INTERVIEW #025 / MICHAL JABLONSKI [SLAP]
We had an interesting chat with the guy who did the first live PA of our series. Polish Michał Jabłoński gave a good overview about his projects, the pretty prolific polish scene, and what he thinks of the evolution of the electronic world…
Cześć Michal, we are very pleased to host you in our project.
Hi, thanks for inviting me.
Let’s speak about how you came in to electronics. What was your path through this music?
It all started on my birthday, May 23rd, 2003. My friends took me out for the first time to a club that make techno– Paragraf 51, which no longer exists. Chris Liberator was that evening’s special guest. That’s the moment I got into electronic music. I soon started collecting vinyl records, and the music production program that I had previously used to make hip-hop beats (FL STUDIO) was dedicated to producing techno.
Can you tell us a bit about your production and live act setup?
My setup is composed of Ableton Live, Reason, Ableton Push, Evolution Uc-33e and a TC Electrinic Konnekt LIVE audio interface. I also occasionally use a Novation KS4synthesizer and guitar effects (overdrive and distortion).
A few years, I also used to use Korg Electribe ESX, Roland MC-303 / Roland MC-808, but now I just stick to software and controllers when I’m up on stage.
Polish scene seems very prolific at the moment. Can you give a small overview of what’s going on there?
I’d say the situation in Poland’s pretty good at the moment. There are a lot of good, young producers out there, as well as DJs who are doing really interesting things with music. New labels are popping up, releasing pieces on vinyls, collectives are organizing better gigs, and clubs are open to techno. Many Polish producers have been noticed abroad – they also have their music released on vinyl records by foreign labels. Things are going well.
You are the first artist to do a special live act for Paradox and we are very pleased with that. How did you build this live act?
It wasn’t easy. In the podcast I tried to present a broad range sample of the type of techno music I make. I wanted to show a lot of materials that have never been released, and maybe never will be. Up to this point I haven’t felt the need to finish these pieces, but now it’s finally done. In the recording I also used certain tracks that I always play. In podcast I show what people can expect from me in club when I play.
You’ve released your tracks in two of the labels that we respect the most: Circular LTD and CounterPulse. We like those two because each one represents a particular and complementary vision of Techno: deepness and strength. Can we say that those are the two words that describe your musical universe?
I had a great time working on the Circular LTD release. I went through a long phase in my life with dub techno and more spacious vibes, which I had wanted to include in this release, combining it with off-beat techno, which also shows up often during my live acts in harder or heavier tones. My release for CounterPulse is what you can currently hear me playing live. Basinga track will remain part of my selection for a while – I really like playing that track.
You are a member of the SLAP collective, a structure that is very active in the polish techno scene. What are the main accomplishments of SLAP up to now?
Up to now, we have been able to organize events with figures such as Deadbeat, Kenneth Christiansen, Fiedel, James Hopkins, Answer Code Request, Etapp Kyle, Norman Nodge, Yan Cook, Dax J, Hector Oaks, and most recently Function and VSK at Centennial Hall, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’re just getting started – there are a lot of surprises in store.
Have you already played outside of Poland? How was that experience?
Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the chance to play abroad, but that’s about to change – in 2016 I’ll be playing a live act in Berlin at R19. I’m curious to see what it’ll be like – I can’t wait.
It’s been 13 years that you are producing music. Did you feel any change in the way music is distributed? Has the internet revolution helped a lot in gaining more visibility for artists like you?
The internet has a huge effect on everything. In this day and age, anyone can be a promoter, DJ, producer or have their own label. Modern technology makes it easy to get in touch with people in the business , which really helps with music releases, sharing it, and learning new things that could be helpful in whatever you decide to do next. When I’d started going to clubs, I used to find out about parties through friends or fliers that you could get at parties. As for music, all you could do was borrow a CD from a friend. Everything’s easier now – it’s easier to find materials that could be helpful in learning how to produce music, to get to know new artists, everything. Anything.
Which artists had blown your mind this year?
I can start by mentioning VSK, whose work I was introduced to by my girlfriend, Dorota. He’s a great producer, as well as a good DJ. I recently had the opportunity to hear him play live. I’m sure that this isn’t the last time that he’ll cause a stir and peak the world’s interest. SNTS, a mysterious figure who gravitates towards the darker notes of techno, has also left quite an impression. The first time I was at Berghain, I heard Steve Bicknell play – oh, yeah… that’s going to stay with me for quite a while. There’s still a lot that I have to catch up on, which I’m slowly doing with the help of my girlfriend – she’s always on top of what’s going on and she gives me a good dose of new beats every some time.
What kind of non-electronic music do you like to listen to?
I often turn to jazz and the rap-metal group Limp Bizkit.
What can we expect from your projects in the near future?
I’m preparing a number of new things this year. There’ll be a lot of new music.
I can’t say more just yet.
Thanks a lot Michal and hope to see you soon somewhere…
Thanks for inviting me and we’ll definitely see each other sometime soon.