Mikael Delta began his career in early 90’s as a member of a band called Stereo Nova. In 1994 he released his first solo EP on R&S Records. Later he worked with labels like Glasgow Underground, Distance records, Seamless Recordings and others. His latest release is a dub techno album “Inner City Light” on Cold Tear Records. Enjoy!
Today is our 5th birthday. So you get the gifts! But before that, I’d like to say, that running this label for 5 years, has been easily the best time in my life ever. It brought tons of joy, and felt very meaningful. So I’ve set all releases on bandcamp to ‘name your price’, which means that you can download all of our releases for free in lossless formats, for a whole week. But please also consider chipping in a few pennies, because your support is, and always has been tremendously important.Here’s the link: https://coldtearrecords.bandcamp.com/
Thank you all for being with us, for listening to our music and supporting us!
Free downloads on our bandcamp are now disabled. Thank you all for support!
On March 16, we will release a commercial only dub techno release by Mikael Delta, a well known Greek electronic music producer, who has previously released his stuff on labels like R&S Records, Glasgow Underground, Seamless Recordings and many others. The album is called “Inner City Light” and you can check a promo sampler of it on our soundcloud:
Latest DJ mix from Silent Season featured a track by Slownoise called “Silent Wilderness“, from his recently released EP. Enjoy the mix!
Just about a week ago, Slownoise did a comeback to our label with a beautiful new EP called “Silent Wilderness“. He was one of the first artists on Cold Tear to release a solo album called “The City’s Shore“. “Dark Matter” EP was his next release at us. Few years went by since then, and here we are working together again. Slownoise is an important part of our label’s history, no doubt. We thought it’s a great time to make an interview, to talk again about what happened during this time and we also got into electronic music gear a lot this time. So if you’re interested in electronic music production this should be interesting for you!
Hello there, congrats with the new EP! Glad to have you again on our label.
Hi, thanks. I am really glad that you have had me back for another release on Cold Tear.
How is it all going for you as an artist and in life in general?
Life is good, really busy as always. I am loving producing music I make time every day to sit in my studio and play around with new ideas. Sometimes the ideas are flowing and at other times it’s not so easy. I find that when I persevere inspiration comes. I spend more time than I used to chilling and just enjoying other people’s music. There is so much cool stuff out there to discover. I get loads of inspiration from just listening to different genres of music. Recently music by the likes of Carl Craig, Model 500 and Boards of Canada are some of my faves. I find time to listen to all sorts of stuff from dub to pop.
Tell us what were you doing since the “Dark Matter” EP? I know you released a very limited vinyl edition and other stuff.
That’s a really good question, I had to think back. I have self released a few EPs which are available on the Slownoise Bandcamp page. I had a very limited number of vinyl cut of an EP entitled Cyclops. I wanted those people who would prefer to listen to my music on Vinyl to have the chance to do so. I think there is one copy still available on my Bandcamp site. I was lucky enough to have a track included on a vinyl EP released by Deafaid. There are some other really nice tracks on there. I was really pleased about this as the two Slownoise tracks included my bass guitar playing which hasn’t seen the light of day for quite a while.
I know you also tried to get more into the sound of oldschool jamaican dub. I heard some of your tracks in that style and I personally thought they were brilliant. Are you going to do any releases like that? And are you going to keep making stuff like that?
I would definitely produce more old school dub type tracks. I love playing bass on electronica. Time is always the issue, if I had more hours to commit to music I would be doing loads of that kind of stuff. It’s really great music to produce and really satisfying when something works out well.
How much there’s oldschool dub influence in the sound of Slownoise?
There is loads of old school dub influence in Slownoise music even if it isn’t immediately obvious. I must say that Silent Wilderness as an EP is less influenced by old school dub than some other music that I am about to release. It’s influences are definitely more from Boards of Canada, Mogwai and 90’s Electronica like Speedy J which has always been an inspiration for me.
Slownoise tracks such as Scientific Dub and King Dub on Set Theory on Deafaid are obvious examples where I have heavily used oldschool influences and mixed it with dub techno electronic sounds. I always try to get organic sounds in the music. I enjoy putting stuff through tape delays letting sounds break up in the delay repeats then resampling the distorted sounds. Dub techniques like recording “live mixing” into the DAW, sending sounds to auxiliary outs through analogue hardware and back into the computer adds something warm and organic to mixes. I like the random stuff that comes out of this approach. I don’t like polished perfect sounds, I enjoy things that are a bit random and patched together it just makes things sound more alive. My mixes are quite often heavy on the bass, I think this comes from dub influences. I listen to and am influenced by loads of different music genres so although these influences are not always at the forefront of the music they are always there.
