Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Hello. Thanks for having me. I live in Berlin.
Well, in Berlin live so many creative people the scene is very diverse and is split up in many scenes. When you go deeper underneath the surface you can explore a lot of interesting and adventurous things going on. The house and techno clubs provide a good quality, but I find them not so challenging anymore. I prefer to attend events with sonic experimentations from sound-art over performance art to improvised music, audiovisual performances, dance and so on. I like when music joins art and technology to explore new grounds or when things were put into new contexts, when the perspective and also the perception shifts.
How did you first start playing music?
Oh, that is a while ago. When I was 16 I got my first guitar, two years later an electric guitar. I played in many bands, but at the same time I did home recordings with tape machine, delays, synths, drum machines, microphones, stomp boxes, but it was the Groovebox MC303 then that showed me the fun in making electronic music. I am not so much into technical stuff, I like instruments, that you can use/abuse immediately.
For 14 years now I work with Ableton Live mainly, which is a great instument for me.
You have a new series of MAT editions, what does MAT stand for?
The MAT editions is a new series on my label CLIKNO combining music, art and text = MAT. The first one is entitled ‚Inventing Importance‘ and includes three tracks by myself, a digital painting by Jonathan Canupp – a multidisciplinary artist, sound designer and musician from Denver, USA, who is better known under his moniker Ten and Tracer – and a text from Marianne Kjaer Klausen, a Danish actress, choreographer and philosopher, who lives in Berlin. Responsible for the graphic design of the whole series is 52°N, who runs an agency for graphic design in Berlin. The lay-out of the series consists in a black 12“ vinyl and a 12“ x 12“ poster with the artwork and text as offset print on offsetpaper for a premium feel. Both is in a transparent PVC sleeve.
What is the goal of the series?
I conceived the MAT editions to enlarge the view on music and to create something, that is valuable even beyond the music.
So the basic idea is to bring together different disciplines, in this case music, art and text with the intention to break up rules and break down boundaries.
I like to do unusual things, which are challenging and stand out from the mass. I wanted something, that is not just for DJs or music afficionados. The MAT editions appeal to different senses and it is something for the heart, the soul and the intellect.
Over the series I will present artworks from rising artists with accompanying texts from Marianne, which add another layer to the music. Marianne throws in profound thoughts about humanity.
Another idea is to present the artwork and text are on a separate poster inlay you can leave it at home, hang it on your wall, while you take the vinyl on tour.
What have you been working on since the last time we spoke https://thepartae.com/dr-nojoke ? Which artists are you working with?
Last year I met the concert pianist Jan Gerdes and under the name „rand“ we work on compositions merging the acoustic sound of the grand piano with the electronic sounds as well as melody with noise and romanticism with modern aspects. I work mainly with samples from his piano and change them dramatically to create a counterpart to the piano. The result is an interesting melange of classical music, jazz, ambient, drone, clicks & cuts, glitch, minimal, industrial and electronica, quite contemporary music. https://www.facebook.com/randmusic
Since summer 2018 I host a monthly radioshow called CLIKNOsophical Chatter on Threads radio, a comunity radio from London with a second stream from Berlin for international contributions. I moderate the music, I play exclusive recordings, I invite guests and interview them and I try to present things a bit off the beaten path. My next and last show for a while is on May 22nd. https://threadsradio.com/project/cliknosophical-chatter
From time to time I meet-up with friends for improvised electronic music jams under the name POOL lab orchestra or just PLO, a challenging project as we start every session from scratch. The only rule is to begin with a blank sheet. No roles are given and one can use any kind of instrument.
The PLO is a part of our collective The POOL Berlin, under which we put out experimental podcasts – the POOLcast – and also samplers with tracks from our network, music from our friends and colleagues.
I work also together with Marianne Kjaer Klausen since a couple of years. I made the music for her adaption of the theatreplay The Stronger from August Strindberg. Meanwhile we are working on a stage version of the poetry album IT from Inger Christensen. As a first step we undertook two explorative performances in 2018 combining spoken word, with manipulated voice, music and light.
How do you go about writing music?
I usually grab some sounds from my archive quite intuitively, put them in Ableton Live and start playing around and creating basic clips or loops until I have a good collection together. I play with the clips to get an idea for the arrangement, which I record then live in one take. The next step is the refinement getting more and more into detail: throwing away unnessecary parts, cancelling unwanted frequencies, drawing parameter curves, balancing the mix, adjusting effects and give all elements their space. That´s it.
Any secrets that you care to share?
Not really a secret, but I prefer to use effect-channels instead of adding further instrument, when I look for a missing element. The effects become instruments with same priority like audio- or midi-channels. That is also a great weapon to create layers, spaces and rhythmical variations.
When you are looking for new ideas I recommend to play around with sounds first. Kick and bass can come later. In many of my tracks the bassline is the last thing I am adding. That glues it all together..
What programs/equipment do you use?
Mainly I use the OKM binaural microphones, Sure SM 58 microphone, MOTU ultralite MK3 audio-interface, Sony VAIO laptop, Ableton Live 10 Suite, diverse VSTs… my ears, my brain, my heart … ☺
Where is your studio?
At home. It is my working and living space. Not ideal acoustically, but that´s where I feel comfortable and where I like to create music.
When and where are you playing next?
Next up is a gig with my project rand. On June 19th we will play in Berlin in the Zwingli church as part of the Audiovisionen concert series there.
In July I will go to Romania to the Waha Festival, where I will play on the 13th/14th.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I am always curious on new releases from Jan Jelinek, Burnt Friedman, Tim Hecker and Andrea Belfi for instance. All of them have brandnew albums out. And I love all drone-related music. Drone is an exciting melting pot, where it all seems to come together, no matter, if it is made acoustically or electronically.
What do you like to do away from music?
I really like to go out to events, that undertake sonic adventures of any kind. Well, does that count also to ‚music‘? Hahaha. Being around with friends is very important.