Insect O. played some live shows during the summer. For our Podcast series he shares the recording of his set at Electronic Valley 2014. Monomood had a chat with him about his latest works, his setup and his travelings.
You played some live shows at MoxxoM festival or Electronic Valley this year but no dj sets. Is there any reason for?
I´m focusing more and more on my own music. In a live show everything depends on your own creativity. I´m able to dig deeper into the sound and to the base of the music. To be honest, I´m getting older and I´m happy being in bed at 5.
You started playing live with an Amiga 500 and some old Roland drum machines back in the mid 90ies. How your setup has changed over the years?
I started with some classic Roland machines and an Amiga 500 running Octamed. It was a very restricted setup because the Octamed runs only four 8bit audio channels and four midi channels. I always had to take this heavy monochrome computer monitor with me. Every set was like going to the gym. But it was quite funny. When I played live right before Jeff Mills in 1999, his manager came to me and asked what monitor this is .. it looked so oldschoolish.
Around 2000 I sold all the drum machines and bought an Akai MPC2000 XL. I really loved the tight timing and the sound of the MPC. The MPC gave me new opportunities using samples and preparing midi tracks. But you always had to deal with 3,5 inch discs. It was a mess. I also added the Access Virus A to my setup. I love tweaking the synths!
Nowadays you use a computer again. How do you came to Ableton?
In the studio I´m working with Logic since ages. When Ableton came up I didn´t want to learn another DAW. Around 2010 there were some workshops in Dresden called “create! don´t hesitate!”. That was my first contact with Ableton Live. In 2011 we founded Uncanny Six (together with Jacob Korn, Cuthead, Sandrow M, Steve.e! and Echology) and played at the Gratwanderung Open Air. After that I changed my setup to Ableton Live.
It was great to have all the sounds and effects in one machine. But I got bored after 2 years. I mean you can prepare everything on the computer. Now the Elektron Machinedrum has become an important part of my live setup. The Machinedrum is controlling Native Instruments Battery and all knobs are routed to decay, filter, tune, lfos and effect sends of each drum sound. I program the beats live and tweak it. This is so much fun! Depending on how I feel and how the crowd feel, I can play smooth and deep or straight.
For some of your tracks you made videos from your trips to China or Australia for example. What are the ideas behind it?
Good question! Since I was a child I like to shoot videos. Mostly when I´m taking video shots on my trips I have no idea about a music video. I just want to capture great moments and places for myself. When I´m back home I start to combine the video takes with my music and then I think about a story for the video.
Does affect your travels your musical work or you as a person?
I met some people in my life that inspired me to travel the world, see awesome places or learn to surf. While traveling you can have such great moments. You see beautiful sunrises at the ocean or penguins or whales in natural wildlife. Strangers become friends within a day. When I traveled Australia back in 2012 I had the opportunity to play in Melbourne and Sydney. For me it was one of the greatest moments in my life to play with the Aussie mates the music we love at the other end of the world. Music connects people. 3 Months later Mark and Lance aka Echo Inspectors released their Pleading Ground on Etui Records. Over the last year I played with Dave Stuart here in Dresden and at the MoxxoM festival. Traveling the world is always also a trip to yourself. There is so much more to discover beside a 9/5 job or making music all the time. Maybe my videos inspire others to discover the world.
What are your current projects?
In May 2014 my remix for Monomood`s Absolute Control has been released on Abstract Animal beside a remix of Benjamin Damage and a remix by himself. I play the remix in my live shows since one year and I always have goosebumps. At the end of July my remix for Alessandro Crimi`s Space Cocktail has been released on Etui Records which goes back to my dub techno roots. Currently I´m working on a remix for Matthias Springer and hopefully the track which I started with the Echo Inspectors in their studio in Melbourne last year will be finished soon.
Furthermore hopefully Gotterkreis, Steve Kasper and me will find some time for studio sessions for our new HRDWRK project. For preparing our first live show at Musikfreunde 2014 we had more then 10 studio session and we always learned a lot from each other. I´m really looking forward to this. Trough the very familiar scene in Dresden we are friends since years and it is so inspiring and much fun to make music with them.
1. Insect O. – Volca Dub – free track
2. Alessandro Crimi – Space Cocktail (Insect O. Remix) – Etui Records
3. Insect O. – The Clouds Above Us – Etui Records
4. Insect O. – Transatlantic Chords – Etui Records
5. Insect O. – Bondi Dub – Etui Records
6. Helly Larson – Dub Creators (Insect O. Striesen Redub) – Etoka Shapes
7. Insect O. – Electronic Valley – unreleased
8. Echtzeit – CL2 (Insect O. Striesen Redub) – Melted Recordings
9. Insect O. – Birds Over Hong Kong – Etui Records
10. Insect O. – Drift – unreleased
11. Monomood – Absolute Control (Insect O. Remix) – Abstract Animal