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INTERVIEW: Marching Machines

Actualizado: 26 abr 2021

Whypeopledance is a collective & music label from Lithuania. Widely known for their LAYERs mix series, daily premieres, and a record label formerly known as MATERIA. Founded by Paulius in 2012 and the team invited to join. The project properly kicked off at the beginning of 2013. Now the team consists of Paulius, Serial Experiments, Jaroška, and Edin that are spinning the project in a new and fresh direction. Whypeopledance has a lot in the pipeline for the coming years, so keep your eyes wide open!

After the confrontational Jack Carel EP in February, Lithuanian label and platform for sharing the best of contemporary leftfield music, Whypeopledance, is back with Marching Machines’ Basement 0011, a release dedicated to all the flashes you’re having of the culture we miss so much, to each hiss of the fog machine you remember, everybody you ever touched on the dance floor, and each staircase that took you underground.


Now let’s meet the artists that are behind

the new release on Whypeopledance with Basement 0011 EP:

Marching Machines is a Belgian duo with a musical history that spans over more than two decades. Their love for electronic machine manipulation is key and have their output on labels like Correspondant, Rotten City Files, Opilec-music, Whypeopledance, Nein and Wrong Era records.

One operator in service is Dimitri Andreas, a producer whose chronicles go back to the early 2000’s, with a wide range of works that vary from leftfield electronica and Belgian pop, to tailor made music for contemporary ballet performances. He speaks Wooky fluently and he’s a master in soap carving. You’ll find his creations and time-lapse videos on social media. Being a nerd, he’s inscrutable. The rumor goes that he once sold a synth to fund a tree hugger workshop on the island state of Yap.

The other operator is Ghent based Spacid, a well-known DJ/promoter who has been active in Belgium's underground scene for more than two decades. He is the former boss of Radius records and re-released Italo disco in the early millennium. Next to his love for music, Spacid loves green beans and koala bears. He's feeling judge-y when he finds the time to dust off his vinyl stock and he is an avid collector of in-flight sick bags. In 2014, he won the prestigious Tuvaluan Lacemaking championship and is also an amateur surgeon.

Together they do their stubborn thing. In a strange and inspiring way, they complement each other in their quest for innovation. They’re exploring the boundaries of Electro, Dark disco, Italo and EBM, topped with a Belgian old skool New beat vibe. Welcome to the machine!

Hey guys, thank you for answering our questions. I'd like to start by asking you about your technical approach to creating music. What gear do you normally wear?

Right now, we are experimenting and trying out new ways every time we start a production. Sometimes we like to start with field recordings and build from there. It gives the foundation of a track an unexpected twist, it brings you to another place every time. At other times we create a linn-drum or 707 drumloop that feels more ‘normal’ and start from there. We are always aiming at making music that has an emotional impact and that does require some sound research and tweaking. We use some hardware synths: Moog for base, Korg Z1, Monologue, Juno. We also love their software sisters. We like to layer lots of sounds to create rich, deep and complex sounds.

Since the lockdown, we have been working online more often. Shorter, but more intense sessions, different than hanging around in the studio. We used to work only in the studio at Dimitri’s place, the White Cabin. This room is also an important part of the sound, as everything acoustically in here influences our sound for sure.

What aspects does the equipment you use that you like bring to your production?

We like to use real drum and percussion sounds. We like the organic and raw feel it gives.

Together with our SSL mix controller we get a very instinctive and organic way of creating and mixing while producing our music.

Your EP is having a very good impact. What were you inspired by to create it? How do you turn your inspiration into a mechanically produced track?

Sometimes it just comes naturally. For instance, while fooling around, we found some sounds that were inspiring and we ended up with an addictive bassline. We took it from there: once the idea is fit into a plan, we know what to do. This is experience. Is this somewhat of an answer?

How has your sound evolved since you started?

We are only releasing for 1 year, but we have been working together on this project for more than 4 years now.

And for sure there is evolution in our modus operandi. In the beginning we were relying more on Dimitri’s way of working, using lots of field recordings. Then Yves influenced our sound a lot with his crazy non-conventional experiments and his old music collection. We have been seriously influenced by old Belgian new beat, Italo, electro and EBM. We only use particular elements, for example the emotional synth melodies and arpeggios. In the meantime, we have established our own way of creating: a sound we have together as Marching Machines.

I feel like the underground scene will continue to persist. Do you think we can go back to "normal" events and festivals?

There will always be an underground scene, you can't crush that. That's like opposition to politics, a critical note that is pushing things forward. You don't kill music lovers that easily. It’s a feeling that lives between our two ears. But never waste a good crisis! This one resulted in a lot of studio time and will leave its mark on the future dancefloors. This day will surely come again. No matter how hard it is, everything will be all right in the end. And goddamn, we are looking forward to that!

How is your sound evolving? What artists and genres do you enjoy mixing right now?

We are constantly experimenting and searching for new ways. We like to see that our role is to innovate and to push the way music flows in a new direction. Don't pin us down to one sound. Someone who loves music is constantly evolving and that is our important engine. In terms of mixes we love the old New beat, electro, EBM, house and italo. But the past has already been written, the book is finished. We can't rewrite it, but we are taking this baggage with us... The interesting thing is that the past always colours the future, and that’s our path. Contemporary artists we do dare to throw into our dj mixes are Beesmunt Soundsystem, Gamma Intel, Identified Patient, Christian Coiffure, Tamburi Neri, Das Ding, Alessandro Adriani, käfTen, Technobeton, The Hacker, and the releases on Worst records. But that's just a small drop: there's a lot of good music coming out now days. There are also very interesting things happening with breaks nowadays, maybe we can do something with that…

How do you feel your music influences or impacts your listeners?

No idea! Does it? Can someone tell us? We do hope so. We're just doing our thing and we're very happy that it's being picked up. We're receiving a lot of nice feedback. All the rest is a nice bonus. We hope our music creates the same impact on our listeners like we felt while making it.

What other projects are you working on right now?

Next to his tree hugger workshops, Dimitri is working on a big theatre show and his own music. Spacid hopes the events he organizes will start up again soon. Meanwhile, he is practicing for the next Lacemaking championship and as an amateur surgeon these are golden times. As far as Marching Machines is concerned, a new EP on Slow Motion Records is coming up, as well as a track on Australia's Boots & Legs. Also, we are currently working on an EP on Rotten City Records and on three remixes: one for Nein Records, one on the Spanish Espacio Cielo Records and another remix will be released on Sapiens Records. More about this later...


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