Forest Roots are just about to drop their new album ‘Wanderings’. We had the chance to chat to them about this new project, along with the creative process behind it.
The album itself is released 21st December 2015. Available in CD sleeve and a beautiful collectors edition boxset. The boxset is a work of art in itself. A lot of though and love has gone into it’s making. It’s one of the most beautiful boxsets I have ever seen for an album, certainly in the dub techno scene. It’s limited to 50 copies so be VERY quick. You can pre-order the album from their bandcamp page. …
We caught up with Nvelope to quickly talk about his forthcoming album Chords & Scapes.
A little bit about the album:
Classic dubtechno consciousness meets digital attitudes on the first full length album from Berlin based Nvelope. Combining ambient scapes and laid back rhythms on tracks like Frequenzverkehr & Weltentransfer but being aware of the honest clubfloor on tunes like Tribute, Morone & Sequence Me is somewhat style-forming for the whole album.
It’s all about the middle on Chords & Scapes – well known chords progressions and 909 drums meet futuristic effects and stabs all around – a harmonious blend for sure. An album that fits both, club and couch, feeling certain about a very note put down here, feeling home.
Interview with Nvelope
1. How long have you been producing ?
My first release was in 2006.
2. Dub techno can be seen as a very small niche genre of music, what got you into it?
It started with my first steps as a DJ. It was in 1997 in a record store in Berlin and I was listening to the sound of Basic Channel and the M6 Edit from the M Series from Maurizio and was absolutely flashed. I love the typical chord sound, the mood and the easiness of every track.
3. What are you using in the studio to make your music ?
My Studio is a MacBook with Ableton and some Freeware Plug Ins, cheap headphones, some old passive KRK monitors and a Yamaha mixing console.
4. Did you have any theme or style you wanted to stick to when producing this album ?
Most tracks on the album were born “Live” in the club. I have built a special “live layout” and i usually make a recording from every gig I have, because every gig is different. At home i make an arrangement from the parts that i record.
5. What are you most pleased with on this album, any particular track that stands out in your opinion ?
My favorite is the track named “In the Middle Of”. It´s a quite simple track but i like it´s mood.
6. What format will the album be released on ?
At first only Digital.
7. When and where can people grab a copy ?
Beatport and iTunes in April ’13
8. What do you have planned for the rest of 2013, anymore releases forthcoming ?
The next upcoming release will be a remix for my Friends from T-Bahn Records (a great label based in Sicily) and then next, my Second EP can be expected on this label too. I have started to produce my second album already. It will be 100 % made for the clubbing, with a harder atmosphere but also with dub influences.
The next EP will be released on Diametral in April with remixes by FrankHellmond and Jonas Saalbach. On Diametral there is also a remix I did for Lars Leonhard for his upcoming EP.
2. Chord Work
3. Sequence Me
6. Pitch OSC
8. in The Middle Of
Something that I don’t seem to do a lot of this blog is sharing other bloggers hard work. I’m not sure why I haven’t done this, it’s probably because pretty much all my spare time is spent working on this blog in same form or the other. I kind of feel like a lone ranger in the blogging world, I don’t know of many blogs like mine (ones that specialize in dub techno & deep house, and that are updated regularly).
So in an effort to expand this community and hopefully discover some new like-minded bloggers I have decided to start a new feature called ‘Spread The Love’.
Whenever you see the ‘Spread The Love’ prefix on a blog post it means you are reading content from another blog that I feel deserves to be shared.
The first post I want to share with you all is a very inciteful interview Kana conducted with none other than Bvdub.
Read the interviewThis is a 'Spread The Love' post so you will go to another blog now to check out the content. I hope you enjoy, and remember...sharing is caring 🙂
Federsen has long been one of my favourite producers in dub techno, I’m still blown away by his tracks Fragile Systems and Delta (probably my fav Federsen track) to name a few. 2 superb examples of how you should incorporate all the elements that make dub techno what it is. If I had to create a ‘want list’ of what I look out for in dubby tracks, most of the time, Federsens tracks would tick every box.
