"The urge to transform emotions, memories and states of being into a musical form. I find a lot of joy in this process"
© Caroline Barrueco
Die Wilde Jagd is the music project of producer and songwriter Sebastian Lee Philipp. With the aid of his co-producer Ralf Beck and various guest musicians, he created a self-titled debut album in 2015 and a highly praised follow-up disc, “Uhrwald Orange”, in 2018. The band’s third album – “Haut” – is now set for release on Bureau B. Die Wilde Jagd regularly tour throughout Europe and beyond as a Live duo comprising Sebastian Lee Philipp on guitar, electronics and vocals and Ran Levari on drums.
What was your first foray into the world of electronic music?
I don’t think I ever made a conscious distinction between electronic and non-electronic music. When I grew up, I learnt to play the piano and simple classical pieces. When I was a teenager, at some point I entered a music store and took an interest in the synthesizers and electronic music gear. I bought a Yamaha RM1X, a groove box on which I could program drum beats and synth sequences. I would record my sequences onto mini disk and then record those sequences onto tape while playing new things on top of it, then back to mini disk while playing new things on top of it…this was my basic understanding of recording at the time.
What about this name, Die Wilde Jagd? What does it mean to you?
Die Wilde Jagd (“The wild hunt”) is a phenomenon described in German folklore - a large group of supernatural hunters riding on horses across the sky during the so called “Rauhnächte” between Christmas and new year. There’s a beautiful painting of it by Peter Nicolai Arbo. This painting has a very dramatic, musical quality to it and I like the idea of composing music that somehow corresponds to the action taking place in it.
Peter Nicolai Arbo - The wild hunt of Odin (1872)
Which artists have your interest these days?
I constantly discover old and new music. Some recent artists I’m listening to at the moment include Colin Stetson, Catarina Barbieri, Cody Chesnutt and The Beacon Sound Choir. Older artists I’m discovering or rediscovering are Scott Walker, Mike Oldfield, Miles Davis, Robert Wyatt and Mercury Rev among many others.
Do you remember when music was first presented to you when you were a child?
I mainly remember the music my parents played, particularly during long car trips to holiday destinations: Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Julio Iglesias, Queen, and also some Neue Deutsche Welle bands like Erste Allgemeine Verunsicherung. We also listened a lot to a musical drama play called “Der Watzmann Ruft”.
In and out of the electronic music circle, who is an inspiration to you?
John Cage, Genesis P-Porridge, Apichatpong Weerasathkul, Mike Oldfield, Claire Denis, Terrence McKenna, Michel Houellebecq….and so many more.
What was the last record store you visited and what did you keep there?
I never go record shopping. I’m very lucky to receive a lot of records from befriended artists and labels. My parents also gave me their whole record collection which I’m still working my way through… a lot of classical music and jazz.
Are you particularly permeable to your environment, creatively speaking? If so, how does it influence your live? and producing?
When it comes to recording I get very sucked into the technical environment like instruments and gear I work with. I don’t pay so much attention to my environment, I feel pretty comfortable working in any studio setting. As for Live shows, I feel that the environment is very important to create the right ambience for the music to be enjoyed in, especially the sound.
What inspires you to produce your tracks?
The urge to transform emotions, memories and states of being into a musical form. I find a lot of joy in this process.
How would you define your sound?
I don’t, I’m happy to leave that to others.
Now let’s talk about the technical aspect of your craft; what’s your studio comprised of at the minute?
A MacBook Pro from 2013, an Apollo 8 Duo Interface, a KSG 625 mixing desk, guitar pedals like the Eventide H9 and Way Huge Conquistador. Synthesizers I’ve used on the new album include the Arp 2600, Arturia Microbrute and Access Virus.
What are your favorite places to hang out in the city?
I enjoy going for morning runs in Hasenheide, a park near my place in Neukölln.
How do you deal with C19 confinement with your work?
I’ve installed a little home setup so I’d be able to work from there in case of a full lockdown, which hasn’t happened in Germany though. I’ve been enjoying getting to know my equipment more.
Has this situation influenced your creative perspective? What social and musical implications do you think this situation can lead to?
This is a good question and a difficult one to answer because the situation is so recent and new. I was in the middle of preparing my upcoming Live shows when the Corona crisis started, and of course all planned Live concerts were cancelled. Releasing an album without playing any tour dates is a new situation for me. I think that moments of crisis can spark interesting new trains of thought and approaches. I feel that for recording artists and producers, the current situation has actually sparked a wave of inspiration, for instance many producer friends are currently working on new releases. Perhaps the biggest problem right now is the uncertainty – uncertainty about how long this situation will last and how exactly it will affect our society in the aftermath. There is also a sense of confusion about what developments are overall beneficial and which not. For instance, Bandcamp is appearing to be a big winner in this situation, offering a peer to peer solution to the distribution of music from artist to consumer – at the same time it’s destroying the necessity for small distributors and record shops. Right now I am mainly observing and don’t feel in a position to judge just yet.
© Chana de Moura
What tracks would you recommend us to liven up the confinement?
Anything that makes you feel good.
What makes you happy?
Getting lost in moments of creativity, making my porridge every morning, watering my plants, exploring life.
Can you tell us something about your current or future projects? Where can we continue to see and hear Die Wilde?
I’m always working on something. Something will happen sometime.
Die Wilde Jagd