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Audioglider [Interview]

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Based in the UK, Audioglider has been a fixture of the progressive music underground since first arriving just over a decade ago. Regarded as one of the genre’s more creative artists, the London resident often drifts outside the movement’s traditional barriers, incorporating deeper, esoteric and even shoegaze elements in his music. Releases on Balance, ICONYC, Manual Music and Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat beam brightly from his well kept discography, as he looks forward to 2022’s fourth quarter. Now, adding Musique de Lune to his resume, Audioglider makes his much anticipated label debut with ‘More willpower’. We had a chance to catch up with Roberto for an interview leading up to the release. Enjoy.

Hi Roberto, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi there. Thanks for asking me, really appreciate it. Yeah, current mood is bittersweet actually – I had to miss ADE this year due to illness so missed out on it all. But very excited about my new release, More Willpower on Musique De Lune Records! I’ve also just signed a 4 track EP with one of my favorite labels…..keeping myself very productive. Music wise, I’m loving Tokyo By Night by Karin Park – I’m listening carefully as I was to do my own edit of it soon. Watch this space….

What are your plans for the coming week?

I’m recording a couple of sets for some of my favorite labels, playing an early set at a new South London event series, DIYFS on Saturday, before going to the Brixton Academy to experience Max Cooper live, playing the entire night, until 4am. The man is a genius.

Can you name five tracks that were important in your musical development and why they are so significant for you?

FSOL – Papua New Guinea – the sound I had been hearing in my head for years before it became a reality

Orbital – Halcyon – there was nothing like it at the time. Blew my mind.

Massive Attack – Teardrop – my favorite vocalist on my favorite MA album – wow

My Bloody Valentine – Soon – one of Weatherall’s finest productions – out of this world

Kraftwerk – Numbers – hugely influential breaks from electro pioneers

How did growing up in the UK affect your music taste and direction? Or did it at all?

I grew up at an incredibly fertile time for British music – the post punk era especially, demonstrated invention and innovation with limited resources and a DIY philosophy that I loved. So many British bands and artists seeped into my consciousness during this time but I didn’t have the maturity or the equipment to be able to distill them into something cohesive myself.

The UK was a special place for electronic music in the 90s and 2000s, what British artists inspired you the most from these times and why?

Three artists embodied and encapsulated all the sounds I had been gathering in my brain’s data banks since the heady days of post punk – Future Sound Of London, Orbital and Leftfield. You can hear echoes of pretty much all of them in everything that I do (along with Kraftwerk) – the breaks, the sub bass, the melodic work and the machine funk with soul. I don’t usually get nostalgic – but I have to pay tribute to their brilliance.

Take us through a day in your life, from a possible morning routine through to your production work and more, please.

Like a lot of artists these days, I do have a day job and a family, so balancing all of this with production can be a challenge for sure. Evenings spending time with the family, a couple evenings of music production and premastering and sending demos to prospective labels, and chasing gigs are what take up a lot of my time these days, as well as a lot of time on social media within music communities.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

I was taught the drums from a teen and cut my teeth playing in indie bands while toying with 4 track recorders, delay and chorus pedals at home. I worked with some mates for a while who had early Cubase and some hardware but really didn’t get much help from anyone in creating my own sounds in this way. I gravitated towards easy to use DAWs like eJay and Acid and have continued down that path finding most recently in Studio One by Presonus, everything I need.

These days, there are a huge amount of resources out there – do a course, follow producers you like on Patreon, watch You Tube videos, but choose based on your learning style. Really work on understanding arrangement and dynamics, and don’t get stuck on the same 16 bar loop. Personally I go straight into arranging a tune these days – given the time restrictions – less time noodling, more time finishing tunes!

Your music is often times a unique amalgamation of sounds, some of your best productions do have a slight shoegaze lean to them in fact, please name some artists from that sound who you enjoy, past and present if possible.

God, I love the shoegaze sound, it’s the opposite of minimal. Layer upon layer of melody creating a wall of sound. It’s epic. Some of my favorite memories from back in the day. Bands like Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Ride blew my mind – changed the game. More recently Engineers, Manual, Billow Observatory, Ulrich Schnauss, Andy Bell / Glok have taken up the mantle, looking forward and not back to create new soundscapes.