When I saw the previews of his latest album offerings on the pure quality label that is ZeECc I was very excited. Thoughts of floating pads, deep, hypnotic chords and mesmerizing ambient fields recordings quickly filled my mind as I thought back to all the previous releases from federsen that I absoloutely LOVED.
I was not disappointed with what I heard and quickly sent Federesen a message telling him how excited I was about the forthcoming album, while I was at it, I asked him a quick few question about the release. So sit back, listen to the album preview below and have a read to get a deeper insight into this fantastic album.
1 – How long have you been working on this project, was there an inspiration from somewhere?
The ZeECc album is a collection of tracks I produced over the course of this year. I’m inspired from so many directions for writing music so there is not one specific source I could say was a key inspiration.
There are a couple of tracks on the album where I tried to push my own creative boundaries away from the more traditional 4×4 sounds of the dub techno world. At that time I was listening to a lot of music with more of a syncopated, loose and humanized feel to the rhythm. Thats something I’m really trying to push at the moment.
What I hear around me constantly inspires me. Field recordings and fragments of found sounds often weaves its way into my music. Airport lounges, sidewalks, people talking, anything goes really.
Most of my tracks have some subtle field ambience. I think it imparts harmonics that really help give the track depth and texture.
2 – For me personally your tracks always take me into space with deep and uplifting melodies, it’s my favourite type of dub techno. What message/vibe/mood are you trying to convey in this album or specific individual tracks, I see a few references to the future, space and perhaps aliens?
I always aim to create a space that has emotional resonance and charge. My music generally slowly unfolds like a narrative. I like the idea of elasticity, pulling and pushing the elements of the tracks, trying to keep the listeners attention over the course of the track. Creating a story and sonic tapestry is important to me rather than just the same 4 bars over and over gain.
As far references to space there is a great book book by Carl Sagan called ‘Murmers of Earth’ about the Voyager probes. I loved the idea these were sent with Golden phonograph records that contain sounds and and images of earth from 1977. Like a cosmic time capsule intended for some future civilisation that may come across them. Carl Sagan said that the records were ‘For Future Times and Beings, hence the album name.
3 – What are you specifically pleased about in this album?
The track E.V.P is the one track on the album that is a reflection of where I’m trying to push my music. It’s extremely difficult to break out of an expected way of working, I think it’s important you challenge your own creative boundaries of where you want to go in your music writing. EVP is trying to escape from the common time 4 beats to the bar and experiment more with fragmented syncopated rhythms and percussion.
4 – What else can we expect from yourself in the near future? Any other albums/releases planned?
And several remix projects ongoing so lots happening!
5 – Gear – what are you using?
Analogue synths, vintage tape delays, hardware compressors, field recordings, found sounds, strange musical objects, obscure samples and various software. I recently create some interesting drum hits from sampling an African Gourd thumb piano.
I am obsessed with running elements into old tape delays and spring reverbs. The arbitrary nature of the what comes out of those machines is an integral part of my sound. Some of my tape delays are older than me so I kind of have this strange respect for them.
6 – What other music, artist, labels are you liking at the moment?
I’m really into Demdike Stare, T++, Kowton, Djorvin Clain and STL. The whole syncopated percussion with heavy bass is really inspiring to me right now.
Kanding Ray is doing some really innovative sound design work.
And anything by Punch Drunk Love label, Peverelist and Appleblims Apple Pips label is always outstanding.
Also with more of a deep dubby house sound anything by Thomas Rubeck. He is a master of creating space and width in his tracks.
Find Out MoreHead over to the ZeECc website to preorder you copy now, hurry as there are only 200 copies!
I recently hit up Kokong with a few questions as I was very excited when I heard some of their tracks on soundcloud and wanted to know more about this project and what we can expect from them in the future.
Kokong is cosmic consciousness expressing itself as:
Ludvig Cimbrelius (Alveol) and Rasmus Alkestrand (Ito Oto)
How did you both meet?
