Exclusive Mix & Interview
October 13th, 2019
Label: Unalike Music
Ander, introduce yourself and what you do. Is there anything special you would like the audience to know?
Nice to meet you - I love playing music and I love to dance. I found my passion in playing Electronic Dance music live with my own instrument and my own way of doing it. It's improvisation. Every set recording sounds different and there is at least one point in time of each set where I think, "Wow, I've never heard it like this before." That is why I love performing. I can surprise myself every time.
What do you need to know? The instrument I play on is my own creation. I designed it, built it and perform on it. There is only one of this kind around. All the music that I play is produced by me. Almost all of the sounds are from my own patches. I go in pretty deep when it comes to producing. Also, because all of the sounds are tailored specifically for how I play my live set.
Your Live Act setup is very unique. Tell us about it. What inspired you to start producing and performing this way?
I started making music in a Jazz band and wanted to bring the improvisation element of Jazz to Electronic club music. At the time I was designing my instrument there were a lot of laptop/mouse Live Acts. Pretty boring to look at, and you have absolutely no indication that the person is actually making music. I wanted something that was huge (so I did not have to dig into menus while playing) that allowed me to get into a flow state (everything coded with colors, no complicated switches, no lettering) and that was nice to look at for the audience, too.
I got inspired by Monolake's Monodeck. Also Skinnerbox, Frivolous and some hardware guys. The Monome was an important inspiration of course. All this happened between 2007 and 2010. That was before Novation's Launchpad, Ableton's Push, Akais APC-40 and all that.
"The instrument I play on is my own creation. I designed it, built it and perform on it. There is only one of this kind around."
How does your personality and sound connect with each other? Did this happen naturally or do you make an effort to create the synergy between the two?
I think it's pretty well connected. I produce without a specific genre in mind. I just let it out and see where it goes. I then do the selection later. I need to feel comfortable in my soundscape. I cannot play and get into a flow state without connection to the music. So it is pretty much imperative that I can connect well :)
Live Acts can be very spontaneous. On stage, what emotions come into play while arranging such pieces?
Yes, it is very spontaneous. Usually I have some idea on where to start. Based on the kind of event, the previous artist, the atmosphere, my own ideas, etc. I then take it lightly from there. I mostly follow my instinct and try to catch the emotions of the moment - of the dancers in front of me, trying to amplify what is in the room at that moment and then when the music connects me with the audience - I am very happy indeed.
From open air festivals, clubs, and events - what is your favorite place to play and why?
I like the classic club event. It is more concentrated and focused. One night, then it's over. It's more intense, more serious in a way. People tend to listen more in a club setting. The sound is usually better as well. I am more the club kind of guy.
"Every set recording sounds different and there is at least one point in time of each set where I think, "Wow, I've never heard it like this before."
Any memorable moments in your career that stand out?
I just came back from a festival in France that I organized together with a big and diverse crew from Zurich. 150 people working for days to make the perfect festival place out of an old castle in Burgundy. I came a week before everything started - helped set everything up, built the decorations, programmed some lights. Then three days of intense fun and dancing. Somewhere in the middle I played my set, the floor full of people I know. That is what it's about for me.
We would like to know more about the future of Electronic music production and live performances. Are you noticing changes within software and hardware that you would like to talk about?
Regarding the hardware I am pretty happy with what I have. It is working nicely and rarely fails on me. Regarding the live set in Ableton, I deleted my whole set some time ago and started from scratch. Lots of work but a very good decision. I have a much better workflow now. At the moment, I concentrate on improving the way I produce. Trying to improve the connection between producing for the live set (which I do first) and then producing tracks out of the live material. I do almost everything myself I need to have a very efficient workflow.
Let's talk about the future. What would you like to accomplish? Upcoming projects or releases, anything you wish to share?
There will be some nice releases upcoming on my label Unalike Music in the next upcoming months (https://unalikemusic.com). I would love to tour internationally a bit more. Japan is a dream of mine and I think they would love my machine over there.
Electronic music aside, what else is there?
Well, everything! For me Electronic music is the melting pot that can integrate everything else. That is why on my free time I try to listen to as many genres as I can to get new ideas.
Ander, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration. Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
This is a recording of a live set played at Photobastei, a very nice club in Zurich. It was a rather hot night, a rather wild crowd and I was in excellent company. Perfect conditions for a good set. I kept loosing track of which sound was playing in which part of my set. Which is usually a pretty good sign and at some point, I just accepted the loss of control and went along with it. I like this mixture of "you-control-the-machine vs
the-machine-controls-you." It makes pretty good music in my opinion ;)