- Posted May 10, 2014 by
ELECTRONIC MUSIC : VENJA
1. Analog gear or digital?
Both. I like to have the complete set of sounds: analog, digital, virtual…they all sound different. It depends on what I want to achieve and use the synth of which I think it will fit the bill best.
When I need ‘airy’, icy or metallic sounds I mostly use digital synths since these are mostly better in achieving this. When I want warm sounds or basses I often use pure analog synths such as the Moog or Jupiter 8. With those synths it is easy to shake the entire building.
2. How to use music as a public activism....
I’m not sure what you mean by this question but when I look at myself I can say that I take care of sounds. I like to combine sounds which together create something what we like to call music. But mostly I start with just one sound. This can be a sound to create a pad, or a sound effect, a lead sound and so on. With my Venja-project (www.venja.com) I want to take the listener to a journey, a journey full of excitement. That’s why my music is rarely repetitive and full of variation. Not in music style, but what is happening in the music itself.
3. What’s the current state of electronic music?
I will start answering your question with another question: what is electronic music? Is it trance, techno, dub-step? Or is it space-music, ambient or Berliner-Schule? These are all very different forms of “electronic music”…
However, electronic music nowadays has laid the path for several interesting and very creative things. These days electronic instruments are cheap and so easy accessible for everyone, not withholding anyone to make music. This lead to the fact that there are very interesting musicians out there now. But the opposite is also true: there is a lot of uninspired stuff out as well.
4. Where is electronic music heading?
Tough question, so hard to tell… I hope that people will be creative with electronic instruments so that new inspiring tunes can be heard. Maybe manufactures will produce awesome instruments which will influence electronic music, who knows.
Personally I like the non-main-stream forms of electronic music more. With that I mean space-music, ambient or the more chillout-like forms. So I hope that these forms can get more attention on the big media then they have right now.
I also like to search the internet for new things to happen and sometimes I stumble upon truly awesome artists doing great stuff with their synthesizers. As founder of B-Wave (Belgian Electronic Music Community) I especially like to get in touch with those artists living in Belgium and learn more about their music.
5. How has your music making process changed?
My music in the early days was more simple, less “layered’ simply because I was a student then and didn’t have the money to buy lots of equipment. Since I was studying electronics it was obvious that I build some of my gear myself.
So I build my first synthesizer myself, but also drum machines, effect processors and so on. But time passes and through the years I collected many instruments. I kept the ones which I liked the most and sold the others I didn’t like.
But now the studio is very computer focussed, the computer is an important part of my studio. But all the other stuff in my studio is important as well, it is one coherent entity.
I use the computer as a multitrack recorder, a master track recorder and a mastering machine. But I also use it for software synthesizers, effects etc.
A record deal with IC/Digit Music and the release of 5 Venja-albums there helped to acquire some gear.
6. What’s the best thing about Live gigs?
The best thing about playing live is the interaction with the audience, to see how the people respond and afterwards maybe some trying to get in touch with you.
What’s also great about live gigs is that there aren’t two the same, it is always different. Not only the location but also the audience or even the entire setup – my last two gigs were at the Cosmodrome planetarium of Genk which was a fantastic experience. One of those was outside in the dark while the audience looked at the falling stars, awesome.
7. Are we living in the age of computer music?
Certainly! That’s all right by me, as long as the music is fully man-made…
Computers became part of our daily life and it is up to us to use them creatively.
Personally I only use the computer as a recording aid or as an instrument which I control and play, it doesn’t compose music. The downside is that it can block inspiration or creativity. Too many people out there use too easily pre-programmed factory-sounds.
But I have to admit that it is very tempting.