As all roads seem to cross eventually, so did mine and Ludvigs in Malmö, Sweden. Back in 2009 or something both he and I was booked for an outdoor event in a park – but playing in different constellations.
Some time later I was starting up a small diy-label for experimental and ambient music, called Eter Records. I decided to do a trilogy compilation about the transformation through death into life and some of Ludvigs shimmering, all-is-bliss type of work he has done as Purl and Alveol would be essential to the first release.
He came over to my loft in the middle of nowhere (the swedish countryside) and from there we started a very beautiful and inspiring journey in music and life together.
But Kokong was actually formed back in 2010 when we spent 5 months travelling through south India. Ludvig brought a small laptop, a microphone and zoom H4 recorder and we did quite a lot of field recordings, ashrams, weird peacocks and other type of soundscapes found through our travels in India.
How do you think you compliment each other when making these tracks?
We are very different, but still very alike. I think our differences, both in life and in making music, helps us connect on a deeper level.
Ludvig is very professional and effective. And he also has the ability to work on one track at a time. For hours/days/weeks…I usually send him some material, come over, make some pads and stabs, maybe play a bit of flute and sitar and then watch the magic happen while eating nuts and fine chocolate.
When we are doing new material for Kokong (which is the swedish word for Cocoon), it happens in Ludvigs 10 square-meter cottage in the forest, so the experience is very powerful and suits the name fantastically. Two or three days together, in a really small space, eating some really good food and making some really good music.
Future plans for the project?
There are some ideas of putting together a live show where we play Kokong material but in a more improvised form together with the instruments we use, such as Indian tabla drums, guitars, kalimbas, live drum set, flute, sitar and electronics.
Any upcoming releases to wish to share with us?
We have an EP coming out on Avant Roots, run by the very friendly Pablo Bolivar, I think it will also feature a remix from Dactilar.
1 – First of all please introduce yourself to the readers, a little bit about yourself, where you’re from, what you get up to in your spare time (other than making music), how long you have been producing?
Well this is a long story, but i’m gonna try to take the short cut 😉
I’m 39, from South of France and it seems that all my life I have been close to music. As a child I had the chance to discover cool music with nice parents. My mother played to us (with my brother) Ennio Morricone music all the time, Beatles and Georges Brassens and my father enjoyed classical such as Verdi, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Wagner and soul music like Otis Redding or more funky stuff such as the great James Brown. So as far as I remember, I always heard good stuff at home or in the car.
One day he introduced me to Autechre/Aphex Twin and The Orb and it was a big slap…it was then that the Pulse Code Modulation project was born!
When I grew up, around age of 9/10, we (with my brother) discovered Nice Radio in Marseille and we started to record on tape various music that we liked/heard…most of it was funk, disco, and Italo disco…because Marseille it’s not far from Italy. My favourite hits from the time were Fun Fun – Happy Station, Pineapples Come on Closer, and Den Harrow Mad Desire…so the next step was to buy records. My 1st purchase was M.Jackson’s Thriller like everybody at that time and my 1st record was Wangchung Dance Hall Days 12inch. My father’s reaction was surprising …a 12inch was something unknown to him ! And I was so in love with extended versions…
Looking back it’s kinda my ‘Encounter of the third kind’ :D…I still have these records and I own more than 6000 records now ! And that’s not counting the LP’s…hahahah
We then started to make some megamix’s with a tape recorder or edit of records we had…like a Duran Duran Reflex of more than 15 minutes…and it was really clean in the tempo !
At our teen years our parents offered to buy a synth for my brother and we started a kind of EBM/industrial band, inspired by Front 242, Manufacture, Skinny Puppy and made 1 tape…it was in 87-88 and the new-beat wave came from Belgium, my brother was really into it in the beginning of the movement…I was more into industrial stuff like Current 93, Non, Death in June, Coil. In the early 90’s we split the band (hahaha), and he set up a Techno-Trance label called Mesclum records (the 1st Techno label in the South of France). I continued to make industrial stuff over the next 2 years.
