Monday, June 9, 2008

words with pawel/turner (orphanear/dial)

a while ago we started thinking we starting wondering what the hell was going on when the peeps over boing poum tchack! posted an interview with bvdub about the time we were organising a mix with him, and then exactly the same thing happened with pawel. we reached the conclusion they probably weren't reading our emails, they just happened to have the same (ehem excellent) taste we do.

pawel, better known to some as turner, has been putting out amazing stuff for a long time now on ladomat 2000, dial and more recently, his new label, orphanear. while we've been signed up members of the fan club since his earlier dial releases, his 2 releases last year 'gabriel' and 'jujuy & salta' really caught our attention. for me, both records were highlights of 2007.

anyway, as part of the ssg mix pawel plans to do for us, he also did a short q&a. we've been sitting on this for a while as we were going to post it with the mix. but there has been a bit of a delay, so we thought we might as well put it now for everyone to enjoy. a ssg mix is on the way from pawel, but we'll have to wait a bit longer. we are really looking forward to hearing what he comes up with. in the meantime, enjoy the interview and for more info check his myspace, discogs and orphanear records.

Ssgs: I feel like, more than any of the other Hamburg artists from Dial, Smallville etc, that you're operating as a songwriter, even when the songs are 'tracks' strictly speaking. I wonder what you think about that.
Pawel: Actually I started with dance or "track-oriented" music, when I first released stuff as Keni Mok and Turner. Somehow the Turner project then developed more and more into a singer songwriter thing over the years. That´s why I started Pawel, to seperate the more minimal house and techno oriented stuff that I do into a new project. Except Hendrik (Pantha Du Prince), who did music with the band Stella before, most of the other artists on Dial, such as Pete (Lawrence), Dave (Carsten Jost) and Phillip (Efdemin), were always focused on their particular club oriented project on Dial, although everyone of them listens to "track" and "song" oriented music as well. So maybe there will be some more "song-oriented" side projects of the other Dial boys in the future, such as the infamous ambient guitar project "Bordeaux".

Ssgs: My first introduction to your music was with the version of 'Been Out' that appeared on the Sonar compilation from that year. After that, I didn't hear any of your work until I started exploring Dial. I discovered Pack of Lies and Disappearing Brother at the same time, but it was the former that really moved me - it was strange and interesting to hear 80s pop approached in this context. Tell me a little about the creative process of making the album, and your 'turn' back toward more groove-based music since that time.
Pawel: A Pack Of Lies was some kind of an experiment for me in several ways. I didn´t use to sing on my records before, except on the track Been Out, and I didn´t thought about doing something that could be understood as a pop album, before. I worked on a soundtrack for a movie, just before I started to do this album and a lot of the sounds, such as the skipping guitars and synthesizer sounds that I used for the soundtrack, found their way to A Pack Of Lies.
After this album I decided to split the dance oriented and the song oriented part into two projects, Pawel and Turner. The first result was the Turner album Slow Abuse, where I used nearly no drums at all. Parallel to the album I started to work on new Pawel tracks that have been since then released on Dial and Orphanear.

Ssgs: What do you think is integral or essential to your music (in terms of approach, intention and style)?
Pawel: The thing the interests me most in music generally is uniqueness in style, sound-aesthetics and way of composition. Music that you haven´t heard before in that way, that´s what I try to achieve as well.

Ssgs: What is the purpose/concept/intent of Orphanear? What are you seeking to do with the label?
Pawel: I wanted to be able to release future Turner records on my own, that was one of the main reasons to create Orphanear. Also, I was thinking about starting a new label that includes all from minimal house and techno to experimental pop music for a long time. Besides that, Dial was getting bigger and more artists were starting to release their music on it, which makes it more difficult for all artists involved to have their music released immediately after it is finished. So Orphanear is just another channel to get our music out there faster.

we'll post the next ssg mix in the next few days...


  1. Yup we have the same tastes :-). And the b.brunn and move d's album is a real killer too!!

  2. Ha! And I just did a Quarion interview, too. I might as well just paste it in here (on the QT 'cos it's for my print mag):

