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axel willner / cordouan / lars blek / porte...

mars 2004, par stephane

Please would you like to introduce yourself (age, city, work...).
axel willner : My name is Axel Willner and I’m 26. I live in Stockholm where i study.

Could you please present us your different musical projects (Cordouan, Lars Blek, porte and others, if there are others) : when and where does each project take place, why... ? How would you define each project compared to the other’s one ? Why did you choose to use different names ? Where do those names come from, especially Cordouan which is the name of a lighthouse next to Royan (France) ?
I make music under the monikers Lars Blek, porte, Cordouan, The Field & James Larsson. I’m also a member of Speedwax.
Lars Blek is sad guitar drones made both electronic and acoustic, porte is a kind of glitch made only from samples, both my own guitar stuff and other peoples music. Cordouan is ambient/drones made out of samples and guitar and James Larsson is both only drones and only guitar, it depends...that moniker is really new. What all this monikers have in common is the melancholy... i think people experience it that way.
The Field is a bit more happy and ambient technoish with a 4/4. You can dance to it.
Speedwax is me and Ola K . We have been doing music together under the name Speedwax since -96 and we still play together. The sound is really wide, all from classic warp electronica to more ambient stuff.
The name Cordouan came from a documentary I saw about lighthouses in Europe. I got so influenced of it so I started to make some music under the name Cordouan. I came up with Lars Blek when i took my second name and the name of the street where I used to live...that classic way to get a pseudonym.

Do you feel you’re part of a Scandinavian ambient music scene (Stafraenn Hakon, Orphax, Rhythm Of Snow, Trabant...) ? Is there any (local ?) musical scene you feel you’re in ?
I don’t know if I’m a part of the Scandinavian ambient scene but perhaps of the local scene here in Stockholm.
The local scene in Stockholm is not so big unfortunately.

How do you compose ? What instruments do you play ? Do you consider yourself as a soundscapes creator ? How important are the melodies in your compositions ?
I use my computer and guitar, bass, organ, accordion and effects. It depends on what music I make. Like porte is only sample based and programmed and James Larsson is pure audio recorded in the computer. Lars Blek & Cordouan is a mix of it both. The Field is also only computer based. Speedwax is also a mix.
I think it’s something between soundscapes and "classic songs". I focus more on harmonies than on melodies but the small melodies that’s there are pretty important.

You’re running different labels : Garmonbozia, and Mindtravel is beginning. You’re also working in Please Records. Can you present us those different labels ? What has Mindtravel be created for ? Garmonbozia is a cd-r music label. Is it a choice ? Is it about DIY, making beautiful handmade artworks etc... ? Is there a link between you and MechanizedMind, excepting the Love ep from Cordouan ?
Garmonbozia is a cd-r label by choice. It’s good to have everything around myself, to make it all here at home, from cutting cardboard to gluing and burning the cds. And it’s more cheap to make them this way so we can sell it very cheap [ca : 1 euro]. The problem is the distribution...
Things have changed in the world and nowadays most of the people think cd-r is just as good as "real cd" if it’s a nice cover or artwork.
Mindtravel has a more ambient techno touch. The idea is to release music that you can dance to. The only link to Mechanized Mind is that I have released the "Love" ep there and it’s a friend that has the label.
I don’t work at please records... The thing is Speedwax were supposed to release a record on that label for about 4 years ago but we are so lazy and idiotic so now we dont know what to do with that...he he.

Do you play live with your different projects ? Can you tell us about your collaboration with Johan Skön, who he is etc... ?
I do play live with my projects, mostly Lars Blek and Speedwax. But I have played with them all except James Larsson.
Johan Skön is a very good friend and we have played together for a really long time. Started of in a punk group in our teens and we have always made music at the side that’s been more experimental. We think exactly the same when it comes to create music.

Are you collaborating with other (musical & non musical) artists  ? What are your projects ? Do you have other discs that will be released this year ?
I have played two improvised live gigs with Andreas Tilliander and I made a euro song with Action Biker.
Now I will start to play with one of the guys from Fourier. Me and Johan Skön are about to start to play with a drummer soon, like a band !
Perhaps a porte release this year and if Mindtravel will work then a release of The Field as well.

What are you trying to get through your music ?
I’m not sure... I think it’s mostly for myself but if someone likes it, it makes me glad !

interview by stéphane
by email

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