We first discovered the Melbourne based duo on Reddit while scouring for techno. Their productions caught our attention and after a few emails back and forth we finally had a live improvisation in our hands from Catalyst and Don Blaster. With a combined background from jazz, orchestral and electronic music the duo merged their passion for music to create their group known as Back Burners. We were also fortunate to receive a video recording from their studio where Monument 104 was created.
Give us an introduction to Back Burners, who are the people behind the group, and how did you get started?
Back Burners is a live improvisation, hybrid performance and production duo from Melbourne, Australia who are trying to establish a unique sound and theatrical aesthetic. The two members are Catalyst and Don Blaster, two friends who as of 7 months ago had their growing interests of Techno aligned. Catalyst previously came from a jazz music and orchestral performance background and Don Blaster came from an electronic production background, having moved through many genres before landing hard on Techno. The two are working to uncover their individual interpretations of Techno, provided by these influences of their past, and are attempting to blend them all together during their performances and productions.
We discovered you on Reddit where you had huge success sharing one of your live sets. What happened after this?
We kept doing what we do, our burners being fueled by the appreciation that others are also liking what we’re putting out.
Do lay down any set rules before producing any of your improvisations?
Not rules as such, but we usually try to establish a certain aesthetic and define it using compositional and descriptive terms in relation to its textural makeup and/or metaphorical content. We’ll write these terms down on the whiteboard and refer back to them to check we’re on track.
Tell us about the process in making Monument episode 104?
We jammed freely for a bit, which helps get the modular to a good starting point and also allows Catalyst to learn the unique aspects of the resulting patch and how to exploit them. Then, with a general idea of a gradient to follow, we just go for it. Throughout the jam we’ll check in to see what the other member thinks and then decide where to go from there and how to achieve it.
Finally, where is Back Burners a few years from now?
In the middle of next year we’re moving to Berlin to see what happens over there. One of the members is a German citizen and is looking to undertake his Masters of Music Composition in Berlin, so hopefully the progression of establishment in the Techno scene is aided by that. From there, location wise, who knows, but wherever we are, we’ll be providing musical release for people in some way or another.