Interview: Rumpistol

by Diana


Related links

Floating Away Website
MUTEK Festival
Futura Epsis
Fernando Vidal
Project Mooncircle

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Rumpistol just returned from his world tour. He also just launched an awesome interactive website. We chatted to the prolific, Danish electronic producer about how he made it all happen.

Yes indeed, we talked to our friend, Danish electronic musician, Jens Christiansen aka Rumpistol, who released his newest, dangerously alluring record “Floating”, made in collaboration with LA based vocalist Red Baron. Besides being your perfect soundtrack to the end of the world, Floating is a pleasant overdose of dark, glitchy sounds, accompanied with Red Baron's soulful vocals, which accentuate the distressfully euphoric vibe of the Rumpistol sound.

Following the triumph of the record, the guys decided to push things further and after the successful series of concerts completed by their show at this year's MUTEK, they launched an interactive website and released a brilliant new video. Have a look at what Rumpistol has to say about all the above - it's quite a treat.

AIAIAI: You played at this year's MUTEK as the first Danish act ever, how was the show? I saw some pictures and the venue and visuals looked stunning.

Rumpistol: It was a huge honor to be the first Danish act to play at such an important festival.
"Le Métropolis" where we played is this really beautiful old concert hall in downtown of Montreal that was built in 1884 and it really oozes history. We were lucky to play the same night as Jimmy Edgar, Deniz Kurtel and Nicolas Jaar, which seemed to be the main attraction of the festival, so the place got packed really fast.

A: What about the feedback from the audience?

R: We got good feedback from all the people we spoke to after the show. I think a lot of people were surprised to hear the Barons vocals in this constellation, and some told us that they found his vocals to be a bit of a relief in a festival with mostly instrumental music.

A: You seemed quite impressed by the setup of the festival as a whole when you came back?

R: MUTEK is no doubt the best programmed, best organized and most visionary electronic festival I've ever experienced. You can feel that they've been doing this for 13 years and that they really have a strong vision. All shows had an extraordinary visual side to them, like the "I Dream Of Wires" night for instance with Clark & Container that took place in the newly build dome of Satosphere, with 360° visuals. Totally mindblowing!

A: Part of your musical collaboration project with Tobias/Red Baron is the interactive website you guys just launched - what's the point of it all?

R: Basically just to let people get a taste of the visual side of the live show at home - without having to deal with other people talking, queuing, farting etc. I've always aimed at having visuals be an integrated part of the Rumpistol live experience, and prefer to collaborate with visual artists I know instead of using random VJs that change from venue to venue. For the Floating tour I've been working really close with the Hamburg based studio Futura Epsis1 They came up with the idea for the tour visuals, taking the Floating theme and turning it into a 3D trip into space, based on different architectonical models, that you can dissolve, zoom in and out of, rotate around etc. They programmed everything from scratch, including an app which enables the VJ to remote control the visuals with an iPad via WIFI. On the HTML5 website they did for us, viewers can even control the visuals in their own browser! Using scroll you can zoom in and out of the visualization - something I've never seen done before on a website...In a true sharing spirit they now officially released the Floating app so everyone can basically start using our tour visuals at home.

A: Besides calling the whole album brilliant, a lot of the feedback includes complimenting on Red Baron's vocals. Seeing the success of it, do you plan to continue going in that direction and collaborating more with vocalists in the future?

R: I want to be able to do both instrumental music and vocal based music, because it develops me in different ways as an artist. It's been great working with Red Baron and we're definitely not done yet. We've already recorded some bits and pieces which we are trying to figure out what to do with, and to broaden our musical palette, we've also started collaborating with an mc that I can't reveal the name of just yet. I've also just done a remix of Blue Foundation, plus there are more vocal based remixes coming up, so I get to work a lot with vocals these days. Working with instrumental music is another thing: it gives me more improvisational freedom in regards of playing live, because it's not so locked to song structures, which you could say makes it more unpredictable. It's basically two different things that I don't see any harm in doing simultaneously.

A: What should we know about your new video to the song “Floating”?

R: The video was directed by our good friend Fernando Vidal Oregui and was shot around Hollywood Boulevard, but the idea was to capture the loneliness and isolation of people living in any big city. It expresses the fact that we live so close to each other but we rarely interact with people we don't know or even stop to look at each other. Most people in a city are busy going from one place to another and when they're not busy walking or driving, they're mostly occupied with their smartphones. All the people in the video (except ourselves of course!) are random people we stopped in the street. They were not asked to act in any way except to just relax and look into the camera. I think this approach brought a very honest and natural look to the video, because people didn't have time to stage themselves in any way. The main character of the video is the great trumpet player Haji Akbar, who is a bit of a Hollywood Boulevard phenomenon and has played with Van Morrison and lots of others. He plays at that exact spot almost every day of the year.

A: You released an impressive album, had a successful tour, launched the cool website and a great music video - what is the plan now?

R: Right now we're taking a break from touring, and I'm focusing on producing new tracks again for a new Rumpistol EP to be released on Project: Mooncircle in the fall. I've also started working on the score for a new game developed by Press Play who I also did the Tentacles score for. I have some solo shows coming up, plus Red Baron and I will be playing some shows together again in the fall, among these at the Light Festival in Moscow, which will be the first time we will do everything in 3D, with free 3D glasses handed out to all spectators. Red Baron is currently tending to his royal duties and working on the second album from his band The Late Great Fitzcarraldos.

You can listen to "Floating" on Project: Mooncircle's bandcamp, examine the website here, and don't forget to have a look at the video above, too!