From hardcore punk to dreamy and weird ambient, with T.Raumschmiere
The music composed by Marco Haas is so diverse that it's hard to apply a label and define it. His albums, either ambient or electro-pop, with lots of punk attitude, are diverse and intriguing. It's that kind of music that you must listen to a song multiple times to understand it and let it flow through your brain. Anarchist in his approach, Marco uses both hardware and software in his music, careless about differences in analog/digital sounds because all that matters is the final audible product. While he's busy with his Shitkatapult label, having over 200 releases listed on Discogs, he always finds time for his own projects.
How would you describe "punk" in your aesthetic attitude towards sound? What drove you to move from being a drummer in a hardcore punk band to techno/industrial madness?
I started as a drummer in various hardcore/punk bands in 1991. At some point I wanted to go further and explore sound deeper. My bandmates weren't really into that so I decided to buy a drum machine. Since I grew up in that hardcore/punk scene it was never a question to do something else. I wanted to put the physical punk feeling to electronic music.
Your latest album, Heimat, is full of joyful and dreamy sounds, Stoli for example, and not so filled with political statements like your previous works. Why is that?
I just wanted to relax and smile. The whole idea was to create songs and sounds that work in a club but also at home on your couch. I had this album in my head for a very long time and Kompakt Records gave me the chance to realise it.
One of my favourite ambient album ever recorded is Random noise sessions Vol 1. What are your plans for the second part? What inspires you in creating ambiances?
The second part is in the making. It always takes some time (years), as I don't work constantly on it. It's more about collecting ambiances from different projects and/or different phases of my life. I love to drown and get lost in sound atmospheres but it's not an everyday feeling that's why it sometimes takes months for the next trip.
What are you favourite sound sources for sampling?
Old vinyl and field recordings.
What's next for your side-project Shrubbn!! ?
I don't know. Since we are both very busy there is no real plan. I mean, we exist for 20 years now and only did 2 albums ;-). We both live in different cities and when the time is right we meet and do music. So, who knows, maybe next year there will be a new Shrubbn!! album or in five years…
What is your opinion on the current state of electronic dance music compared to classical and established genres such as techno or IDM?
There's interesting stuff but to be honest I don't listen to a lot of electronic music at all. The only electronic music I listen to is ambient. It always depends what you want to hear. I hate that "old school techno is "better", bullshit… I see some kids wearing Underground Resistance shirts and when you ask them about their favourite UR 12", they ask what's a 12". pfff.
You have more than 200 records listed on Discogs from your Shitkatapult label. What is the philosophy behind this label? How do you choose your artists?
We do what we like. It's more like a family thing. Of course, we must make some money to pay our bills but in the first place it's about that all are happy. Everyone knows that you don't make money with selling records these days but our artists use our platform to get gigs and attention.
In working with sound, do you prefer analogue technologies or digital?
I. DON'T. GIVE. A. SHIT.
If it sounds good and you have a good idea for the track it could be a cow's fart or signals from outer space. If it sounds good, who cares?
You have endorsed along the years a number of different software products. What was your criteria of choosing one over the other?
If a machine has character and a special sound, I like it. I don't need another clone of an 808, 909, 303. It's already there, goddammit. Invent something new!!
How does your studio look like?
My studio setup changes almost every month. Then I rewire everything, sell stuff, buy new stuff and so on. It's very modular since all the instruments, fx, etc go to a big patchbay, so I can build new audio ways every time. For every track I disconnect all cables from that pathchbay and start from scratch.
The live setup is more minimal. I either use an mpc1000 with three Kaoss pads, a Monotribe and two Monotrons or (depending on the set I'm playing) a laptop with Ableton Live plus fx, synths etc…
My favourite drum machines now are the Jomox m-base (for its bass drum) and the Roland cr-5000 (for its hi-hats). The rest of my "percussive" sounds I mostly do with samples from crackling vinyl.
I read somewhere that you use Cubase. Do you use it both for production and mastering?
Yes, I use Cubase, but only for recording and editing. Sometimes I run a midi sequence from it but most of the stuff happens outside the computer. I leave mastering to the pros.
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