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Interview: Lost Rhythm

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Berlin based producer, born in the late 80s, Sal Schenkel, landed in the electronic music world few years ago. His constant work to improve himself and his production skills have been the focal points to creating what Lost Rhythm is nowadays. Deep grooves, dramatic synths, and astral atmospheres characterize Sal’s music, a long introspective journey. The German artist founds his own imprint, Lostium, in 2019. It permitted him to go deeply into the industry by getting many great supports from the electronic music pioneers like Solomun, Adriatique, John Digweed, and many other leading national and international artists playing his tracks in their sets. Lately, spending a lot of time in the studio, Lost Rhythm is always working hard to get the next step. He is definitely one of the rising artists in the electronic music scene. Now on the cusp of his latest single ‘Ara’ we catch up with Lost Rhythm for an exclusive interview. Enjoy!

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

Hey Guy’s, Thank you for your time. It’s a great pleasure to be interviewed by the Progressive Astronauts. The current mood is a mix between being dragged into the beautiful Autumn here in Berlin and the inspiration that it always gives me and the excitement for my next release ‘Ara’ which coming up very soon.

What are your plans for the coming week?

I’m actually working on reconstructing my little favourite corner, my ‘studio’ and bringing some new elements / instruments into my production process. So yea, a lots of planning.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you discover electronic music and what led you down the path of wanting to be a DJ and producer?

When I was young I was a big fan of trance music. That dreamy sequence, big leads and fast rhythms had always a big impact on me and took me always to different dimensions. I always felt there is a sound inside me that I had to bring out and transform it into reality and share it with the people. And later on I discovered other streams of electronic music and at the end I got stuck or I fell in love with melodic techno.

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

Picking five track is a tough one – I would go with the ones that had inspired me at some point and have effects on my productions, I would say..

Stephan Bodzin – Diamant
Fideles – The last Glow
Woo York – Paloma
Hans Zimmer – Time
Enya – Now we are free

Talk to us about growing up in Berlin, how did it affect your musical taste and direction?

I didn’t grow up in Berlin but in a lot of regions around the world. This was a musical journey giving me impressions about the different genres and styles of music. The final impulse for producing electronic music came initially from my stays in Berlin and Amsterdam, where i found my passion for melodic techno.

What are some of your favourite venues to play or attend events at Germany?

I mean Berlin is full of amazing venues that made the history of techno music it’s hard to pick one, and yea playing in Berghain one day would be a great honor

You have a distinct astral sound in your music, what do you want it to convey to the listener?

My aim is to drag the listener to a mystique atmosphere, bring them through the sound I’m creating into a higher level of consciousness where feelings are a perspective not the brain anymore.

You have a new single entitled ‘Ara’ out this week on your Lostium imprint, tell us about it and how it showcases your sound?

‘Ara’ was produced in corona lockdown, it was a mix of emotions. That you can hear through the melody – adapting with the situation and also a bit of frustration and strong emotions that you can hear when the sultry stabs kicks in, a beautiful dance between those two all the way to the end.

Walk us through the production process on the track.

I usually write off my track starting with a melody, the melody came from a preset out of Diva where it was tweaked till it reached the level I had in mind. I wanted to keep it minimalist. The track opens with a midpaced 4/4 kick and an ominous synth drone, which are joined by percussion hits and trills before the melody appears in the first breakdown that imparts a sense of tension and drama. That sense of tension then just carries on building, I thought the track was done but then I wanted to bring more moving elements something not melodic, there where the stabs came. They appear suddenly in the middle of the track to draw a harsh dance with the melody, all the way to the breakdown where that sense of tension then just carries on building all the way to final kick. Ara is a melodic track, yet it has that techno Berlin personality ‘somehow’.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital?

And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of ‘Ara’? My set-up is a mix between analog and digital. I use Ableton live as my main software with Push 2, the NI Audio 6 sound card, monitor Adam Audio T5V , ‘Sequential Prophet 6’ as analog synth and the little monster ‘the Arturia Minibrute2’, NI Maschine also has a big role in my workflow, a Rode NT1 microphone, and many different vst’s and plugins! Diva, Serum and Maschine were the main tools that gave birth to ‘Ara’.

How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

Once the mixing is finished, I usually spend around two weeks listening to it from different outputs car speakers, smartphones, or even TV.. trying to find and correct the small issues. The first feedback is always comes from my wife. She has a very straight forward opinion which helps a lot sometimes 🙂

Tell us about your Lostium imprint, what is your vision for it and what advice would you have for someone hoping to get signed to the label?

Lostium vision is creating sounds and atmospheres that are very unique minimalist and reality transforming, deep, melodic and minimalist is the theme for Lostium. I think every artist has his own feelings and sounds that’s why my advice would be stay unique and try to bring that unique sounds to life.

What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?

Yea! The creative spirit was up and down. There was more time to produce music and even testing different styles. The pandemic gave me a push to keep on going and hoping for better tomorrow.

What is the current situation with the pandemic in Germany?

The situation is still a bit an up and down in Germany. The clubs started to open again, as did also other cultural offers and other aspects of a daily life. You can do a lot of things that were not possible before if you are vaccinated or recovered. Otherwise you always need to show a test. Nevertheless the numbers start rising again…so let’s see where we are heading.

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

The book that has really big impact on me I think I read it 7 years ago called ‘Zen Miracles’ by Brenda ‘Shoshanna’, was very deep and has taught me a lot about how to look at life from different perspectives and ‘see life as it is not as how our brains is showing it to us’. A movie I would say ‘Interstellar’, the movie is very deep and the Science-Fiction at the end and the other dimension just left wondering, and of course the musical part where Hans Zimmer wrote timeless sounds.

Current five favourite tracks?

Gravity Assist – analog context
The Landing – Alberth
Stephan Bodzin – Boavista (Innellea Remix)
Dawn (Vincent Vossen remix) – Baset
Origine – Bastinov

What is your favourite food?

Homemade Burger

Iphone or Android?

Iphone

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Family, Sport and a walk in the forest

What does the remainder of 2021 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

There are a few plans, there will be an EP coming up before the end of the year, and maybe spending the new year in Amsterdam 🙂

‘Ara’ is available now via Lostium: https://bit.ly/3E01OAq

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