DATACH'I - OCTOBER 2005 - ENGLISH VERSION
CM>>>I have the feeling that your new album "The Elements" is kind of a concept album, maybe the word concept album is wrong, better say the album tells a story. Maybe my feeling is a result of the cover artwork. So am I wrong when I say the tracks of "The Elements" are connected to
each other like in a story?
Joseph>>>No you are correct. That was the idea of the album. In fact all of my releases have been arranged this way. I try to really subtly interject an idea of a story for each album.. rather then have just had a set of tracks. That way, if someone is interested, there is more to read into as well as it is more of an outlet for my ideas and expression etc.
CM>>>So what is meant by the title "The Elements"? What are the elements?
Joseph>>>"The Elements" has a lot of different meanings. One is the tracks are meant to be a story happening in different time periods all chaining together. Another is different elements of perception; another is four different sonic quality sound sets and processes. And another would be the influence of environment. So these are four ideas as one. which made me think of the four elements. but there’s a lot more to it.. I also like to keep album titles more simplified so the listener can use their own imagination to create a story. That’s the jest of it.. its amazing how an idea can pop into my head I can so easily translate it through sound but to write down the idea in its entirety can take forever..
CM>>>Normally the artwork is one of the last things which are made when someone produces a new album. What can you tell me about the cover: Who made this fantastic artwork? What´s the idea behind the picture (it reminds me of many things , f.e. the twins from Stanley Kubricks "Shining". On the other hand you can see an apple bitten apple floating over an open book/bible. . . and in the background a scary house in a scary ambiance.) ? Was the artwork a result of your ideas and feelings about "The Elements" or was it created apart from your influence?
Joseph>>>Well one of the interesting things for me with this album for me was using someone else’s art as in the past I have always down everything myself. I came across that painting at a show in my neighborhood and was blown away. The artist David stoupakis is really amazing.(www.davidstoupakis.com) I suppose I was attracted this particular piece because of it's symmetry and how it sort of portrays an afterlife feel. And yea the shining is one of my favorite movies so that must have subconsciously seeped in…im a huge Kubrick fan.. but mainly it just fit the album idea to me instantly. In the way that I felt it had a sort of dark romantic magical quality.
CM>>>So enough questions about the artwork, let´s come to the music. Even if I had received "The Elements" without any artwork, it would also left me with a "scary" feeling. Because the music on the album has a deep atmosphere and opens doors to rooms (in my imagination) which you better shouldn´t step into. Was it your aim to construct such an ambiance with your music? Are you fascinated by a dark atmosphere or dark fairy tales?
Joseph>>>Yes, I am indeed. when I get into writing an album I often think of a new process to create which is usually derived of how I want to feel while listening. I often find myself going to new places mentally in order to achieve the right feeling for a new album. I am really intrigued in going to places where people usually would not want to go. the more wrong places. In a way alter my own perception by creating a sort of story or general idea of what would this be like? Sort of thing.. It’s really interesting to me and excites my creativity and i think as a result makes a more deep perception of sound when listening. More and more so my music is becoming sound oriented/sound design oriented. I am finding it more interesting to express the sound of perception rather then the emotion of music. I feel it hits a more subconscious and primal level of emotion for the listener i think and somehow to me is more satisfying to me.
CM>>>In the press info you can read that "A new full length fromDatach'i packing 15 tracks of diesel fueled chain-saw wielding break beats and
lovely Victorian architecture." So is the "Victorian architecture"-aspect a reason for using some string, flute and the natural bass sounds?
Joseph>>>Yeah I basically wanted to have this magical haunting quality and have the tracks appear as if they were happening in different time periods or separate events tying together as one story. That’s why there are basically four different elements or type of tracks in the album.
CM>>>How long did you work on the album? When did you develop first ideas for "The Elements"?
Joseph>>>It actually started off as four separate entire albums and ideas. I believe it took me about 1 year to write the four albums and another couple of months till it came together as one album.
CM>>>How would you describe the change/development between your debut "rec+play", the last albums up to "the elements"? Any changes in
producing tracks or in developing ideas for new tracks?
Joseph>>>It's always changing for me. That’s really what inspires me is developing new creative processes. That is usually what triggers the idea for a new album. That and it is inevitable for my music to change because I always try to explore new things and I like my album releases to reflect like some sort of journal of ideas and experiences that would portray a different perception.
CM>>>I know that artists didn't like to be compared with other artists, but when I compare your sound partially with an other artist I mean it as a compliment. So I compare the atmosphere you create with parts of "Squarepushers" work .. Can you life with that?
Joseph>>>Haha, sure. It doesn’t matter to me. I can see why you would make that comparison but the music feels so completely different to me. I think it`s just similar tools of communication that may lead someone to that comparison.
CM>>>I am always curious about the producing technique. Do you use just a laptop? Or do you also use kind of hardware? For example the flute andsome string sounds reminded me of the sound of the first sampling machines?
Joseph>>>I use whatever I have to create the sounds. I want though it is now 98 percent software based. Most of what do is manipulate found sounds to the degree where they are just barley recognizable. So they become more alien and organic but there’s an element of the sound that is familiar. For those flutes and strings etc.I wanted them to have a sort of false feel to them. I started out with really great samples but they just didn’t fit the idea as is so I degraded them and put lfos where the vibratos should be etc. think it was more interesting and comes across more like dark magic or haunting like feel. It was just was suited for the idea I was going for.
