Misanthrop: The Verge of Collapse
Misanthrop’s new ep is called Collapse and it’s made of the sort of hurtling tonnage that could certainly cause one.
Dodging the already falling chunks of concrete and shards of glass, we found time to talk to him.
What inspired the ep? Why the image of our planet?
I was inspired by the media, news and politics.
Especially the very obvious downfall of the overall economic system across the world right now. I randomly stumbled across this vocal sample I used in ‘Collapse’, so I used that to symbolise this decay with a crescent earth on the cover.
What I also like about the image is that you can´t tell whether the dark or the bright side is taking over, so the outlook is not entirely negative.
‘Fragment’ is a fave, it’s a bulldozer. When was it conceived?
Thanks! It was the last track I produced for the EP. I think I finished the track within a week. When you´ve got the overall picture of what you have done so far, it makes it a lot easier to perceive what your package might need to feel complete. One of my goals in music is to come up with something people won´t expect from me, because in my opinion that´s what makes music interesting to listen to.
‘Rotor’, have to ask: is it a nod back to ‘Motor’, with Phace? To me, people forget how important that phase of D&B was, that you guys really nailed, visually too.
The concept and basic song structure of Rotor has existed since 2008. I think it needed to grow on me before I thought that the time was right to finish it. I knew it had potential, but I needed the perfect moment to release it.
So no, there´s no connection to ‘Motor’, but the good thing is that there are also not many words left ending with –otor.
For god’s sake… I’ve never thought about this similarity #godzillafacepalm
‘Attack’, what inspired? It’s a killer. Is it meant to be confrontational, if so from which angle as you mention not being straightforward negative?
Well I like to play with ambiguousness, so there´s enough room for the listener to find a position for themselves in the concept. It´s up to the people – my point is to make the listener think about the whole track in a different light.
So RAM Records and Misanthrop. How does it feel to be part of the gang? I wouldn’t just say this but they must be amazingly proud to have you in the ranks: serious firepower.
It feels great and I’m very proud and honoured to play at least a tiny part of a huge roster of legendary artists and releases of such a high profile Drum and Bass imprint! RAM is one of the few labels left from the genre’s beginning that was always on top of their game and successful with it!
You have to be honest and accept that fact, even if you’re not into everything they release. They’ve obviously done a lot right to be around for such a long period of time!
What’s something on the visual side of things that you’ve seen or maybe re-encountered that you dig?
There´s a lot of art, design and films that really inspire me. I also watch a lot of movies. I try to make ‘theme weeks’ where I find out everything about a specific director, the director of photography, or an editor or actor that interests me – maybe that interest is so strong because I’ve worked for quite some time as a video editor.
Tell us more…
Last week for example I watched all the Wes Anderson movies again. From there I may pick up something that grabs my attention – maybe a movie composer, or an editing technique and so the list of experiences and influences grows and grows.
There´s also quite an interesting documentary out there at the moment which I really liked. It´s about the history of Modular Synths – It´s called ‘I Dream of Wires’.
If you´re into modular synths like I am, you need to watch this!
But besides all of that sophisticated arty farty fancy stuff I sometimes like to watch a really stupid movie with no sense at all, just to relax.
What musicians inspire you? Or writers… anyone.
There are lot, I could write an essay. Obviously this constantly changes, but I recognised lately, that I prefer listening to calm, experimental music at the moment.
For example Nils Frahm, Cliff Martinez or more experimental music by modular synth pioneer Morton Subotnick… just to name a few! I love listening to music on my noise-cancelling headphones when I’m in a travel situation, because that makes a stressful journey so enjoyable and it´s also funny to experience that diverse contrast.
A curveball: you have an image of earth here on the ep. A lot of life on earth exists on a molecular/nano-scale. Many animals live quite discrete, small lives. You sound quite ‘big’ in your approach. Would you ever consider using ‘small’ sounds, even quiet approaches? Or even lots of and lots of very small elements, to gain a different effect?
I love the minimal approach, for example tunes like ‘Deadlock’ by myself; ‘Burn Out’ by Alix Perez and Phace, as well as a few tunes from our From Deep Space album – also with Phace, especially ‘My Arae’… it´s a name of planet and not a typo: I mention this because a lot of people still ask me that question!
Also tunes like ‘I Need More’ or my remix of Hybris´ ‘Garbage Track’. They both had this concept, a huge build up dropping into a minimal snare-less atmosphere.
So I would say I’m quite familiar with this strategy, but you´re right, maybe it´s time to take this approach to the next level for a bigger project I may have in mind right now.
Any shouts Misanthrop?
Big thanks to all the lovely people behind the scenes at RAM Records, who have really worked so hard to give my EP the platform I had in mind!
They really all deserve a lot of respect for their efforts as they contribute to keep the D&B scene as healthy as it is. Thanks.