is not a specific scene…
It seems to be considered as a side thing by the psy scene and not given much credit. What I know though, is that more and more people buy the Ultimae releases and that’s positive. Can’t say about the other labels, we don’t tend to discuss figures.

With track names like Dissolving time, Access to the long fields and Road to Nothingness. And while it’s common in the psy scene using samples from known philosophers such as Terence McKenna, Alan Watts and also other pioneers within the psychedelic ”region” as Albert Hoffman. Even on Ultimaes official site it states ”Panoramic music for panoramic people” so you are clearly distinguishing yourself as a group. Would you say that the scene draws people with a different view on reality than you’re ordinary rock, pop listener?

Vince: I don’t know if we could claim to be like “a group”. This is a little bit pretentious. We used this notion of panoramic cause we are attached to create something dreamy, large soundscapes, a feeling of cinematic. The notion of panoramic people is attached to open-minded people and travellers- either “sofa travellers” or the real ones. A category of people who should be more interested by our kind of releases. That doesn’t mean that rock and pop listeners can’t feel panoramic too.

One could argue that music in itself is self-fulfilling as a play or dance, but I believe that music can affect people in huge ways and that it is a kind of higher form of communication. What is you’re take on that?

Vince: I agree with you, there is something intangible in music listening, an invisible communication, skipping words, distances and languages. I can’t explain how and why, I just feel it everyday when I compose a track or play in live or DJ set.

Magnus, you are also working solo under the alias Solar Fields where you’re later albums have been praised among the community. I think I haven’t read so many positive reviews and seen so much feedback on any of your albums as on Movements. My conclusion was that since you managed to stick your whole Leaving Home on one track Sol, why not play around a little bit instead. So this is little less hard digested and easier to enjoy than, for example Leaving Home, though also less rewarding to fully experience. Do you agree? And if so was the step towards a more, excuse the term, ”commercial” appealing sound a conscious choice or just a natural development?

Magnus: I never plan how it should sound, this is how Solar Fields sounds in 2009, I can’t sit down and do another Leaving Home album or another Blue Moon Station one, this is in the past and I and always looking forward, trying out new ways and ideas.
If you feel that it is more commercial I have no problem with that. For me it’s music. As I said this is how it sounds now, in the future Solar Fields maybe will go Drum n Bass, if you understand me…

Magnus, you have produced an incredible amount of music in such a short period of time, and you’re sound is always evolving drastically yet always keeping that unique touch. Are you ever afraid that this pool of creativeness is going to slow down and falter?

Magnus: I’m not afraid at all, when I am in a creative period I just compose music. When I’m not in a creative period I don’t compose, it’s simple. If I’m not in the zone I know that it will not be any good. Maybe I just do some sound design instead, and suddenly I hear a sound and start to create a track around that very little sound.

I would also want to ask you Magnus what you are currently working on and if you could give us any hint as to what direction you’re current musical path is going. And do you think that you would ever produce an album again in the Leaving Home style with a more profound storytelling, long build-ups and massive peaks?

Magnus: I have no idea how the next solar fields album will sound, I never plan that I will go in some direction or so, things just happen, it might be a reflection about the period of the life I’m living in at the moment I’m creating.

Vincent, you once strayed away from you’re general formula and did a complete ambient album, Aftermath, which was awesome. Do you have any plans on working on such a project again? Or maybe even trying other directions with you’re music.

Vince: Thank you for your consideration about Aftermath. I’ve been working on more ambient stuff for a movie and for unique sound design events. These last musics are ”ephemeral” in the sense that no CD will be released for these creations. I’m working actually on another album between ambient and ”classical music”, less downtempo, more ”sacral music” oriented. I will explore more the beatless and acoustic way, but I still want to keep a step in downtempo and morning electronica ’cause this is pure pleasure. The future will let me know. In fact, I can compose various musics, it is more a question of time and synchronicity.

Vincent, can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming album. Will you surprise us listeners or are you sticking to a more ‘safe’ road?

Vince: My next album, [Leylines “>, lived a certain story. Because the initial one was supposed to be released much earlier…. I had a disk crash after announcing the release date…and I needed to start from zero the creative process. So, after one month trying to start from the backups, I felt the soul of the tracks disappeared. It was more like trying wrongly to keep the tracks alive. I deleted all and started with new sound designs and architectures. About the final result… I think it will “surprise” but to be honest, I’m more in a search of sculpting fluid journeys than being surprising. There are 4/4 tracks, electronica ones, beatless ones. That’s not a safe road album but fans will let us know. By the way, for some people nothing is surprising…

Vincent, I want to ask you as someone having a big role in the Ultimae staff. What are you’re hopes for the label in the future? Becoming big or just being able to put out great music? Even if someone does something because of interest isn’t always the money a little tempting?

Vince: Become big and put out “great music” at the same time could be cool, don’t you think?
We invested in the last 9 years a lot of time, energy and money in getting Ultimae to grow. 2009 will see a lot of evolutions (digital store, new website, quiet a lot of releases and e-releases, real music store…) We have the same passion since the beginning, we’ll see what the future holds, but in the meantime, we’ll carry on planting our seeds. The day the passion goes, so will we.

If you had to pick one and only one favourite album that you have worked on which would it be, and why?

Magnus: The Mirror’s Edge score, the biggest challenge ever.

Vince: All the projects have their own importance in my mind, as they are relative to a certain period, mood, experiences. I don’t have a hierarchic brain. Of course Ephemeris and Leylines touch me more right now because they’re fresh, but older tracks can still open some doors…

When can see the next H.U.V.A Network, Aes Dana or Solar Fields album??

Magnus: The next Solar Fields release will be the Mirror’s Edge soundtrack that will be out now in May 2009. 10 Solar Fields tracks will be out on that album.

Vince: My next album Leylines is just finished and gone to the manufacturer. It will be available in the end of May 2009.
For Huva Network, we need to wait a little bit. We want to take our time…

Well that was all of my questions, thank you for taking the time to answer them. Is there anything you would like to add before we end this interview?

More info: H.U.V.A Network
Get the album here.

Thank you for everything and hope we will give more and more pleasure in our next works.
Interview by Melancholyman