Butane and Dandy Jack join forces on this week's RA podcast.
Martin Schopf is definitely a producer who enjoys a bit of collaboration. When he's not busy creating his own imaginary studio partners, the Chilean techno buff can be found manipulating his machines alongside the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Tobias Freund, Sonja Moonear and many other well-established electronic artists. While minimal techno with ethnic samples may be the current flavour of the month, Schopf's consistently forward-thinking Latin-infused sound refuses to adhere to any set template, with experimentation and innovation taking precedent over simple club functionality.
His latest project is with Alphahouse owner Andrew Rasse, whom you may be familiar with through his mind-bending productions as Butane. Originally hailing from St. Louis, Rasse made the somewhat inevitable move to Berlin two years ago, and hasn't looked back since. His recent Endless Forms album for Damian Lazarus' Crosstown Rebels imprint was an exercise in making tracks with a feeling of evolution (with Rasse citing Charles Darwin as a major influence on the work), and it's this passion for minimal music that exercises both the mind and body that brought the two together to form Pisco Sour. This week's RA podcast showcases the duo's third gig together from earlier this month in Berlin, combining Schopf's swinging rhythms and Rasse's cerebral charge to devastating effect. We caught up with the pair by e-mail to ask about the gig, boozing and what they've got coming up later this year.
What have you been working on recently?
Andrew: Most recently in the studio I'm putting the finishing touches on remixes for Hallucination Limited, Numbolic, Dilek/Darek, and a few other labels. I'm also wrapping up some original productions for an EP on a new label I'm starting together with Sean O'Neal (AKA Someone Else). It's called Little Helpers, and should debut around September/October of this year. And since Endless Forms was just released on Crosstown Rebels, I'm mentally and physically preparing to embark on a really exhausting looking tour of North/South America and Asia over the next two months.
Martin: My John Keys project for Treibstoff and my new album project called Dandy Jack and the Metronome Allstars for Perlon.
How and where was the mix recorded?
Andrew: We played together at Weekend Club in Berlin on Saturday night, July 4th. It was an improvisational and unscripted creative jam session.
Can you tell us a little about the gig?
Andrew: The party was to celebrate the launch of Endless Forms. The idea was to do something different for the album launch, and Martin happened to be coming to town to play for the Perlon guys at Panorama Bar the night before, so the timing was good. We had done this only a couple of times before, most notably at a really crazy after party in Tokyo, so we thought we'd try it out in Berlin.
Why Pisco Sour? Are you a big fan of the cocktail? Both of you enjoy your wine—do you have any drinking stories to share?
Andrew: We spent February together with Sonja Moonear and Nikita the Queen of Mars traveling around Chile. From Santiago we drove to the south of Pucon, all the way exploring volcanoes, waterfalls and national parks. It was magical. We drank many pisco sours...
Andrew: Your album Endless Forms took inspiration from Darwin, and was released in the same year as the 150th anniversary of his On the Origin of Species. Do you find it helpful to look outside of electronic music? Do you have a concept or inspiration for your next release?
Andrew: I do find it helpful (if not totally necessary) to look outside of electronic music for inspiration. Dance music for DJs is a very closed format in many ways, and when you impose such boundaries on yourself, sometimes the creativity gets blocked out with the walls you've put up. I'm a DJ first, so I listen to a lot of dance music. If I were only looking to that stuff as inspiration, I would probably be cranking out the same soulless plastic sounding tech-house that controls the charts these days. My time spent in the studio is about exploration, so I try to bring a little bit of my personality to the task.
Martin: You've continued your string of collaborations, play with Mathew Jonson at Mutek and here with Butane. Do you prefer collaborating to solo work? And are there any future collaborations we can look forward to?
Martin: Between two people there is always a challenge, mixed up between friendship, love and musical affinity. You go into something that could never happen in your dreams; it's an improvisation. This can be magic, but also a disaster. So you go to your gig, simply expecting full control or total chaos. In this case you are exposed to your partner and the public in a silent way, even if the sound is loud and unacceptable and you want to close your ears. There are not many people you are able to do this with. In the beginning it was Tobias as Sieg über die Sonne, then Ricardo as Ric y Martin, Sonja Moonear as Junction SM and Luciano as Carabina 3030. Now it's with Butane as Pisco Sour, always having a nice glass of wine (pisco sour) by our side.
What are you up to next?
Andrew: This weekend I'm playing a very special outdoor/beach party on Sunday in Paris for my good friends from Minimoo. Then next weekend I'm at Fabric in London. My North/South America tour starts the following weekend in Miami and New York. Please check your local listings for times and locations!
Martin: Working on The Metronome Allstars. I hope I will get them together!