We’ll summarise before even starting – our guest this week has been aggrandising the world of electronic music with a consistent perseverance that you’d expect from any given regime intent on changing the world. From the earliest of days which consisted of experimenting with his parents keyboard and sequencer, it laid the foundations for being able identify any faults in his progression and adjust the result accordingly. Now, that capability isn’t abundant regardless of the creative vice you analyse, though it’s been integral to the co-construction of his imprint Tonal Path with close friend Glenn Wilson as well as having his own work appear on other respected labels such as Labrynth, the latter of which hosted not just one of his most impressive works of late, but arguably one of the releases of 2011 – Pataphysics.
Diverging his own sound into various identities whilst submerging himself in the delineation of forthcoming projects is an embellishing thought that’s now a concrete realisation. It demands attention, irrefutably.
This weeks broadcast proprietor – Mattias Fridell.
01 Jeff Mills – Brace Yourself (AxisCD044)
02 Egor Boss – Neon (Gynoid051)
03 Delko – Asilo (Ness Remix) (SHT031)
04 Dacido & Meta – Eruption (Jeroen Search Remix) (FluxusDigital01)
05 Lee Holman – Perception (HOME009)
06 Jeroen Search – Paper Space (CSF035)
07 Claudio Masso – Just a Reason (Gynoid053)
08 A Hvich – Directory T (Logotech’s Innerview) (Archetype 001)
09 Shifted – Junk (Mote Evolver21)
10 Joboday – Display (Patrick Bolton remix) (SMR011)
11 Dadub – Biopoiesis (SA Monad VIII)
12 Darkcell – Radiant Flux (Translucent 3)
13 Mattias Fridell – Justify Or Prove (Gynoid054)
14 MFS – Institoris (Translucent 7)
15 Antonio De Angelis – Straight To The Bank (Gynoid07)
16 Peter Van Hoesen – Last One AT 1080 (Inertia-1)
17 Headroom – Strike (PRUK34)
18 Headroom – Giger (COMP01)
19 Blind Summit – Subconcious Distractions (UTSCH)
Kn: It’s been eleven years now since your first release with close friend Alexander Johansson, and even longer since you started to bind an ever closer affiliation with music in Sweden. Can you tell us a little about how growing up led you to where you are now?
MF: Well, I really think I’m a product of the environment, hehe. I grew up in a very musical family and I found friends with a similar music interest early on. We used to buy records and record tracks & mixes on a double-cassette deck I had. My parents had an old keyboard with a very simple sequencer that we played with & recorded the result. That’s probably the foundation for my early productions. Electronic music got us hooked right away. A few years after I met up with Alexander we discovered that we shared the same common goal to really focus hard on our biggest interest music.
The Techno movement is Sweden was coming on strong and we really liked the whole thing. It was very inspiring. We had so much fun during these learning years and we were probably considered very nerdy for sitting in front of computers, synths & groove-boxes and constantly talking about music and music production, haha. After our first release we got some amazing feedback and the record went well. Soon after we got offers from other labels and that’s the path that took me to where I am today. After several releases Alex took a 6 year long break from Techno but I never stopped.
Kn: You played an equal hand in founding Tonal Path with Glenn Wilson, which certainly has hosted some outstanding records in the past and this year is no exception. If we deconstruct its origins, what was the underlying sentient behind starting the project and what have you learnt along the way? Plans for it’s future?
MF: The Tonal Path project was set in motion after much talking between me and Glenn. We wanted to have a platform for our collaborations and Glenn felt that his other labels didn’t fit the style & direction we wanted to focus on. He had a nice logo formed as a T from a former live-project with Dean Rodell and we decided to use that one for the label. Also the name Tonal Path comes from an old track by Glenn on Planet Rhythm that made a huge impact on my work and its also one of Glenn’s personal favorite tracks from himself. We figured that was a nice name to use especially since the musical output on the label was gonna take a different “path” or “bridge” then our previous work. We worked fairly hard to form the musical concept and discarded many ideas along the way & the first release “The Bridge” is something we’re really proud of. We got some nice demo submissions and felt we wanted to let a selected bunch of artists hop on the vision of the label.
