popround is pleased to present vlr – a talented mixer/producer from the unusual location of norway. by all means check out his mixes on http://folk.ntnu.no/sarheim/mixup/. it was this collection of Warp classics that originally got us here at popround riled up.
watch this space for further posts from vlr, but in the meantime here’s a bit of background to keep you going:
where are you based, when did you start making music?
– I was born, raised and currently live in, Hellvik on the south-western coast of Norway. It’s a quiet little place, soothing, but a wasteland concerning electronic music. I got my first Technics 1200 turntable early 97, with the intent of learning to mix. I had been a vinyl addict for 2 years and felt I had to make use of the stacks of records I accumulated. At the same time I started messing about with ReBirth, which lead into me and a friend from school trying to start an electro “band” called Elektronische Geist, but my role was mainly supplying a critical ear to his tracks and did a few turntable tricks when we played live. This lasted until about the fall of 99, when I decided to leave this project and try to stand on my own feet.
7 years later I still feel that I’m a bit off-balance, but I think I can stand on my own, both regarding mixing and production. There are always new tricks to learn.
how would you describe your sound?
– At the moment it’s very heavy on the techno and rave sounds of old.
Mostly due to the many R & S reissues coming out and the electronica scene being in boring state right now. But I really like what’s coming out of the dubstep and grime scene lately. I listen to loads of styles and I try to make a logical transition between them when I mix. I rarely keep it at one style throughout a set.
who/what is your inspiration?
– DJs I respect and look to are Rob Hall, Surgeon, Richie Hawtin, PC and Strictly Kev. I may have forgotten a few, but these are the ones that are making my day at them moment. I must add that these are judgement based solely on listening to mixtapes and bootles, jocks of this caliber rarely visit these parts of the world, sadly. I draw as
much inspiration from tracks as I do from the mentioned djs, if not more. The right track at the right time can leave me buzzing for hours.
how long has the website been going?
– I spent a few years studying in mid-Norway and along with the knowledge I got a pretty handy webspace that could store a few mixes at 0 cost for me. The first mix I made available on this webspace was in 2003, and I’ve kept adding mixes since then. I never reached my maximum limit as I suspect it has grown over the years, or the admins have given me a bigger space out of pure generousity – I don’t know.
do you play out anywhere? if so, where did you get your start?
– As mentioned earlier, I don’t exactly live in a hot-spot for electronic music, there is, however, a pretty interesting annual festival happening an hour away from me where national and international talents are brought in for a weekend of great musical
happenings. I played there in 2002, but seeing as the most interesting acts played at the mainstage, it wasn’t the biggest crowd. I’ve had a few other gigs, but I’ve never had any residencies anywhere. For the moment I’m content with being an online DJ, making a few broadcasts every now and then and “release” a mixtape.
what projects are in the pipeline?
– I’m not planning anything big at the moment, I’ve just made an Autechre mix in Ableton and has gotten a pretty good response from that. I’m currently making a third installment in a series I call Computermadness where I try to cram as many tracks as I can into 70 minutes. It’s probably something that would be filed under mashups,
but I’m fine with that. I like the ability to really hone down a mix using the Ableton Live software, my goal is to make a mix that I can listen to without analyzing and regretting why I left a crappy transition there. I’m not going into a software vs hardware debate
here, I’ve tried Live, Traktor and Turntables and they each have their strengths and weaknesses, I guess using the tool for what they do best is the biggest issue in that respect.
you have a great retrospective of old skool warp tunes. was the music
better back then?
– Warp has gotten a lot of frowns from the purist lately, but seeing as I’ve grown up along with the label, I do look back on the early releases much like one would with the carefree days of being a kid.
The first Warp release I bought was Sabresonic by The Sabres of Paradise, so the bleep-days happened before I got hooked on them. I knew LFO from a few old rave-compilations, so most of the tracks on the first part of the Weird And Radical Projects mix are tunes that I found when I started to explore the label. I think I will always be an Artificial Intelligence Series guy though, it really ought to be on everyones Modern Electronic Music 101 curriculum.
(questions by kiterae).