Photo Credit: Mathieu Mardoukhaev
What is your name?
Hello, my name is Dr.Nojoke (without blank and preferably pronounced in German)
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
I´m born, raised up and still live in Berlin, a city, that is constantly changing, transforming and evolving. It is difficult to talk about a scene, because it is not coherent and split up. Sometimes it seems, that everybody is acting in its own bubble. I find it totally interesting what´s going on in the field of electro-acoustic, experimental, improvised music and performance and audiovisual art and such. The big term at the moment is “Immersion” and it excites me pretty much.
You’ve recently a new Vinyl only recording on your own label CLIKNO, what influenced the sound of this release?
Immersion is maybe the right answer here. I want that the listener gets lost in music. On my zero.one EP you find two long danceable sculptures, each about 13 minutes long. When I made these tracks my challenge was how much I can stretch musical ideas so that they start to hypnotize, until they get transcendental. The first track Copipo is about transformation meanwhile the B-side Pariko follows only one theme and is about tension and release.My influences come from contemporary art and the surroundings, where I live. But if you want musical references, that might be Romanian techno, Villalobos, Burnt Friedman, Steve Reich, bits of Jan Jelinek, Alva Noto, and my friends and colleagues here in Berlin.
Mathieu MardoukhaevPhoto Credit: Mathieu Mardoukhaev
Where and when did you record?
The first track Copipo I recorded in 2016. I used many sounds that I collected for a theatre piece, sounds that I found and recorded in the rehearsal rooms. At home I added a kalimba, an African thumb-piano, which the melody in the second half of the track is constructed from.
The other track Pariko I did even a year earlier. The main hook is a rhythmic motif played with a muted guitar with a stereo-delay on it. I just played around with the release of the sound and a filter. All other sounds just follow and support that movement. Both tracks were worked out, arranged, mixed and produced in my home-studio.
What programs / equipment did you use?
The sounds were recorded with a binaural OKM microphone and a big-diaphragm condenser microphone, for some sounds I used only my little Yamaha Pocketrax recorder.
All were transferred to my computer and then the whole was created in Ableton Live and treated with diverse plug-in effects.
Please tell us about the concept behind your new vinyl release:
I wanted to give it a meaning. There is way too much music out there. To give it a more conceived and personal touch I came up with the idea of a transparent lay-out. Everything shines through, a bit blurry of course like a slightly transformed reality, which I like actually, but the important factor here is light, the shimmering effect and the transparency. It stands for the invisible, the untouchable and endlessness such as light, feelings, time and music – without borders or limits. I would like to see the world more equally balanced full of freedom, peace and with equal rights for everybody everywhere.
Just the label in the center of the record on the A-side holds a black & white photo of objects and instruments I am performing with plus the logo over it, which is done by my friend and member of our POOL Berlin collective Sebastian Mehl.
What is the name of your release? And where will we be able to purchase it?
The title of the EP is “zero.one”. It expresses the wish to start a new world from point zero. At the same time it is a new beginning for me. It is the first vinyl record on my label CLIKNO and my first self-produced vinyl record at all.
The record is distributed through Memoria in Holland and is available on online stores such as decks, deejay.de, triplevision, juno, technique, at selected record stores worldwide and on the label’s own bandcamp page, where there are even two special editions available, one with an A2 poster of the label artwork and the second one with an additional hand-drawing on the cover, both hand-numbered. All records come with a silver-black sticker.www.clikno.bandcamp.com
How did you first start producing dance music?
It all started for me when the Groovebox MC 303 from Roland came out – back in 1996, I guess. Before I played for more than ten years electric guitar. I got obsessed with the little electronic machine. My first self-produced CDR Die Hypnokommode was entirely made with the Groovebox (www.drnojoke.bandcamp.com). From 2002 on I explored the possibilities of software-based music, first with Propellerheads Reason. I just loved it immediately. I always dealt with the limitations of hardware instruments, what left me unsatisfied. Around January 2005 I decided to focus on danceable minimal music when I switched to Ableton Live, which is my main tool until today. Aside I still do experimental music of course.
How has the scene changed since you started?
What I can say for myself is that when I started making minimal techno it was pretty much at the end and the music industry as we knew it was changing. Luckily there was that evolving netlabel scene, which I quickly discovered and which helped me to spread my music in the first years and also luckily minimal techno was still big in Eastern Europe. But over the years it got more and more difficult to get heard so that was a good reason to start a vinyl label, something, that I haven´t tried before. Nowadays we are back to 90ies house and techno, back to the machines. Everyone discovers and celebrates the pioneers, the first retro-trend in electronic music history. Although it is important to know the references for the relevance of my music I tend to look forward or just try to live in the now for my creative momentum. As soon as an idea is worn out for me I need to go on looking for new exciting things. In Berlin the party vibe changed when party tourism and easy-jetting started off. I miss a bit that unity vibe. I mean you still can find it depending on the venue and the audience. And I love it when the crowd is a bit older and educated.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I listen to a lot of neo-classical stuff, also drone, noise, electronica and music, which is pretty hard to categorize: Burnt Friedman, Ambiq, Klammerflimmer Kollektiv, Moritz von Oswald Trio, Dawn Of Midi, We Are We, Bing & Ruth, Hauschka, Johann Johannsson, Andrea Belfi, Samuel Rohrer, Daniel Brandt, Colin Stetson, Raime, Emptyset, Deaf Center, Ben Frost, Second Woman, Yves de Mey, Radian … and inbetween my all-time favs like Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, Philip Glass, Tortoise, Stereolab, Jan Jelinek, Pole, Maurizio, Rhythm & Sound, Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto, SND, Pan Am, William Basinski, Tim Hecker, Oval, Neu, Can, Cluster, Edgar Varese, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Morton Subotnik, Pauline Oliveros, Zeikratzer and early Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk … well, I hear a lot of music to be honest. It´s a drug!
What do you have planned for 2018?
I am just about to start the production of the second EP “zero.two” on CLIKNO, which is the accompanying part to “zero.one”.Then there is a brand-new project I do with the concert pianist Jan Gerdes, which we will present sooner or later this year. We are still searching for a project-name.
I am involved in another project based on a conceptual volume of poetry called “Det” (english “it” or “that”) from the Danish writer Inger Christensen, which will be performed as a scenic reading with music. Highly recommended to read.
With the POOL Berlin group we are just launching our new platform POOL tracks this month to put out music of artists from our network and for projects such as Post_Techno, which I will curate. Post_Techno is planned as a kind of ongoing research series presenting each time four artistic positions on techno questioning innovation, retro-ism, technology, time, limitations, future, past and so on … If you are interested to participate please get in touch with me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I will send you a project description.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Oh. Hard question. At the moment I´m into fruits, salad, old cheese, Arabic and Vietnamese food, good dark bread, black tea, Turkish cookies and so onThe favourite place to hang out is at home – with friends or alone – and everywhere, where my friends are.