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Interview w/ Abelard

Recently I spoke with Aussie Lo-Fi/Glitterwave producer Abelard. Relatively new to the production game, Abelard has managed to carve out a unique niche for himself whilst maintaining his ties with the fast emerging Melbourne Glo-Fi scene. In this interview we talk 70s Japan, writer’s block and Vangelis

Jack Stone: You’re known for your blissful, sunburst music. With the arrival of winter in Australia has your sound changed at all?

Abelard: I don’t really write for the seasons, but I think things have been more “chilled” so to speak. In hotter months I was producing a lot more sample-based heavy tracks with some more Disco vibes… I have become a lot more introspective lately, with tracks like About A Boy and Replicant. I’ve been listening to a number of new artists on SoundCloud and really taking influence from them.

JS: After visiting your tumblr it’s obvious you’re a big fan of 80s graphics. How did this love affair start?

A: The love affair started just with the mentality of the 80‘s. There were some booming economies at the time, like in Japan in the late 70’s and some of the 80’s. Everyone got excited about “the future”, and would create future-driven ads and campaigns, videos, sci-fi… So much neon and colours that weren’t possible to be produced before were being used — computer graphics were being introduced more and more.

JS: What equipment do you use and what is your approach to making music?

A: I have a MacBook Pro, Ableton Live with Reason rewired. As well as an LPK8. But when making tunes I don’t often play the parts of synths or trigger samples.  I’m really pedantic and specific when it comes to patterns and variations on patterns. I tend to not improvise a whole lot once I’ve got my basic sounds down. Just play with variations on patterns and build them up in a really particular way. I produce with a fairly limited equipment set.

JS: You release new music at a fairly regular pace. What are the biggest stumbling blocks when making a new track?

A: The biggest hurdle is that moment where you’ve sat for a good few hours trying to write something but nothing comes out of it. It’s a frustrating feeling I’m sure all artists come to feel at one point or another. But you can’t force that certain spark of “inspiration”. Sometimes its good to go away and come back, others you have to really push through it. It’s often hard to tell which is the best one to do. There’ll always be other projects though. So if this one doesn’t work out there’ll always be another chance to make something amazing.  

JS: If you could collaborate with anyone from any time who would it be?

A: Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis, Kano. Together on one project.

JS: You’re a graphic designer by trade. What are the similarities and differences between creating your visuals and your music?

A: Design is the delivery of information. Graphic design is the delivery of visual information. Whether this be purely informative or visual information to provoke or convey an emotion, feeling, thought, message, whatever. It’s a similar thing to music, the information being delivered is just audio. This is just my take on it. A lot of the process is the same. Ideation, testing, experimentation. (Not necessarily in that order).

JS: You’ve recently been featured on KEATS COLLECTIVE Vol. 1 along with our Editor, Gabriel (Box Of Wolves). Can you tell us more about this new project?

A: Out of the blue, Dan (Dinosaurus Rex/ Dn Bmbrd) came out of nowhere and asked if I’d like to be involved. It was pretty amazing. It’s been going really great, heaps of mentions and blogs of it. I was super glad to be invited to be part of it – shame I couldn’t make it to the launch party!

JS: What’s the next step for Abelard?

A: I have a few releases in the pipeline. The Keats Collective Vol.1 track ‘Teenage Movie: Ending Credits’ is a preview of an upcoming EP that I have coming out soon, I can’t say when – there are a few loose ends to tie up on it… There’s a few teasers of some other projects on my SoundCloud Page that’ll be released in future too. I write things very concurrently then pair them together in releases that match. I’m hoping to play a few shows in town too, but that’ll be further down the track. It’s a different work flow to producing.

JS: What’s the Glo-fi scene like in Australia?

A: Melbourne has a great electronic music scene. It’s not really specifically Glo-Fi, but more cross-genre that grabs elements from glo-fi, chillwave, shoegaze, beats, wizard, dreampop. An acquaintance of mine, Tim Shiel posted a mixtape on his blog recently (check it out here) with a whole bunch of tracks released by Melbournians in the last 12 months,it’s definitely worth a read. It’s really great being in a city full of such talented people.

JS: The one album you can’t live without?

A: I can narrow it down to a song: Angie Care - Your Mind. There’s a few elements that go into this track that I can’t get over and have no idea how to recreate. It’s italo disco, but it’s also new wave, kind of early techno, and if you slow it down just a little it her voice becomes even more haunting than it was. This song has stuck with me for a number of years where others have come and gone.

JS: Who should we interview next?

A: alloapm. These guys asked me to do a couple of remixes for their Japanese “wavepop” sound – one of them ended up on their Goriya Slighly EP. They are super talented, write amazingly catchy things and were some of my earliest followers. They’re becoming super popular.

A big thank you to Abelard for taking the time to talk with us. As always, we will be sure to keep you up to date on any future releases and information we have on this exciting new talent.

posted by: Jack Stone

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