For this week’s MNMT Podcast we are delighted to welcome the Berlin-based Polish producer Błażej Malinowski. During the past years Malinowski has paved his way on top of the deep and atmospheric techno scene with his on-point live performances, releases with Semantica, TGP, and Silent Season among others as well as Why So Silent? club nights. Interesting things are to be expected from Malinowski also in the future – catch up with the artist while enjoying an hypnotising hour curated by him.
Hi Błażej! Thank you for taking time to make a MNMT podcast and make an interview with us.
Thank you for inviting me, it is a big pleasure.
The past year has been extra busy for you with gigs in Europe, in the US and in Asia. Congrats for your first Asia tour – how was it?
I have to say it was one of my dreams to get to play there and it was great. It was hard for me to believe that I could play twice in China, Dommune and Contact in Tokyo and also Vurt club in Seoul – the venue that I heard lots of great things about over the past year. This experience was amazing, and I am very grateful that I got this chance.
During his interview with Monument, Claudio PRC said he was very impressed by your live PA back in 2012. What started your interest in producing and when was it?
It is really nice to hear! I think it was the end of 2013 or maybe early 2014. Back then I booked Claudio for the first time for a club event in Poland, since he was one of the most inspirational artists for me. We met that day and became friends after a while. I started to make my own music 9 or maybe 10 years ago. Making music became my main focus and this is what I do on a daily basis.
How is your live setup and how do you prepare the sets? Do you improvise a lot or plan ahead?
The core is there, but I always have more patterns and ideas that I can change during the Live. At the moment I play from Ableton Live, Ableton Push and one additional controller but in the studio I use both hardware and digital. There are a lot of loops and longer atmosphere sounds in the background, and also some open midi channels and instruments that I can modify while playing. I have every sound prepared separately, so I can go both deeper and more intense while performing.
You play both live PA’s and DJ-sets. Do you save the lives for special occasions, and do you get more requests for DJ-sets or lives?
Everything started with records and turntables for me, so DJ’ing is still very important for me. I had around three years break from playing DJ-sets, because I was focused on performing Live. Playing Live acts gives me the most special feeling, and this is what I love to do the most when performing. Last year I got back to records and I really enjoy it. It is a different approach and sometimes additional challenge for me at the moment. And to answer to your question – it is not about special occasions, more about the right place and the right time – I am very open to play both.
Lately you have remixed for example Massa for Hidden Traffic, Claudio PRC together with Svreca for Semantica as well as Glós for Flyance Records. Are we going to see an EP or even an album from you anytime soon?
Yes, I am actually about to finish my next EP over the next days to finally send it to mastering. I am also working on few other records and one other remix. So yes, I hope one or two EP’s should be out in 2019. I have the idea for the album, but for now I still need more time to prepare it.
You are the founder of Why So Silent?, an event series combining silent movies and techno performances. Mainly the events have been organised in Poland, but on November 15th you are having an event also at OHM in Berlin. Are we going to see more such events in Berlin – or somewhere else?
This particular Samsara Sessions event is organised by my agent, and I will present the idea behind the project, so I will be the only one performing to the movie during the night. I hope I would be able to make more Why So Silent? events in Berlin, but I do not want to put pressure on this project. I started it five years ago and organising it had always somehow a natural flow. If some venue would be interested in co-hosting it, I would be as well, as I am open for all the possibilities. I did it once in Stockholm with Varg and twice in Denver and Cracow.
How do you choose which films are used in the events?
The movies always comes second. First of all I invite the artists and then I look for few titles for them to pick from. I choose the pictures according to the feeling I have on would work with the music from the artist that I invited. And in the end, it is up to the DJ’s and producers how they want to prepare the music to it.
How do you split the time between gigs, live preparations, studio work and organising your own events? Are you currently putting a special focus on one of those?
Working in the studio and playing is and always was my main focus and it will stay that way. Organising events is an additional thing. Sometimes it is difficult to put them all together. However, it is very inspiring for me to invite and listen the music from artists that I love, so the organisation of the events stays in the area of my interests.
Lately I have been really impressed by the bookings that are taking place in Poland. How is the scene over there, and is there a club you would recommend people to visit?
It has been growing very fast and it is amazing right now. We have a lot of clubs promoters, festivals and great artists that are pushing the scene forward. I have lots of respect for all of them. Every major city has one or two clubs that I would recommend and all of them are making what they can to develop the scene.
Live PA’s, DJ-sets, event series and fantastic releases and remixes under various labels. Are you planning on founding your own label some day?
To be honest I have been thinking about it for a long time now, I even have cover designs ready to go. But I am still waiting for the right moment. Something has to click in my head and then I will definitely do it.