One day he introduced me to Autechre/Aphex Twin and The Orb and it was a big slap…it was then that the Pulse Code Modulation project was born! I had the chance to meet Disturbance/Minus Habens in Italy whom took one of my tracks for a compilation in 1995-96.
Then I moved to Paris and I met Jean-Marie K at Fairway records. We became close friends and he licensed some tracks for various compilation projects…when he left the label, he came to me to release my first CD on his new label Megaphone…it was now 2000…And the CD came out on 2001. We had some great feedback in French press but we had some issues with our distributor…because i was working for the company at the same time and decided to leave them (it left a little bad blood I guess).
I forgot to mention that I had the chance to work for labels during the same time…and sign labels like Chain Reaction, Tresor, Forced Track, for french market via EFA (a big german distributor).
After that bad story, I set up my own label Pong Music for my 1st 12inch “Discodrome” in 2002 with the help of friends at Topplers distribution. But I felt tired about the music business as we were still in this French-touch-disco-filtered period… I decided to stop for a while and came back to my home town in Marseille.
In 2004-2005, I was introduced to Ableton and I decided it was time to compose some new tracks. Then in 2009 I went to Berlin to master more than 13 tracks in the legendary Dubplates & Mastering and in 2011 my 1st release “Himmel Strasse” was out via my friends at Topplers !
Apart from that I own a vintage shop in the Marseille flea market where you can buy second hand records (techno of course, jazz, soundtrack, 60 and 70’s pop and cosmic sound and indies), retro gaming stuff like atari, nintendo, sega and keyboards and of course decks and vintage hifi.
2 – How is it running a vintage record shop in this digital age, have you noticed a decline or resurgence in recent years for vinyl sales?
I never thought digital was a good thing…but I respect the buyers decision. When you buy a record or even a CD, you buy something special…As I sell second hands, my customers are more collectors or passionates and nostalgics. But I have to say it’s different for electronic music. I only sell classic old school house or collector items like hard to find Detroit or Techno. I think the Digital market is really different…people whom buy digital don’t care about sound quality or the physical product. They just want the track/hit of the moment…ephemeral tracks or ugly club hits like LMFAO or David Guetta. I recently discussed this with Gez Varley (ex-LFO) who told me that the LFO back catalogue sales on digital were far less than LFO vinyls sales…that’s a good news in a way.
Maybe it’s snobbish but everyday on Facebook or forums you can see how people laugh at digital DJ’s and applause vinyl DJ’s…I’ll always consider a vinyl DJ as a performer and digital as a hobbyist and lazybones. Now with software you don’t have to do nothing to mix at tempo, its not really a skill.
With the arrival of digital 6 or 7 years ago with Beatport you had good productions, but now there is too much music everywhere, you don’t have time to listen to it all. But at the same time the remaining vinyl labels don’t have the choice, they need to produce quality music! And like in the mid 90’s you have more good quality vinyl than ever. It needed a musical earthquake like digital to clean up all the bad techno/boring tracks on vinyl. So I’m positive because everyday I can see teens buying vinyls, even if it’s rock, pop or progressive rock…they buy records ! But maybe it’s just a fad, but I doubt it…
3 – It’s nice to see an independent label releasing dub techno on vinyl, do you plan on releasing other artists on vinyl or is it simply your own work?
At 1st Pong Music was a label for my production, but now I have decided to open the label to other acts due to the fact I had such a good reaction and good sales. I will start to plan some signings for the future…
4 – At what age did you start getting into Dub/Deep Techno, how did it happen ?
Hmm let me think…my 1st contact with that scene was when I saw the Orb during Orbus Terrarum tour in 1994-95. I was really impressed about the feedback and heavy bass during the performance. And my 2nd slap was when I heard Maurizio, Burial and Basic Channel in 96 ! Once again that was my brother who told me to listen to it and to send them some tracks. Without knowing it, my productions were near to the typical dub techno sound…even though I was more into Deep-ambient and Detroit.
