Prequel Tapes is a new signing of R’COUP’D Records set to release his debut album titled Inner System on 13th November. While Inner System is most certainly not an album for the dance floor, it’s a beautiful soundtrack to taking the last train home. It’s the work of two decades’ worth of experience, and you can feel every second of it with beatless, experimental, industrial electronica music. It is probably one of very few works in which the blank time space between two songs sounds like music.
Get to know him!
Tell us about yourself. When did you first start making music as Prequel Tapes and how did the name come about?
Prequel Tapes is born in the dead of winter 2015, with a live set I performed specially at the request of a dear Russian friend for the closing of his event space. They were evicted so it could be made into fancy lofts – the usual story these days. The first tracks included samples and sounds from my new wave/industrial band from 1989 – 1991. So the tapes for me had a story before today. I remembered then an interview with George Lucas, where he defined Star Wars 1 – 3 as the prequel story, I liked that a lot, and so I got the name Prequel Tapes.
Was there a particular piece of music or artist that particularly inspired you to make music?
I have been making music for a long time and I am inspired by a whole bunch of music. But with Prequel Tapes I wanted to express more my early days. Back then I wasn’t good enough, or didn’t have the technology, to write this music. When I found the tapes in my basement I thought it is time to go back to that spirit. That idea brought me also back to my older vinyls. There was not one main inspiration. It was more my choice of the music I listened to intensely to while I worked on ‘Inner Systems’
To pick some to give an idea: The Cure – ‘Pornography’ & ‘Faith’, Future Sound Of London – ‘Lifeforms’, Hallucinator – ‘Landlocked’, KLF – ‘Chill Out’, Huerco S – ‘Colonial Patterns’
How did the natural environment that you grew up in affect your music?
I guess a lot. My father was lost in classical music – Luciano Pavarotti and stuff like this.
When I was three he started to take me to concerts and I was very impressed. The rest was all a natural process I believe. The city I grew up was pretty dead and we kids had the dream of having a band, that’s what we all did then in the 80s. Little funny bands, we were playing in youth clubs, on school Christmas parties and things like that. I kept our vision alive and it was an escape out of the boredom. Then things started to become their own dynamics and music was all around me.
Your new album is coming out soon. What was the creative process behind it?
It was very important to me that the album made sense as one piece. I wanted to have a very specific mood on ‘Inner Systems’. I want that you hear my references, the spirit and the feeling, but without sounding old fashioned. More old school in a modern way. I hope people can hear that.
You’ve previously talked about the importance of drum and synths to your musical development. How does your studio look today?
I’m working in two studios. One is full of vintage synthesisers and drum machines. It’s more the creative room for me where I compose and find the ideas. After that process I take all the material to my mixing studio. There I really concentrate on the sound designs and the arrangements, there is also some resampling happening to give the recordings another character.
Do you have a favourite track from the new album? How did you name the tracks of the album?
No favourite track, I see the whole thing as one. But to point out something in the recording ‘The Comfort Of Feeling Numb / Scarlet Fog’ these are two tracks on the album which belong together. They are married and express the philosophy of Prequel Tapes very well.
The album is coming out through R’COUP’D. How did that association develop?
That was very fast. I only did one live show as Prequel Tapes so far. Fin (Fink) saw it and wanted to have immediately material from me. He started his own label through Ninja called R`COUP`D last year and signed Prequel Tapes as his first artist. I was very happy about this and so far it’s been a really great experience.
How do you feel you fit into the music scene today? Do you think that electronic music is moving in a positive direction?
Yes definitely, there are tons of interesting projects and lots of super nice labels with passionate music and artists. But with straight club music it is a bit different. For me this leads into a dead end road. The industry is killing that music. It did such nice things for us all and now it seems to become just content music for nasty digital web shops. I guess I am a bit upset with that process, because I LOVE techno forever and always.
What’s your view on experimental music?
It always interests me. It is a big subject and goes in thousands directions. Growing up a industrial electronica you have always an ear for experimental music I guess.
When you playing live do you prefer a small venue or big venue? Have you found a favourite venue yet?
Prequel Tapes has just started, and there has been only one show so far. In that, people were sitting around me and listened to the music. It was intimate and felt quite special. That was very different to what I did before playing live or DJing. I really enjoyed it.
What do you expect from your audience?
Nothing. Only hoping they like what I do. I guess the question is more, what does the audience expect from Prequel Tapes…
How integral is music to your life? What could you imagine doing if you weren’t a musician?
I did hundreds of different jobs in my life. But music has always been around and in the last 12 years it became also a profession. I also have two kids and I love spending time with them. If I’m not making music I build spaceships and train tracks.
Tracklist for Inner System:
1 Under Your Skin
2 When We Fall Into The Light
3 The Comfort Of Feeling Numb
4 Scarlet Fog
5 Inner Systems
6 Untitled Memory
8 Dragon Keys
Interview by Navz Sangwan