ITW : AMEEVA [LOWLESS]

The Ameeva project has been a way for Alex Busse to explore the aforementioned influences while remaining genre-fluid. With more standalone, conceptual works in store, he hopes to utilize his music catalog’s ambiguity to adapt his performance to the situation, whether it is for a live or DJ set; ambient and kickless atmposhperic rythm, or a deep techno odyssey on the dancefloor.

Your musical universe goes from ambient and kickless atmospheric rhythm to deep techno. What brought you into this musical universe?

To be honest it has been just curiosity. My musical path started in commercial electronic and EDM, and through the time has been evolving to the underground scene during the last 4 years. My first contact with Techno, for example, was thanks to the boom of Tale of Us and all this melodic sound scene behind them, and I guess after that, thanks to the personal digging and curiosity to go deeper, I just found -and still- more abstract, ethereal and experimental references that lead me where I’m now. For me, the way I’ve been entering into this music is directly related to the way I’ve been learning about sound design, production and mixing. The more experimental you go in your listening, the more freedom and creativity you feel in your musical possibilities. And this is exciting, cause you start destroying your barriers and boundaries, both in production and taste, and suddenly you find yourself one evening in your room, listening to a bunch of white noises with some field recordings from a Japanese market. And you are totally enjoying it! 

What or who has been your main musical influences as a producer?

Emotionally, I guess the sensation of dancing alone in a dark club, surrounded by people you don’t know, and experience this bubble-like atmosphere where you can unplug your whole world for a night. That’s something pretty unique that is given thanks to music. So my mindset when producing is what kind of music could make me feel that.

Artists that helped me the most finding this inspiration or emotional side of music are people like Burial, Skee Mask or Rafael Anton Irisarri. Producers like Varg, Daniel Avery or Polar Inertia gave me the cold atmospheres in Techno and about other terms like the arrangement, sound design, or even just creativity and personality, I can name a bunch like FKA Twigs, Kendrick Lamar, Felicia Atkinson, James Blake, Ólafur Arnalds, Rosalía and many more. I try to find something from every genre and be open to everything as much as I can. 

You released your first album on Lowless. How did you started to collaborate with them ?

I discovered Lowless because randomly their EP from MTRL, ‘Satoru’, came to my ears and I was instantly in love. So from that, I started following the label and with the time and seeing how they were, I just texted on Instagram that I had this album ready and I’d like to submit it for Lowless. And done! Everything was really natural and spontaneous, and the support showed since the first day has been incredible since the release date. It was a long run, but in the end, everything we did was for presenting this album in the best possible way.  

 Why did you choose to make an album instead of some EP’s? 

For me albums are the greatest opportunity to work when you have a concept. I’ve always enjoyed the long-playing works and see how all the songs share the same script and soundscape, so making an album was a plan that I wanted to do soon or later but without forcing it. I think it’s such a delicate work where time, passion and care are a must. So it really has to come naturally and at the right moment. And it did. It just appeared and I developed it.

 What would say is the ideal setting to listen to your music? 

This album is definitely a home listening or in an environment where you could grab a good set of headphones and enjoy a moment of solitude. I did it as an exercise of imagination for the listener, inviting them to go up with the sound and have a moment of inner dialogue. The options are many depending on everyone’s moment of peace. I’ll personally choose a rainy day you could enjoy in your window or a nightscape to a quiet place. Late-night car rides are recommended!  

It seems like you have a faible for droning and atmospheric sounds with hypnotizing textures. How did you approach making this album? 

Before making music I need previously a concept or idea to work around it. It’s like a guideline. I can make music just for fun or see what happens of course, but having a purpose or specific motive makes it much more enjoyable for me. It’s like a challenge to see how can I materialize a story into music.

So first of all and after having the concept I tried to create the sound palette which the feelings of my concept were represented with those sounds. I need to hear already the characteristics of the sound that will create the atmospheres and see if that’s fitting for the tone of the work. So before the whole composition, there was a stage of sound design and patching. And just after having my ideas, colours and tools, I started composing. I see it quite like the process of a painter. 

How was the studio process and how long did it take? 

I spent one week creating small loops or how I like to call them, motives. I just sit every day with my notebook in front of me and start generating ideas in Ableton without thinking in the arrangement. I just wanted the main core of the song. 

After that, I made the first selection of potential tracks and I started jumping to one loop per week, so let’s say after 3 months, more or less, I had all the songs arranged and finally, I discarded the tracks that didn’t convince me for the final tracklist. I gave myself a break of a couple of weeks without listening to it to have fresh airs again and start the mixing process. So I’d say in total I spent a little bit more than half a year for the whole process.

Do you prefer producing on software or hardware gear, or a combination of both? What’s your favourite pieces of equipment? 

My workflow has been changing all the time. Fractura del Sueño in particularly was made 90% with software except some percussive and sub bass sounds coming from a Moog Mother 32. The rest was all sample based material, Ableton stock plugins and Omnisphere for the atmospheric sounds.

But nowadays, for example, I refused to work with the screen in front of me all the time and I’m using a Digitone for all my synth sounds, which I find it one of the most amazing machines, but heavily processed in Ableton. I also added a Push 2 which improved a lot my creativity I’d say. Especially in rhythm programming and sample tweaking. Laptop and software can definitely make the most amazing music but at some point, I needed to touch something with my hands instead of clicking all the time and have a more jamming experience. It’s just a matter of timing and not staying in the comfort zone I’d say. So for me, it’s a healthy combination for both. 

Alongside this interview, you recorded a podcast for InDepth. How did you prepare it and what was the idea you wanted to convey through it?

I wanted to show a little bit this wide range of influences and different genres instead of sticking to a single character all the some so I basically digged into my library and start selecting some of the sounds that nowadays give me the most pleasant and interesting listening. 

Last but not least, what’s coming next for you in the next months, any plans or exciting projects you’d love to mention?

Yes! I’m in a moment where I’m already working in some other LP material but especially focused on the live set. This lockdown can be a good moment to prepare something special when we can enjoy clubs again so now I’m in the purpose of keeping the ambient / experimental conceptual works but at the same time making more club material for this live set, so I’ll be able to offer my 2 sides in the same environment. 

This lockdown also made me start some unexpected projects. For one side and with the help of two other friends from Spain we have launched this platform named .apart where we want to give artists a space to express themselves through a series of podcasts, and luckily in the future, as a record label and event curator. And for the other side with my Berlin friends, we are building another platform named Mioro where I’m writing about our scene, with the aim of embrace our culture and kinda protecting it, exposing our difficulties and struggles as artists, individuals, collectives and in general the whole scene, while at the same time spread some small talent out there with features and interviews. It’s all super new and in the first stage but I’m excited!

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