CM>>>And the recording? Is it kind of a home recording process? When you´ve finished all tracks did you went to a mastering studio with your material?
Joseph>>>No I do everything myself in my studio. I have tried to have other mastering engineers master my albums for me but it never comes out right. I think the production techniques I use are sort of obscure so it makes it difficult for most other engineers to interpret.
CM>>>There’s also an outstanding Video for the Track "In Silence" added. The Video is created by David Firth. From where do you knew each other? What can you tell me about David´s work? And how was his working process for the Video? Did he choose one track from yours or did you asked him to create the Video for this special track?
Joseph>>>I met David online a few years ago and am a huge fan of his work..salad fingers etc. he really can tap into things that people don't usually. I basically asked him if he'd be up for to do a video and he was. In exchange I had written some scores for his animations like burnt face man theme and cartoon about roof
tiling. Which was really fun. I think the video dave did for me is one of his best animations. Sort of ties together the many ways in which he works and "In Silence" was just best suited for his animation style that’s why we choose that one.
CM>>>So in addition to my question before: Is "In Silence" one of the most personal tracks or kind of your own favorites?
Joseph>>>Yeah it is a very personal track to me. in fact it I wrote it about the few seconds of silence were aloud amongst chaos. Even though I like chaos.
CM>>>Any plans for presenting "the elements" live on a our? Maybe even in Europe?
Joseph>>>Yes there are plans in the works. Maybe for spring 2006
CM>>>What´s your day job? is it related to art or music?
Joseph>>>Yes I am a sound designer for film and tv. I am alsoreally passionate about this. I love being able to change the perception of a picture with sound. I recently got to work on a horror film called pulse, which is like a dream for me to do. I am a huge horror Sci-Fi fan and a lot of the sound design for these kinds of films has influenced my music. I am currently trying to make sound design as music for pictures and have done a few so far that are really cool. And doing sound design also inspires ideas for my own music and vice versa so it’s almost the same thing to me.
CM>>>So maybe the most boring questions, but i really would like to know: How do you came in touch with music in general?... and when did
you get interested in electronic music? When did you start to produce electronic music?
Joseph>>>I've been around music my whole life. Most importantly my older brother is a classical cellist and my uncle a jazz pianist. Also a lot of my cousins are musicians so I was exposed to alot at a very early age. I started pretty seriously with guitar at 10 years old. Then went too drums and bass. I eventually got bored with the sonic capabilities of these instruments and that is how I wound up with electronics. I was at a friends studio and would play with his roland juno 106. Eventually bought it from him and just became obsessed with the textures and sounds it generated. This lead me to collaborate live electronics with a drummer but soon after that I discovered digital performer on a mac classic and got heavily into beat programming and that’s how I started on my own basically. I really love having total control over creating as well as the idea of being able to manipulate time with music is an obsession. There’s almost a meditative quality about it and takes away from the anxiety of time for me. As I still am now my favorite thing to do it's really push my equipment to do things it wasn’t meant for which a lot of times has broken things but i have come up with more interesting sounds that way..at least in the days where I had used hardware more often. It is more challenging now to use computers to create something unique because its almost as if a lot of the software, no matter how freeform and general of a platform it is, every possible outcome and parameter is pre-programmed in code so its almost like someone or something has already thought of the all the ideas you can have. I often think of ways around it to maybe interrupt any possible outcomes though these days and I've been designing sounds more rganically and having the processed parts appear more subtle so the machines aren’t an apparent representation of my ideas they are more of a underlying tool or an active extension of my ideas. Aat least the way I see it. I guess it's really fun to have the most control possible with your machines.
CM>>>Joseph Fraioli sounds Italian? Where you born in New York.. are you a genuine "New Yorker"? Any relatives in Europe?
Joseph>>>Yeah I've always lived in new york, not always in brooklyn. I was raised in upper Wwestchester. Which I miss sometimes being in nature etc.I am 3/4 Italian and 1/4 Irish Canadian. I believe I still have relatives in Italy and cousins in Canada but i am 3rd generation here.
CM>>>Just one more time back to the atmosphere you create with your music, "The Elements" sounds scary to me or call it dark. Are you a
pessimist/naysayer or an optimist? What´s your opinion about the things which happens around you, I mean when you switch on the TV there are
more bad than good news. Are you scared by this fact?
Joseph>>>I think I am neither. I am more of an obserationalist. If that is a word. I try to see things for what they are and be really accepting.I almost prefer to just observe then have a designated opinion on most things. I find myself training my perception. Tto have a certain control on my outlook almost like how an actor gets themselves really involved for a roll and changes their perception of there surroundings, that always excites me. Except I like to go a lot further and really detach my thoughts from any rules or ideas of functional society. I also believe the darker I go the saner I am in everyday life. I channel my darkest times thoughts my music so I can survive in society. Otherwise things may get messy haha.
CM>>>Last question, but since last year I started to ask everyone this question: What do you need for a perfect day in your life (I mean not
just as a musician) ?
Joseph>>>Other then make music and sound I guess this would be realistic: a walk in the park, time with my girlfriend, time with my cats, cook food, watch films, talk to my family, win the lotto. It's cool cause that’s what I do everyday pretty much. Cept for win the lotto.
Interview Michael Mück
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