It was very easy, when I finished creating the earth, Adam and Eve and all the other things you might be familiar with, i had the feeling that something was missing. I realized the world needed music so i created birds equipped with singing primitive loops and patterns, after growing a massive grey beard; I implanted rhythmic skills in the other freshly shaped organic beings which resulted in a high variety of music. It was just a matter of clapping my hands and spitting on the passing clouds to get things done.
Obviously the above part is yet again a total expression of pure bullshit. It is actually a difficult question as my memory is comparable to a block of cheese with holes in it. After a bright moment to think I believe I first started at a unknown young age with a Atari ST as my best personal friend. Next to playing some crappy games and trusting my deepest secrets into stacks of unreadable text files, i was producing many floppy disks full of midi files. I programmed all note for note as i didn't have the luxury of a midi keyboard. This was probably my first and natural way into the world of notes and making music.
But my real eye opening was when I met this friend at his family house. They were living in a community for the mentally disabled. Which was a lot of fun to go too, as you could just acted as weird as possible and every visitor would just assume that you were a patient too. Anyway this family where not actually patients or disabled themselves (well..) but worked on the compound to organize events or daily stuff like playback shows and retard dancing contests. My friend’s Mother and father where a singing duo of Christian God-and-Jesus-loves-you all, kind of songs. And he was highly involved with this church thing but let me use the audio equipment his god praising parents where using to record their praises on. Which I’m very thankful for, as this resulted in my first crappy recordings. One day they came home early and kicked me out of their house as the loopy hardcore I was making at the time was definitely the work of the Devil.
This resulting in selling my Atari to the guy to get my first massive keyboard and a computer with the best possible thing ever: Fasttracker2. With this as a sampler and a crappy microphone, I sampled everything around me and milking every sound I got my hands on. This way of making music is now so natural for me that it is like writing notes in a note book, quick and efficient And even now in 2013 this kind of old-school stuff is still the main source of my main audio outputs.
You are very involved in the netlabel scene since a lot of years. Why this choice of putting your music for free and what's your actual feelings about music in the internet?
This is a good question and I can probably answer this in a few answers. Why I choose to put my music out for free in the netlabel scene could have a few reasons. One of them is that I’m extremely messy. I have lost so many good tracks, albums I once made just because of lack of parenthood. By releasing my music with labels I trust, it feels like I’m bringing my children to an orphanage. And people who like them are able to adopt them and enjoy them, or at least take care of them better than I could possibly do myself. And when a netlabel is stable, it is always nice that there is also an option to visit my donated eggs to hear them back and to know that they have a safe place, where they are cherished and hopefully loved. (or even hated, I don’t really care..)
My actual feelings about music in internet? I think it is totally wicked! And perfectly suits me!
The thing is that even though I understand that some people out there who are quality artists are hoping to make some dime on their musical skills, but I honestly love the free music brought by the netlabel scene. It is for a couple of reasons, but mainly because of my unstable and my perhaps slightly weird lifestyle, I’m trying to be a bit of the radar system-wise. Because of this, I have no bank account or really a clue what will happen next week. So I’m not able to buy touchable releases, but as all the albums I ever bought are long lost on my journey’s I can’t seem to attach to physical albums. It is not safe with me, and even though I appreciate it i will guarantee everyone who reads this that everything i got will be lost one way or another. Clothes, a laptop, a headphone, slippers and that’s about it. So Yes, I love the netlabel scene as I love music! And this is a way how to still enjoy fresh music, or even golden oldies without losing them or not able to listen to them because of not having printed paper, or silver coins with numbers stamped on it. Also I think from my own experience and opinion is that there is so much great music out there, that you simply don’t need the commercial chosen superstar or your ‘alternative’ poop star to listen to a variety of honest made music of choice.
Since you're on the brother label SP, you also putted some of your stuff in some DIY physical releases. What do you love in this DIY way to releases?
I do love and respect artists and labels who make their hands dirty by creating physical releases themselves. It takes a lot of love or creativity (or both) to come up with ideas, artwork and putting it all together. Especially because most underground labels have no funding or a pipe smoking joker in a suit who gives them bags of money for material, or promotion. I truly think it’s awesome these labels who manages themself independently and get CDr's, DVD's, MD's, vinyl, tapes, floppy disks and other material out and about. I guess that's why i got involved with the SP label, as they are not only doing this, but also they are a great bunch of insane people. I mean cd covers smudged with blood to floppy disks packed in recycled elephant shit! as mad as you could possibly think of, with the great family behind SP and its different branches everything is possible!
