Berlinois Erik Wiegand est un des artistes les plus discrets de
la vaste galaxie musicale berlinoise. C'est au milieu des années
90 que Wiegand entame un travail de reformatage de l'électro
et de la techno en compagnie de Fiedel dans MMM. Cette rigoureuse
et excitante réforme se poursuivra en solo sous le nom d'Errorsmith
et dans des collaborations avec Frank (alias Soundhack, Soundtream
et Soundkit) et I-Sound. Errorsmith 2, sorti fin 2002, affine les
valeurs post-techno de son prédecesseur et combine structures
rythmiques technoides et modulations sonores expérimentales.
Wiegand nous en dit un peu plus sur son travail si particulier,
quelque part entre le DJ et le laborantin.
first time I saw your name (as "Erik>>>MMM" )
on a record, it was on the Kreidler remixes Ep on Stewardess, has
there been anything else before this, or other collaboration ?
No, it started with MMM. The discography is like this : In 1996,
MMM1 12" and The Erik<<<MMM Surrogat Remix on Soul.
In 1997, the Erik<<<MMM Kreidler remix on Resport. Then
the Errorsmith 1 12" in 2000, the Smith' n' Hack Tribute LP
in 2001 ; and in 2002, The Disco Consultant track on Roots Rock
Raver 12", the Errorsmith Blind Date track for Alku (2002),
and the Errorsmith 2 LP.
MMM is Fiedel and me, Smith n Hack is Frank (Soundhack and Soundstream)
and me, Disco consultant is I-Sound and me and Errorsmith is my
solo project. All records from MMM, Smith n Hack and Errorsmith
are still available at Hardwax (www.hardwax.com). We have the policy
of repressing the stuff.
How did you decide to collaborate with Fiedel in MMM? Who is he
? I don't know the Donna Ep, is it in the same electro style?
Fiedel is a friend of mine. He liked the music I have done and joined
me during the recording of some tracks. We both played the instrument
called "studio": we turned the knobs at this synthesizer
here, muted a mixer channel there etc while recording the track.
Then he had the great idea to release a record in the "do it
yourself" way. Since he is a dj he wanted to have vinyl to
play the music. He contacted Hardwax Berlin who distribute our stuff.
Since then. There is no real label involved so we had the freedom
to release whatever we want in a way we want. The Donna ep is quite
different than the first one. Not so much distortion. Except for
the first track ("Donna") all other tracks are made by
heavy usage of cutting and looping of sampled material. You can
hear short mp3 extractions on www.zentrale-mmm.de.
Why have you
chosen the Errorsmith name ?
First I like the confusion with Aerosmith. I like music that is
rocking. Then I like that it expresses freedom in music. "Error"
stands for something unexpected. But i don't create errors. I am
working deterministic. But they are coming anyways. And if they
are nice I incorporate them in the deterministic design. That is
the smith part of what I am doing.
Is there any concept, or is it just a musical work based on a software
you elaborated ?
I don't have a strong overall concept. I am working close on the
musical material. The software, which is a modular software synthesizer
you can use to build your own instrument helps me to develop the
music. Because of its flexibility, ideas can be realised quickly.
So during musicmaking the instrument is constantly changing; always
adapting to the needs of the track.Often a technical idea is the
starting point of a track or bunch of tracks. I am anxious to know
how the realised idea is sounding and I explore its musical value.
But I am not interested in a technology demonstration. I only release
stuff that I think is good in musical means which can stand for
itself. The technical approach just helps me to generate a set up
that is fresh to my ears.
On Errorsmith 1, there seems to be a physical approach of sound,
like the manipulation of an analog tool or something. What is it
The first errorsmith was the first all digital made release. Most
of the tracks are realtime improvisations on the instrument that
incorporates a reverse tool : everytime I press a certain key everything
you just heard is played backwards; on key release the track jumps
to its normal position as if the reverse key was never pressed.
That is a good example how technical ideas are checked concerning
their musical value: I first had an idea of this realtime reverse
tool. To reverse samples or tape recordings is an old technic ;
the new thing was to be able to play it realtime. I explored how
it is to improvise with this tool.
your influence/purpose with this first 12" ? By the way, has
the Kreidler remix been made with the same program ?
No, the Kreidler remixes were from the analog days. Their main idea
is to play synthesized drums in an improvisation.Which might be
the link to the first Errorsmith: permanent reverse breaks re-order
the beats in an improvised way. And improvisation was the main approach
then. So improvised music in general can be seen as influence. Since
its technoid feel it's definitely linked to other non mainstream
techno/house productions like Radioboy (Matthew Herbert), Soundhack
and also early Detroit techno.
2, you go further in the experiment.What actually changes in the
process and in the concept ?
I wanted to learn more about structuring tracks in a strict way.
More constructions than improvisations. "Stiff neck" and
"Free for all" are results in that effort. I like their
basic appearance; unlike the strong improvisation tracks these tracks
can be mixed very well in dance sets cause they let more room for
other tracks. There is no big shift in concept. In the beginning
there was just another technical idea :-) I build reverbs that can
be modulated in size like I wrote in the Errorsmith press info.
of modulation corresponding to the variation of the dimensions of
a listening room is really interesting. Have you already worked
at a more scientifically acoustic level ?
I studied communication science at the technical university in Berlin.
The department is quite focused on acoustics, synthesis and studio
technology. They have a famous studio for academic electronic music.
I also studied computer science. Both experiences really help to
realise ideas. But I don't see myself in a academic environment
working on the technological edge. I don't care if a techique is
old or new as long as it sounds good to me. The reverberation theme
in the Errorsmith 2 uses technology that is developed 30-40 years
ago. I see my work in using this technology in a creative way.
How did you
decide to collaborate with Soundhack? What is the Tribute concept
of Smith n Hack ? Have you reworked stolen samples ?
Frank is a good friend of mine. We share the same taste concerning
music. The idea was to make tributes to music we both love which
doesn't mean that we just steal samples. We make music that is influenced
by the artist. More recently there has been this collaboration with
I-Sound ? How have you decided to work together ? Who did what in
Disco Consultant ? Will there be any follow-up to this ? I really
like I-Sound's tracks and his dj sets. That's why I wanted to collaborate.
We made a track for the Roots Rock Ravers ep on Transparent which
was a quick production in the approach I-Sound was into at this
time. We both arranged the samples, made the beats etc. We worked
on new stuff, but it is unclear under which name it will be released.
Do you play live quite often ? How do you work live ?
Yes I played quite a lot last 1 1/2 year. Mostly in clubs. I have
built a live tool I play on the laptop. It's kind of a versatile
drum computer. I switch between pattern and can change the sounds
of the pattern dramatically in realtime. It's the new material for
the next Errorsmith LP. Right now I am working on a new live tool.
Do you feel close to the Rhythm & Sound / Chain Reaction people
I really feel close to the environment they created with Hardwax
Store, Hardwax Distribution and "Dubplates and Mastering"
(vinyl mastering studio). And I like some of their productions.
Who are your musical allies in Berlin ?
Mostly it is Soundhack /Stream that I feel very close, too. But
their are others to mention: Dynamo, Traktor, both on the Label
DIN; I like the more funky tracks from Carsten Nicolai, also his
collabration with Ikeda named Cyclo.
Berlin seems to be a city with so many interesting artists and such
an artistic dynamic ?
The musical scene seems to me very small. I wish there is more that
you most in Berlin (musics, mood ... ) ?
I don't know.....not the music. I think the social environment is
the positive thing here.
Interview réalisée par Christophe Taupin via e-mail
en février 2003.
alku : http://personal.ilimit.es/principio/