We spoke to FAR about his new release Flash Point, released on Speedy J’s Electric Deluxe LMTD series. The provocative album combines ethereal soundscapes to create a truly other-worldly, almost post-apocalyptic experience. FAR explains the influences behind the album, what it was like collaborating with Speedy J… and how he created the audio-visual essence of the record.
What are your expectations with Flash Point?
Working on a project I usually don’t have as much expectation as I do intention of getting it all to be, musically, where I want it to be. With Flash Point I feel like the end result got quite close to what was originally intended. Onwards from there you can only really observe how it all gets received by other people.
To anyone who is unfamiliar with your sound how would you describe it?
My intention with FAR records and my performances is to present a sound which generally scans the genre of electronic music quite widely. While working with what relates to me and my own particular background, harder music like EBM and early techno, but also a lot of Krautrock and psychedelia. I am not interested in locking into one particular aesthetic, but it’s much more interesting to “go crazy” style-wise, and then still find ways to make those things fit together. That way the music gets a wider identity, a defined mix of influences, with a broader scope of reference.
We’ve been listening to the album. It’s quite poignant and the transitions between tracks is quite provocative and distorting. What influences did you draw on for the album?
A lot of the individual tracks on the album were originally much longer than they ended up on the record — this is the way I work most of the time, at least on this project to make jam sessions and keep them going. Sometimes you hit inspiration at an unexpected turn in recording, and it’s quite often that a track takes another direction after zoning in on one particular sequence or some harmonics for too long. Then a lot of tracks get edited, sometimes a lot, sometimes almost not at all. For example State to State is just one two track take. There are times that an actual transition was in place, but edited out to make a change abrupt. This album was not about a single journey but snapshots of different moods and situations.
You open on ‘Landslide’, it’s a very eerie track. What elements were you considering when laying out the track order?
Some people think it’s eerie others think it sounds quite harmonious and hopeful, I’m one of the latter, haha. Jochem also has had quite a lot to say about the track order, I feel as if we got it to where one track manages to present the next in a coherent way while still having this spontaneous vibe.
What key pieces of gear did you use for the release?
There is quite a lot of use of Waldorf wavetables, Moog for ambience and subs, MPC4000 for rhythmic stuff and general weird electronics, Doepfer Dark Energy on The Open Door, a whole lot of FX pedals old and new, Waldorf Streichfett, Minibrute on Landslide, Tape Delay, Jomox drums, some great distortion from Recovery Effects.
What was it like working with Speedy J? How well did that collaboration work?
I was very happy to release both this and the last EP on his label and it feels great to have someone that you have a lot of respect for as a musician believe in your project. I have nothing but great admiration. There is a deep knowledge of music and Electric Deluxe is a real record label in a modern jungle of “DJ labels”.
The LP produces a very particular atmosphere, which is almost multi-sensory. Do you visualise the music you produce? Can you take us through the creative journey of producing this LP?
It’s funny that you say that because a few of the tracks started out as being part of an audio/visual project meant for television. I always finish work project based and do not move songs around from one record or idea to another, but as these first tracks started to take shape and have a life I preferred to make more to go with them and transfer the idea into a record. A/V in the realm of electronica (to me) belongs more in a club/liveshow environment, a more immediate and short-lived experience.
Who are you listening to currently?
This week I am listening to a lot of Flying Lotus, it helps with the bad weather. Also I’ve been going through a heap of field recordings and random soundscapes over at archive.org, such an amazing resource.
What are the five albums of all time that have influenced you?
Kraftwerk – Kraftwerk
Can – Ege Bamyasi
Front 242 – Geography
Ministry – The Land Of Rape And Honey
Earth – Phase 3: Thrones And Dominions
Lastly, what lies ahead in the next year?
I’m developing a live sequenced show, which will encircle the darker kind of more overhanging moods of the music on the existing records, mixed with higher tempos, and from that record also new sessions to edit an EP out of.
FAR’s Flash Point LP is now available to download here.
EDLX052 – FAR – Flash Point Album · 2016