Unique material made by the artist or label owner with a great collectable value is absolutely an honor to be involved with. And i recommend everyone who does got money to spend and a stable place to take care of such treasures, to invest in these creative and handmade releases instead of the machine pressed bullshit that hits the local supermarket.
You're very involved in the low bitrate (aka lobit) scene! Running Tibol, recently founded a sublabel of SP called SPTOtfSP, Top Of The Flops Netlabel, and producing tons of lobit music. What is the signification of low bitrate for you? How do you discovered it? What are your hope for?
The significance of lobit? Are you kidding me? What is the significance of the sun, the moon, the sky? Lobit is significance. Lobit is life, the air that we inhale and exhale. Lobit is every possible music genre squeezed in one delicious compact warmth! Lobit is possibly the healthiest addiction a person could have!
To be honest i don't remember how i came across lobit. It could be the awesome 20kbps label, it could have been Microbit Records, it could have been Floppyswap. It could have been digging a hole in the ground, finding a dusty box of lobit, from the depth from the underground. I don't remember the first release or track I heard, but i do know that i was instantly hooked on it. I loved the warm sound of lobit tracks. The so called data-loss is by my own ears perceived as data-gain. Nothing beats the warm bubble bath sounds of lobit encoding. The fact that there are no waiting lists for downloading lobit music is also something i enjoy, as it is compressed so tightly that it is quicker on your speakers than any mega bandwidth eating piece of clean cut music. I actually enjoy lo-fi, lobit and raw recording sounding music much more than super stereo, 3d, Dolby surround mega productions. It is just personal taste i guess.
The future of Lobit? I think it will probably stay the way it is, perhaps with steady little growth in listeners and artist who discover it and start to experiment with it. I don't think it will turn out the same way as chip tunes did as that has got a large cuteness to it and youth recognition for everyone who grew up with Tetris and Mario. Also Lobit can be anything, from rock music, some drunken geezer falling asleep on a keyboard, techno, ambience, mental outburst of insanity and every possible thing you could think off. Lobit as a genre is one genre that surprises the listener and contains pure freedom. Lobit feels like a playground where everyone who wants to, can experiment perhaps, but it could perhaps be too much of a blast to be enjoyed by everyone who comes across the phenomenon as a listener. But what the hell do i know? The last year we have seen a huge explosion of music makers diving into lobit, some of them liked the bubbles and got inspired and most moved on to their regular drugs...
The lobit scene to me personally is just a blast, good music, and a group of dedicated people (strange characters) from all over the world enjoying and creating the output. Lobit is a nice place! i hope it will always be a good place to have a nice vacation or recreational time in.
I know you have tons of different names in the musical scene but 95% are secrets and nobody know that's you. Why do you love to make some sound with anonymous (or close to) projects?
Ah this question is easy! one word: *#*FREEDOM*#*
You was originally from Netherlands & England, then you moved too Thailand. Did it changed your vision of life, and also your vision of music and your methods of creation?
In the Netherlands i felt frustrated. Got easily freaked out by whatever was happening in the country. I hated the fake open mind-ness, the hypocrites, finger pointing idiot s and the mass opinions. I was an introvert/extrovert person and felt like a walking canon trapped in an idiotic system I so wanted to take a massive shit on.
In England I went more outwards and forget how to hate and basically embracing fun and survival. Also I start to care about love and learned valuable lessons by having outer body experiences, driving off the hills on tricycles and attaching bread with peanut butter on the flat windows.
Thailand calmed me down as I encounter it as a beautiful magical land. Every day when i wake up i believe I’m living in a dream. The Buddhism of the country intrigued me but also affected me. I have never been so calm, healthy and relaxed. In some ways it made me perhaps lose some fire. But I have to say, I’m thankful for this and hope the adventure will never stop.
Music wise i think it means something like this: in the Netherlands the music was probably more hyper? In England it was all about love? And in Thailand i started to be more minimal as I’ve become some kind of dusty pensioner?(read : Lazy) seriously, I’m not really sure... But I do not think the actual music around me (country wise) has affected my music big time, as it comes from a mechanical crazy source deep in my cuckoo heart. Or maybe alien transitions? Or perhaps musical parasite’s in my brain?
