by Anna-Maria Vuosmala
This spring music producer Sept returns to his Berlin home label, Voxnox Records, with the new EP Challenge, to be released on May 18th. The Warsaw-based half-Polish half-Ecuadorian artist Michel Morales is no newcomer to the scene, as he has released solid techno tracks on several labels since 2015 and is a regular face playing at many respected European venues. The full-length album is currently in the works and it will be released on Voxnox later this year.
The powerful EP starts a dark musical journey through the typical analogue sound of Sept with the title track "Challenge", supported by haunting vocals and sinister soundscape which keeps the listener on their toes and wanting more. A rougher and more piercing remix of the track made by a longtime collaborator Violent follows, giving the track an even darker tone. Next up is the B-side "Six Doors" bringing more synth based and heavily UK influenced beats into the listener’s ears that won't leave anyone cold. The EP finishes of with the track "Astral Spirits" sending the listener into an eerie space, where you feel like something or someone is constantly lurking around the corner. Finally closing this well produced EP is the remix for the track made by one of Berlin's most well-known producers, Headless Horseman. Staying true to the style of the original, his mix adds an interesting and more rhythmic layer to the track, better suited for the dark hours on the dance floor. The Brvtalist was also able to reach Sept and Headless Horseman and ask a few questions about the release (see below).
The Brvtalist (Anna-Maria Vuosmala): Sept, you have returned back to your home at Voxnox for this release. Can you tell us a little bit about the process behind this EP, and how does it differs from the previous ones?
Sept: I finished the Challenge EP right before one of the biggest electronic music festivals happening in Poland – Audioriver Festival 2017. I was asked to play as a live act there (I was playing mainly DJ sets back then), so it was a great motivation for me to work on something more special. What makes this EP differ from my previous releases is the production process – the tracks are mostly produced with use of my modular synthesizer and some other machines. Before this EP, I was using software only.
TB: What was your main source of inspiration while working on this EP?
Sept: When this EP was during production process, I was watching a lot of thrillers and sci-fi films. I was making it imagining it could be a sound track to some movie scenes.
TB: You also collaborated with Violent and Headless Horseman on the EP, how was it working together with them?
Sept: Violent is my longtime friend and collaborator. In the past we made some shared releases: one for 2561 Records and one for Voxnox, but it all started because of playing b2bs regularly in the clubs all around Poland. The story behind working with Headless Horseman is way different. We were looking for a special remixer, so we decided to reach the “mysterious rider” by sending him a request. After few weeks of talking he decided to work with us and delivered a remix totally characteristic of his sound.
TB: You are originally from Poland, a country that is not so known for its techno scene. How did you start making techno initially, and has growing up in Poland influenced your music in some way?
Sept: When I was teenager I was into totally different music genres. I started attending electronic music festivals, which were combining lineups including artists from various music genres, also techno orientated. That’s how I got familiar with it. Also some of my friends were listening to techno at that time and they kept sending me some tracks to make me get inspired. Then I started to make my own tracks oscillating around what I really admired. Of course growing up in Poland influenced my music in some way, also because of the club events. Back then I was going to the clubs that are unfortunately closed right now (1500m2; Nowa Jerozolima), but from time to time they had parties with top notch players from the scene i.e. Speedy J, DVS1, Tommy Four Seven, Shifted, Ancient Methods and so on.
TB: Headless Horseman, what can you tell us about the remix you made for Sept, and why did you choose this specific track to mix?
HH: There is so much space in the original track to expand on its already ever so powerful existing story. The gloomy and dismal soundscape and blanket of atmosphere is right up the Horsemans alley. I had a pleasure making a second chapter to Astral Spirits and the path I chose devised of sonically extracting the elements that felt most natural to my ears.
TB: Will you be collaborating with Sept also in the future?
HH: We can’t predict the future but I’m certain I would find equal pleasure in doing another remix.
TB: Sept, you also have your full-length album coming up later this year. What kind of sound can we await from the album?
Sept: It is going to include some “regular 4x4 techno” tracks, however its keynote is going to be ambient and experimentally oriented. I want to go beyond the borders and let my listeners experience my inner world.