For Etui Podcast #37 we inviteted Monomood again. In March 2021 we are about to re-release Various Artists – Decade Dubs on black vinyl. On the original release from 2016 Monomood contributed his track The Smoker. The work impresses with it’s dubby jazz chords and a beloved saxophone. As his first contribution to our podcast series dates back to 2012, it’s time to do an update about his work.
Nice to have you back on the podcast series. How things are going?
You mean besides this FUCKING PANDEMIC? Well, yes everything’s fine. I miss the cultural and culinary aspects of everyday life but I’m glad that my beloved and I are up and well.
What are your strategies during the lockdown?
Actually we went out a lot for hiking at abandoned places to avoid any unnecessary contact and I became deeply immersed into the world of DIY studio gear. I finished my 303, a Stereo Pultec, an SSL clone, some API modules and I am about to finalize my NAVA+ pretty soon.
Can you tell us a bit about your studio setup and your production process?
I always try to keep my setup as minimal as possible. Therefore a lot of gear passed through my hands during the last years until I found what I consider the best compromise. I’m now working with a mixture of analog and digital synths being combined with VSTs and processing in Ableton. I always try new starting points to discover fresh ideas and I am deeply obsessed with harmonics and melodies.
Recently you got into modular synths. What are your intentions with it?
I always had difficulties with building cool sequencer loops. You know, clicking notes in a piano roll is not that much inspiring. The world of modular gives me this hands on approach to melodies and grooves that I was always missing. Besides that a modular system can act as some kind of hardware DAW with the ability to manually set automation curves and to dive into never heard moving sounds. I like that a lot.
What was your approach to your track “The Smoker”?
Well in most cases I do not know how a track should sound in the end so it’s nearly always try and error. During the production of The Smoker I deviated from the procedure as I had a certain atmosphere in mind. I experimented a lot with samples from 20’s jazz music but never got satisfied with it so I played and recorded the sax notes myself.
If you look at my tracks it’s always about harmonic layers. Sometimes tracks get a little overcrowded but for me The Smoker and it’s successor Part 2 on Winter Camp 5 both have the perfect balance of dubby chords and that special atmosphere that separates them from common dub techno tunes. Some may like it some not. :)
From what do you draw your inspirations?
Mostly from fiddling around with gear and from visiting hidden spots in nature far away from civilisation.
Please name 3 artists that inspire you and why?
Fresh Moods / Peter Haubfleisch – the king of chilled harmonics and excellent clean, sharp productions
Noisia – at the forefront of innovative D&B they coined the term “R.I.P. Genre” and I always try to follow this narrative by slightly breaking genre rules. Sadly they will discontinue the Noisia project.
Modeselektor – I love their humorous yet professional approach again with little genre borders. And one of the best life acts in electronic music.
Do you have any tips to visit in Berlin? Hidden spots to eat, go for a walk or just watch the sunset?
Rent a small motor boat (the one with no license requirements) and ship through some of the inner city channels. It’s not that crowded and you get an amazing new view of the city.
What’s the idea behind your mix?
When you look at electronic music genres nowadays there is very little progression. Dubtechno from 2021 nearly sounds the same like tracks that are 10 or even 20 years old. This is more or less the same for DJ sets I heard – especially in dubtechno. So I wanted to do a little journey starting at familiar soundscapes, traveling through broken beat territory and ending at the starting point.
What can we expect next from you?
Hopefully I can finish my album in 2021 – this is a WIP for years now. Besides that Sasha Rydell, Roman Lindau and me will continue releasing on colorcode records.
1 Deadbeat, Paul St. Hilaire – Check What Time It Is (Original Mix) – Another Moon
2 Tetelepta – Heal Yourself (Original Mix) – ESHU
3 Lack – RRRush (Original Mix) – Livity Sound Recordings
4 Novatek – Nice View – Morris / Audio
5 ARtroniks – The Escape (Original Mix) – Bleak Winter
6 Stenny – Stress Test (Original Mix) – Ilian Tape
7 Terry Lee Brown Junior – East 2 West – Plastic City
8 Ilana Bryne – Mmm Mmm Mmm (Original Mix) – Naive
9 Martyn – Rhythm Ritual (Original Mix) – Ostgut Ton
10 Jasper James – Still Trippin (Original Mix) – Steel City Dance Discs
11 Eclise – If You Need Me (Original Mix) – LW Recordings
12 Shcuro – Bassforce (Ilana’s rollin’ Remiix) – Naive
13 Morgan Cole – Alive (Extended Mix) – Stress Records
14 Banzai Republic – When She’s Gone (Alternative Dub) – Music For Dreams
15 Pablo Bolivar, Noah Pred – Forward Gradient (Deadbeat Remix) – Seven Villas
16 Monomood – Spring In Space – Unreleased
17 Babe Roots – Jah Nuh Dead (forest drive west rmx) – Echocord
18 Mathimidori – Shao (Original Mix) – Echocord