‘Click Interview’ with Undermathic: ‘I’m Not The Man I Used To Be’
Polish artist Maciej Paszkiewicz is not directly a name that will make ring a bell, but his Undermathic project is for sure a familiar name for all of those who were fan on the now gone Tympanik Audio. Undermathic released four albums on the Canadian label and now strikes back with the self-released digital opus “Living Holograms”. This is a great and creative electronic work mixing different influences such as IDM, cinematographic-, experimental- and laidback music. This is pure high-tech music so I’m confident Undermathic will find a new label to release further work.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: You introduce Undermathic as a ‘multi-instrumentalist and dreamer from Poland’! Can you give us more details about this description and how did you get into music?
Maciej: Yes, I like this trivial description. I play guitars, bass, drums and synths, but guitar is my main instrument. I started to play when I was seven years old.
Within a few years I will have a studio with all these instruments so it will be wonderful and interesting to me. I will record everything, track after track, instrument after instrument. I do not know exactly what will happen and what to expect, in what style. So one day perhaps I will take a break with electronic music and I will turn into ‘live’ playing.
And ‘dreamer’ because… I’m not the man I used to be. It’s a very complex matter, philosophical and psychological (lol).
Q: Your previous album were released on Tympanik Audio, which definitely was one of the most visionary labels from this scene. What did you keep in mind from the four albums released on Tympanik and how did it feel when you heard the label decided to stop its activities?
Maciej: Of course it’s always sad when a label has to stop. Today this ‘industry’ is going through a very difficult and specific time. CD’s are almost dead, vinyl records are selling surprisingly well and we even see cassettes are coming back, but the main traffic is on the internet.
There are a plenty of labels, plenty of true artists and unfortunately even more ‘shitty laptop artists’… so every label needs to do a great promotion and of course to release good music. It only happens by working hard.
Unfortunately my albums released on Tympanik did not sound good. I did not have the equipment, I did not have analog synthesizers, samplers etc. I had good ideas, but it sounded bad, plastic and digital.
Q: One more question about labels and the importance they have for you as an artist and how did you finally come to release your new album on your own?
Maciej: The difference is huge, if we’re talking about professional labels. I will be honest –my new album does not exist. This is not a surprise for me. I can not promote myself enough, it is simply technically impossible.
If someone has a great fan base (I think here about real big artists from the first league), self-releasing an album is perhaps a good idea, but not in my case.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the newest album “Living Holograms”, which in the meantime has been remastered revealing a ‘new’ edit?
Maciej: Yes, during the past last weeks I bought some great hardware devices to mastering; compressors, equalizers and other ‘psychoacoustic‘ effects. It’s only analog and only with tubes. When I switched on the power I immediately loved this equipment! And, as I say above, because my new album is still undiscovered, I decided to do a remastering. So now and for the first time in my life, my music sound good. Only the last track “It’s Hard To Explain” is very hard to master. I’d many problems with the mastering so I left it unchanged.
Q: I guess this technical evolution is probably why I consider “Living Holograms” as your most accomplished work to date and still the most diversified when it comes to influences. What kind of work did you want to accomplish and tell us a bit more about the sources of inspiration and used equipment?
Maciej: Thanks. But yes, you’re right. This is my best album so far. I will say more, this is my first professionally sounding material, because it’s the first record I made only with hardware analog synths.
So everything sounds warm and deep, there is a lot of dirt and stertorous synths.
More globally this album is a tribute to French electronic music, so all similarities are very conscious. I especially worked on this sound. It was my goal.
For me divisions in music do not exist, we have only good- and poorly inspired music. But in electronic music and during the recent years I really liked the way it goes e.g Jon Hopkins, Max Cooper or even Rival Consoles and other ‘piano-electronic’ artists from Erased Tapes Record and all other similar things.
This is a good way – it is suitable for dancing with 4×4 beat, but at the same time it has more depth and is more ambitious, more original and more artistic. I think I will go towards this direction on my next album.
About the equipment I am quite satisfied at the moment. I can create my music from A till Z without using VST plugins; at every stage of creation. Everything is mixed of course in DAW, Cubase 9.5, but I uninstalled all my plugins, except one company – Kush Audio, because they are really good and Gregory Scott from Kush is a genius. But I do not have a lot of devices, simply a few basic analog synths, Virus TI2, some samplers and the most important –modular synths! This is now, and will be in next years, my most important creation tool. But as you know, modular synths are ruining the budget (lol), but it sounds amazing! For every sound source I’m passing always through many guitar effects from my pedalboard.
Q: How do you see yourself as musician; I mean what do you want to realize? What do you want to improve or maybe change in your sound and work? Do you feel related with other musicians? What means music to you?
Maciej: I should play the guitar in some famous bands. I loved to play live with other musicians and I loved playing concerts. Unfortunately a few years ago now I left my hometown so now I live in a small village and playing with other musicians here is for some obvious reasons impossible. It sounds trivially, but music is one of the most important things in life, not only music, but all forms of art. I am very sensitive to art.
Right now I am going to a little life crisis, but music really helps me and I hope, that I will create something good in the future; in electronic music or on bass, drums and guitars. This is my plan. I’m currently finishing a mini album “Moments And Places” (4-5 tracks) based on a piano, but I am not satisfied with the results (lol). It will be probably not good enough. After that I have to create two, three awesome electronic tracks and I will continue to look for a good label.
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