Our new interview series Circle of Questions is an experiment. It is about taking a step back and giving a bit more space to the artists themselves. It is an opportunity for artists to ask fellow artists questions, and share their reflections with the community. For our very first round Mary Yuzovskaya, Michał Wolski, Amandra, Raär and Grand River each got the chance to help shape this first instalment of our new format by freely choosing questions and interview partner, giving us small glimpses into nerdy deliberations on gear, the best snacks for long hours in the studio or practical advice when writer’s block hits. Every week for the next five weeks we will be sharing one set of questions with you – third one up being Amandra and Raär.
Amandra: Which instruments do you find yourself using the most in your productions and why?
Raär: I think my favorite desktop one is the Skychord Electronics Sleepdrone 5. It was my first hardware synth, a gift from a friend. It’s a drone machine with 4 oscillators. It sounds really raw by itself, but when you start playing with FX you can go in a lot of directions and it’s often a good way for me to start a track or find the inspiration when I’m a bit lost. As a modular my favorite one is the E352 Cloud Terrarium. It’s a digital wavetable oscillator with incredible and crazy algorithms. Again, a really raw sound, but you can model it in a lot of ways and the algorithms always create some happy surprises.
Do you have a specific schedule or ritual when it comes to making music?
When I started producing five years ago I was often doing it at night, but now I find myself being more efficient if I schedule hours in the daytime. No particular rituals, a cup of good white tea and some sweet snacks do the job. I can have some “idea moments” when watching a movie or arts, but I tend to take notes of the ideas to think about it instead of going directly on my setup to try it.
Creating a new alias was a way to take a new departure. I don’t know if that’s only my paranoia, but when sending demos to labels, I often ask myself if their view is biased by my previous releases or even sometimes by my choices of bookings. Maybe it’s not the case, but this alias was a way to be more free with myself. As with all my releases, the music is really personal. It’s always a way to express myself. The four tracks chosen by Nic Tasker for the Lith Dolina release are ranging from “ambient trance” to more 90’s drum and bass stuff, but always with my personal touch of strong emotions implemented in the tracks.
You released some tarot cards on your label. Any meaning to that?
Basically all the aesthetic of my label, Vaerel Records, is based around an old esoteric French book about tarot. It’s something that speaks to me even if I don’t read cards. I like the stories behind it and the way it looks. As I don’t have the money to press vinyl due to the lack of gigs at the moment, it was a nice way to offer some kind of custom collectible for my audience.
Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
It’s hard for me to project my own future. Particularly now with the pandemic I’m trying to go day by day. Ideally, I would be a kind of Ben UFO or Call Super having won the recognition as a DJ and producer in multiple styles, being free to play whatever I want in awesome places, and live from my art in a simple and peaceful way. I’m also interested in visual and sound installations, similar to what Kangding Ray did with Skalar. It would be a dream to participate in a project like this.
Curious to hear what Raär wants to know from Grand River? Find out next week when we share the fourth part of our Circle of Questions #1!
In the meantime check out the artists of our first round here: