Edictum / Era + Interview
This week I had a chance to talk to the man behind the music of Edictum. If you are a fan of classic 80's and 90's synthesizers, and authentic 1980's production techniques and styles, then this album is a must-have in your collection.
Make sure you head on over to Bandcamp to grab a copy and delve into the scientific mind of producer Simon Krauter. The work created in his studio in the birthplace of contemporary classical music, Austria, reflects the parallels between collapsing ancient culture and post apocalyptical retrowave aesthetics.
Simon, thanks for joining Echosynthetic for a chat. Firstly, you had exposure to music theory at a very early age, tell me how you feel this classical training has shaped your electronic musical journey.
I think that my preference for melodic genres is a result of my classical education and shapes my own music as well. This may also be, why smooth transitions and high dynamics are important for me, as classical pieces often make use of such elements to increase the contrast in compositions which is important to build up suspense. I also love progressive music that keeps evolving and takes you on a trip. Also tension and release are classical techniques I try to implement in my music to result in interesting chord progressions and complementary melodies.
Your tracks contain many classic synthesizers from the 80s and 90s. What in particular appeals to you from these eras, and did you feel a natural move in the direction of Synthwave.
Playing around with all that great synthesizers is very joyful since one immediatly feels that special retro vibe. I love music from that era because it's often very melodic and experimental, which also my way of producing. One great thing about the 80s/90s era is, that there's enough space for basslines and complex grooves to develop, because the kick drum was not that over-pronounced, which makes the music easier listenable also in the radio. I was producing a lot of trance music with 80s elements in the past and it was serendipity, that synthwave was shown to me by a friend some years ago. "That's my genre", I thought.
Science and those particular fields play obvious thematic stylings to your production. Have these areas always been of interest to you? How do you think they affect the construction of your musical creations?
I always was obsessed with knowledge and wanted to know everything I could. Also history and culture are of interest for me, but my big passion is natural science and technology. As a chemist, my main research topic lies in the field of life science at the moment, but I'm also interested in material sciences. Of course, physical knowledge is mandatory for fundamental understanding of the matter. Since music and audio engineering in particular are closely related to some of that principles, it's easier to understand what you are doing both in the lab and the studio. As a scientist, my approach is very analytical and I always try to detect weak spots in my skills and try to improve myself as efficiently as possible.
You have a great deal of production experience, is this primarily studio based or live through DJing. With this being the case, give me a rundown of your studio setup and your production process.
Both. I used to DJ a lot and was also involved in organizing some events many years ago. Unfortunately I don't have too much time nowadays, as I am focussing on finishing my PhD-thesis at the moment. This is why I'm mainly working in the studio at the moment, but I plan to spin some records again in the future, let's see.
I use quite a lot of Hardwaresynths (Roland JX-3P/α-Juno 2/JD-800/JP-8000/W-30/D-50; Korg MS-20mini/Poly-800/DW-8000/M1; Yamaha DX7/SY-35/AN1X; Kawai K4/K5000s; Casio CZ-101, Behringer D, Acces Virus TI, Waldorf Blofeld, ELKA X-705 and others), but also tons of software (Omnisphere, Serum, Spire, Razor, Synthmaster, UVI's Libraries, VSL, Arturia, iZotope, Waves,...). My DAW is Logic Pro X and I am using a MacBook Pro as studio PC. The Audio-Interface is a MOTU 828-MK2 and my current monitor speakers are Alesis Monitor One.
My process most of the time starts from a sound, not from a melody. this approach is the most interesting thing in utilizing synths and samples for music production. Starting from Piano limits you to sounds you already know during composition. This does not necessarily need to be a bad thing, but it is a less dynamic approach in my opinion. As soon as you have an interesting sound (it does not matter to me, if it's self-made or a preset), the ideas start to flow. I don't strictly use hardware only, some tracks are just software, some are just hardware. I also incorporate more and more field recording into my music.
What do you have in store for us next?
I am currently working on an album that includes collaborations as well - something I want to focus on a little bit more in the future - and it will be a little darker and more cinematic in character. My plan is to release it in spring. The feedback so far was really nice.
Final and most important question. What 2 items would you take with you to a desert island and why?
I guess, a multi-functional knife and a watertight tarpaulin to collect water in the night and protect against the sun during the day.
Any thanks, special mentions or shoutouts you would like to add?
I want to thank my girlfriend Vici, who is sympathetic about the fact that I can never have enough synthesizers and my dear friend Markus, who is an important musical companion and always gave me great support.