Etui Podcast 27 is the first dj mix by the label founder he contributes to the podcast series. Last year Insect O. released his album Atacama. We talked with him about the production process and new projects.
You worked on your album Atacama for four years. You call it music for travelling, ranging from ambient to dub to techno. What’s the idea?
I guess the mp3 player is the travelers best friend. You always connect music with moments. When I was visiting the Atacama Desert in 2014 the idea came in my mind to work on an album. Back in my studio I started recording a few sketches. The first idea was to make a dub techno album. But after a while it turned out the sketches sounded very similar. I felt that there was more that I want to discover soundwise. So the production itself was kind of a journey.
Do you remember a special moment?
On a sunday I was just messing around with the Elektron Analog Rytm. I came up with this polyrhythmic stab sound and the sharp hihats. It sounds like after a techno night in the dark club. The bassdrum is gone but you still have the stroboscope in your mind. I called it “Afterrave”. It was kind of surreal. This sunday was in the middle of the summer, 30 degrees outside and the sun was burning. But somehow it was perfect.
Can you take us a bit deeper through the production process of the album?
Most of the tracks I recorded at my old studio at KOE25. Often I just watched sunset from the 5th floor. The first track I recorded was “Ghosts In Space”. It was just a live jam. Sadly I recorded only the main out of the Elektron Octatrack. So I had to recreate the arrangement based on the live jam.
Around 2016 I started building my modular rack. The possibilities got me really inspired. I was totally into the Braids module by Mutable Instruments. Its WTX4 wavetable chord mode is maybe is one of the biggest sound influences on the album.
Working with the right gear can also be very inspiring. For the main melody in “Resonance” I used a hi hat sample through a filter with high resonance, played chromatically.
In “New Dawn” you hear the birds singing outside your studio window. So you also used field recordings?
Of Course! I recorded the birds when I was working on a movie for Dresden short film festival Dogs, Bones & Catering. For “Wanderlust” and “Forest of the Monkeys” I used recordings I made with my video camera on my trips.
Beside your music do you have another passion?
I always take my video camera on my trips to shot video clips. From the very first beginning of the album production I had the idea of making a video collection for it too. I want to take the listeners to a journey with me.
The photos of the artwork you made at the Atacama Desert. Where did you took the picture of the gatefold cover inside?
This photo is probably one of my all time favourite. It’s shot in El Alto. You have this amazing view over La Paz. The dark place you can see on the photo is the cemetery of La Paz. In the distance you can see mountain Illimani (6.439 m).
What can we expect next from you?
Currently I’m working on a remix for Martin Bausch’s album “Tomorrow’s Yesterday”. We also have my “Bird Over Hong Kong” with Marko Fürstenberg remix on repress. It should be out in May. I also asked some of my favourite producers for a remix of Atacama. This still needs a bit of work. I can’t wait to share more on this with you.
I´m looking forward to play my next live set at Sektor Evolution in Dresden on May 11th 2019. Also synth legend Legowelt is on the bill alongside Jacob Korn live, Isa Wolff, Pwndtiac and many more great artists.
What is the idea behind your mix?
My mix is hugely inspired by the new Mike Shommer record “City Sleeps” on Primary [Colours]. I like this lush vibe of the music and so I wanted to sound the mix. Lush sounds for the summer months. I´m also a big fan of the productions of El Choop, Fluxion and Idealist. The mix closes with “We Left The Planet” by Voyager 8 on Sinewave. In the late 90’s it was one of my favourite labels.
Mike Shommer – City Sleeps – Primary [Colours]
Insect O. – Resonance – Etui Records
Mathimidori – Goya – Ornaments
Insect O. – Pan De Azùcar – Etui Records
Echo Inspectors & Insect O. – Bribie Dub – Primary [Colours]
El Choop & Tim Gee – Mitchels Fold – Default Position
Mikkel Metal – Lomina – Echocord
Grad_U – EV-5 – Redscale
Fluxion – Hordes Decent – Subwax BCN
Silver Ash – Meranti – Etui Records
Yagya – Sleepygirls 4 – Delsin
Idealist – Indirection – Idealistmusic
Voyager 8 – We Left The Planet – Sinewave