Dominik Eulberg Interview for "Beatportal"
It's been four years since your last album—actually, two albums, Cocoon's "Bionik" and Traum's "Heimische Gefilde". Why such a long time, and what motivated you to sit down and create "Diorama"?
I approach each album in a connectional way. For Diorama I choose 11 wonders of nature that happen in front of our doors.
For these wonders I developed a graphic Diorama and also wrote a track for those wonders.
The full concept and the sculpturing of clear emotions was a long term process. As you say, good things demand time.
Previously, you have incorporated field recordings and other "natural" sounds in your work; how did you approach the sound design this time? Are there any special, "documentary" sounds in the mix?
I produced the album with much love for the detail, so after listening to the album again and gain you will always discover something new.
Technically I used some analogue synths, such as the Jupiter 8, Prophet 5, Moog and the Roland 101.
On top of this I also used digital synthesisers such as the
Spectrasonics Omnisphere. Also with this album I used a lot of self sampled sounds to add an acoustic side to the album.
This time they weren't nature sounds I used but instead the sound of a mouse pad I chucked against the wall, trunks I shut closed or thick books about birds I hammered on to the table.
Could you tell us a little more about the concept behind the title, "Diorama"? What exactly are the 11 phenomena that the tracks refer to? "Teddy Tausentod" (Teddy Thousand Deaths?) doesn't like any animal I've ever heard of…
For Diorama I worked in cooperation with the German nature magazine
NABU who helped me choose the 11 biggest domestic wonders of nature.
With these 11 wonders I indented to show the people that also fantastic
wonders exist in our domestic environment... that they not necessarily have to come from exotic regions such as the rain forest of the Amazonas.
Amazing wonder exist in front of our own door and their existence is often concealed.
Only by looking closely and with the knowledge of their secrets you will discover their miraculous world.
For example the tiny bear animalcule. They look like mini teddy
bears… therefore this name.
If their environments dries out, they do not flee as other animals will do, but they stay there and dry out too.
What is left is a medically dead shell, no pulse and no breathing going on.
But after several years without any food and extreme temperature, a simple drop of water will evoke them to life again.
This is sheer insanity that all our preconceptions of life and death are
turned upside down.
The mini teddies are controlling the wonder of resurrection, can die several deaths. This lead to the title "Teddy Tausendtod"
Regarding the creatures that you dedicate your songs to – I wondered if that's primarily a fanciful reference, or do animals like the Echomaus and Neunauge actually influence the content of the music in some way?
I tried to compose for each wonder a single piece of music and to
realise their characteristics with my emotions.
As I have done with "Das Neunauge".
Here I depict a peculiar fish, which is referred to as a living fossil.
Its history is very special, since it spends 5 years in a wormlike
state and than within three weeks develops in to a complete fish.
That explains why the track runs till the halftime in an almost archaic
dubby state. Fragments of melodies are put together in the brain... as seven gills, nose hole, and eye eventually seems to resemble the seven gill holes of the fish. Suddenly the track makes an abrupt turn in a different direction, adapting a lively and ravy character very much in the sense of the development of the "Neuenauges" that completes to a fish.
I always try to draw a concrete/precise acoustic picture.
Sure the "dubbing" will always be subjective and not everybody will be able to recognise the characteristics of the phenomenon, the visualisation does help me to develop a clear acoustic vision though.
The press release says this is the first album where you have "played music instead of manipulating it." What does that mean, exactly? Was your compositional process different this time than on previous recordings?
With Diorama I dedicated more time to the beauty of the melodies, which are here really composed often in an intricate way.
I intended to pull the beauty of the melodies to the front. Also
technically I have delved more into the depth of it. I have tried with all my possibilities to create an organic landscape of sound.
How long did each track take to make, generally speaking? To me, they don't sound spontaneous, but rather, like complex organisms that evolved through many phases, over time—to extend the natural metaphor, they seem to resemble crystal formations, growing outward in dozens of directions at once.
Some and really just a few such as “Der Tanz Der Gluehwuermchen” or “Die 3 Millionen Musketiere” resulted out of a spontaneous and concrete feeling.
Within a couple of hours I had the sound frame finished,
But to really express more complex feelings it demands more more complex music.
For examples “Wenn Es Perlen Regnet” or “Echomaus”, took me months.
Like a sculpturer I carved out again and gain and rasped till the complex organic structure was finally finished.
For that it is important to let the trax rest for a couple of weeks and to
return with a clear head to be able to understand the entity to the full
degree. Otherwise you create an emotional mash that no one understands anymore.
A few songs, like the melodic, breakbeat anthem "Die 3 Millionen Musketiere," have a real '90s feel to them. Was that intentional? What is your impression of today's electronic dance music, and what would you change, if you could?
I now produce my own music since 1993. At that time records with wonderful
composed melodies on EYE-Q or artists like Aphex Twin or C.J Bolland
inspired me. Real emotions and real energy was involved then.
Most of the techno music today is for my taste too shallow and bores me.
The music market has become too fast.
In the digital age the consumers download 1000 tracks that directly have to
bang. There are very few tracks that have been written with love to the
detail and because you have to deliver new food every time to play the game.
I deliberately withdrew myself from this “Fast-Food” music.
I on purpose ignored trends and hypes und tried to write music that really
touches me deep inside. Music that is timeless.
Finally, how will you be touring the album? Will you be performing it live, or doing DJ sets?
A live tour is not planned. The album was formed very personally, it is a real insight into my world. I don’t want to translate this into a club context and don’t want to expose myself on the stage with it.
But I will be doing a big DJ tour. You can have a look at the tour flyer at the label Traum Schallplatten or at Cocoon booking agency.