Filed under: Interview
On April 3, HigherFrequency’s partner, Arc Tokyo invited Stockholm based Techno super producer Aril Brikha to play at Club Air’s “groundrhythm” party. In front of an enthusiastic packed out crowd, Aril gave an energetic live performance, switching from aggressive play to the occasional laid back style. Aril and the crowd were in perfect tune and it is easy to see why Derrick May was impressed by Aril’s style. The performance was, needless to say, outstanding.
HigherFrequency is proud to present an exclusive interview with this techno giant and give readers an insight into the man behind the music.
Interview by H.Nakamura (HigherFrequency)
HigherFrequency (HRFQ) : I think it’s been almost a year since you visited Japan last time. How do you feel now?
Aril Brikha : Actually, I was in Tokyo for new years eve and as usual I had a great time being there. I look forward to visit Japan again. I always do.
HRFQ : What is your general impression about Japanese techno scene?
Aril : Looks good, I can’t say anything else. I have had nothing but really good experiences and the crowd are usually amazing. I feel that people love the music in a different way than other places, where you can have people liking the music but not letting go the same way and getting into it.
HRFQ : Club Air you’re playing this time is one of the best clubs in Tokyo, especially from sound system point of view. And many DJs from overseas say Japanese clubs’ system is quite competitive even in comparing with clubs in Europe. Do you agree with that?
Aril : Absolutely, I actually said exact same thing doing an interview for a Swedish magazine. Both Air and Yellow have great sound systems, it’s a pure joy to play at places like that.
HRFQ : What do you think of the attitude of crowds? Many say it’s quite different from Europe, but what do you think is the biggest difference?
Aril : As I mentioned before people seem to embrace the music more than people in Europe, just letting go and getting crazy. Some places in Europe can have a more “cool” crowd and they usually don’t like to work up a sweat. My favorite places to play are in Germany and Japan.
HRFQ : Can you let us know what’s happening around techno scene in your home country?
Aril : Not much when it comes to clubs, we do have some places but it’s mostly house. no good techno clubs. Some of the people who have run their clubs don’t even have a fixed venue to be at. They keep changing places. I wish we could have a place like Air or WMF in Berlin which has good mixture of house and techno nights and a good mix of crowds. Not only househeads or technoheads.
HRFQ : Your talent was eventually found out not by the people near yourself, but Derrick May in Detroit, a long miles away from where you lived then. How did you feel when you heard back from this legendary man while your local people didn’t give you good responses?
Aril : Quite good, I mean…if somebody or some label was supposed to discover the music I can’t wish for anybody else. Maybe one other but I am really happy about how this turned out.
HRFQ : As an established artist by yourself now, are you interested in finding new talents? Do you get a lot of demo tapes from unsigned artists?
Aril : Yes I get tapes from people but I try to explain that I don’t have a label and I can’t do anything with it. I had plans to start my own label but only to put out my own stuff that I couldn’t get out anywhere else. I can understand why people would like my thought about their music but I don’t feel comfortable judging other peoples music. If I do start the label. I will listen to other people music of course.
HRFQ : I heard your new album would be released from Transmat this year. Can you let us know about it?
Aril : Well, the release date is hard to say since Transmat are responsible for doing the movement festival in Detroit since last year. This means that 4-5 months prior to the event and a couple of months later, there are not much things happening when it comes to releasing music. I know they try but its a lot of work going into the festival. About my album…don’t know. I never produce in that way, I just make tracks and then they get compiled into an album. So probably it will have a mixture of styles but within the type of music that I usually make.
HRFQ : Do you produce all the tracks in PC or do you use any outboard stuff in your studio??
Aril : I have not used a computer for music until 2 months ago, so I am getting into it but this was only for the reason that my hardware was starting to break down after traveling with it. So I will get into making music on a PC more and more from now on.
HRFQ : There’re a lot of new developments going on around new technology, and making music no longer seems to be a privilege only for a limited number of talented people, but also for young kinds who know how to play with presets sounds. What is your opinion on this trend?
Aril : The positive things are the ones you just mentioned…everybody can get into it. But the negative, in my opinion that is, is that its just so easy. You can have so many things to use when it comes to sounds, programs but you don’t create something new. I find a lot of possibilities being quite bad for the creative part of making music, you end up trying so many things, changing so many things instead of sticking to one idea. I have used basically the same equipment since I was 16 and I love the fact that I know the stuff inside and out. I was more into programming sounds before because there where no sounds to find, no “detroit-techno-strings-sample-cd” to buy.
HRFQ : There’re a lot of people, especially around major companies, who keep saying download and MP3 will kill not only the music business, but also the music culture because artists don’t get paid. Do you think they’re talking about right thing?
Aril : They might be. I don’t find the format bad in any ways, it’s the fact that people steal music without paying that is bad. If there would be a way for artists to sell their tracks in MP3 or wav files I wouldn’t mind. But right now most of the people just download music without paying anything which could harm at least smaller labels or underground artist. I don’t make much money on actually making the music, it’s the performances that gives you the money when it should be the other way around maybe? you know, promoting the music to sell it. Either way I think there will be change in the future because I guess the big corporate will not take loosing so much money any longer.
HRFQ : When you came to Air last year, you did live set, and this time as well. Do you put more weight over live side rather than DJing? If yes, why?
Aril : I never DJ…why? because I’m a producer. I don’t understand why producers automatically would be good DJs and the other way around. I will stick to what I think I’m good at. I would play and I have played records out but only for the fun of it and that is when I play everything and anything that I like, which is quite mixed…and it might not be what people want to hear on a full on club nor in a bar that’s cool.
HRFQ : Can you let us know the setting of your live showcase?
Aril : If you mean equipment, I am actually using a laptop for the first time…I got it 2-3 weeks ago and I must say am quite nervous about this. I am bringing a nordlead 2, Basstation and maybe my MPC but it has broken down so I might leave it at home to buy the MPC 1000 when I’m over in Japan 😀
HRFQ : In Japan, there’re a lot of talented producers and DJs, but partly because of geographic distance, it’s been quite hard for them to break into major market like Europe and US. But, you actually made it happen in spite of same geographic distance. Do you have any advise to those young producers in Japan?
Aril : Just send the music to whichever label you like and listen to…that’s the only thing I could say. that’s what I did.
HRFQ : How can they send you their demo tapes?
Aril : As I mentioned before I don’t listen to demo tapes as a “label manager”, so I think it’s better for them to send it to a label in the first place. But they can go to http://www.artofvengeance.com to send an email for info.B
HRFQ : Do you have any plans to come back to Tokyo in 2004?
Aril : Not at the moment…but I would not turn down or mind visiting it again. I can’t get enough of it.
End of the interview
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