The name of your new EP “Silent Wilderness” suggests that it could be inspired by nature. Is it?
Yes there is definitely inspiration that comes from nature in some of my music. I have really enjoyed other music that takes inspiration from natural sources. Music released on Cold Tear and Silent Season have been a big influence on my music of the past year. I am also influenced by distinctly urban environments and the experience of living and working in an urban setting. Spending time hiking and in the hills in the Peak District has allowed me to absorb other influences away from a computer and studio. On another level I think the title is a metaphor for other stuff going on in my life in the same way as “The City’s Shore” wasn’t a reference to the seaside. My music is definitely affected by what is going on around me in my life both positive and negative.
How do you think your new EP is different than your previous release? If it is at all.
It is certainly different to “Dark Matter” which was produced at a dark time and the production reflected this. 2014 was a very different year to 2011 and 2012. The sounds on Silent Wilderness are much more chilled and easier to listen to. I hope that people can get into relaxing and chilling while listening to Silent Wilderness. I think that Dark Matter was definitely more challenging and experimental at times. I think the track November is a track that has some similarities to Dark Matter. I think that this is due to the chord sounds that I have resampled. I can’t remember exactly how I did these. I think I added analogue effects to sounds from Native Instruments Massive then resampled them back into the Machinedrum UW for extra grit, that is the kind of stuff I was doing a lot of on Dark Matter.
Are there any other releases, perhaps on other labels that will come out later?
Yes I am excited about a release coming up on Hypnotic Instincts. I think that there are a couple of really good tracks on there, heavy on the dub techno vibe. I also have a track included on an upcoming compilation on Silent Season. I hope to be included on a compilation to be released by a Brazilian Label. Also I have been asked to get some music to a new label set up by a guy who was a big part of the dub techno scene a while ago. That could be a great chance to release some music through a label run by a really inspiring producer and label owner.
I know you’re sort of an electronic music gear junkie. Any new hardware in your studio?
I haven’t got much in the way of new gear. I had to buy a TR8 last year as it pretty much nails the sounds of a TR909 and TR808. The 707 and 727 sounds are spot on as well. I have promised myself to spend more time getting more out of the gear that I already have rather than adding to it. It is easy to get into the cycle of buying new gear because you’re not able to get the sounds out of your existing setup. Buying loads of new gear just means that you don’t learn how to use the gear you have on a deep level. What can happen is that you just keep replicating the same sounds from all the new equipment without getting into the nuances of the instruments that you already own.
I have just chained my Poly evolved rack to my mono evolved keyboard. I have been getting good results from these instruments and still learning how to use it. I have been spending time programming banks of sounds for the Evolver. This has been more rewarding than spending hard earned cash on another synth. My Juno 6 usually makes an appearance on most of my tracks too it’s definitely not a new piece of gear. I used to have one in the 90’s. It is really easy to program but with a bit of care, luck and inspiration it’s possible to squeeze some really nice sounds out of it classic and also really cutting edge stuff too. I have been using old soft synths too recently. I have found that Native Instruments pro53 sounds great and to be honest I sometimes can’t tell whether I have used softsyths or hardware analogue on some of the sounds in my tracks when listening back.
A lot of new gear came out in the last couple of years, it’s a great time for electronic music. Do you follow all the news in this area? If yes, then what are your favorite devices that came out recently?
Yes there have been loads of really interesting gear come out in the past couple of years. I do take an interest in new gear. I am always watching videos on YouTube of equipment demos. There is no excuse to not own an analogue synth now (unless you just prefer soft synths). There are new affordable synths which are just as good as vintage gear despite what some people say. I think Korg have released a lot of cool stuff, The Volca range, King Korg, the MS 20 mini and the kit versions all look like great value for money. I think MFB make cool stuff I really like the look of the Tanzbar drum machine, the demos sound great. Moog have started to rerelease modular systems which look amazing but unless I get a major lottery win I won’t be getting my hands on one. Elektron always come up with great stuff but their new analogue stuff doesn’t quite grab me. The one piece of gear that I would purchase would be the Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet 6. This looks like it’s right up my street with just the right features for what I look for in a synth.
Thank you for your time to answer these questions. All the best to you!
Thank you Evaldas it’s been a pleasure speaking.