German musician junk-E-cat explains his impressive live show, releasing on Mutterkomplex + more | Soundspace

German musician junk-E-cat explains his impressive live show, releasing on Mutterkomplex + more

Interview: junk-E-cat

Berlin’s own junk-E-cat is a living embodiment of the organic beauty that sits somewhere between the worlds of electronic and acoustic music, squashing the narrow minded view that ‘our way is better than your way’ , which can sometimes come up when the discussion lands at a crossroads between the two sides.

His productions offer both the finely tuned rhythmic energy of house drums, and the natural imperfections of a man made instrument and his live show not only breaks the creative mould, but the technical one as well.

We spoke with the Germany artist about his elaborate live show, his releases with the crew at Mutterkomplex, how he made beats in a paraglider and what’s to come from him in the near future.

Hey junk-E-cat, how are things going in Berlin right now?

It’s a great time of year – autumn has already kicked in here and, after a busy summer, the creature is back in its cave creating and cooking up some new music and perfecting its live show.

First we wanted to ask about your live setup, what’s with the fire truck?

The creature’s live journey started with busking in the streets of Berlin in 2016 to get a raw, honest look at how the show affected people directly and developed to shows in clubs with GoPro footage of the details projected for the audience to get a closer look at what was going on. After this stage, I realized that creating a portable stage environment would mean I could bring junk-E-cat to festivals and open spaces in as many places as possible.

In 2017 I bought a 1970s fire truck on eBay and, with the help of a good friend, I modified it to a mobile stage complete with a sound system, lights and a screen. The truck (or Harry as we call him) has become one of the central elements of junk-E-cat’s journey. From one person’s crazy idea, to a reality shared by a team of friends and partners in crime, who have watched the project grow from its earliest stages.

And you seem to combine MIDI controllers with real instruments, why both?

In the center of the electronic side is a Maschine MK3 which allows me to perform and produce beats and patterns in real time. A Maschine Jam controls the arrangement and manages different patterns and effects. The horns – bass clarinet, soprano and alto sax – add an organic and special texture to the music and allow me to also play freely on top of my tunes whenever I feel like it.

The main challenge is to merge both worlds in the most natural way possible. It creates a beautiful symbiosis where the result becomes bigger than the sum of the electronic and the acoustic elements.

We saw your instagram video where you jam out on a Maschine Mikro while paragliding, how much planning went into that?

There was quite a lot of planning involved! It started with the creation of a beat that I thought would be a good fit for the flight in the Alps. The next step was the creation of a special flight case to fit both the controller and the laptop running the Maschine software inside.

The actual production was done in two days. On the first day we tried out the best way to attach the flight case and were simulating the playing position. On the second day we did one preparation flight to get familiar with everything. Then we started shooting. After some complications with our camera man during the second flight – #nausea – the third flight delivered the perfect take and the best view.

You’ve released two EPs this year with Mutterkomplex, how’s your relationship developing with those guys?

Mutterkomplex really saved us after our crowdfunding campaign was ruined by Pledge Music going bankrupt early this year. We were one of the many artists affected and as a result of this global scandal, neither did we see any of the money that was pledged, nor did the pledgers get their money back.

The guys from Mutterkomplex helped us to release the debut Kreatur EP. They are the label behind the German urban brass band Moop Mama and they also started busking and guerrilla performances so we have a common spirit and an ‘outside the box’ approach.

And will you be adding anymore labels to your roster in the coming months?

For now Mutterkomplex is our home and there will definitely be more music added to my catalogue soon!

Your most recent outing was for the Levitation EP, which included remixes from Polly Powder and Lavid. Did you have much input into choosing who would remix on the EP?

Of course. I liked Polly Powders club style using the saxophones as a moving yet repetitive texture on a steady techno beat. Emanuel Bender aka. Lavid is not only a great producer, who made a very playful version of the track, he is also a member of my team since the beginning and the amazing drone pilot that created all the areal video footage with the creature.

Thanks a lot for taking some time out of your day to chat to us, let’s finish up with your favourite producer right now?

At the moment junk-E-cat mostly listens to his inner demons, who are quite talkative this time of year.