The young producer fills us in on his new LP for Ibadan.
Argy's racked up quite a resume for a 26-year-old artist: his relatively brief recording career includes singles on Cocoon, Cadenza and Objektivity to name a few, and he also runs his own label, These Days (and its sub-label, White Days). And though Fundamentals is his first album under his usual moniker, it's actually his second so far after Floating World, a record he produced as Zodiac Free Arts Club that came out on Permanent Vacation this past spring. For that record, Argy stepped out of his comfort zone to emulate the sounds of kosmische pioneers like Klaus Schulze and Neu!. Fundementals, which was produced around the same time, takes a very different approach, focusing instead on Argy's own trademark sound.
Reached by phone at his apartment in Berlin, Argy gave us the rest of the scoop on his upcoming album:
When and where did you make the album?Argy has one other release scheduled between now and when Fundamentals drops: Reminiscence EP on Permanent Vacation, due out later this month.
80 percent of it was written last summer. It all just came out at once, one big body of work that came together very organically, very naturally in one month. I added some more tracks later that year, but did most of it in the middle of last summer in Berlin. That’s why it’s quite summery, has that sunshine feeling.
Do you have a home studio?
Yes, I can't work in normal studios, I have to be where I live. Otherwise it feels like a job, going to an office. Not what I want to do. I need to be able to wake up in the middle of the night, write a melody, then review it in the morning. I can't just switch a button on and say 'OK, I’m inspired now.' It just has to come. When it’s here it's here, when it's not, I do other things.
What was your creative process like?
Mentally I was prepared to do something I felt very comfortable with. I just wanted to please myself and get into what I was doing, bring out the best of my sound and my favorite influences. I didn't want to try out something I’d never done before, I wanted do what I know, what I'm familiar with. My work was very basic. For instance, I didn’t go so much into sound design, just went with basic drums, worked a lot with melodies, tried not to be too geeky. It was a raw process, I just let it out. Texturally I did a very detailed job with my last album, as Zodiac Free Arts Club. This came after that one, so it's more about basic elements, taking four or five parts and making them work.
I also tried to be very direct. Every song has a specific style—I'm not trying to do five songs in one, or five different arrangements in one song. The aim was to bring all my influences, especially New York clubs like Shelter and Twilo, into one album, but not in a way that would sound confused. It's easy to get lost in an album sometimes, and I think a lot of people try to do a lot of styles at once and it ends up sounding very confused. I wanted this to have a clear vision.
You said you're inspired by Twilo and Shelter, but aren't you too young to have been to those clubs?
Right—I've never been to those clubs, but whenever Tenaglia came to Greece, I was there. I was clubbing since I was 14 years old. So every time those guys came I would go to those gigs. And they represented New York. It's more about the feeling you get from those clubs—Twilo, Tunnel—which those DJs were taking around the world.
Ibadan is a big inspiration for you. Is it strange to be releasing an album through them?
I try to work with a lot of different labels—even though my discography is still quite concise, I've done records for Cocoon, Cadenza, Permanent Vacation and others. But Ibadan means something different to me. It's connected to my past, all that Kerri Chandler stuff was very important for me. They were pushing things around 2005 that nobody seemed to get at the time, it was very, very new. And I'm really into what Jerome [Sydenham] is doing now, we have a great relationship and I really admire him as an artist. I love labels like Ibadan that are able to evolve in a certain way without being a chameleon. They're still able to be current and up to date, even if they've been around for many years. This sort of longevity, this sort of artistic care is what I want to do with my label, so I relate to it.
What's behind the title "Dinner at Kerri's"?
It wasn't actually a dinner, although I sent it to Kerri, and he wanted to remix it, so he was like "we actually should have dinner."[laughs] Basically, I heard all these stories from Jerome that Kerri was a really good cook. One night I was just trying to make a Kerri track—it was last July, and for a second I decided I wanted to be somewhere else. I imagined myself in that situation—Kerri and I having dinner and talking about music. I'm very visual like that, I picture something in my mind and kind of trip out on it.
01. Party People
02. It Feels So Good
03. I'm In
04. NY Anthem
05. Upon Ourselves Feat. Bajka (Argy & Jerome Sydenham Version)
06. String Poetry
07. Peace Of Me Feat. POSH! The Prince
08. Dinner At Kerri's
10. Absent Friends
Ibadan will release Fundamentals on September 21st, 2011.