Florian Stöffelbauer aka Heap, the machine man behind Viennese label Neubau and sublabel Wiener Brut as well as online record store Discus Throwers, speaks with me today about the latest EP called The Storm, released on Neubau by guys from Glasgow MR TC (Thomas Lea Clarke) and Lo Kindre (Daniel Magee). Filled with hypnotic analog sounds, these are slowed down jams that make a great impact on a highly anticipated label of Heap. Along with Florian, Thomas and Daniel also share some thoughts for Calypso about musical scene in Glasgow, the way how The Storm EP was recorded and places whereabout to meet them in Lithuania these days.
Q: It’s already been 3 years when Neubau label is out and keeping in a good shape. Please tell me, what’s been done by now and planned ahead in the near future?
A: Yes, around that time three years ago we had the idea to start the label. So far we have eight releases out on the parent label and two on our sublabel Wiener Brut, with BAU009 to be released in a couple of weeks. After that there will be the first ever LP on Neubau, a 2×12’’ release by Nonetheless, a project of Florian Bocksrucker and Felix Bergleiter. For me, despite the fact that it is not even released yet, this record is the album of the year.
Q: Neubau came out as a title from the location you lived in Vienna. Now in words, what means brutalism in music to you?
A: Most of the people misunderstand the meaning of „brutalism“. They think it has something to do with „brutality“, but that’s just not the case. It should display our vision of music released on Neubau, being „honest“, „functional“, „uncompromising“.
Q: How did the EP with MR TC and Lo Kindre happen? How different or familiar the sounds are compared to the previous released EP with Gil.Barte and Alex Arpeggio?
A: Back when the first record of Thomas (MR TC) was to be released on Optimo, I instantly asked him if he would be interested in creating some music for Neubau. Later, two years ago in August, Thomas hosted me in Glasgow and I met his flatmate Daniel. Daniel was just about to finish the recordings of his first EP which later came out on Optimo, too. While having a great time in Glasgow, Thomas and Daniel told me about their plans of making music together and I knew it would be a perfect fit for Neubau. So I asked them to send me their stuff once they finished the recording.
I don’t want to compare any of the releases we put out. Every record has it’s own flavour.
Q: What’s your opinion regarding Lithuanian types of parties and booking from your own perspective? Any chances to compare it to Viennese?
A: I’ve only heard good things about the Lithuanian scene and I’ve had a great time playing at Opium club last year. There are a lot of people who are really interested in that more experimental sound and they know how to party. It’s hard to compare it to the vibe in Vienna. I guess Vienna is lacking of proper venues, there is no such club or bar where you would go whenever you want to listen to more challenging electronic music. But we’ll see, maybe we can change that in the future.
Q: You’ve previously released on Optimo music. The sounds on your new EP “The Storm” together with Lo Kindre are rather different – they’re slowed down and more hypnotic. Why such transition and, especially, why release on Neubau this time?
A: I think the tracks on the EP are somewhere in the middle of mine and Daniel (Lo Kindre’s) personal styles. It wasn’t a conscious decision to make music like this but that’s just what happened when we sat down in the studio together. We’ve known Florian (Heap) from Neubau for a couple of years since he came to play for us in Glasgow and when me and Daniel made these tracks, Neubau was the first place we thought of sending them to. We’re big fans of the label and it feels great to be releasing these tracks with a friend.
Q: What’s been the connection between you and Lo Kindre so far regarding playings? Can you tell me how you elaborated on such an idea to make EP together?
A: I’ve known Daniel since I was 13. We used to play in a psyche rock band together when we were teenagers. We actually live together now and he plays in the MR TC live band so we’ve always played and made music together. The beginnings of this project started when we were asked to make an improvisational live performance together for an event in Glasgow. One part of that performance actually ended up being the beginnings of the track from the EP called “The Waving Bridge”.
Q: Can you share something about the setting how The Storm EP was recorded?
A: The tracks actually came together quite quickly but they were made almost a year apart from each other. Both were made all on analog hardware (Tanzbar light, Novation Bassstation 2, Korg MS 10) with some vocal samples from Youtube.
Q: Hey Daniel, could you introduce yourself and the type of music you produce?
A: Hi, my name is Daniel Magee, I’m Irish and have lived in Glasgow for 7 years since moving here from Luxembourg where I grew up. I make music as Lo Kindre. As always, describing your music is a bit difficult but the obvious influences come from Dub and other forms of Jamaican music. I also sense my love of hip hop in there somewhere as well as the pull of more “cosmic” or dreamy musics. What that means I’m not really sure.
Q: Standard question, but can you tell us about the clubs you used to go to and how you actually got into producing music?
A: Like most Glasgow based musicians/producers, I’m going to mention Optimo as an important start point for my clubbing life. This opened me up to a lot of different forms of music and pushed me forward as someone looking for new sounds. Producing music is something that I actually don’t do much of but it was always going to be present in my day to day (or week to week) life having made music sporadically for most of the past 10 years of my life. I was actually in a band with MR TC a long time ago when we lived in Luxembourg, and after moving to Glasgow we both wanted to continue the music stuff. It took me a little longer to land on my sound than it did for him, but he’s also a far more dedicated producer than I am.
Q: Together with MR TC you’re running “Night of the Jaguar” party series in Glasgow. What good could we dig in there?
A: Yes, it’s been 4 years of doing stuff here in Glasgow with Tom, also involved were two other friends, Ewan Alston and Mason Holden, who have moved onto new things. Its been a formative experience for sure and I have a lot of great memories. Highlights that spring to mind are our nights with Sacha Mambo, OKO DJ, Esclé and Karl Rothe. We had a lot of fun putting on Eva Geist and lots of local Glasgow groups and DJs such as Happy Meals, Pussy Mothers, Sofay and Ribeka as well.
Q: You’re playing in a couple of spots in Lithuania soon. What should we expect from you during the night in Amadeus?
A: Very excited for the night at Amadeus. Looking forward to lots of good music and seeing my friends Manfredas and Heap again. I’m going to be playing live. It’s going to be a mixture of new songs coming out soon and updated versions of the tracks from my “Plant Up” record on Optimo Music.
Q: Maybe a quick question to ask due to current events, but any plans to release something on other particular label? What should we look for in future?
A: A few things are coming up! Really cool that people want to do stuff with me and I’m very proud of what I’ve managed to do. Next up is the collab 12″ with MR TC on Neubau, then a new solo record on 12th Isle, followed at some point by another 12″ on Byrd Out and a split mixtape with Origin Jeremy on Origin Peoples from LA. Fun times!
Heap and Lo Kindre together with Bocksrucker will be playing in Amadeus 14th August. Also, wizards of the “Night of the Jaguar” are teaming up with the local guys from Lithuania in the party by the seaside 18th August. Let’s meet there.