Wednesday 19 July 2017

Interview: Blac Kolor

Black is no color...

"I do not need to make money off my music to live and that is a crucial issue for me. Automatically when that becomes the case you are under rules and pressure it pushes you towards the audience and pushes you in the direction of house music or simple techno music, so that you are present and noticed just to gain wealth." 

I came across the project back in 2014, through the feed of Soundcloud. If minimal were to get seduced with the industrial noise of despair bled into it, from a Frequency Hell this was it. Blac Kolor is a one man performance. Based in Leipzig and rooting it’s entrance into the scene from Basic Unit productions of Daniel Myer & Dejan Samardzic, it is now a fully living project that has grown to a broader audience.

This June at Wave Gotik Treffen in Leipzig, Blac Kolor reigned over. Unleashing a blast of modern distortion, laced with violent pitches and noise to its spectators, at the Altes Landratsamt.

Blac Kolor: It was always my goal to find my own sound. I would produce some stuff. Though if I realise it is coming close to another artist or begins to turn cliché, it is torched. So over the past years I have found my own type of sound, which is for me diverse. Some say its industrial techno, however for me I cannot put a genre on it. What I realise when I produce stuff, it can go in alternate directions as no plan for a production is made. So if it deviates and goes down an alternative path, I have to live with the result.

There are some calmed down 100bpm tracks, by the same token 130bpm at the techno side of the spectrum. At the end of the day what is in my mood will make the sound. From a time perspective the noise is looked at over a long term slot; I judge the project after a couple of years and look back and say OK this is my sound. It all started with Basic Unit, with the connection with Dejan and Daniel. We developed the 'Frost' compilation and did some shows with all the Basic Unit artists.

Intravenous Magazine: Do you then see your path going in a different direction with maybe the restriction of not being independent having an effect?

BK: To be honest I don’t give a shit about that.  I do not need to make money off my music to live and that is a crucial issue for me. Automatically when that becomes the case you are under rules and pressure; it pushes you towards the audience and pushes you in the direction of house music or simple techno music, so that you are present and noticed just to gain wealth. I’m lucky enough to have my own company and so everything is cool. So I call this project black zero, and in a few years I’ll come back, maybe look at the books and see if I broke even! If the music leads in I direction it was mine and not in the hunt for profit.

For me similarity is terrible, and if I see similarities with other artists that bores me and I have to look somewhere else to redefine my patented noise.

IVM: What was it like back in the time of your first work 'Range', I remember when it came out it was pretty mad noise mix at the time.

BK: Back then I would publish random bits on sound cloud, and I would always send stuff over to Daniel. He still is my harshest critic. Then I sent over the song 'Range' and his response was, "we need to release that on Basic Unit". So we put together the EP and produced some stuff particularly for it. Then at this point I knew I had to get serious with the environment.

IVM: From your real work is there a large contrast between the two?

BK: Well we are a creative agency / think-tank, we do also animation and sound production; so there is a link . However it is really a different territory. It fills the fridge and I’m happy with being self-employed for twelve years now. Then there’s the family. So when these two are satisfied, then comes the time that I’m sitting in the studio making music. I think that is a comfortable feeling of priority for everything.

IVM: What did the 2016 release of 'Born In Ruins' bring?

BK: With 'Born In Ruins' we gained a broader audience, especially in America where I then toured in 2016. We did two shows in LA & Phoenix, and the feedback from the attendance saw how the Blac Kolor fan base had grown.

IVM: How difficult was it entering the US market?

BK: The distribution was easy, because of Daniel as he quite well connected to all the promoters in the US. So my work went directly on promotional purposes to them, and once it was Daniel who had sent it out, enough said. If you are well established with the promoters then it is very good multiplier in your reach. What was very interesting was I had obtained some die-hard fans. I realised at my gig in Phoenix when a guy brought my vinyl into the club. OK buying vinyl is one thing, but actually transporting & bringing it into the club, is a completely different thing!

IVM: Is there anything you don’t like about Blac Kolor at the moment?

BK: Being a creative person sometimes you have to deal with continuous dissatisfaction with everything you do. It’s more that you become bored very easily with yourself after the achievement has been reached. That behaviour from time to time pisses me off; as you should really enjoy the success and lie back. However that is but a dream and I have to push on.

IVM: Do you think that you need the juice?

BK: Yes it’s the petrol for my engine, but anything I really dislike right now?? I want more! (Laughs) but really I’m a lucky guy all round.

IVM: Have you got any favourite musical weapon in your arsenal?

BK: At the moment... Over the years I built up quite a few things I started off with a micro Korg. I love it still, though at the moment there are two gadgets I cannot live without. Octatrack from Elektron. The learning curve is very flat, as the workflow difficult, however the sound is amazing! Though the thing that really blows my mind is Toraiz AS-1 from Pioneer,. I come from a DJ background and since pioneer have started doing analogue synthesizers, with Dave Smith; I really dig that shit, and all my new stuff is going over it.

IVM: Is there any gear that pisses you off that you need?

BK: It’s an Elektron Analog Heat which is, I think the best distortion unit you can get, though it’s buggy, unreliable and doesn’t do what I expect it to do. But with analogue gear you have to just come to the realisation the gear will just do some shit you don’t want it to do.

IVM: Is there any artists here you are looking forward to seeing here at WGT?

BK: Hypnoskull; I really appreciate Codex Empire and today I look forward to Klangstabil. But after so many WGTs, I really just let it flow.

Interviewed by: Dominic Lynch aka DJ LX-E

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