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Interview : Seph

Argentinian DJ and producer Seph is soon to release his first album Alquimia. Few weeks before the outing, he answered our questions. Let's discover this talented musician !

Hi Sebastian, could you introduce yourself ?

Hi, Im a technocomposer (producer?) and live act called Seph, from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Why did you chose this pseudo Seph ?

There was already a few "Sebs" in the techno scene so I needed something different as an alias. Plus I already knew that I was going to have a number of projects so I needed to have a dedicated name for it.

Back then, and still today, I was a huge fan of the game Final Fantasy VII, in which theres an obscure character called Sephiroth. Since people already called me Seb, I just changed the letters to Seph, which made sense because the music I make (at least lately more than ever) is mysterious and kind of gamey...

How could you define your music ?

Mmmh, deep glitchy teenage techno is the best way to define it... Mysterious as Ive said before...Its techno music with a bit of IDM, but I really dont like genre tags like these. I like "space and bass"...

What are you main musical (and artistic) influences ?

I've been influenced by all sorts of music. I have huge respect for artists and bands like Bjork, Alva Noto, Ricardo Villalobos, Monolake, Plaid, Boards of Canada, Radiohead. Im pretty boring and predictable actually :).

Do you think your music has changed since your beginning ?

It definately has! The other day I was listening to my first eps and its amazing how with dedication one can keep optimizing the sound track by track. Those first releases sound really weird although there are some cool sound design ideas that Id love to have now!

Can you talk about your upcoming first album Alquimia (why this title, inspiration, what kind of music on it, ...)

I've been working on this for two years, coming back to it many times after getting fed up of it. The problem was that there was too many different kinds of things I wanted to put in, music-wise. I wanted to have a techno record which you would be able to listen at home or in the car, and it was difficult to balance it from all ends. My obsessions sometimes make me work real slow.

Alquimia is one of the main tracks of the record, and I also used it to name the album. I called it this way (it's Alchemy in spanish) for a few reasons.

The music from the album has a bit of an experimental attitude, an IDM-ish side, and of course 4/4 techno and weird beats. So its a mixture of things, a mix of potions and aleatoric substances, transmuted into fantasy songs which you can think and dance to.

The main goal of the alquemists of the past was to transmute materials or matter into gold or medicine, but its not the gold part which Im in interested in. Its more about the fusion, the transformation of one state to another, the changes.

The songs from the album also have an occult side to them, a fictional and maybe even mystic end to them (some ideas and sounds are kind of shaman-ish) which is analogue to the ancient alquemist practices. Constructing and deconstructing is what happens in some of the tracks, all because of my nerdy obsessions with sound making.

There is also another thing which pushed me to name it Alquimia, which is the fact that the alquemists also had a closed and difficult to decipher language for their practices, and the album is made from dream-like imperfect visions, which you have to follow to the end in order to get the main idea.

Naming is difficult for me actually...if it was up to me they wouldnt even have names!

Since your beginning, you have often released EPs but it's only your first album. Why did you chose to take so many time to release an album ?

As I said before, it took me a long time to have something I could be happy with...Plus, everybody knows this, Im a videogame addict, and this is a problem sometimes, ha!

In the middle I was also touring quite a bit, around 3 times a year, also working on remixes and other projects. Right now Im also finishing other works, much more experimental and with more collaborations. Details to follow soon..

According to you what are the differences between an EP and an album ? Which one do you prefer ?

Album is great because you can work out a full and complete concept. On the other hand, because it has less tracks an EP can more easily be more solid, but people will pay more attention to an album.

The problem is that there are many artists today who are releasing albums as a collection of tracks with no real central idea or focused approach, which in turn works against them. Its all commercial thinking - which Im always struggling with.

And what about live, do you like it ?

Live is great but it also bores me sometimes. If Ive made enough new loops and tracks for it to be fun, then Im also going to do a cool set, or at least Im going to be enthusiastic with it...It gets dull playing your own tracks all of the time, and specially if you ve done it for five years already. :D

Don't get me wrong though, I have a blast moving knobs and faders to make people dance. Plus, when you play your music live, its when it really comes to life. In an ideal world we wouldn't have to sequence and release tracks, music could just exist as a result of the synergy between the performer and the spectator, at that specific time and space. And not only that, ideally I would also play everything actually live, with all the synths and effects (hard or software) opened and ready to be freaked on the go.

Then, do you plan to have a special live when your album will be out ?

My live act always has old and new material, and there is a bunch of tracks from the album in it right now.

And to conclude, when could we hope to see you in Paris ?

Hopefully in my album upcoming european tour in October-November! Ive only been once to Paris and it was cool, Id love to go back with more time and check out a bit more the people and the city!

Before the outing of his album, let's discover his last live recorded at Aula Magna this summer :

Seph - Live @ Aula Magna (August 2010) by Harry Klein Booking

The album Alquimia is to be released in october.

Le myspace de Seph

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