You have a new single ‘More Willpower’, is out this week on Musique de Lune, tell us about the release and how it showcases your sound.

Well, like most of my tunes, it didn’t start with a plan at all, but they always start with the drums – I used to drum in indie bands before electronica kidnapped me. For me the track’s progression showcases everything I love to jam into my tracks – loads of delays, chiming guitars, blurry somewhat obscured vocals, breaks, funk – and hooks – lots of hooks. I was looking for a vocal for the second half of the tune to take it to the next level, and somehow came up with a combination of hooks from sample libraries I happened upon – elevates the tune to epic.

Musique de Lune is a young label with a bright future, what was it about the label that made you want to release there?

The passion, the belief and the desire to challenge the status quo was incredibly alluring – there’s a strong sense of identity and desire to succeed. And the fact it has some amazing artists already on the label doesn’t hurt. There’s a lot of innovation going on behind the scenes. I love the drive of everyone involved.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of ‘More Willpower’? If you could briefly walk us through the production process as well that would be great.

TBH, I’m no gear head – I prefer to keep things as lean as possible. If my sound is often maxed out in frequencies, the opposite is true of my set up. Laptop, midi controller, decent active speakers for the mixdown. That’s it. It also means I can be flexible when and where I work and not dependent on one room or location. It probably explains why my tracks can be eclectic – not only drawing influence from my musical past, but also multiple locations.

Let’s talk about production a bit more for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired ‘More Willpower’.

Inspiration can strike at anytime, but consistency is key. Work every day. Create every day – it may not be release worthy, but it’s like going to the gym – do a different kind of workout everyday. Whether its creating something new or revisiting an old track that didn’t see the light of day, or starting on an edit. Working your musical muscles is key to productivity I find.

For you to get started on a track do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called ‘visualizations’ of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?

I’m not much of a planner to be honest in this respect, but like many artists I do have a day job that takes up a lot of time and headspace. With this in mind, and the rigours and responsibilities of having a family, then you take the opportunity when you can to fire up the laptop and try and sketch something. I usually just go straight into arrangement, iterating as I go, no agenda. Even when remixing tracks I try not to listen to the original track again once I’ve agreed to remix it because I don’t want to be too influenced by the finished piece.

Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?

Coffee (but none of that instant stuff) is always a fixture here – but as I said before I need to ‘do’ music everyday whether inspired or not. Though I’ve learnt that sometimes you can’t push through if the muse doesn’t want to play ball!

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

I’ve spent a load of time getting my workflow to a place where it just works – its quirky and probably not for everyone. The control freak in me would probably feel uncomfortable letting someone else finish things off.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

At this moment, I can’t think of much tbh – as I mentioned, I like to keep things pretty lean. Some kick ass Genelec speakers would be nice, and a new laptop. Given the mess the world is in financially and people have to choose between heating or eating, then I’d rather donate the money to people who would need it more.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

God, this is hard

Primal Scream – opening act – Screamadelica set – ensures people get there early
Kraftwerk – in 3D – their set is so tight – reworking their classics to be much superior to the originals
Max Cooper – high concept visual and audio psychedelic extravaganza
LCD Soundsystem – the comeback kings – they practically invented and then reinvented indie dance
Bicep – saw them headline a festival in the summer. A superb festival act that works when people are flagging or dropping another pinger.

In your opinion, what’s the biggest risk you’ve taken and what made you do it?

God there are quite a few, but most of them are to do with either finding love or fear of losing love. Cheesy I know.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

I know it’s a cliché – I’d have to say Bladerunner. What a soundtrack, what an aesthetic. OR Kevin & Perry Go Large – lol

What is one superpower you would like to have and how would you use it?

A cure for cancer – too many people close to me have been affected by this terrible disease.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

My family, sunsets, street photography, good food, good company, good conversation, time.

We’re approaching the end of 2022 so what does 2023 look like for you? Anything you can share with us?

If I tell you I’ll have to kill you 😊

‘More Willpower’ is available for pre-order via Musique de Lune: https://bit.ly/3WMILnC

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