¤ Interview with Harry from Audio Gourmet ¤

Przedstawiamy angielską wersję wywiadu z założycielem netlabelu Audio Gourmet, którego wydawnictwa wielokrotnie recenzowaliśmy (i de facto polecaliśmy) na naszych łamach. Audio Gourmet specjalizuje się w 15-minutowych albumach osadzonych w stylach ambient, glitch, click and cut, field recording czy post-rock. Label istnieje od roku 2010. W jego katalogu znajdziemy m.in. takich wykonawców jak Polaroid Notes, Spheruleus, Microvolt, Alex Tiuniaev, Michael Trommer - i wielu innych.

Materiałów wytwórni można słuchać m.in. na jej oficjalnym profilu bandcampowym: https://audiogourmet.bandcamp.com/

***

1. When we think about ambient music, we can easily imagine that typical ambient album should be long and contain few very long tracks. Of course it's not a rule but it doesn't change the fact that your idea – to release mostly Eps – is quite original. Where did this idea come from? And the whole idea of your own label?

It all began when I used to work in a retail shop, where lunch-breaks and tea breaks were a strictly set timeframe. I used to listen to music with a cup of coffee and grew frustrated as I started listening to an album and got into it, only for my boss to remind me that my 15 minutes were up. So I decided to create Audio Gourmet, so that a brief concept EP or album could be listened to completely within that period.
In terms of my own label, I'd followed the netlabel scene for a few years – the likes of Resting Bell, Test Tube and Zymogen put out some great work and I didn't see why I couldn't do the same, armed with my concept idea.


2. Do you think that artists which are promoted by your label consider this 15-minutes limit as an irritating problem? Or maybe it can be a source of inspiration – to create something beautiful in a short form?

I think a lot of artists tend to start something with great passion and drive, only for it to dwindle after they turn the laptop off. Then the next recording session becomes more about finishing the record, than the creative process and their ideas – this is where a lot of artists decide to create a new track instead and the process goes on. Producing music myself, this part of creativity can be very frustrating – so I tend to find that artists are quite empowered by the idea. However, the timeframe is a limit – so some artists have told me that they've been so inspired that they’ve really struggled to fit their recordings into the 15 minutes.


3. It would be hard to find typical dark, gothic or industrial ambient releases in Audio Gourmet catalogue. But at the same time it wouldn't be easy to find simple "chill-out", new-age or relaxing music in a bad taste. You are somewhere between those extremes, in a place where things are much more subtle... Any comment?

I'm certainly more moved by subtle works of 'Ambient' music. I find that the darker, noisier demos I receive struggle to provoke a connection and that the more new age stuff, is just a little too basic. However, I am very open minded and although the label fits loosely into the Ambient category, there are lots of different styles included, such as Post Rock, Drone, field recordings and glitch.


4. It's very interesting that Audio Gourmet releases are so different (e.g. from drone through field recordings to instrumental improvisation) – but at the same time they share similar kind of sensibility. Delicate beauty with a little touch of melancholy – but without despair. Again, any comment? Do you find artists – or maybe they must find you?

Initially with Audio Gourmet, I went out to find willing contributors to the catalog, amongst the friends I'd made contact with over the years. I also listened to work released by other labels, netlabels and posted on social networks and just got in touch with people whose work grabbed me. I was amazed at how interested people were in my project – again, it seemed that the 15 minute timeframe left people feeling more willing to work with me, as they didn't have to pour months into recording sessions to make a full album.
Nowadays I'm less proactive and leave Audio Gourmet for when I get a demo that fits it perfectly, so releases are less frequent.


5. As I can see, you have your own project – Spheruleus. Please tell us something more about it. What equipment do you use and what sort of mood you try to evoke?

The Spheruleus project has been running for many years and began within the netlabel scene. I've kept at it and had the pleasure of working with some great people, at the likes of Hibernate Recordings, Time Released Sound and Home Normal.

The Spheruleus sound has evolved a fair bit over the years – it began with pitched down CD sample discs and field recordings made on a dictaphone. Then I started to collect acoustic instruments and moved to a sort of rustic folk sound. These days I've been experimenting more with rhythms, textured drones, glitch machines, tape saturation and vinyl samples and I think the sound is at a point where it can cover a lot of ground. My equipment is always basic, cheap or freeware – the instruments I buy are usually from junk shops and I don't spend any money on software – I like my creativity to do the talking instead. I'm not a classically trained musician either and I have not done any courses on making electronic music. Everything I've developed has been as a result of hours of experiments.


6. Prose and poetry – do you think that there are certain writers whose words could describe the aesthetics of Audio Gourmet or your own music? Do you have any favourite authors?

I’m certain there could be certain writers whose words would fit the intentions of Audio Gourmet perfectly and also given the quiet nature of the music, it would be a good accompaniment to some time spent reading. However I must confess, I’m not much of a reader myself.


7. Your new label is White Lab Records. Why did you decide to start new venture? Where lies the difference between Audio Gourmet and White Lab?

Audio Gourmet has been running for a good few years now and I’ve enjoyed curating it – our output slowed down quite a bit when I started Tessellate Recordings. Tessellate was made as the sister label so that I could put out a few physical editions. Both Audio Gourmet and Tessellate will continue with infrequent releases, but I struck on the idea of Whitelabrecs late last year when looking into some packaging ideas. Some of the Tessellate releases have been expensive to produce and haven’t sold particularly well, meaning I’ve not really been able to continue it as on a few cases, I’ve not made the money back that I’d invested in it.

Whitelabrecs is a label that enables me to concentrate on very small runs of 50 CDrs which look and feel like vinyl, housed inside a vinyl effect sleeve and with a label that makes the whole thing resemble a white label vinyl record. I used to DJ in my late teens/early twenties and used to buy quite a few white label records and test pressings. With this new label, I’ve got a few different ink and sleeve colour options which I put together with a polaroid style print of the cover artwork. The packaging is hand-assembled and hand-burnt so although it takes a lot of time and effort to put together, I can afford to release more music! I curate the label with a similar approach to Audio Gourmet and Tessellate, meaning the style of music continues to be open-minded and already, I have lots of fantastic albums lined up for release!

-- Adam T. Witczak [20 lutego 2016]



ostatnie wywiady autora:
John Gore / 'kirchenkampf' / Oratory of Divine Love -- [24 marca 2013]
John Gore / 'kirchenkampf' / Oratory of Divine Love -- [24 marca 2013]
Ludola - ułani z fantazją -- [10 grudnia 2012]
Panic Bedroom -- [25 sierpnia 2012]
Harry (SkullLine) -- [11 stycznia 2012]
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