Kamran Sadeghi stands at the intersection of music and art. His intuitive method suppresses his musical training in order to capture chance interactions and unexpected moments. Coming from a diverse musical background, Kamran’s productions are marked by hyper magnification, repetition, stillness, unexpected shifts, and sharp punctuation’s that draw lines through space. Brutal hooks and harmonies emerge through a close study of the science of sound as hypnotic poly-rhythms weave through shaped frequencies.
Kamran is in constant exploration of his craft, coming from a diverse background, ranging from sound and installation art to film scores and contemporary music. His Live performance can be described as an experience into the hypnotic and trippy world of house and techno, both unique, detailed and full of physical expression, built around modular synthesis and electronics.
Hi Kamran thanks for joining us. First and foremost, we have you here to talk about the new release ‘Compound Eye’ on Dana Ruh’s Brouqade Records. Can you tell us about the release and your collaboration with Dana?
I met Dana for the first time when we both played ADE a few years ago, although it was brief, I really liked her energy, she seemed humble and genuine. It wasn’t until we had a few chats in Berlin the following years that I understood we had a mutual musical vision. Not necessary aesthetic or technical, but more about the importance of hearing/feeling the person behind the music. Soon after she invited me to put together an EP for her label. I like working organically like this, even in the face of the ever growing race for popularity and fame.
Your production style is very experimental and can become quite intricate, yet quirky and still purvey a minimalist sound. How do you give your tracks space to breathe amongst the structured chaos?
Of course I can auto tune, make changes every 16 bars, breaks every 24, and put all the instruments in the same key and lock them on a hard grid, but then what you will hear could be made by anyone these days. I try not to confine myself when working so that I can find this moment where time is no longer relevant, and the music really takes over. There’s always a lead / foundation sound that carries the more complex sounds. I’m a percussionist originally, so I really like polyrhythms. I play with the space between the structures in my music and in my life.
It’s also worth mentioning you link your music very closely to art. Do you also have an artistic background which isn’t linked to music?
Not formally, but I’ve been reading about art theory and studied different artists and art movements since I was a teenager. Most of my friends growing up and now are conceptual artists, choreographers, photographers, film makers, painters etc.. To be honest I unintentionally have very few musician and producer friends in comparison. None the less, I’ve been on a mission to link music / sound with art in my work. I think music is sometimes too dumbed down. Sound is a time based art form, a physical phenomenon with structural integrity, let’s try to use it to it’s fullest.
Based in NYC how does the access you have to design and art exhibitions filtrate through to your musical output? Or do the artistic links spur from other mediums – movies, nature, natural surroundings?
NYC has been, and continues to be (for the moment) the place where I can design my own input, and at the same time be randomly forced into very unexpected human and creative territories. It’s a challenge to live here from every angle, but I like challenges. Sure it’s changed a lot and there is more and more consumerism taking over what was once very expressive, influential and inspiring venues, creative and just crazy spaces, but NYC is resilient and with every turn I find new things, or just learn about places and people I had no idea were under my nose the whole time.
Is it the thought process and creativity of the mind or the capabilities of modern day music production technology which is most powerful?
Steve Riech once said ‘Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Have The Right Equipment – What Matters Is Your Musical Imagination!’ I think he’s spot on.
We have recently spoke with Sebastian Mulleart about the creation of his latest EP using the Roland SH101. I’m interested to hear your views on whether the complexity of your music in any way stems from the complexity of modular synthesis?
I think I would make the same rhythms with broom sticks and pots and pans from the kitchen. Of course modular synthesis allows me the freedom to design my own instrument, but it’s still just synthesis. I try to take really simple sounds a long way. I’ve never been a person who likes the sound of one piece of gear or instrument over another.
For any producers thinking about making the switch to or exploring modular synthesis what tips and advice would you give as a helping hand? Are there many pitfalls that could be avoided?
Well I would say to really learn synthesis first. Try out some software versions like MAX/MSP, Plogue, or any of the newer stuff out there. It’s really important to know your process and how you work. Foundation stuff, do you want to process sound, generate sound? Are you making percussive or harmonic music? Are you playing manually or do you like sequencing music… ? etc. Then I would say to go with your intuition without trying to convince yourself that it’s going to make a difference in your music.
Ninety percent of my music is made live in the studio. With my first ambient music project Son of Rose, that put me on the stage 10 years ago, I used a grand piano and several e-bows (battery powered magnets) to resonate different intervals of the strings and processed it all in real-time. The act of making music live is really important to me. It’s just foundational, without it I think I would be doing something else. I like hearing the human behind the machine.
Although based out of NYC you have toured and performed at many clubs across Europe including Rex, Panarama Bar and ADE. Do you see any trends or significant ways the industry operates between the U.S and Europe?
I might not be the best person to ask about this. For better or worst, I keep my head in the music, not the industry.
OK, career highlights so far. You have released on Cocoon. That must be up there for any aspiring producer. Are there any other personal highlights for you?
I hope this doesn’t come off as too modest or whatever, but I feel really fortunate to just be sharing my work and ideas with the world. From producing records to scoring music for film, contemporary dance and multi-channel sound art installations. I love this dialog, this transmission I’m able to have between my music and everyone out there that listens and experiences it. It’s really hard to describe, but it’s the most rewarding and intense feeling. I’ve come a long way, but I feel like I’ve got so much more to discover, learn and share.
And how is your release schedule looking for the rest of the year?
After ‘Compound Eye’ on Brouqade, I have another EP shortly after titled ‘Vessel’ on Sensoramic then I think there are about 3 or 4 remixes on the way as well. At the moment I’m finishing up a 7 track album that needs a proper home and I’m hoping that will happen before the end of the year.
Thanks for the in-depth chat Kamran. Is there anything you would like to add?
My pleasure. Let’s keep pushing ourselves and those around us to learn more and experience things outside of our comfort zones!
Kamran Sadeghi/Dana Ruh’s ‘Compund Eye’ is out soon on Brouqade