“Ghostly radio transmissions, dubbed out Rhodes, underwater frequencies, and broadcasts from beyond the digital ether.” These are the notes that accompany a new record and project from Berlin-based producer and multi instrumentalist Konstantin, a notable figure in electronic music arguably known best for his work as Glenn Astro.
Artist and label concept-based project ‘Delta Rain Dance‘ sees Konstantin delve into more contemplative, and melancholic states. Trancemission/Transmission [OUTTAKES], the recent cassette record of the project, comes as a DJ tool, sampling material, or an opportunity for individuals to build their own musical narrative by piecing tracks in endless puzzle like orders, made up of a series of wonderfully bizarre melodic and percussive experiments that ‘didn’t quite fit’ the upcoming debut album.
Whatever the future of Delta Rain Dance will sound like, it’s a refreshing turn for an already established producer and keen to look deeper, we sat down with Konstantin to ask the Five W’s and more.
Who or what is Delta Rain Dance and how is the guise different to Glenn Astro?
Delta Rain Dance is not a person, it’s meant to be more of a concept combining a label and artist name in one. Musically something completely different to the Glenn Astro character. I’d say DRD is more spontaneous and dystopic in its message, more artificial and synthetic. It’s partly also a way to escape those genre boundaries and categories the Glenn Astro name has been associated with throughout the years.
‘Trancemission/Transmission’ is quoted as a modern take on ‘Music for Airports’, can you tell us more about the inspirations behind the project?
The Music for Airports comparison comes from my friend who wrote the info text. I didn’t think of that myself. But what I can say is that the whole concept is heavily inspired by Jon Hassell’s Fourth World idea, he also collaborated with Brian Eno quite a bit, so maybe this is where the Music for Airports reference kicks back in.
The record is made up of two halves, with ‘Trancemission’ consisting of mostly beatless synth experiments, whilst ‘Transmission’ is mainly led by programmed beats and polyrhythmic structures, how are the two sides meant to relate and affect each other?
I feel like they complement each other quite well, some of the tracks make sense when played together. I see them as little building blocks that can be combined to build something bigger, but they also are nice on their own, you know? Some are a bit more simple, others are more complex, polyrhythmic, but they all have a certain feel and sound that keeps them together.
The whole record sounds like it was largely improvised, could you tell us more about the production process and the equipment you used?
They were all made in the early morning hours, I usually got up a few extra hours early before I had to leave the house and go to work or leave for the airport or something and tried to create something spontaneous. There are no samples used in this whole project, I have attached a list of the equipment that I used on bandcamp . It’s mostly hardware and effects pedal jams that I recorded in one take to my DAW.
You state that the OUTTAKES tape project is meant for sampling? What’s your reasoning behind the invitation for artists to experiment with your sounds and what would you hope to see from those who take up the offer?
The tape contains material that didn’t fit the album release, I didn’t want to dismiss it just like that though, so I thought it might be a fun idea to make it public anyway and see what other people will come up with using this as their sound source. I don’t really expect anything, but credits would be nice if someone actually uses the sound in their own production.
The debut album of Delta Rain Dance is out early next year. How will the record be different, or similar, to the Outtakes cassette?
The record will be more coherent. The tape is basically a compilation of sounds and structures thrown together, they still make sense, but they are not really related. The album release will be a bit more conceptual I guess. More functional in some aspects.
What’s the overall vision for Delta Rain Dance and the new label, will the alias continue to coincide with Glenn Astro and will other artists contribute to the imprint?
I haven’t really made a plan about other artists yet. It was meant to be a hub for me to put out music my way and withoiut compromises, and it’s also the first time I have a label all to myself, it feels like I can act more flexible and spontaneous. The Glenn Astro stuff will obviously continue, also we just turned M$R into a new label with the new name ‘Termina’. A lot of exciting stuff. It feels like taking a step back from all this music industry hustle and redefine what making music actually meant before all of this. It feels really refreshing and inspirational and also fuels other projects with the creative juices that I was missing for quite a while now.
Trancemission / Transmission is out February 8, 2019 on Delta Rain Dance.
Trancemission/Transmission [OUTTAKES] is out now.
More info here.