What are your names and where are you currently located?
My name is Engyn and I am located in Berlin, Germany.
What is the music scene like there?
Berlin is for many a mekka like city when it comes to electronic music. And as much as I hate the cliché it is absolutely true.
The music scene is very vibrant and if you want to meet likeminded people, you will.
Please tell us about your most recent EP release coming out on vinyl and digital on the 5th of May 2018, where and when did you record?
This EP was a long process. I recorded all these Tracks in 2016 but refinement took until Fall 2017. The Track Aera remixed was part of my ADAT Concept album where I release Live Jams. He really liked that Jam and I always felt like it needed somebody cleaning it up a bit and making a proper song out of it.
What programs / equipment did you use?
My productions are usually a mix of hard and software. The tracks on the EP happened in a transition period in my studio where I didn’t work with as much hardware. I have a very limited amount of software instruments that I use to produce. My favorite soft Synth that I use the most would be AALTO from Madrona Labs. I also use TAL U-NO-LX for a solid decade now and the Arturia miniMoog that they gave away for free some years ago. And a Korg M1 library in Kontakt. I think thats it. And then on the FX Side I have a lot more software.. a lot of Soundtoys, some Waves. I also have NI Komplete.
Some interesting things for music producers might be my use of Max4Live in these tracks. There are great sequencing Tools and midi effects available for free and I think I used some of these. I am also a big user of the M4L LFO to modulate elements in AALTO that can’t be modulated by design.
I stepped away from Ableton as a sequencing software some time ago and only use it now to record audio in the studio and mix down audio. Since I am back to using mostly hardware these days. I sequence with Numerology now, which is a universe in itself and pretty exciting for people like me who like unpredictable sequences and hands on production. At the moment I can record a whole track in my studio by only touching my mouse once to press record and that is very nice. But it also leads to a different style of music.
What influenced the sound and songwriting of this EP?
It’s written in the aftermath of my trip to Southafrica where I wrote my first album „Leaving Glenwood“. At some point I was done with the album and entered a pretty absurd emptyness, but also a new freedom since I felt like making club music again.
In the end the music is not thaaaat clubby, but still much more than the album.
Where will we be able to purchase and listen to the EP?
It will be widely available digitally and on the usual streaming services. As far as I know a very beautiful marbled vinyl with a wonderful cover artwork is also coming soon!
Why did you decide to release this EP?
I wanted to continue where my album Leaving Glenwood stopped and compile an EP thats a bridge to both the more clubby music I am planning to release and the ambient/electronica music I am planning to release.
How is it going with your label Outcast Oddity?
My label Outcast Oddity is running great! We get amazing feedback for our releases. I am extremely proud about the latest release from „Structive”. A young newcomer I want to support, who has an amazing talent for melancholic, rough techno and house. I am especially happy, that the artwork looks so fantastic. We switched from black to white and decided to use marbled white vinyl. And a thicker paper and matt print for the inlay. Lisa Kolbe’s art on the cover, as always, is amazing too. It’s a great piece of art.
The upcoming Outcast Oddity comes from ZK Bucket. He produced three tracks to fit the label and he did not disappoint. Release will hopefully be in 6 weeks or so. I am a bit slow these days with stuff.
How did you first start playing music?
I didn’t grow up in a very musical household. My parents didn’t show me Kraftwerk as a kid. I had to discover all of this by myself. I was obsessed early with music of different kinds, but it never seemed to be a possibility that a single human without a fortune could record music and make a song. It was when I met Fritz Wagner (who is one half of the duo Avidus) in my hometown Kiel with 17 or 18 years. I remember it very vividly how he showed me on his computer how Fruity Loops worked (back then he was working with FruityLoops). And my mind was blown. The fact that a normal human can do this with a normal computer was incredible for me. This plus a literally instant obsession with underground electronic music when he showed me that Techno is not Dj Tiesto or Scooter made me start to produce maybe a week or two later. I downloaded cubase (because I researched that it was superior). I looked up on wikipedia how a techno beat pattern works and tried to re-create in cubase. It was so difficult.. maybe a year later I had my first very shitty track running. Boy, that was some terrible music. Somehow over years of heavy research I (hopefully) made up for my lack of musical education. Even though after ten years I still feel like I only scratched the surface..
Sidenote: I don’t want to blame my parents for the lack of early musical education. They always wanted me to play piano, but I only wanted to learn E-guitar or Drums. They offered me I could learn concert guitar but I respectfully declined that offer.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I am very impressed by „Randomer’s” drum work right now. It’s really inspiring for me and for the first time in maybe 8-9 years I really want to leave the path of traditional drum machines. I am obsessed with history and this means also musical history, so I have a passion for old drum machines and synthesizers. This step will be difficult for me, but it feels like a necessary step to create forward thinking music.
Who is your favourite artist?
Impossible question to give a single answer to. I will say Frank Wiedemann. It might not always be the music I would DJ and sometimes I would do stuff differently (probably worse), but in everything he touches you can hear profound musical knowledge, profound technological knowledge and profound cultural knowledge and obviously a lot of pure talent and intuition. The upcoming Âme album is a testament for this. Beside all of that he is a very kind guy and has been a good friend and mentor to me for years.
What do you have planned for 2018?
I will release a single on Outcast Oddity and maybe if I find the time I will finish the eight electronica songs I made last winter and record them on tape. I also started to learn coding because I am interested in creating musical AI. My music very often contains musical elements that are randomized and are therefore controlled by the computer, but not in a conscious way. I want to go a step further. I want the computer to make decisions. But this is not for 2018 but rather 2028.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I like to hang out in front of the spätie next door at Kottbusser Damm in Berlin. A spätie is like a 24/7 Bodega where people mostly buy beer or cigarettes. In the summer I love to sit there and have a cold one and watch people pass by.
Favourite food is difficult. I love a good broth. So either very good Ramen (maybe „Cocolo” in Berlin) or a really good PHO (hard to get in Berlin). In the end probably my moms Chicken soup with danish dumplings wins the battle of the soups.