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MORPHEUS MUSIC INTERVIEW - HIBERNATION

21.11.08 - on release of Some Things Never Change.

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Q: You’ve been involved in a number of different musical projects over the years – what led to the creation of Hibernation?   Well, I'd been a regular visitor to Israel (that’s where Alpeh Zero is based) for over 10 years or so, at first with my Shakta Trance project and then for regular studio sessions with Momi Ochion (under the act name Angel Tears). Shahar, who runs the Label along with Yaniv Shulman, would occasionally visit us while we were recording Angel Tears material & that’s where I first met him. I had previously written a track for their Natural Born Chillers 2 compilation and when they were thinking about artist albums they asked if I would consider writing one for them. Of course I said Yes! That was the birth of the Hibernation Project.   Q:  In what ways is Hibernation different from your previous projects?   It's definitely a lot more electronic & experimental than my other projects and that was thanks to the brief from Aleph Zero, they were quite sure that they didn't want just another generic chill album, so it was nice to experiment with some fresh musical territory. I didn’t really want to work on a typical ‘psychill’ project as that doesn’t inspire me at all and luckily Shahar & Yaniv were on exactly the same page! Originality was as important to them as it was to me.
     
             
Q:  Do you have any favourite items of kit or particular recording techniques that you enjoy using?
  Well, I don't really use much hardware these days, mainly for the convenience of working on multiple projects at the same time, I use Mac Computers & Cubase to compose on and I guess my favourite plug-ins are some of the UAD ones, especially for downtempo music. I really love the LA2A compressor on Vocals, Guitar & Bass... and Altiverb Convolution Reverb is amazing. I also frequently used LiveCut throughout the Hibernation Album, that's an amazing Glitchy Plug-in (& totally free!).....But really, there are no particular rules or techniques to what I do. Once you get started the inspiration either flows or it doesn't and different styles of music have me reaching for different plug-ins. Ten years ago I would have given you a list of my favourite synths and hardware gear! But right now it's mainly software I turn to.   Q: How is it to go back to electronic music again after the world/ethnic emphasis of Kaya Project & Angel Tears?  

It doesn’t really feel like going back for me as I’ve been producing various electronic tracks for compilations and adverts over the last few years, as well as having a few breakbeat releases under my Digitalis project – so in that respect it wasn’t a complete break from electronica – it's always been bubbling along in the background. But yes, it's fair to say that my most recent album releases have been more of the world music tip. From an album perspective Hibernation was certainly a refreshing change.

             
Q:  Did you set out with a predetermined vision for this album? If so what was it?
 

Hmmmm....not really a predetermined vision, but it was certainly important to avoid many of the clichés that have arisen in the scene and to a certain extent I think I managed that. It also had to be sonically distinct from my Kaya Project Material. The 3rd Kaya Project album '...& So It Goes' it pretty much free from Electronica this time round, concentrating on a more live, organic and musical sound, whereas Hibernation is almost entirely electronic, with very little emphasis on live musicianship. From this point of view I see those two projects as completely separate and distinct from each other.

  Q:  What were your points of reference for Some Things Never Change – your stylistic influences?   When I’m composing I try to avoid listening too much to other music – probably because I'm trying not to be influenced by it! I'm aware that everything I hear influences me in some way. But now that the album is finished It's much easier to see the woods for the trees and I can hear quite a lot of stylistic influences have that crept in there. It certainly wasn't pre-meditated but I can hear elements of Flanger, Telefon Tel Aviv, Burial, Amon Tobin, Boards of Canada, Akufen, Eat Static, Meat Beat Manifesto.... well... the list goes on & on. Those are probably all artists that were subtly in my subconscious mind while I was composing & I highly respect each of them, but there was never any plan to sound like any other artist. They say that a musician is the sum total of all of his/her influences. That sounds about right to me :-)
             
 
     
Q:  Would you say that you recent TV work has had any effect on your writing?
  A couple of tracks that were originally composed for TV have made it onto those two albums, albeit in slightly altered form (Hirajoshi on the Kaya Project Album & Reflect on the Hibernation Album). But I'm not sure if my writing style has changed because of the TV work I've done. It's hard for me to judge my musical style from an outside perspective. It's always easier for other people to see patterns in your work than yourself.   Q:  Hibernation seems right at home on Aleph-zero Records – how did this coming together of artist and label occur?
  Well, the project didn’t exist until I was approached by them! It was very much because of Aleph Zero that Hibernation came into existence in the first place. Actually, Shahar & Yaniv have quite a tough vetting process for tracks submitted to their label. They don't really have the same taste as each other when it comes to music, but if they find a track that they BOTH like then it's passed through the Aleph selection filter! I'm sure that this album was fine tuned to Aleph Zero precisely because of this double filter. I submitted a far larger number of tracks to the guys than were actually included in the final album.
             
Q:  Can we expect more Hibernation material in the future?   Without doubt! The initial responses to the album have been amazing & I'm certain there will be more from Hibernation in the near future...Watch this space :-)        

 

           

Thanks to Seb AKA Hibernation and the guys at Aleph Zero for allowing us that interview.

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