Could you speak us a little bit more about SPTOtfSP? What it is and how you had the idea to create this sublabel of SP?
SPTOtfSP started as a sublabel of Top Of The Flops and SP, purely focusing on lobit and other material that could be fitted on a floppy diskette. It got the best of both worlds as all releases from SPTOtfSP could be downloaded for free or could be bought as a real touchable floppy with the unique pay for print option. This physical release also contains an extra bonus collectable that is limited and furry. In fact SPTOtfSP is run by a Koala. Because my Koala friend is not bilingual and most of the time high on eucalyptus leaves, I’ve been his personal manager ever since. Actually Koala let me use his cuddly image for the commercial family value of the label, which indeed was a successful thing he thought off. Many young teenagers as well as mothers are the groups of customers we focus on, and damn Koala have been receiving lots of dirty underwear and other fan mail, which is delightful to see!
So without doubt SPTOtfSP wants to broaden its horizons and is all ears for demos of aspiring artists.
Of course Koala's main focus is a diversity of quality lobit music, but also very welcome for all who want to experiment in the space of a floppy diskette. Movies, images, books, obscure formats and other ideas are welcome at our headquarters!
the idea to setup SPTOtfSP came from the love for a label i simply consider home, Proc Records. Actually it's sub label called 4m@ records that focusses on virtual floppy disc releases. Proc Records label owner has gone for physical releases now because of the lack of internet connections, so there was a real gap when the output of 4m@ where frozen. That's where Koala and Shaun Phelps came in to create something similar with an added DIY vibe to it. And me behind my mysterious hangout came to the rescue to guide Koala and Shaun Phelps (who is the one printing the floppy disks) in their difficult but fun venture.
You run with the fantastic Alex Spalding the awesome Yeah I Know It Sucks review blog. I know you said to me it was a sort of addiction for you. Could you tell me more about that?
Yeah I Know It Sucks, but writing on this "music' review blog is indeed something that could be compared to an addiction. When you start to review you are obviously blessed by hearing uncountable good music. You are hearing things you will normally not hear before, and actually try to write an honest review about it. It is a rewarding challenge and where the lobit addiction is quick and efficient, YIKIS is a time robbing one that will let you experience sleepless nights when you didn’t write a review, or didn’t do it correctly.
Also it is very cool to see how many people actually visit the site, and the amounts of request we get by email is piling up like a mountain. Pushy dealers stalk the YIKIS team with the newest releases in our mailbox or personal internet pages.. It is that fact that it takes sometimes a long time when a review actually hits the internet, plus the fact that we like to review also the non-requested releases for our self-contagious fun. So yeah in case you don’t know it yet, take a look, if you like to read underground music reviews by non-pretentious weirdo's.
You seems to be close to Your Name, and we didn't had news since long time. Have you heard a little about him recently. Could you tell us more about the guy for people who don't know him?
The last thing i heard about Your Name was that he was sitting on a blowup doll in the middle of the Indian sea. Actually he connected with me not so long ago if i could make a track in his name for the upcoming Microbit Celebration Compilation. Of course I obliged because obviously Your Name is one of these artist who is really out there with the talented stars. Able to make every possible sound, genre and musical outburst in an amazing experience! We all could learn from him and we can all hear little parts of us, in his amazing skills. He is probably one of the most profound characters that could capture everyone's style and blow you away with it! It is no surprise that he took a break from the music business to sit in the sun, enjoying the comfort of a plastic floating doll with (knowing Your Name) a cocktail in his hand.
He was chatting something about a new album on Sirona in the future, which he was creating a brain and talent sucking device for at the moment. Obviously sucking other people's creativity and skills would only mean that the already highly talented underground superstar will be even more powerful and sexier in the days to come! Now you mention it, i seriously can't wait to hear some of Your Name's newest amazing skills!
What are your plan for 2013 (and why not for after)?
I cannot answer that as I hardly know what will happen tomorrow, or even tonight. I live day by day as the future is right now. This very second! I hope to stay in Thailand with my love and family, but it is getting harder and harder because of the crackdown on foreign criminals, pedophiles and other penniless weirdo's.