5 – What artists, be it old or new inspire you today.
I must admit that I don’t listen new artist except the ones with which I’m in contact via social network like the ones on Deep in Dub label etc. Internet is a good way to discover new artists, but I don’t have enough time… My inspirations are more from movies, books or life. I’m a great fan of Science fiction and I can go days or weeks without listening to music so I’m not being influenced by others. And with my shop I listen to a lot of records, but it’s quiet funny because it’s rare that I listen to techno…maybe because I worked too long in the Techno music industry ? So the only musical influenced were and still are Coil (for almost 25 years), Autechre, Lustmord and Maurizio/Basic Channel !
But I could or prefer to cite : Stanley Kubrick, John Carpenter, David Cronenberg, David Lynch, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C.Clarke, Philip K.Dick, Hammer movies, HR Giger, Atari, Yukio Mishima, Edgar P.Jacobs, Sergio Leone, Morricone, Lovecraft, Dexter, Twin Peaks series, William Gibson, Gustave Doré, Aleister Crowley, Ray Bradbury, William Burroughs, Ryuchi Sakamoto…
6 – What’s your current setup for producing?
After all these years, I kept all the keyboards I bought from a while back and it’s quiet easy to find some with my job…so the setup moved from time to time. Actually we started to (re)build a new studio with my brother…did I mention we were close ahaha ? So it will be a mix between analog and digital. So for my 1st period I used a good Atari 1040 with 2mb ram (the max at that time ahaha) and my favorite ASR-10 and I did a 12inch and a CD with that. Actually it’s more a computer installation with Ableton and various synth and pluggin of my own.
But when we’ll finish the studio I hope to play more with my keyboards : to name a few : JX-3P, SH 101, Poly 800, Korg M1, DX 7, TR 606, ASR-10…and various midi controllers and electronic toys ! Like an Atari with synth cart or something else
7 – Why did you call the tracks Hakuro & Sakura Serrulata, any specific reason, and why did you choose the overall Japanese theme?
When I started to compose Sakura Serrulata it was the beginning of spring time and as the track is more melodic and Techno and less cold than others I usually do, I thought about the cherry blossoms and gave the name to the track. So that’s one of the reasons why the title is in Japanese. And for Hakuro I needed to stay in the concept. But it’s a tribute to Japan too…as I was really sad about what happened there 1 year ago as I would like to go there at this horrible period to help…and also my best records sales and feedback are from Japanese. I’ve always been attracted by Japan, their traditions, culture, hagakure, the bushido, and more recently Ghibli studio, Katsuhiro Otomo, Takashi Murakami and their video games market !
8 – What are your plans for the future for Pulse Code Modulation and Pong Music?
Well the new 10inch “Hakuro” is on the way and I still would like to make 2/3 10 inch’s a year. You can find also an unreleased track free on the Deep in Dub compilation “In dub we trust”. Then after I hope to release my next full length this year too, as everything is done: sleeve, mastering etc etc…and there will be a limited edition done with the great talented team designer at EM Design in France which will include unreleased tracks and a special art toy edition with Unkl company in the US. But I’m not sure about format…CD/LP..as CD is quiet dead…I’m not sure !
There should be 2 remixes of P.C.M in few weeks too on the brilliant new label Evasion Room records in Italy.
For Pong Music the next step is to sign new talented acts…I still have serious discussion with a few and it could be huge! Even though I dislike digital, I plan to make some special digital series to be available also. A limited CDR for a mix or podcast is also a plan this year.. But of course i’ll keep you informed !
Thanks so much for your blog and for your interest in my music, and I’m happy to be part of your blog !
“Hakuro” EP will be released 25th June 2012 on limited 10″ vinyl (we will update with links to buy closer to the date). But you can win a copy for free below!
Enter our Facebook raffle below for a chance to win a copy of "Hakuro" on limited 10 inch vinyl!