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INTERVIEW: Alexander Church

'Blackheart Part 1' is the first installment and is a five track EP including a remix by Nolan.

Church is both a solo artist and a frequent collaborator with the likes of James Welsh and has been for many years in various guises. His adventurous productions combine techno, ambient, electronica and breakbeats in an always elevated concept and deeply stimulating new soundscapes. This latest project is another that finds him pushing himself into new territory alongside Vincenzo from Hamburg.

We have had the pleasure of interviewing Alexander and this has been the result.

Hi Alex and welcome to Chromatic Club. How would you describe your music to someone who doesn't know you?


I would like to think my music is thought provoking and has a sense of depth to it. That is what I aim for when I am making it. I am really fond of melodies and try to use a lot of synth-based sounds in my productions. I also have a more abstract taste from time to time that is quite noise based and some would say as far away as you get from music before it stops being music.

Your latest releases see you pairing up with German producer Vincenzo. How did this pairing come about?

I have been a follower of Vincenzo’s music for many years, and I asked him to do a few remixes for the label and the collaboration came from there really. I am happy with the workflow we have developed, and the tracks are a good representation of us both as artists. I am keen to build on the collaboration further and try different styles and sounds.

What is the thinking behind the ‘Blackheart’ releases the pair of you have produced?

We are trying to create very melodic tracks that have lots of depth and emotion and are just as nice to listen to at home as well as the dance floor. Most of the initial synth sounds have come from the new Oberheim OB-X8 which I have been getting into recently. We are aiming to do at least 5/6 releases of black heart and experiment with the sound and content. The name represents the melancholic aspect of some of the melodies created that fits the series concept quite well.

Your Configurations of Self label has seen you release a prolific amount of music. What does write and releasing electronic music mean to you and what are your goals?

Due to an extremely demanding day job and family commitments the label and writing music is a hobby and a creative outlet I use to support myself and my self-care. I set up the label and built the concept around my studying of psychology and wanted the label to not just be about the music, but the artwork and psychological concepts that underpin some of the releases. There is a website that explains more however I need to update it and refresh it a little. My goals with music are just to have fun and build the label as a hobby and meet other producers who are passionate about electronic music and collecting synths etc.

Away from the studio or DJ booth, what do you do with your time and what are you personal passions?

I spend a lot of my time working and spending time with my family, I consider myself to be lucky as I can spend many weekends exploring the Lake District in the UK and here, I can wind down and be around nature. My personal passions are helping people to live life as best as they can and realise their potential through therapy, and I balance offering therapy with my main work and try fit in making music and doing photography in between. I have recently been diagnosed with ADHD and this has helped me to understand some of my impulsive behaviours and I would like to help others who suffer from some of the same traits deal with this.

What is the one piece of studio kit you would never get rid of, no matter what?

This is a really difficult question as I am constantly buying new equipment for the studio, right now I am loving the Erica Synths Syntrx, it’s an incredible machine and the possibilities are endless. I love Erica synths in general to be honest, the branding, the vision and values of the company and I try support them as much as I can.

I need to also add that despite being fortunate enough to have many great synths around me, I believe it’s the person that ultimately crafts the sound and not the equipment. I personally choose to use outboard gear as it works for me however, I hear amazing output from producers who just work in a computer.

What was the last record store you visited, in person or online? And what did you buy there?

I used to own a vinyl store (The Disc Records) in Bradford, and I love vinyl shops. Whenever I visit any city the first thing, I do is look for the vinyl shops and go visit them. My last order of Vinyl was last night from Juno records, I ordered some Jeff mills Axis records and the latest Avian (Shifted label) I collect all the releases on both those labels.

Do you have hope for the future of music? And how do you feel about the benefits or threats of AI in the musical arena?

Music is such an important aspect of many people’s lives for different reasons and will always have a place in my opinion.

I follow the advances in AI very closely and am actively supporting the development of AI across healthcare as part of my day job. I would be fascinated to explore how AI could be used with music if the creative process was always controlled by the human. I do worry about the speed of AI development and hope it is used to enhance the human experience in a controlled and ethical way.

In terms of using AI to produce music or perform music, I am sure it will happen however I do not see the point as music is an expression of human emotions and without that aspect it is just pointless in my opinion. It is like a DJ coming to perform and using the sync button.

What do you have planned for the rest of 2023?

Musically I am hoping to develop a found sound project with some other frequent artists on the label and create some tracks based on everyday sounds from round the house or on my travels in nature. My aim is to also release one EP a month on the label.

What makes you happy?

Balance makes me happy, if I can find the right balance between spending time with family, work, creativity and looking after my health I will always be happy.


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