Astrid & Dietmar talked to Jan L. (Noisuf-X / X-FUSION) about the new Noisuf-X album “Excessive Exposure” and how bad the situation is in the music scene today. A very interesting interview about samples, dirty words and future projections…
Hi Jan, thank you for your willingness to answer a few questions about your projects and the new Noisuf-X album “Excessive Exposure”.
Jan: With pleasure…
Barely a year has passed since the last Noisuf-X album and presently a new X-Fusion Album is to be released. Have you got all the songs ready in a drawer or how do you manage that?
Jan: You know how it is with electronic music – press 3 buttons, and everything is ready 🙂
No, of course I just always invested a lot of time into my music and therefor the output will logically be higher than with bands that have time to make music only on weekends. However, for this high output I had to make sacrifices and have given up much of my free time and holidays.
The new album is entitled “Excessive Exposure”. Exposure can mean different things. What is your interpretation of the title?
Jan: My free translation is “excessive demands” which is the aim of what should happen on the dance floors. “Excessive Exposure” is a pure club album, which bangs permanently from the beginning to the end and therefore skips on any quiet moments. Those who need these will have to use the pause button.
There are some instrumental pieces such as “Hans Dampf” or “White Noise” next to the vocal samples on the album. How do you make the link between the song and its title?
Jan: Well, on “White Noise” it is quite easy because the idea behind the song is related to the so-called “white noise”, which is probably better known as “snow” you get on your TV-screen when broadcasts are suspended. And since I have used precisely this noise in the song, the song title was obvious.
With “Hans Dampf” it was different. This title or name inspired (of course by saying ‘jack-of-all-trades’ or ” Hans Dampf in allen Gassen” in German). This title has actually been in my head for a long time, but I haven’t written a song that would fit it so far. It may not be very sensible, but it was clear from the very early stages of the production of this song that it will be THE “Hans Dampf” (in Engl. “Jack”).
Speaking of voice samples: What’s comes to your head first, the samples or the song?
Jan: It varies. Sometimes the song is finished and then I see what I can find, but I usually have already at least a rough sketch in my head of what the song is going to be like. Most of the samples are made by me and not just from films or TV.
How do you get the ideas for the speech samples?
Jan: Well, how can you explain being creative? I think that does not work. It is always a combination of phantasy and external factors or personal experiences. If you look long enough into a theme, you come up with something – then you have to make your choices. The important thing is simply that you already have a rough idea in which direction to go. For example the song “Fucking Infective”; I’ve noticed that more and more swear words and abusive language are to find in the music, even in our scene, not just in hip hop, where it is most startling of course. So I wanted to take the whole to extremes, and randomly throw in words of this category – and with this “stuttering” effect reduce it all back again. Moreover, to make the pun clear that excessive use of such words takes the spice out of them, I translated it literally: “fucking swear words”.
The funniest song in our ears on the album is “Deutschland Braucht Bewegung” (Germany Needs Movement). Are we right in thinking you can interpret this title also ambiguous?
Jan: “Deutschland Braucht Bewegung” is already a very clear statement and calls for clearly for maximum motion in club and at concerts. As for ambiguity, I can say: If you are looking for something, you will find it 🙂
Where are the voice samples at the end of the song taken from?
Jan: I don’t want to give references, of course, for some little, dirty secrets should surely be left to me to keep. It is only important that you have fun – and the end of “Deutschland Braucht Bewegung” has so far contributed for amusement at every live show.
The track “Fire” bears the subtitle “C64 Tribute”. Do you enjoy thinking about the beginnings of X-Fusion back in the days of C64?
Jan: Absolutely. The C64 was just a cool box and I still like the sound of the SID chip (which was responsible for the music). You got to learn something very important with this box, namely: to extract as much as possible from the minimum. Somebody who has just started producing music a couple of years ago cannot comprehend it. Nowadays you can download hundreds of sound modules, samples and effects for free or for little money and immediately have unlimited possibilities available, however, often your own creativity falls behind. Therefore, the experiences I’ve had with C64 and Amiga are priceless to me.
What made you to make music?
Jan: Wow, that’s really hard to say. Music has always fascinated me, and while my peers were still listening to radio plays, I have already created mix tapes and experimented with 2 record players etc.
And from then on, the development went on and on … As I’ve already mentioned, with the C64 for example – with which I haven’t just played, like many others, but made music.
In an interview late last year, you expressed your regret that there was not much response to the last X-Fusion album. Does it look better for Noisuf-X this time around?
Jan: No, I cannot confirm that, unfortunately. I just checked for it on purpose. The album has been for 2-3 weeks on the market now, and there is just a single entry in my guestbook on my website about the album and a handful of comments in my forum. Of course there are also comments on Myspace, etc., but these are very well hidden among all the spam, so that you spare yourself the reading. I, unfortunately, see a very serious development; while on the one hand, the audience, which illegally downloads an album increase continuously, on the other hand the number of real fans who support the project by purchasing CDs & merchandise and even with feedback decreased. Where that will ultimately lead, I think, need no explanation.
In the same interview you mentioned that you do not know for how long you can keep X-Fusion going. Noisuf-X is, in your own words, more like a fun project. Is Noisuf-X still “at risk”?
Jan: Both projects are clearly at risk, and if the development does not change, it is only a matter of time. Of course, I would like to do more and so on…. to release music – but it is very time-consuming and expensive and it is becoming a luxury for me. I cannot keep going for much longer. I never wanted to become rich with my music – in that case I would not have ended up in this scene – but I have to think economically and I think about how and where to invest my time and my money.
On your website you run a forum. How important is the contact to your fans?
Jan: To tell you the truth, I have little time for it. And with the knowledge that the majority of my listeners “stole” my music I lose the interest in that. Because you never know with whom you talk. Friend or foe.
In addition to your own projects you have, together with Johan van Roy, the project “Kombat Unit” and you play live keyboards for Suicide Commando. How did the contact with Johan come about?
Jan: Oh, we’ve known each other for very long. I think he asked me once for an X-FUSION song or remix for a compilation, which he has just put together. So we got into conversation, then at some point somewhere it ran across the road, and has determined that you are well understood. The rest came by itself.
In addition to that you’re also a music producer. Do you get to listen to music privately? If so, what kind of music?
Jan: I don’t have much time for that unfortunately – but when I get to listen to something privately, it is nothing from our scene usually. I like very little music, but my taste is diverse. I listen to a lot of dark orchestral stuff, but sometimes Goa or metal, too.
Where do you think the development of the electro scene will go talking from your perspective as a music producer?
Jan: It will go south … musically, as well as economically.
The last words of the interview are yours.
Jan: I’ve picked on enough on illegal downloaders, and I’d like to thank for all who support my projects (and I do not mean those who upload my music on Youtube).
Thank you for your answers! We wish you success with your projects.
Jan: Thank you!
Noisuf-X @ www:
Noisuf-X @ MySpace:
by PromoFabrik (www.promofabrik.com) – April 2010
Interview: Dietmar Fels & Astrid Kerber