Published on Il Mucchio Selvaggio n. 749 / December 2016 (print and digital)
Colonial Patterns reflected a specific theme and your own research into it. Of For Those of You… you said that it is “about everything and nothing at the same time”. Did you decide to change approach completely and leave themes out of your music?
HS: I wouldn’t say I have completely abandoned my older approach, but I definitely felt it was important to mix things up this go around. Colonial Patterns had to be historical in theme for it to mean anything, For Those... is completely out of time.
How would you describe your evolution as a producer in the past 3 years?
HS: Natural. I’m constantly hearing new sounds, meeting new people, hearing old things in a new way, challenging myself to hear everything. I respect artists that can maintain a singular vision and can create great works over a long period, but for me I can’t always do the same thing.
When did you discover ambient music? Are there particular records/artists that informed your idea of what ambient can be?
HS: Although I didn’t know it was called Ambient music, my father had a couple New Age/Chillout mixed cds. I can name the obvious influences but that would unnecessarily. For me nature had a bigger impact on my art. Growing up in a place where the sky is bigger than you could ever imagine, where the wind through a field of wheat becomes music, where the cicadas lull you to sleep.
Your sound is often described has ‘degraded’. Do you think that sits well with your way of producing/composing?
HS: I don’t purposely make it sound degraded, that’s just part of the process. Things wear down over time, it’s only natural that it won’t sound as clear as the first listen.
DJ Python’s words on the relationship between comfort/discomfort and sound – reported on the inner sleeve of your record – are very powerful, even touching. Were those reflections born out of a conversation between you two?
HS: Brian is a good friend of mine and he truly has a way with words like no other. I just asked him to write as he feels, there was no real prompt, just emotion. I’m very happy to have those words on the record.
The reason why I chose For Those… as my record of the year is because, on a personal level, it suspends time and feeling. It might sound like a cliché, but it really manages to create an alternate space to hide in. Do you think ambient music has way to affect the listener that is unique to it?
HS Firstly, thank you; that really means a lot to hear how it’s resonated with you. I think Ambient music certainly has traits that allow the listener to fill in the spaces, to find solace in the void. However I wouldn’t say Ambient music is unique in this. I think Black Metal, Shoegaze, even House music can all people to find an alternate space, if you want to call it that, to reflect and appreciate music as music not something confined to Pop song structures.
What kind of emotions/states does For Those… elicit in you when you listen back to it?
HS: Nostalgia for a time that never existed, loneliness, love, elation, confusion, boredom, fatigue, inquisition, gratitude. What most people feel on a daily basis.
Side B ends with a locked groove. Was there a particular idea behind making Kraanvogel potentially endless?
HS: The locked groove is from another piece and however poetic that would be, a crane soaring forever, it was just a decision based on time and feeling.