    Quarion – The Drumpoet Speaks

    Quarion is a name that has exploded (discretely) onto the European house scene with a speed and impact equalling his label, Geneva’s Drumpoet Community. For most producers and labels, gaining a reputation is the stuff of years, the slow accumulation of promising directions and ‘almost there’ singles that have to occur before the nailing hit finally drops. It’s certainly not often that a producer’s first release on a label is a reputation-making hit, one that also simultaneously makes the name of a label. But Quarion is such a producer, Karasu is such a record, and Drumpoet is such a label. Along with Sascha Dive’s DEep EP, Karasu – and its remixes by Crowdpleaser and Deetron – have propelled Drumpoet into the charts, quickly finding its way into the boxes, onto the playlists and eventually onto the compilations of DJs, including M.A.N.D.Y’s Fabric 38 and Booka Shade’s recent DJ-Kicks mixes. It’s easy to see why, too: Quarion’s is an easy-gliding anthem with disco claps, big Detroit-y synths and a sweet flute melody. It’s subtly ecstatic, classic sounding, but also fresh. Not bad for somebody that few outside of Geneva knew about a few years ago. Yanneck Salvo (to his mother) feels humbled by the success and recognition he’s received, but, at the same time, he does concede that the track is his best so far. “Karasu is also one of my favourite of my own tracks; it’s one of the only ones where I felt I really got out what I was trying to express. For me when I make music, I try out some stuff, and then I quickly get an idea of where I want the track to go, but it doesn’t always go where my mind or my soul wants it to go, whether it’s for reasons of knowledge, or gear, or whatever. But with Karasu it – it really flowed almost effortlessly, when I made it.”

    Considering the wildfire success of Karasu and Drumpoet, it’d be easy to write off the whole thing as a symptom of the hype machine and Quarion as but the biggest flash in that particular pan. But, like other Swiss labels (like Mental Groove and Mountain People) who’ve found themselves riding (or being ridden by) the fickle cycles of backlash and bandwagon that have come to dominate the European dance music scene, the reality is more like the slow work of a steady burning love, and a commitment to just make and release the kinds of sounds that the label’s creative partners are into. Whether it’s trendy or not is just a matter of whether the stars are in alignment. “We’re all really happy, all the Drumpoet people. We’re also a bit surprised, you know, because since the beginning the label owners were just doing it for the love of music, and the idea was just ‘okay, let’s do a label and only put out the music we love’, and the response has been much, much bigger than they expected. And they’re really happy with the way it’s building, but at the same time, they’re also mindful about the label not becoming a big hype machine, or whatever. Just to keep it family-based and still all about putting out the music we love.”
    As for Yanneck’s personal musical journey, it all began much, much earlier. “When I was five, my parents told me that I was really hooked on disco, that I’d go crazy whenever I heard a beat, just dancing around. And this was stuff like Boney-M and Abba,” he explains. By ‘double digits’, Yanneck had begun listening to the commercial French pop that was popular moved through the airwaves around Lake Geneva, but by the time he was sixteen, it was all about the saxophone (which he was studying) and hip-hop, which he was both digging and digging for. And it was through this process of digging that Yanneck finally got his first taste of house. “I used to go to a record shop in Geneva where I’d buy a lot of hip-hop, but the guy working there was a real house head, always listening to house. And I was always into jazz and so when I heard some of these house tracks that were bringing in sax solos and more musical instruments, I thought that was really interesting. So I started off by getting into artists like Masters at Work, especially tracks of theirs that brought in a real bass player, horn player and vocalist and stuff like that. From that I started listening to deep house like Mood II Swing, Guidance, that kind of thing.”
    Listening to Quarion’s other productions, the Detroit connection also seems strong, but this was apparently something added retrospectively at the insistent urging of a friend. “Detroit came later for me. I’d already started making music, and I didn’t really know anything about Detroit. And then a friend of mine – who was a total Detroit head – kept on telling me that my stuff, whatever I was doing (hip-hop, house, whatever) had a very strong Detroit element, and so I was like, wow, okay, and when when I finally discovered UR, Derrick May, Carl Craig, Juan Atkins, all that sort of stuff, I was totally blown away. I got completely hooked and listened to nothing else for months. I think it’s just ‘cos the sound is so classic, and it moves into jazz, house, hip-hop very easily.”
    As for his current direction, Yanneck says that he’s still always writing music ‘under the influence’ of his favourites, although some influences – like old jazz records – might not be so obviously audible on the final cut. Certainly, as far as his live show goes, the improvisatory spirit of jazz has been important in trying to make his laptop-based performance as live and lithe as possible. “I’m trying to make sure that the set is always evolving, so I make sure I always play special edits and versions of my songs. My other aim is to be able to do the set without looking at the screen at all,” he explains. A timely cure for Abletonitits and ‘Lame Sets Disease’? We can but hope, and Yanneck says that while it’s still a matter of negotiating with and through the machine (with all its limitations), he’s nearly there. At least we’ll know he’s not checking his email during the gig. “I’m almost there – I don’t look directly at the computer, I keep it to one side, but maybe one day, if I didn’t have to look at the computer at all, that would make me really happy.”

  3. Dear boing poum tchack: please stop reading our minds! ;-)

    (Or are we reading yours?)

    Anyways, I'm very excited by the prospect of a ssgmx by Pawel/Turner! I love his Turner albums, and his stuff as Pawel is great too.


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