the following conversation was parsed together from a rapid-fire im exchange between modyfier and mikael stavostrand.
Can you give some context to where this set was played?
This gig is from Harry Klein in Munich. It’s a super nice club that is kinda small…maybe 300 people maximum and the audience rocks to the limit…
What is it that you like about this place? It’s intimacy? The design? The people? The sound? The location?
All that minus location. There is a real energy and appreciation from the people there, but the location is kinda weird. They have this “club” district in Munchen with loads of clubs in the same area. Like an amusement park for clubs, but I guess that doesn’t matter as long the club is killer.
The night you played, did you have something prepared?
My live sets are prepared, but I like to take them in different directions depending on the reaction of the crowd. Tweak it around a bit depending on the mood. Of course if the audience is really into it, I get really into it and tweak to the max. It’s always a two-way communication.
How do you read the reaction?
Ha! If people dance or not! I see what mood they like. Whether they like more percussive stuff or vocals. If they like it rough or smooth — it could go anyway depending on the response. I have material for playing a 3 hour set so I can switch around a lot, since I usually only play 90 minutes.
Do you find that different people in different places like to hear different things?
Yeah, that’s why this club is good — because people are patient and open minded for new sounds — not just wanting banging kick. I think my style is more difficult than most so I need a more open minded audience who can take the freaky and deep material and don’t need to rush to the climax in 10 seconds.
Aside from performing (whether live or as a deejay), when you are producing music, is there some familiar place that you find yourself starting from? Such as some re-current idea or technical set-up?
For example, when I sit down to draw, I obviously have the tools (the pen and paper) but I also set up some rules for myself about how the drawing will evolve, like a structure. Often I draw heavier lines first as an edge for the lighter ones to respond to, and the drawing unfolds from there, based on these initial constraints.
Not really. I just try to let it go as it comes. I don’t want any limitations.
Do you ever have an idea of what your music will sound like before you make it?
No. It’s more of an aesthetic and I try to go with the flow. But of course I always have a vision in my head of what I want to do, but it never ends up like that anyway. It is more a starting point.
Do you think your music has an underlying aesthetic then?
I guess so (or I know so) but don’t think about it to much. Haha! I just want to make music I like and that I would dance to at a club.
In some ways, I think much of what is made sometimes is best when it is not too deeply reflected upon. But at times, it can be interesting to start asking questions about where ideas come from…to trace their footsteps. A lot of the time it seems to require conditioning, a form of practice. I think we tend to make things that we know how to or have gotten good at and I think the danger lies in never evolving that.
For me it’s a constant development — a search for something. Honestly, I don’t know yet. Maybe I’ll never find it. What I do hope, though, is that people find individual things in my music, things that suit them. Music is so personal, anyways. It means different things for everyone.