Amsterdam based ambient-electronic artist and multi instrumentalist Erik Buschmann is gearing up to drop his debut EP 1v1, as he unveils All Related – the stunning first single to be taken from the forthcoming extended player. Out now via esteemed Dutch imprint Reflektor Records, All Related is named after the internal conflicts that can occur when trying to follow your inner compass during the process of creation. With influences ranging from hip-hop legend J. Dilla to UK based electronica artist Jon Hopkins, Erik has managed to develop a unique sound that borrows elements from multiple genres and instruments, ranging from spacey violin soundscapes and heavy bass beats, to dark electro and hip-hop. We sat down with Erik to find out more…
Hi Erik, greetings and thanks for taking the time to chat!
For those of our readers that don’t know you, who is Erik Buschmann?
Difficult question right off the bat haha. But yeah, I’m a guy living in Amsterdam, music producer, drummer and some days even a teacher, but try to focus on making music these days. The work that I’m releasing in the upcoming months is my first solo work that I’ll be releasing so I’m very excited about that!
What have the last few months been like for you? Have you been keeping yourself busy during lockdown?
I am working a lot on finishing old tracks that have been collecting dust in some old folders on my computer… and also creating new stuff. Especially now that there are no gigs to be played I really feel a lot of ease and freedom in creating music, so that really feels like a positive side in these difficult times. I do miss playing gigs, but I really feel that you have to be creative now, especially now that a lot of stuff isn’t possible, it does create new opportunities. Finishing All Related for instance did happen because I finally had some time to mix the track as I wanted it to sound. It did take some more time than I thought, but after a while I felt confident enough to say to myself that it’s finished. Always a difficult moment for me haha.
Huge congratulations on the forthcoming release of your debut single ‘All Related’. Can you tell us about the concept behind the release?
Thanks! The track started to take its shape when I was jamming with Nadine Dekker, a great friend of mine who plays the violin in a very innovative way. She is always tweaking her violin sounds with guitar pedals and other effects and the weirdest stuff happens. At a point during the session I laid down the beat and she was just messing around with a violin technique called pizzicato. When she played that I was so amazed about the sound that we tried to make a melody out of it. That melody really became the backbone of the track. As a producer, I started working with drum computers similar to the ones that J. Dilla used. I sampled a lot of old records and weird sounds from YouTube back then. The way that I arranged this track was basically the same as that sampling method. Chopping up the violin track and trying to fit that into the song with making loops is how the track found its current arrangement.
How would you best describe your sound?
To me it feels like I’m balancing between ambient and electronic music. I am a very visual person and a lot of times that I make music I am always looking for a video or other images that match the sonic landscape I am trying to create. It helps me to find out in which direction I want to proceed when working on a track and it gives me a lot of new ideas because you listen to the same track in a different way. The spatial sound that I try to create in my music is very much dependent on that creation process.
What hardware / software do you use for your productions?
I work in Ableton Live and the amount of plugins on my macbook are pretty shocking haha. But I do have some go to plugins for specific purposes. I use Fabfilter a lot, especially the Simplon filter. And I am a big fan of the Soundtoys plugins. For almost every beat or percussion element I use my Elektron Analog Rytm with some fx pedals. Synth sounds vary a lot. I share my studio with my good friend and band member Koen van de Wardt, who has collected a nice amount of analogue synths over the years so I tend to use those a lot like the Korg MS-20 and Prophet 12. Also recently bought a Behringer Poly D and I am just blown away with the sound of that synth. Definitely gonna hear that a lot in some new tracks. Crazy fact about All Related is that I mixed it on a 2010 Macbook during the summer. So that thing was blowing steam when processing all the audio haha.
We’ve noticed that you are also the drummer for Klangstof, a band that we’re big fans of here at DMC World. Will you continue to work with Koen and Wannes on that project, or are you focusing exclusively on this new direction?
Aha always nice to hear! I will definitely still work on new music with Wannes en Koen. We all have different projects that we work on besides Klangstof and I really think it’s healthy to have that. I’ve been in other projects and bands that are more focused on one project only, but that can give me a bit of a tunnel vision effect that makes me less creative. I think that switching between projects gives perspective on a creative level but also on a business level it gives me a lot of insight and knowledge that have benefits to all the things I work on.
Do you have any particular goals for the Erik Buschmann project over the next few years? Do you think it’s something that you’d like to take on tour eventually?
For next year I am working on some new stuff already. Don’t know if it will be singles, an EP or a full length album, but time will tell. Right now I am just focusing on making music that challenges me as an artist and producer. Touring is definitely a thing on my list, but right now I’m just making new music as the focus and try to arrange that for maybe next year. I do have a lot of ideas on how to perform my work live, but that will take some time for me to develop.
Leaving ‘work’ aside, what sort of music do you like to listen to in your spare time? Any favourite artists you can share?
I love to listen to those ambient playlists on Spotify. Playlists like Exospheres or Jon Hopkins: Quiet are some playlists that I love. Some other artists that I listen to are Radiohead, Nils Frahm and Bonobo. I guess almost everything I really love has a kind of “electronic meets organic” vibe.
Finally, what’s next for you this year?
Since there are so many uncertainties these days it seems almost impossible to plan releases and tours and it’s sometimes difficult to know for sure what’s next. I am however working with the guys at Reflektor Records right now for some more releases this year. Very excited about that!