Lovefingers: From a boat in Seine to STRCamp (interview)
Many nice words can be said about Matas Synthsoulsizer, also called Seasonslater. Most of them have been said this morning in his interview with, and I have just talked to Lovefingers, an artist who’ll be paying a visit to Matas’s and friends STRcamp this weekend.
Lovefingers has a busy label ESP Institute and knows a great deal about concrete romance. He’s also recorded a legendary between eclectics lovers mix of 999 tracks, and I believe, could do a few more of the same length.
I usually post a mix before an interview, this time it’s a track – a really long one, so it should be enough until the last sentence. Lovefingers named it as the best festival track in a recent feature in The Guardian.
ESP Institute sounds like an academic institution. Was that implied when you came up with the name for the label? Or maybe I am totally lost here?
Yes its meant to be larger than just a record label. Its more of a collaborative effort, a community of artists, a family, and also a playground for new ideas.
Talking about the names, what exactly did "black" symbolize in Black Disco?
I didn't come up with the name, it was Nitedog's… and it was a party far before it was a record label… at the time we were playing lots of strange and sometimes demented music.
The catalog of the ESP Institute is pretty long for something that has only been up for 3 years. Was the initial plan to be that busy, or is the flow of good music so big you can't not release something? Is the future schedule tight as well?
Its definitely quality over quantity. There is nothing on the label that wasn't painstakingly considered. The future is looking more of the same, no real schedule or trends to follow, we just do what we love and insist on our own point of view.
Which part of your body - or soul - tells you a track is GOOD?
My beard.
When you sign an artist or a band, is your intention to help them break through? Or you just want to release good music? To turn the question around, does the label aim - in any ways - to reach bigger audiences, or is it "from a digger to a digger"?
To me, the point of a record label is to create a platform where artists are heard, so the more people to listen the better. That's not to say that we're not in our own niche, involuntarily catering to the early adaptors, but its not outright elitism.
Is New York more receptive to your sound than Los Angeles? Or, maybe, you absorb New York more than you did Los Angeles and that's why you moved?
I am always back and forth between LA and NY (with a definite preference of NY)… but ESP Institute is a free spirited idea that can move about, its not rooted in any particular place.
Did moving to New York help you travel to Europe more often and get known there? I'm just looking at the map there.
Yes, of course.
I know you've played in a much wider variety of places than clubs and bars, as most of the DJs do. What was the most unexpected place for your DJ gig? In good and bad ways.
I played on a boat on the Seine last week and an abandoned campground in the Lithuanian forest this weekend… nuff said!
Why don't you design ESP Institute covers, as I understand you're a designer too? Or was it fashion design you were involved with? Why did you quit?
I love the aesthetic of Mario Hugo, and its a perfect match for my vision with the label. I am a designer yes, but I am working in more of a creative director's role when it comes to ESP Institute, which means taking yourself out of the equation to some extent. But, yes I also own a mens/womens brand called Objects Without Meaning and a kids brand called ESP No.1, both which take up most of my time.
Do you still play drums, maybe some other instruments? Do you use live instruments in your production?
I play drums whenever I can, but unfortunately my studio situation is nil at the moment. But in production, yes I typically use live instruments as much as possible, guitars, bass, keys, percussion, vocals… etc
Does the amount of fun reduce when a DJ/artist becomes more established?
No I reckon if you are still making music you're happy with, then it can only get better.
Can friendships made in parties and afterparties last longer than a hangover? Or music is the connecting item and everything else don't matter, not the distance, not the age difference..?
I strongly believe that music is the most powerful language, more than anything spoken or visual, because its delivery is the most direct and emotional. Its the most ancient method of ritual and rejoice, and for a reason, it brings people together. Some of my most true friendships were learned the fastest and music was the handshake.
What is the main reason you accept or decline a booking?
There has to be a good enough reason for me to be away from my wife and son, whether its artistic or financial fulfillment, that's just part of being a husband and father.
Do you know how many people listened to the 999 songs mix? And how many people listened to it non-stop? Have you listened to it as well after you recorded it?
I haven't looked up those reports in a long time, but at one point there were 50,000 people per day, pretty ridiculous! I listen to those songs all the time, its like a library at in my home.
Is record-digging your preferred sports? Tell me more about the process. What are your latest most precious finds?
Record digging is always an adventure, there is always more out there no matter how much you think you know. The latest thing I've fallen in love with is Novi sings Chopin.
What will you do before and after your gig in STRCamp? Any other festivals in the radar?
I am playing at Plastic People in London on Thurs July 11th. I'm doing Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsinki in late August, and then the Unknown festival in Croatia in early September followed by Berlin, Moscow, St Petersburg and a couple others.
D.D. 2004 - 2016
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