Dublin collective Melodic turns 6 this month with a party that’ll feature Lindstrøm and Luca Bacchetti, who’ll be making his Irish debut.
Starting off with humble beginnings in the now-defunct Lost Society basement with a series of monthly parties, Melodic has grown a loyal and trusting fan base through their clever and consistent booking policy.
Notable parties over the last 6 years include Edu Imbernon in Lost Society, Francois K in The Sugar Club, Patrice Baumel in Tengu, Nick Warren in The Grand Social, not to mention 3 gigs in Berlin’s legendary Kater Blau.
We spoke to Lindstrøm ahead of his live gig this weekend with Melodic in Tengu about how accurate a description ‘Space Disco’ is of his sound, and how exactly his songs are constructed.
You’ve always been seen as one of the faces of ‘Space Disco’, but do you feel your music has moved away from that genre over the years, or do you see the ‘space disco’ as something that’s hard to define anyway?
Hm, it wasn’t me who invented the term “space disco”. I don’t really mind, but I’m not sure if its a genre that I belong to any more than other genres …
You’re known for dance music with euphoric releases, but some tracks on your last album have a darker edge and are slightly nightmarish; ‘Bungl like a Ghost’ for example, Was this something you set out to do?
I guess maybe “bungl” feels darker because of Jenny Hvals lyrics. The last track, “under trees” is also slightly darker than usual. But I’m not so sure that my future tracks will sound like this. I don’t mind a little darkness though!
How do you view this album in relation to the rest of your discography?
I guess maybe that this new album incorporates some elements from all my previous albums. Some vocal-tracks, some instrumentals, somethings for the DJs/dancers. I was happy with the balance.
How do you create an original composition, what’s the first thing you start with?
Usually I start with a chord progression that I think is interesting. That usually happens in a few minutes, noodling around on the piano. The hard work is finishing the track, which usually takes months! I spend too much time rearranging and remixing my tracks, I guess I should instead try to trust my initial gut-feeling.
You’re also well known for your remixes, but you work on a lot of indie rock songs as opposed to other dance songs, is working in a more genre outside your own something you relish?
Yes, sometimes working outside my usual domain can be easier and much more inspiring as well I suppose. It’s great working with elements recording live in a good studio, such as guitars and vocals.
You’ve mentioned in past interviews you didn’t really listen to dance music before you started making it, do you think this made your own voice more distinct as you weren’t influenced by contemporaries?
I don’t know, but what I do know is that if I listen to too much contemporary dance music, I end up getting a little too inspired; trying to copy what I hear from other tracks and productions, which can be a good thing I suppose. I’d rather listen to other styles of music.
When I’m listening to classical music, I get inspired by complex arrangements and instrumentation, without being able to directly copy what I hear on my synthesizers or drum-machines. I find it’s so much more rewarding diving into a Strauss-symphony, instead of listening to the latest Beatport releases.
I prefer watching a Fellini or Bergman movie instead of wasting time on any stupid TV series!
Do you listen to Dance music now? What inspires you if it’s not other dance artists?
I don’t listen much to dance music. Usually my musical diet consists of obscure library music, soundtracks from old Italian movies, Swedish folk music, classical music & opera.
The Title track of ‘Where you go I go too’ was almost a half an hour long, do you see yourself doing a song of that length again?
I did similar thing with the album “Runddans” which I did together with Emil Nicolaisen and Todd Rundgren. Basically that’s more or less one track. It’s great to work with long tracks, I really like it. Sooner or later I’ll do it again.
You incorporate live instrumentation and even vocals into your music, what do think these elements offer to what’s regarded as electronic music
I’ve decided to bring in more live elements for my future releases, however, many of these live-elements include live synthesizers. Even that makes a difference, compared to plugins in the computer. But also live hi-hats, tambourines and cymbals and I’ve recently added a clavichord and a fender Rhodes into the studio. It’s getting crowded in my room!
How is it balancing making your own work and running your label?
I really haven’t been running my label for about 10 years. Almost all my releases since 2006 have been via Smalltown Supersound. But balancing writing music versus everything else related to a music career can be a difficult task. I’m doing the best I can.
‘Closing shot’ was one of the best tracks by any artist in 2016 for me, do you have a soft spot for it and what do you think makes it so special if you do?
Oh, thank you! I was very tired of that track after finishing it, but now when working on new music, I realise when listening to it, that it’s pretty good. I usually need years to decide if something is good or not. I’m happiest with the bassline… and the clap-pattern is nice as well!
Words: Mark Conroy