An exciting new name in techno steps forward.
"These days, most techno feels either very intricate and clean, or very noisy and macho," said Mehmet Irdel in the text for History Of Discipline, his recent release on The Bunker New York. "What interests me is finding an in-between." The EP's two tracks hit that spot spectacularly. Listen to how the title track's drums clap like thunder while a world of sonic detailing opens up above. Or how on "A Mutable Constant" the tussle between light and shade creates unrelenting tension. Irdel is new to the techno scene, with two standout records for The Bunker as Løt.te (pronounced Loat-tey) released so far, but his work in music goes a way back. Under the umbrella of Rote Productions, the company Irdel co-founded with Andrew Chee that's concerned with music, video, photography and graphics, he works as a visual artist and designer and a producer of blackened noise and soundscapes. It seems that Irdel sees his two disciplines as interchangeable: "I chose tracks that have a lot of texture and tension in them, which are important qualities to me in both music and visual work," he tells us below.
There's obviously no shortage of artists approaching techno from a sound-design perspective, but on RA.471 Irdel breathes new life into the formula. The pace and intensity of his selections feels like a throwback to a past techno generation, but, coupled with tracks from modern favourites like Stanislav Tolkachev, Shifted and AnD, the mix feels fresh and singular.
What have you been up to recently?
I just released a new EP on The Bunker New York called History of Discipline. I'm extremely happy with the way those tracks came together. I feel that I'm finally making the techno that I've been working toward for a while. I've also been designing, publishing, recording and performing various works for Rote Productions, a publishing/record company and artist collective I started with my long-time collaborator Andrew Chee. We recently performed an audio-visual set that involved Ableton and generative visuals via MIDI data fed real-time into Max/MSP/Jitter.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded live using Ableton and various controllers and effects at my home studio in Brooklyn. The setup was equivalent to using three decks, where most of the time there are at least two tracks going simultaneously.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I chose tracks that have a lot of texture and tension in them, which are important qualities to me in both music and visual work. I also wanted to capture a certain mood (or a range of moods) throughout the entire mix. Lastly, it was about bringing the old and the new together, and drawing lines across them.
What inspired your recent techno explorations?
I listen to both old and new techno records in equal measure, and the qualities that inspire me in each are different. I guess I could say, as someone who got introduced to techno pretty late in the game, my tracks have been ways for me to bridge the two eras and makes sense of the genre as a whole, while bringing in other, weirder influences from my own past.
Tell us about your work in visual arts and design.
Apart from working full-time at an agency, I also design for Rote Productions and Løt.te. The reason I'm drawn to both design and techno is because of the systematic nature of both, where there's an underlying lattice/grid that gives structure to the piece, but one that can also be stretched and messed with.
What are you up to next?
Next I'll be releasing a tape of mostly ambient Løt.te tracks on the NY tape label Robert & Leopold. I'm also working on a noise album that deals with the worlds of pure math and nature, through an exploration of data and the devices that parse, store, transfer and protect it.