Monday, December 08, 2008



Forgetting the frame.

Touane on "Bill", his track from the Omonymous ep released Nov. 23rd, 2008 on Persona Records.

By hanging out in clubs, enjoying beers in German kneipen (pubs), and in general by living in Berlin, an ongoing kick drum in 4/4 time is the sharerd universal soundtrack of time spent in most social situations. In the music I make in the morning sometimes this frame acts just as a footprint, a blurred impression that persisted overnight, while the other elements revolt and take up more space.

Sometimes, creating a frame is huge work, only to notice in the end that the best thing is the actual happening and recording of this sublimation. When making music, I often accumulate so many elements on top of this frame, that it becomes a fight with the steady 4/4 beat, and from time to time it takes over.

Technically, I usually proceed by creating a surrounding, a reverb of the more airy elements: these allow me to hide the percussive sub tones I normally build at first to create the skeleton of the groove. Also, psycho-acoustic elements pave the way: by actually side chaining all the ambiance to the kick or to a percussive bass, I am allowed to lower the volume of those elements that in an ordinary dance track take 90% of the available dynamics, and that's what I mean about just leaving a "print " of them. You hear the effects slightly disappear once the kick hits, but no one gets hurt, and still you feel something in your stomach.

Let's say I try not to pursue loudness but intensity.

The other part of making music with this approach is a search for organics, where the electronic music does not necessarily recall chemical synapses or futuristic time travel experiences, but actually speaks through the sound of the earth: I want my sound to be real, even though it may seem spaced out after a first listen. It has to recall something living and constantly evolving, like a life form.

Sampling is partly how I achieve this. By sampling, I do not necessarily mean getting sounds from other records. It can also mean using background noises or just the reverberations of well known recordings to develop a kind of subliminal tone that you do not hear or distinguish although you feel it, especially if it gets interrupted for a small fraction of time every now and then, coinciding with or anticipating climaxes.

When I listen to most techno music around now I see it is definitely built as a wall or a house, with bricks, bricks, bricks. It's a matter of what you search for and want to achieve with it. It's a matter of what time you make music and also definitely a matter of how you see things, too. On my side, most constantly, I happen to fade in and out elements rather than muting them: this allows them to appear as though one is coming out of the suggest even more a developing movement, similar to life and growth, like a plant. In this way, the frame acts like small wood sticks meant to hold its growth, to sustain and help the small trenches to climb to the sky...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"not to pursue loudness but intensity"

Touane = Mental Groove !

Thanks ! ! !

7:34 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"an ongoing kick drum in 4/4 time is the sharerd universal soundtrack of time spent in most social situations"

very well put

and a really interesting article all around. nice to try and understand how your mind works!

10:11 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fascinating explanation of how you create. These thoughtful methods come across nicely in your productions.

Thanks for sharing some perspective and I'm looking forward to seeing Touane in San Francisco again!

9:32 AM  

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