Loud Neighbor recently made their Boiler Room debut with a live set in their new home city of Berlin. We caught up with them soon afterwards to find out how it felt, their current projects and more. Read on.
Hey guys, I just enjoyed one hour of proper live techno. How was it to play at Boiler Room? (people, feelings, nerves, etc)
LN: We had a great time with our machines in front of all those cameras. But to be honest, it was a bit nerve-racking playing under the bright lights they needed for the background. It kind of felt like we were a science experiment being observed by tons of people, very different from a club vibe. However, the end result was totally worth it; those visuals were smashing and the viewer really could get a good look at the machines as well. Additionally, the Berlin Boiler Room crew was delightful to work with. And we had the pleasure of meeting Adriana Lopez, Subjected and NX-1, fellow artists at our agency — PullProxy.
You guys just moved to Berlin. Is this a career move and what are your plans? Are you enjoying the city?
LN: We’ve always wanted to live in Berlin so the move is a little bit of both, professional and personal. One of the few major cities left where artists can live as artists is Berlin. Living in New York was super cool, but way too expensive. Being in Berlin we can focus on our music 100%, as well as return to other artistic projects such as our interview series, Loving The Alien (http://lovingthealien.tv). The city has received us beautifully and we already feel at home here. Long story short, wir lieben Berlin!
Now lets get nerdy: what kind of gear do you use, and how did you learn to use them?
LN: Our live setup is always changing. Machines come and go, we keeps things fresh and fun. We currently use the following array of gear: Akai MPC1000, Yamaha DX200, Korg Volca Keys, DSI Mopho, DSI Tetra, Roland TR-8, MFB-522, Jomox MBase 11, Korg Kaoss Pad 3+, Eventide Time Factor, Alesis Midiverb, Lexicon MPX500, Akai MFC42, Aphex 722 Multiband Limiter and mix it all together with our Mackie VLZ4-1642. There is more gear in the studio; well actually they are currently in the Steel family barn in the US waiting to be shipped over to Berlin; but either way, they will be back in the studio this fall. We cannot wait to reunite with our Yamaha CS20M, Korg Polysix, Roland SH-101 and MKS30.
In regards to learning how to use the gear… once upon a time we had just 1 drum machine, a Korg EMX-1. This is a great first machine because it has drums and synth parts. You learn basic step sequencing, synthesis and sound manipulation. Then we got our first synthesizer, the Korg MS-2000B. This gear has a very extensive front panel inspired by classic Korg analog synths. Even though this synthesizer itself is not analog, it’s analog modeling allowed us to delve into the world of subtractive synthesis and creating crazy sounds with just 2 oscillators. Of course all of this self exploration is supported by reading the manuals and watching Youtube tutorials, plus geeking out with friends. And then once you know your ways around one machine, it becomes instinctive, not to mention addictive.
Any upcoming gigs and releases?
LN: We are actually heading back to New York at the end of the month to play at Output on the 27th. We will be celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the NY-based record label, NOSI. It will be a lot of fun to be with our Brooklyn crew in that killer club. We have some other things cooking for this fall in London, Madrid and Barcelona to name a few. We cannot officially announce those details yet. And last, but not least, we’ll be making our Paris debut at Showcase on October 29th. It’s super exciting to be getting back on the floor because this summer we’ve been locked in the studio. It was an amazing experience recording in the Funkhaus — the former DDR radio studios — for 6 weeks. There is almost 500 GB of incredible material that we recorded running through a vintage Nive mixer and preamps, plus some original DDR audio gear. It sounds amazing! Now it’s time to cut and master the recordings so we can start releasing new tunes later this year on our own label w0rkt34m.
Will you focus primarily on techno in the future?
LN: Yeah, right now we are focusing on techno; but we love all music and always like to push boundaries and explore all types of sounds. Our goal with our live set is to have the same versatility as a DJ. We like to play long sets and feed off the vibe of the party and the music that’s being played before us. We always try to enter seamlessly and then once we are settled in the mix, the Loud Neighbor adventure begins and we dive into the deep waters of techno.