De Stekkerweek van: ‘Team Awesome’

Kyteman, T.Raumschmiere, Tim Exile en Arts the Beatdoctor in een elektronische jamsessie

Tekst: Menno de Meester / Foto's: Lotte van Leengoed ,

Kytopia heeft haar deuren geopend voor de artiesten die op Stekker in het Park spelen. In de week voor het festival maken ze kennis met elkaar, wordt er gejamd en worden nieuwe ideeën opgedaan voor het festival zaterdag. Woensdag arriveerde de Berlijnse technopunker T. Raumschmiere. Kyteman ging meteen met hem aan de slag. De Britse producer Tim Exile (Warp Records) en Kytopia-bewoner Arts the Beatdoctor sprongen bij. Er ontstond een bijzondere jamsessie waarin deze vier muzikanten hun elektronische instrumenten op elkaar afstemden en samen konden experimenteren. In twee uur slingerden ze van Flying Lotus-achtige triphop naar dampende nachtclubmuziek via kinderliedje ‘Nelly the Elephant’. Na de sessie spraken we ze aan de picknicktafels van Kytopia.

I’ve seen the four of you work together today. Will there be other collaborations the next day? Or will you just team up?
Tim: “It’s Team Awesome, and nothing but Team Awesome.” (laughs) Kyteman:Right now, we’ve laid out the basics. If people get their equipment to be synchronized with this, they can jump in any time. Tomorrow the drummer and the key player from the orchestra will drop by for this project. I sent out a text to everyone I know, so I have no clue who will show up tomorrow.”
You’ve put together a lot of instruments you will be using for your shows Saturday. Are you surprised by the other artists?
Tim: “You get this sort of amalgamated imprint of each other’s sounds, everybody’s instruments and skills. They all bleed together in this undulating thing. It’s like following a toddler around, you don’t know where it’s going. You’re like: ‘No, don’t play with that thing. Wow, I didn’t think of using that that way’.”  

Do you think you can incorporate some of this stuff in your own set on Saturday?
T. Raumschmiere: “I don’t know what the set is going to be like. Right now, I’d say this was the set. No timetable, just see what happens.”
What did you expect before you arrived here?
T. Raumschmiere: “I expected nothing. Just meeting lots of nice people and have a shitload of equipment. And now I can’t get the smile off my face.”
Tim Exile, what have you been up to?
Tim: “Around the last album I’ve done shows improvising with the setup I’ve got here today. The last four years I’ve been locked up, programming stuff like this. When my new instrument is done I will be back, out and about. I’ve also created some plug-ins. One of them is called ‘The Finger’. You can mangle sounds really quickly with it. You can press three keys and your sound is completely destroyed.” Arts: “I’m the only one here who doesn’t have it”.
Arts, you used to sample jazz records. Now I see you play with electronic equipment. What happened?
Arts: “It’s not a total shift. My new music has more contrast: harmonic, ambient noises versus loud drums and more rough stuff. The show I just did in EKKO was the loudest I’ve ever done. I will release an EP in September. That’s the first step into the new thing. Now I can practice composing new song and performing at the same time. Days like these really push me to take it to the next level.”
After this session, you asked me if there was some video footage. Were you honored to play with these artists?
Arts: “Yeah. Halfway through I was thinking: ‘Someone is recording this, right?’ But we didn’t have any recording equipment hooked up.”
Luckily we did record some of it.
Tim: “We should release an EP. Tonight!”
Kyteman, between your two albums you were working on some experimental music, not meant for listening. Is this still a project you’re working on?
Kyteman: “I’ve been working on electronic music since I was fifteen years old, mainly because of this guy over here (he aims at T. Raumschmiere). I never released it because it’s all over the place. One day it’s ambient stuff, the other it’s raw noise breakcore stuff. I’ve lost loads of hard disks of stuff, there’s no way of salvaging any of it. Then I thought: ‘I’m not an electronic artist. I will work with other genres and try to fit it in.’ Especially if you look at electronic music, on an energy level, there is a lot you can learn from that in other forms of music. Even in jazz, classical, or pop or whatsoever. The raw energy in dance music – there is no equal to that. By analyzing that flow I can bring a lot of that back into the music I make myself. Right now, for the first time I’m trying to merge all that electronic stuff with the orchestra. There is still a lot to be discovered in the interaction between live music and electronics. This is an amazing laboratory experience for that.”
How rare is it what happens here?
T. Raumschmiere: “It’s unique”. Tim: “The last time it happened was like 3 or 4,000 years ago.” Kyteman: “They found paintings of the DJ-setups.” Tim: “No, it’s quite rare to get some experienced and talented people together and all have the equipment, a space big enough and the time to do it.” Kyteman: “At a lot of festivals the artists maybe drink a beer together, but they spend a lot of time in their dressing room. There are not enough situations where you are able to sit down with those artists and actually get into what everyone is doing.”
Should every festival be this way?
T. Raumschmiere: “At least there should be one stage where everybody can plug in their instrument and tweak it up. You can leave when you need to play another stage.” Kyteman: “I’m not sure if it would work in any festival setup. It also changes the perspective which you put on to how you want to organize your whole festival. It should be an aim for itself to set up a week like this.” Tim: “It challenges the status quo. You have a band, musician or artist who performs their album, or the work they’ve done, a kind of perfected experience. That’s what festivals love. But with this setup you ask something else of the audience. They’re not gonna get anything they’ve heard before. It’s really challenging.” T. Raumschmiere: “You have to fight for your audience. You have to catch them. The audience comes to a stage and they don’t know anything, even the musicians don’t know anything. You have to make clear to the people that there is something unique. As a DJ you play tracks from record that are done. But what we do: we go on stage, we press any button, take it from there and see what happens. That’s something else, I think. In the end for oneself, it’s more fun, it’s more fulfilling.”

Te zien: T. Raumschmiere, Tim Exile en meer op Stekker in het Park, zaterdag 27 juli 2013 @ Voorveldse Polder, Utrecht