Rockets & Ponies returns this December with a stunning five track EP from the mysterious Berlin-based artist Atelier Francesco. “Next To You” EP consist of the title track, a collaboration with Franz Matthews with two remixes provided by UK’s key electronic producer Swayzak, follow by Francesco’s next original “Lexical Syncopations”, finally Rockets & Ponies boss Timo Maas and Mark Deutsche close the package with their “Lexical Syncopations” smooth and spooky reworks. We caught up with Francesco to dig a little deeper into the creation of this EP, himself as an artist and what is round the corner...
I bring the crowd somewhere & it’s the journey that counts...How would you define your DJ and production styles?
Hard question regarding Dj Set, but if I can make up a word, it would be “narrative electronic dance music”. I bring the crowd somewhere and it’s the journey that counts: starting point, ending point, length and scenarios.
Some adjective could be: hypnotic, melancholic, strange, mental, soft, hard, empty, full, techno, abstract, African. Not really into house-direction or song-oriented stuff…
Honestly, it’s pretty hard that I just “do” music without having something to say....Regarding production, I try to do what I feel, so depending on the mood and state of my life; my music can only be autobiographic. I like to experiment and follow certain rules, but I also like to let it go and just do music. I see my music more as a painting then a song, generally or sometimes, as a story. Honestly, it’s pretty hard that I just “do” music without having something to say.
Talk us through a bit about your new release, its inspiration.
"Next To You" come from the need to express my feelings toward my ex-girlfriend at morning, when I was waking up next to her. It is full of good vibes, chilled, and one of the very few tracks that kinda of follow a “song” arrangement, even if it develops into something else by the end. Generally, it’s a positive song. We broke up shortly afterwards :) I met then Franz Matthews, who brought his bass in and played some of the synths, giving the track a whole new level of beauty.
I believe that natural sounds once you focus on them without knowing the source, are way more complex, interesting and musical than what you could expect..."Lexycal Syncopation" is the result of some studies I’ve done, basically when we do not understand the language, everything is perceived as sound, and in this case, the recording of a priest that speaks in Russian sounded to me as an extremely complex and groovy instrument that didn’t really need anything else, so I kept it simple and there you go, once you loop any audio material, you are able to enjoy its inner and complex beauty.
How about producing? Can you tell us more about what you use in the studio?
I use microphones a lot, because as I mentioned before, I believe that natural sounds once you focus on them without knowing the source, are way more complex, interesting and musical than what you could expect. Once you place them upon a base, you don’t really need much to make the whole thing work, because sounds ARE beautiful, it’s just our brain that constantly destroys its beauty by giving them a “meaning”. A part of it, I use Cubase, Ableton, Elektron Machinedrum (I love this machine soooo much), Virus B, and yeah, ideas!
But at the end of the day, the music I do talks about me, my time and my place...What keeps you inspired and what else are you working on or looking forward to?
All the books I read are influencing my production. Parties are discoveries, partly are what my curiosity asks for, so sometimes I do want to musically explore a topic before necessary reading a book about it... At the moment, I’ve been on the road travelling for a long time, so the grey landscapes of Berlin might be left apart, and I will welcome some South American vibe (where I am currently travelling) into my music production.
But at the end of the day, the music I do talks about me, my time and my place, it’s a shame that lot of times it is perceived as “fun” music. I don’t take it seriously but it’s not a random creation of tunz-tunz, there is a lot of me on it :) I’m looking forward to next month of music. I’ve been one month without producing music and I can see how musical ideas forms in my mind, and they are so detailed that I feel for the first time how important is to make music for me.