Born in the mid-eighties, Athens exports Markos Spanoudakis aka Kreon is one of few Greek producers to make such an impact on the electronic music scene. His jazz and percussion influenced minimal gems have seen releases on heavyweight labels such as Cecille and Robsoul and of course most recently Cesare vs Disorder’s Berlin label Serialism.
People don’t have time to live their lives how they should. This is happening worldwide though, not only in Greece...With an electrical engineering course under his belt alongside an MA in electronic music composition and sound design, it’s no surprise his productions take us on the journey they do. This is a man who has refined his talent and knows his way round a studio which is reflected in his exquisitely executed releases. Here we have the pleasure of talking to Kreon and finding a little more about his influences and relationship with Serialism.
Do you make different music in summer vs winter? Do the seasons and weather affect you in that way?
A part of me is definitely affected by the climate. All I can say is that I usually make more music during the winter since I spend more time in the studio.
I firmly believe that this kind of situation can nurture artistic expression...What is life in Athens and Greece like right now? Is there much civil unrest?
Athens changed a lot in the past years. People don’t have time to live their lives how they should. This is happening worldwide though, not only in Greece. This said I firmly believe that this kind of situation can nurture artistic expression. Extreme situations usually lead to unexpected results, good or bad.
What have the last few years been like for you - how have political events affected your life?
I would guess that my move to London in 2011 shaped me as a person. However, I did not decide to move because of the political circumstances. I don’t like letting situations that are out of my control to affect me.
Tell us about your new EP for Serialism - what inspired and influenced it?
I just turned on my machines and chose sounds that I liked. The EP for Serialism consists of 4 tracks that were made a couple of years ago. Interestingly, one of the tracks (Valtera) has an effected spoken vocal from a South African Pop Vocalist called Penuel that was original recorded in 2010.
In terms of inspiration, I try not to be influenced by today's electronic music...In terms of inspiration, I try not to be influenced by today's electronic music. I enjoy listening to all kinds of music and pay attention to the arrangement and mixing. Regardless if its pop or experimental.
How did you first hook up with the guys there? What are they like to work with?
I have known Cesare and Marc, since many years. Actually, Cesare was the first DJ I have heard outside Greece, when my friends invited me to join them on a trip to Berlin in 2007 (if I remember correctly). Cesare and I met again at a friend’s house in NY in 2012 and did the usual DJ music exchange. Since then we have been trying to choose tracks to close an EP. It took some time but we have managed to do it eventually.
Cesare loves what he is doing and treats everyone with respect. This is what I look for when I am about to release music.Cesare loves what he is doing and treats everyone with respect. This is what I look for when I am about to release music.
You release on a number of different labels - do you make different sounds for each or are you just always you, if you know what i mean? Do you tailor your stuff?
There is no particular process for when I decide to make a beat. At the end, I send the tracks to my friends and discuss ideas and what I could do with them. I have a number of unreleased tracks that sit in my hard drive but I was never good at sending music to labels that I don’t know the label owners personally.
What gear do you use - analogue machines or computers? Does that matter to you, the ‘how’?
I use both. I don’t understand how people exclude the one or the other. Even today, if I listen to an interesting release, I can’t understand 100% if he/she used analogue gear or digital plugins. Over the years, I have realised that having a lot of gear (or VSTs) might do more harm than good. Like you said, it’s the ear & knows how rather than the quantity of the equipment that makes a good producer.
It’s the ear & knows how rather than the quantity of the equipment that makes a good producer...How have you evolved and changed your styles and tastes over the last ten years?
From second hand vinyl shops all over the world, over the last 5 years, I have been digging whenever - wherever I could and specifically in basements and record shops in London.
I would have never deeply understood the 90's UK sound for example if I haven’t lived in the UK and really noticed how it affected our "scene”, together with Detroit.
What else have you got coming up? What are you looking forward to?
My next release (EQV05) is together with Lemos on our label (which is being run together with Anestie Gomez), called Equivalence. Additionally, we are working on an album that will hopefully be released next year. When the LP is finished, I’ll be able to focus on my own tracks.
Lemos & I started a live with a drum machine, a sampler & a couple of pedals...Moreover, Lemos and I started a live with a drum machine, a sampler and a couple of pedals that is quite interesting. Apart from that I have a couple of remixes coming out soon and last but not least our 10th release for Sylphe with my co-partner and friend, Alex Celler.
Do you set goals and targets for your career - can you share any with us?
My goal is to be able to do what I like up until my ears lose their entire frequency spectrum. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find something to keep me busy then.