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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - OUTERSECT

18.05.10 - on release of God Love The Fool

 
    OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL  
 

OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL OUTERSECT - GOD LOVE THE FOOL

Q: Can you tell us a bit about how you got into music making originally.   I've been making music in some form my whole life.
My first instruments were trumpet and french horn starting around age 9 when I was living in Athens, Greece. I started classical piano training at age 10 with the same teacher who taught me the horns. This teacher (Wilhelm Kaiser from the American School in Athens at Halandri, RIP) was wise enough to teach me about chords, theory and improvisation - not only how to read and play sheet music.
At 15, back in the USA, I started playing organ and synthesizers in rock bands and began writing my own music. I haven't stopped yet.
  Q:  How did the Outersect project come into being?   When I first heard Younger Brother's "Flock of Beeps" around 2003 I realized that it was unnecessary, probably even even harmful, to build an album around a single electronic genre. Seems obvious now, I suppose, but I came late to the game of electronic dance styles (around 1997) and as I had only recently learned the rules, I wasn't yet sure of how and when to bend or break them. After I heard "Flock of Beeps" I decided to do a project that would release all the tracks I had made that didn't fit well into one genre as a single album.
   
             
Q:  Now that your second album is on release ­ how do you view your debut Caldera?
 

I think "Caldera" is a very good album. "God Love the Fool" is much better. The tracks on "Caldera" were produced over a longer period of time (2000-2006), with no initial intent to ever put them on a CD together. "Caldera" sounds to me like a good compilation of tracks that just happen to all be by the same artist.
"God Love the Fool" was intended to work as a coherent journey from the beginning. My production skills and the technology available also improved a lot over that time, so "God Love the Fool" is significantly better produced than most of "Caldera".

  Q: What has influenced your sound since Caldera and how would you say your composing/recording techniques have developed?  

After Ott releaed "Blumenkraft", but before he became a non-stop touring machine, he was offering "tuition" ("tutoring" for American English speakers) on his website. I was very impressed by the production on Blumenkraft - particularly the drum sound. I was also struggling a bit with mixing. My good mixes seemed to be happy accidents - I did not yet have a systematic way to build a mix.
I decided to hire Ott to come to my studio for a day long session (and also of course to play a party). He was a great help to me in sorting out my studio and improving my mix technique. After the one-day session he would occasionally listen to mixes I sent him thru email, critique them and make suggestions.
This session directly resulted in a breakthrough in my production technique. It is responsible for much of the technical improvement between "Caldera" and "God Love the Fool".
The mixes Ott helped with and those that came after got Aleph-Zero interested in me.
After I signed with Aleph-Zero (later transferred to newly-formed Beats & Pieces) Shulman also stayed at my place and sat in on a few studio sessions (and played a few parties). This helped greatly with the final tracks and finishing touches on the CD.

             
Q:  The new God Love The Fool album ­ what was the vision for this before you began?  

Initially the vision was to do another, better "Caldera". The concept was that the tracks should create a continuous build of energy over the course of the whole CD until the final release at the end. I planned from the start to have the BPM increase over the course of the CD until the last track, which would be dramatically slower.The tracks would have varying styles, but the CD should hold together as a single work.

  Q:  What would you say has been most successful in your eyes in the making of the album?   I think what really surprised me at the end was how well the CD holds together as a journey. Over the course of creating the CD, & particularly after the Ott session, I developed my own unique sound. It's the Outersect sound that holds the whole CD together as the styles I'm working with change.
             
 
     
Q:  For the uninitiated - what are the key aspects of the Outersect sound?   The most readily identifiable aspect is a really interesting drum sound.
I do a lot of work to make sure that no two snare hits in a track sound exactly alike. In most electronic music every snare hit sounds exactly alike, except maybe a little louder or softer. The fact that mine only rarely do tends to make the sound stand out immediately. The cymbals have little fluttery puffballls that come flying off them occasionally. I also use lots of hand drums with various strange effects on them.
The instrumentation is more layered and intricate than most dance music. There are lots of sound effects and odd noises popping in and out all the time. There are certain synthesizer sounds on "God Love the Fool" that I've never heard anyone else use.
In the extreme low end there are some interesting games the bass and kick play with each other which can only be heard on a big system.
It’s a lot easier to just listen to the sound than to describe it.
There are several Outersect tracks available for free download at: http://www.outersect.net/audio
  Q:  Can you tell us a bit about your working environment ­ what surrounds you?
  If you walk into my studio the first thing you'll probably notice is the Serge - an analog modular synthesizer with a patch panel about the size of a large man's torso. There are also two vintage Korg MS-20s that sometimes patch into the Serge. The keyboards on the MS-20s are signed by Simon Posford. There's a nice picture of Simon playing one of the MS-20's as I play the Serge at this URL:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=4487597&id=30399231318
The Serge and the MS-20s are my old friends who I’ve had for more than a decade. I know them inside out and love them dearly. They're not as new and exciting to me, though, as the Kyma system which I bought relatively recently - around 2005, midway through "Caldera". The Kyma is responsible for many of the acoustic sounding synthesized tones on "God Love the Fool". The lead guitar-ish sounds on "Kali Ma" and "Aleko" are custom Kyma sounds. The lead on "Bliss Ma" from "Caldera" is an earlier, more primitive version of my Kyma acoustic simulations.
             
Q:  Are there any interesting anecdotes connected with the new music that you could share?   It might be interesting for people to know that many of the song titles on “God Love the Fool” (including the title track) are mondegreens. When I use a sampled vocal in a foreign language I start mis-hearing lyrics after working with them for a while. I then often name the track for the lyrics I mis-heard.   Q:  Looking ahead ­ what would you like to achieve long and short term musically?   In the short term my label is planning to do a couple digital-only releases of remixes and other material that didn't make it onto "God Love the Fool". There is quite a lot of good music that didn't make it onto the CD for one reason or another.
I'm personally planning to spend this summer playing live as much as possible.
In the longer term, well, there's the next full-length album. It's probably 2 or 3 years out. I think the next one will involve more collaborations and guest artists, rather than being primarily created by one person sitting alone in a garage ... but all plans are subject to change without notice.

Thanks to Rob Rayle and the guys at Beats & Pieces for allowing us that interview.

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