Der Mancunian über seine neue Maxi, Demdike Stare und die Faszination für abgründige, düstere Musik

Wenn man seine elektronische Musk gerne düster und abseitig, dubby und sinister-brodelnd mag, dann kommt man an Modern Loves Miles Whittaker einfach nicht vorbei. Egal, ob als eine Hälfte von Pendle Coven, Demdike Stare oder auch solo, die Deepness in seiner Musik wurde immer aus den Abgründen, in die man blicken konnte, generiert. Mit seiner neuen Maxi “Facets”, die er zum ersten Mal unter seinen bürgerlichen Vornamen veröffentlicht hat, hat er die einzelnen Charakteristika seiner unterschiedlichen Projekte gebündelt und seine vielleicht beste Solo-Platte bisher veröffentlicht. Wir haben nachgefragt, wie es zu “Facets” kam.

Records on Modern Love are getting consistently darker and darker. What’s up with that? Did Shlom put something in your (and Andy Stott’s) drink? But seriously, where does this fascination for the dark and murky come from? Even with your Millie project you reminisce about the darker sounds of the hardcore era and not the hands in the air and ecstacy rush tunes from the same time.

I think it’s more a reflection of the times we live in, and a fascination with the more honest side of music. Difficult music more often reaps a greater reward, though it takes more effort to listen to it. There seems to be so much saccharine and superficial music around, and that’s more a fleeting listening experience, than something which taps into the darker side of the soul. The early naivety of dance music is giving way to a more mature way of expression, and again, a more honest one.

“Facets” is the first record under your own Name. Why did you chose this record for this step?
It seems as if you threw all the best things from your other projects together and then came up with “Facets”. What do you think, how did for instance Demdike Stare or Pendle Coven influence the Miles record?

This ep seems to embody most of what I’ve been doing under various pseudonym’s, and almost ties a lot of them together. When the label first decided on the tracklisting, it became evident it wasn’t representative of any one pseudonym, even down to some of the more obscure releases I’ve done, like ‘daughter of the industrial revolution’, which are more noise experiments than anything under a recognisable genre. So I decided it’s time to move on from some of them and go a little deeper into my own world. Pendle Coven and Demdike Stare have been influential in very different ways. Pendle Coven was a learning curve, Gary and I trying to define a sound we had in our heads, but also learning production and equipment at the same time helped create the music. Demdike Stare opened my palette up to include everything, whether it’s concrete sounds, orchestral influences, and not holding back from a sense of dread, or darkness. also Demdike Stare is a step away from the normal machine way of producing music, and bringing more restraint and atmosphere into the music. You can hear the edge of Demdike Stare in “Primer” and “Flawed”, only hint’s of straight up techno come from the 808 sounds, all the other percussion is coming from a musique concrete or sampling angle now, as I’m more interested in creating different way’s of making rhythms aside from drum machines, but still retaining the dancefloor edge.

I’ve read that “Lustre” was originally a track from Andy Stott, which you reworked. What’s the story behind that?

Andy and I work together a lot, and some of the things we use just hang around unfinished. Andy has a knack of creating killer lead lines, and sometimes he never uses them, I just decided, as a joke, to write my version of a slow Andy Stott techno track with samples from him, and “Lustre” was what came out. We have a lot of fun working together, and sometimes these ‘jokes’ work really well, so they get released.

How do you work in the studio. The one sheet to “Facets” says that you used “an array of mis-wired and malfunctioning drum boxes, contact microphones and samplers” for the track “On The Fly”. is there a lot of chance encounters and just fucking around with the machines involved, when you make music?

There’s a lot of fucking around, I find it’s the best way to come up with something that isn’t constricted, or normal. I’m very much into patchbay’s, and random wiring of patchbays can bring results that you’d never get around to by thinking logically. signals meant for one thing, sent to another can breed superb mistakes, and the machines are more involved, even if they’re wired wrongly. I never set out to write notes, or lines, I’m not a musician in that sense, I’m more an engineer that doesn’t know what he’s doing. all my favourite music is from the naive era’s of music, the early stages of genres, hardcore, jungle, techno, house music, etc, when no-one seemed to know what to do, and everyone sounded very different in production ways. keeping that naivety with more context is very difficult. so I refuse to learn certain things, and prefer to leave them to chance to keep that naivety inherent, and just having fun, which is most important.

What’s up next? Any chance for a Miles album?

We have a new series of Demdike Stare releases being scheduled, which will hopefully be out toward the end of the year, and a few other projects related to the Pre-Cert Home Entertainment label that are ready to go. There is also more Miles material being written, as for an album, i’m not sure about that, it all depends if the material is coherent enough to warrant it.