A year ago producer Milena Glowacka relocated from Warsaw to Reykjavik in Iceland in order to start less stressed chapter in her life. Currently, the Poland native enjoys the people and nature surrounding her, fulfils one of her dreams by making her first movie soundtrack as well as works on new techno productions that have previously been released on labels like Semantica, Delirio and Vanity Pill. In December Milena made her second live performance at the legendary Tresor in Berlin, this time as a part of Female:Pressure club night. Monument publishes the set as a part of MNMT Recordings series together with an interview with the talented artist. Enjoy the ride.
Hey Milena, and thank you for taking time for this interview with us. Let’s start with a very general question: what inspired you to start listening, playing and finally producing music? Was there a certain genre, artist or event that started the interest?
Music became my passion at a very young age. When I was 8, I got my first Walkman and used to carry it with my favourite cassettes everywhere. I grew up in Poland in the 90s with no Internet. I spent a lot of time at home listening to radio, always looking for something advanced and extraordinary in sounds. Once I randomly found a local station broadcasting live sets of electronic music from some European club. Fascinated by the sounds I heard for the first time, I quickly grabbed one of my cassettes and recorded the whole transmission. I didn’t have anyone around who could tell me about this type of music, genres or artists. I started to listen to that audition every weekend, recording the best parts on cassettes. Waiting the whole week for the experience of getting to know more and more of those unusual sounds was very exciting. At the age of 13 I got my first computer and started creating music with a totally basic DAW. It became a form of having fun and soon I discovered how expressful and powerful sound can be.
You are Polish, but currently located in Reykjavik, Iceland. When and why did you change the scenery?
I came to Reykjavik more than a year ago. Getting tired and stressed about living and working in Warsaw, I started thinking about other places to live and explore. One of my friends based in Iceland told me it’s a great place, where you can live with no rush, in a clear atmosphere and surrounded by beautiful nature. I felt that it might be a good direction to renew my mindset and start another chapter.
When thinking about the nature of Iceland, it’s easier to think about cold, fresh, ambient soundscapes. How do your new surroundings impact on your work? Do you feel more relaxed in Iceland than in Poland for example?
I feel way more relaxed in Iceland. Landscapes are beautiful and breathtaking. Mostly I am inspired by people surrounding me and my “inner world” although the nature and scenery around definitely helped me to find a peace of mind in this place.
How is the techno or electronic music scene and community of Iceland? Have you met or connected with other artists, such as Exos?
Icelandic electronic music scene is still in growth. Not many techno events take place here. I haven’t met Exos or most known local artists in person. I connected with other producers though, and we created some work together.
You are an active producer, and your productions nicely combine ambient, hypnotic and experimental techno. How could you describe your sound, and how has it developed over the years?
I feel I could describe my sounds as mental, psychedelic, droned and emotional with hazy elements. In every track I put a piece of my soul and emotions. There is always some story in the background. Over months and years I tested different percussions. At the beginning I used only Ableton, nowadays I am trying with field recordings and adding some sounds from synthesizers. Currently I am searching for some inspirations from trance music and trying to focus on more uplifting pads.
Track “Samadhi”, released last year as a part of Faint Music’s V/A is a great example of your talent of seamlessly shifting from dark ambient from techno – even inside one track. How could you describe your workflow when in studio? What inspires you?
Thank you for those words. When I feel inspired, I am able to create a lot of material in a very short time, then I need to have a break and rest. I don’t produce in the studio every day. Inspirations come to me from emotions and people very close to me, feeling the energy and processings of consciousness. “Samadhi” which you mentioned is a good example of these themes.
You also have an ambient project called Plus Size. In 2017 you released an album on Autumn Archive imprint. Do you still make music as Plus Size? How does it differ from productions as Milena Glowacka?
In 2017 I released three big materials as Plus Size. First is self-titled debut from March 2017 (Autumn Archive), next “No Longer Desired” appeared in June 2017 (Holy Geometry label). The latest one “A Cruise Down The River Of Tears” (Autumn Archive) was a collaboration with Cody L. Lobbestael. In the meantime I released some singles on V/A compilations. In Plus Size project I rotated around noise, ambient, field recordings and electric guitar riffs. Currently Plus Size is frozen, maybe I will come back to this project in the future. Nowadays I am focused on productions as Milena Glowacka.
With this interview we are releasing a recording of the Live set you played at Tresor as a part of Female:Pressure night at the end of 2018. What is the story behind the set?
It was my second time performing a live act in Tresor. I played for 2 hours on the same stage as Adriana Lopez. I prepared a material that also included some different pads than usual, more uplifting, bright and lucid. Playtime was wonderful, the energy from people filled me to the brim.
Would you like to make more live performances or do you prefer DJ-sets?
I feel really good as a live performer. I started as a DJ, but noticed that playing live performances brings me more happiness and satisfaction. It’s a great feeling when you can share with people your very own sounds and tracks, to see how people react and what kind of aura they create.
And last; what do you have planned for the year 2019?
I am involved in a lot of projects for 2019. There are some releases in the way. I will be performing during Sónar Festival in Reykjavik. Also the thing that is very important to me, I am preparing the music for a movie. Doing soundtracks was my dream for some time and I finally get a chance to start fulfilling it, the law of attraction works.