For 2012, Tonal Path will release more records from producers we really like and share the same mentality and ideas with.
Kn: On the subject of recent releases, your own EP Pataphysics on Labyrinth not so long ago is one of the stand out pieces of work this year as far as we’re concerned. How did you approach the record and what kind of strategies and tactics do you incorporate in the studio, generally, to communicate the ideas from your head space to the final product?
MF: Thanks! I’m really happy about the reactions to that EP. I’ve always been into mysterious music and music with a certain science-fiction approach. Previously I have released tracks like this on Teskoba and Sub sequent but with this EP I went a bit deeper, atmospheric and slower. I have always liked science.
I made “Column of Gas” first and it really started out as a simple jam session in the studio while I was following the Kepler telescope and its journey to find new exoplanets. The melody sequence was setting the mood and I figured it would sound nice with some sweeping eerie atmosphere clusters in the background. The drums are the obvious 909 sounds, processed with tubes, reverbs & delays. It feels like when making this sort of Techno there is a frame you have to stay within to keep the consistency. I like this, limiting yourself is inspiring. I wanted to have a movement in the rhythm sections as well as the synths so that was what I focused on. The other tracks on the EP follows these directions as well but the “Solar Nebula” track is more dreamy.
Back in the days it used to be so much harder for me to translate what I had in my mind to the machines and the music, but today it’s kind of a 6th sense really. I like to work with a concept, an idea very often. Though in most cases I just sit down and start with something and see where it’s leading and I go from there. I use lots of effects processing when I work. I like to build huge chains of effects and experiment with them.
Something I use very little of is, surprise, compression. I used to smash the compressors like crazy in my productions but the recent years I’ve been leaning away from it, its a maturity thing I think… To not use compression at all. I am aware that it sounds really odd, haha. There are many other nice ways to get punch and bite in the music, like saturation, filtering & balancing. A friend to me used to say this “First you need to learn everything the right way, then you know how to exploit the faults”. That also applies to music production!
A trick I can share is to side-chain a reverb with a kick, make the reverb mono and low-pass filter it, mix it a little with the kick and suddenly you have a nice warm bass-line playing along with the kick. Experiment with different time & decay values and different filtering to suit your needs.
Kn: …similarly, recycling and rebuilding ideas is always an ongoing process. Does reflecting on your own previous constructions aid in your push forwards, and what does it mean to you at a personal level?
MF: Yes definitely. Reflecting on my own material is really pushing me forwards. Sure sometimes I can sit and listen to an old track I made and wonder what I was thinking but not that often anymore. I have lots of very old unreleased tracks that I still like a lot. There is a special charm about listening & analyzing older tracks and production wise I’m often happy with my old stuff even today. When it comes to sound quality… let’s say I just know so much more today but of course its an experience that I’ve gained through the years. Experience is really important. In todays modern age I find that many young producers complain if they can’t get a record out after just 3-4 months of music-production experience. Why stress? There is no need to do that, it’s not good to be impatient. Better to take the time needed to really learn and explore and research!
Kn: The mix you’ve done for us is something you should be proud if, it’s a killer journey, so many thanks at our end. Is there anything we should be aware of as we move ever closer to 2012? Anything in particular that’ll ensure you’ll be content knowing everything is in it’s right place?
MF: Thanks, glad you mention “journey” this is something I often try to accomplish with my mixes. Happy to deliver a mix to Kana! Regarding 2012… I have much stuff coming up that year & many nice projects I’m happy to be part of. I’ve signed with a couple of very interesting labels which I’m honoured to work with so 2012 will definitely be good! Something people will see more of is that I will use more aliases for different styles of music, I started this already this year. It feels like I managed to cause confusion with my many varied styles under my own name so I’m going back to use more aliases again. Beside this I have remixes and music coming out on Gynoid Audio, Reform, Eshu, Sonntag Morgen and other nice labels. I’m really looking forward to 2012.
Bookings: 8bit Bookings