Polish musician Kuba Włodarski set up Egoist around 2002/2003 as a solo Electro-Industrial music project. A self-released demo CD came to light in 2004, and was followed by live gigs. In 2008 Kuba had the pleasure to collaborate with ‘Jan Siuta Art Gallery’ in Krakow, which resulted in the “Phazes”-album; Industrial-Ambient music to accompany cycle of exhibitions: “Ritual, Rhythm, Harmony”. In 2020 the digital version of the album “Breaking Moment” got released by Slovak label Aliens Production and followed by a limited physical release in 2021. The album is clearly appealing for lovers of Canadian EBM reminding Front Line Assembly. The album is a well-crafted and sophisticated work. Recently the digital remix album “Phantoms” has been released on Aliens Production as well.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Egoist is an ‘older’ project, which has been reactivated, right? Can you tell us how you got involved with music and what kind of music/sound did you wanted to create with Egoist?
Kuba: Egoist is an old project indeed, but it was rather hibernated than abandoned… I was always involved in doing music, but even when I was working in some cooperative projects covering slightly different musical stylistics, I was always keeping Egoist in back of my mind, and was composing ‘Egoist’ songs –slowly but surely…
Q: Your sound is clearly driven by EBM influences reminding Front Line Assembly. What’s your perception of EBM and what’s the impact of Frontline Assembly and other sources of inspiration on your own music? How do you transpose these influences into an own sound?
Kuba: I always had a soft spot for Canadian Electro-Industrial music. Skinny Puppy, Numb, early Psyche and of course Front Line Assembly. What kept me interested, especially in Skinny Puppy and FLA, was the complexity of their sound, attention to almost every detail that emerges in the background, helping to create rich, evolving sonic atmospheres. As to the FLA –in my early stuff I might have been under too much influence regarding song structures, etc., it seems, however, that I managed to broke off that convention as you may hear in more recent songs.
I really appreciated, but was never too carried away by classic European EBM bands such as Front 242, DAF or Nitzer Ebb. I was always intrigued in more complex alternative ‘body’ music – like Haujobb, Gridlock as well as classic industrial acts.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the re-release of “Breaking Moment”, which was originally (self)-released in 2004 as an EP. And what can say about the extra songs?
Kuba: The self-released demo consisted of 5 original tracks and a remix of a Controlled Collapse song. It was received rather well by the audience and gave me opportunity for live shows. In 2005 I did a gig in Bratislava, during ‘Apocalyptic Visions’-festival, organized by Ryby (Peter Rybar) of Disharmony and Aliens Production label. During full European lockdown AD 2020 Peter contacted me and proposed releasing a full LP with tracks from my demo plus previously unpublished material. I collected songs that I thought were good enough to be released, Ryby took care of mastering and production side of things, and released it as both digital download and 13 track physical CD. I believe the extra songs are more mature, complex and showing an evolution in music I make.
Q: How do you see yourself as musician/producer? Do you’ve a specific way of working and are there specific references/criteria in the production work?
Kuba: I do not have a proper modus operandi when it comes to creating music. I try to combine the most convenient benefits of hardware synths, drum machines, samplers, whatnot and the overwhelming power of computer equipment used for musical purposes nowadays. I’m certainly not a big fan of mixing and music production in general, as I find it much less interesting than the creative process, such as sound sculpting, arranging, etc.
If you ask about the compositional process -it varies, sometimes I have a general outline of the main theme and structure of the piece or just fragments of the melody lines around which I arrange the whole song. Sometimes interesting ideas emerge during jam sessions to be developed later during work in D(igital)A(udio)W(orkstation).
Q: There’s a new album (or EP) out now featuring two new songs and an impressive list of remixes. Tell us a bit more about the writing of the title song “Phantoms”? What do you think about the remixes? Any favorite ones?
Kuba: Remixes are intentionally of different, bar electronic, stylistics, as it shows how much one can make with the same source track. It is a very interesting experience to find out what parts of the original song were most appealing to remixers, and how they transformed it, picking up different ‘start points’ and approaches.
If I had to choose my favorite remix –I think it would be Tomtylor’s one or a dancefloor killer by Procesor Plus.
Q: What are your further plans about new productions, live shows, remixes and eventually side-activities?
Kuba: I did remixes for well known Polish alternative artists, i.e.: Agressiva 69 and Clicks. Right now I am finishing a thing for legendary polish Post-Punk formation 1984. I am also preparing EGOIST live shows, which will start at the end of 2021 at ‘Energia Dzwieku’-festival in Wroclaw, alongside Frett, Liebknecht and Haujobb, as well as trying to find time and energy to finish an EP of my side-project Brud.
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