In depth with liquid stranger

as a lead-in to the launch of the forthcoming album, the intergalactic slapstick, we present an up close interview with the multi-faceted producer known as liquid stranger.

what is your musical background?

i started playing piano at a tender age and did classical piano concerts between the age of 6-8. then i discovered the synthesizers and life was never the same again. i abandoned the classical music world and spent the next 10 years producing my own material. i never thought about releasing any of my music until i was 17. then, all of a sudden, it was time to get a job...and i realized that there was nothing else i wanted to do at that time than making music.

what other work have you done in the music world?

i have done my share of shady black-ops: i worked in a commercial studio for a while and engineered/produced a lot of jazz and rock bands...i even made a song for the euro-vision contest once - hehe.

you had some notable success with your progressive trance project necton a few  years back - what lead you to move away musically from that genre to start developing a new sound and style?

i never really moved away. i have always made tons of different types of music. during the time i toured with necton, i produced various stuff like soundscapes, electronica and blipp’n’bass. what excites me is the fusing of genres. i have no fixed style that i stay with too long. i do not like limitations and i get bored very easily.

give us a bit of insight into the liquid stranger project.

it started off as my ”everything under one roof project”. i wanted one alias that would encompass all my musical output. consequently, i have produced a wide variety of music under the name liquid stranger. at first, the plan was to keep my identity a secret, so i never did interviews or showed my face on stage. after a while it became quite tricky. in fact, interchill finally ruined this idea by writing my name on the record sleeves. ;)

did you have a certain approach or philosophy in mind when you created the material for your new album?

yes, but it never turns out the way i plan. i had lots of ideas for different tunes. however, as soon as i start producing, my ideas fade away and something else takes over. ultimately, i have very little control over the creative process.

i have a very short attention span when it comes to music. a tune must not take more than about 4 hours to finish or else i will get bored and abandon the project.

what collaborations have inspired you the most over the years?

the candymind label was a really creative and fun project. no compromises, good vibrations.

who would you like to work with?

i do not really enjoy producing music with other people. most often it takes too long, or gets far too serious and pretentious. for the new album i asked a couple of talented vocalists to send me material that i could use in my productions. this worked out beautifully.

my brother has started working on a sequencer program built around AI. the idea is that the producer inputs a basic concept (such as a bassline, a few chords, and a beat). then the software lets AI musicians with different styles and temperament elaborate on the idea. this way, the producer gets dynamic creative feedback from the computer. electronic music making will become a living, breathing, creative process between the producer and the software. and, you know, all time-consuming editing with drum fills and such would be taken care of as well. it is a brilliant idea. ultimately i am looking for a way to connect my brain directly to a wetware computer.

tell us about your live set up.

i mix beats from 2 cdj's and sync them to my cwejman s1 modular analogue system using an audio to midi converter. i never really know what is going to happen, so it is new and exciting for me. i can tailor the sets to fit the time and mood of the crowd. i also do not have to bring a computer on stage which, for a live set up, is kinda boring.

what is your preferred piece of electronic music hardware and/or software?

i love analogue synthesizers, but lately i am running almost everything from my computer. there are so many amazing virtual instruments and efx on the market.

i recently saw a tv show where a bunch of really prominent classical maestros did a blind test with different versions of beethoven's symphony no. 9 in d minor. the first version was played by the british royal philharmonic orchestra, the second by the german chamber orchestra, and the third was made with computer software. everyone agreed that the software version was the most authentic, and best-sounding version. hilarious!

favorite acoustic instrument?

i would like to say the human voice...but that would not be true...i think my favorite acoustic instrument is the kazoo or possibly the accordion.

favorite books?

- 'a book of five rings' by miyamoto musashi
- 'catch 22' by joseph heller
- 'the hitch hiker's guide to the galaxy series' by douglas adams
- 'the art of war' by sun tzu
- 'tortilla flat' by john steinbeck
- 'the kyokushin way' by masutatsu oyama.

recommended movies?

- amarcord (federico fellini)
- pi (darren aronofsky) 
- donnie darko (richard kelly)
- brutti & sporchi e cattivi (ettore scola)
- nuovo cinema paradiso (giuseppe tornatore)
- benny's video (michael haneke)
- pan's labyrinth (guillermo del toro)
- dr. strangelove (stanley kubrick)
- casino (martin scorsese)
- apocalypse now (francis ford coppola)

favorite way to unwind?

a hard mixed martial arts workout.

if you could time travel to a certain time and place in the history of music then where would you go?

5000 years into the future.

where do you see dubstep heading?

dubstep is ultimately a mashup of different styles of music such as 2step garage, grime, reggae, electro, breaks, drum’n’bass, etc. dubstep has got an open frame, and has already evolved into a bunch of sub categories.

today, artists such as snoop dogg and xzibit have propelled the genre into the mainstream market and i guess it is only a question of time before the hype is over.

what is one thing that everyone should do at least once in their life?

listen to their inner voice.

you've played here in western canada a few times - how does it seem to you?

i have a very busy schedule nowadays, and unfortunately i have to say no to a lot of gig requests. i always tend to squeeze in the BC gigs though. i love BC. beautiful nature and amazing people. it reminds me of my home country sweden.