The last time I saw you was here in Amsterdam when you played all night for The Gardens of Babylon. What I like about that event is its multi-cultural elements, which is something that comes out in your own music very strong. So, I would imagine this is a kind of ideal partnership situation between promoter and performer. What was your experience like playing The Gardens of Babylon?
The event was great! It was amazing. The whole vibe was extraordinary. I hadn’t played in Amsterdam for quite some time so it was great to come back to the city!
Do you consider this multi-cultural, and almost nomadic, electronic music scene is just a trend or is it something emblematic of a wider social phenomenon?
I think it is a trend, this “ethnic” music, shamans, and that lifestyle. For me, I think it’s getting too much. I don’t like hypes too much and I think it washes out their initial meanings. You can complain but you can’t change anything. This is how it works. There’s always a new hype and at some point, it’s over. Then, there will be a new one. Now, this is the hype. I’ve seen many in my life, was part of some, yet always did my thing. I try to not overestimate it all. It’s just another hype.
A few moments ago you mentioned that you do not care much for borders. Obviously, in this world of heightened nationalism, borders have again become a staple of our current social condition. How do you approach this as a touring artist? For example, have you noticed your traveling to the US been affected? Have you found yourself adverse to traveling to certain places based on their social policies?
I definitely think it is important to bring this music and mindset to places struggling with difficult political systems. I haven’t traveled to US since Trump came to power but I will soon so I do have to apply for a new visa in the summer. As I was saying, I do think it’s important to travel to places that are in difficult political situations and to bring something to the people. They need it the most. Last weekend I traveled to Istanbul to play at a very small place some friends run. It’s really difficult now and not too many DJs are traveling there. They were really happy I went and allowed everyone to escape this reality for a night.
When you do perform in these places, do you ever feel an extra sense of motivation?
No, it doesn’t make a big difference. I am always adapting to where I play but it’s not so much different. This is something I may only feel when I play though but not before or afterward.
Finally, let’s go back to the album. Can you discuss a bit about its visual approach? What was the idea behind the cover art? How does it compare with the album’s themes?
The artwork was done by a friend of mine from Munich who runs a design agency. He does all kinds of different designs for products and has done almost all my artwork. I really trust him. He is focused and there is always something interesting coming out. Here, I sent him the music, he got inspired and came up with this. We discussed a bit beforehand about the album’s concept and how we may need to eliminate an aspect of the art in order to have a parallel, but he then came up with this idea and I instantly liked it. I like that he uses confetti but not traditional confetti and then organizes it in a very geometric way, which is something I like…the mathematical approach to music.
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