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Peter Van Hoesen and Donato Dozzy Interviews

Peter Van Hoesen and Donato Dozzy kindly agreed to do interviews with Higher Frequency as part of a special section covering the history of the Labyrinth. Here are the Japanese versions: Peter Van Hoesen, and Donato Dozzy.

For our English-speaking friends, we thought it would be nice to put up the original English versions of the interviews. So here they are. Many thanks to Higher Frequency and to Peter and Donato for taking the time to share their thoughts...

Donato Dozzy Interview

HF: Labyrinth turns 10 this year and you'll play the last set again - can we expect anything special for 10th anniversary?

DD: of course you should expect something special since im going to perform 3 sets during the Laby 10th anniversary!  Kosmische music, ambient/downtempo, and techno.

HF. How did you start to involve with the labyrinth crew maybe in 2007?

DD: yes, it was 2006 when Russ contacted me for the first time…. It was a few months after I delivered the remix of Reynold’s Over there. That track has been one of the main reasons why we got in touch and he invited me to play in 2007.

HF. You’ve joined the labyrinth already for 3 years now. Could you tell what is the labyrinth for you?

DD: simply, the best thing I ever experienced in my life.

HF: Could you tell us your best memories at the labyrinth from the past 3 years?

DD: the most indelible is related to the final moments of the 2008 edition… I cannot really describe what happened that day to me or better say.. to all of us.  after I finished the set I found myself walking in the forest. still wandering if it was real or not.

HF: I was much impressed your ethics about open-air parties from your interviews on fresh good Also we "the labyrinth lovers" felt very proud that you talked much about the labyrinth on (we introduce both interviews to our readers translated in Japanese by courtesy of original sites.) then - in your opinion, what is the most important point to make open-air parties so special?

DD: a VISION in harmony with the deepest aspects of the Nature…. and not everybody have this.

HF: Could you tell us good open-air parties (except the labyrinth...) from your experience?

DD: One I will never forget is the Artmospheric festival in Bulgaria, a small open air (very) up to the Balcan mountains. Simple, wild and beautiful situation. Misho and the other organizers are down on earth, gentle and nice people;  in love for music.

HF: Now you recognized as one "the headliner of the labyrinth", anyway in Japan... Have you asked about the labyrinth by the artist who interested in that festival in Italy or other countries?

DD: I’m just a part of the vision…most of all I feel to say that the real headliners are the nature and the sound system (F1). Many times I found myself talking about the lab with lots of people around the globe, and of course also in Italy as well. There’s lot of interest around and year by year more people know about the best festival in the world

HF: Next, I'd like to ask you about your musical production. I found your love for hardware synth from the past interview, especially TB-303. Could you tell us more about your equipment? Is there any other favourite gear?

DD: Yes, my passion for the tb-303 is not a secret anymore I guess, but my focus is not only on that machine but also to the rest of the Roland-equipment that I every day use for my productions. I use and like also the Korg, Soundcraft and Eventide machines… and a dream is to buy a real Mellotrone at some point in my life.

HF: Your album from Further Records by casette tape is one of the interesting news of this year. Could you tell the background story behind this release?

DD: Mark from Further Records got in touch a couple of years ago asking if I was interested to release something “special” in a “special” format: cassette. I personally love the sound of the tape, hissy and fat; cassette lovers are generally sympathetic to me. I somehow felt this proposal was coming from a special guy really in love for the music and I agreed to work with him. To mention that cassette will not be the only available format for my album: vinyl is coming out in September and maybe a cd release will follow later.

HF: Could you tell your future plans after the labyrinth 2010? I heard that you ‘ll have your gig in Osaka as well.

DD: yes, I’m very excited to head Osaka and to meet the people out there. After the Japanese trip I will have several gigs around Europe from October till December (London, Berlin, Rome, Helsinki) and start the new year ahead with an Usa tour, finallly.

HF: It's a bit personal question but I heard you got married recently. Is that influenced for your music as well?

DD: Of course that influenced me and my music, in a very positive way. My wife has very sensitive heart and ears. I really couldn’t be more lucky

HF: Please give a message for your fans who is waiting for you at the labyrinth.

DD: I will deeply take care of you this year, please do the same! Mutual exchange of energy makes things special.

HF: Thank you so much! Really looking forward to some magical moments coming with your music this year again.

Peter Van Hosen Interview

HF: Could you tell your musical background? like, your teenage hero / first record you bought by yourself, etc.

PVH: From when I was young I always seemed interested in electronic sounds. It's difficult for me to remember very precise facts such as the first record bought, or specific artists that I listened to. However, there is one band that seems to have triggered something in me, and that's the Belgian electronic band Telex. They were active in the last seventies, early eighties. They definitely had an impact on me.

HF: How did you start your career as a DJ / electronic music producer? I heard you used to play the bass guiter before on your past interview.

PVH: After seeing Telex on television I wanted to make music as well. My parents bought me an electronic organ, I believe it was a Kawai. That was my first real instrument. It had one of those built-in rythm programs, simple electronic drum loops basically. After a few years I switched to bass guitar, and played in bands for a while. Around 1996 or 1997 I started working by myself, sketching out my first solo movements. Most of what I did bacjk then was either a weird form of techno or very experimental, minimal music.

HF: It was the first time that I heard your set at The Labyrinth 2008 (and was just "love at the first kick" moment for me!) and played last year as well. How did you start to involve with the labyrinth crew?

PVH: It was Labyrinth who reached out and contacted me. At the time my records had made their way to Japan and I think Russ had picked up on them. There were also some mixes of mine floating around on the Internet. So for people who were interested in me it wasn't so hard to get an idea of what I was doing. Once the first contact was established it went very smoothly, resulting in my attendance at Labyrinth in 2008 and 2009.

HF: You've recently switched from dj'ing with vinyl and cd to playing with a computer. Can you tell us about your new set-up and the thinking behind this transition?

PVH: There are several reasons behind it, the most important one being that I felt I needed a different approach to mixing. In the past I have tried playing with three decks and cd players, but that only partially solved the problem. There was a moment last year when I realised what I was looking for: I want to mix music, not records. So right now the emphasis for me is not anymore on the technique of beat matching, but on the pratice of sculpting the sound and the groove, working with different layers. It's a practice that exists very much in the moment. It's also very close to my studio work, were the work is focused on the sound, away from any technique. So in a way this transition is very liberating to me. Through this change I have found a renewed energy and interest in DJing. The setup is usually complemented by a drum machine which is synced to the computer. This allows me to program patterns in real-time, on top of the music.

HF: We heard that you've also recently changed your live set-up. Can you tell us how you're planning on playing live at the Labyrinth and what equipment you're going to use?

PVH: The live set has been changed for Labyrinth in that sense that it's one of the only places where I can present slower, more psychedelic sounds. For this occasion I have prepared new material, new tracks which have not been played out before. Besides this I have added some hardware to the setup to enlarge the possibilities of improvisation. Everything just got a bit bigger, that's a good way to sum it up I guess.

HF: The Labyrinth turns 10 this year. Can we expect anything special for 10th anniversary?

PVH: Labyrinth in itself is a very special event, even regardless of the 10 years anniversary. There is always a reason to do something special when playing for the Labyrinth audience. My dj set will be a bit different from what I did the last time, with a bit more attention to abstract sounds and breakbeats. Also, recently I have gone through my entire record collection and recorded several older tracks I have not been playing for a while.

HF: I always feel that heavy, deep kicks and atmospheric vibration are very characteristic elements of your sound and it creates one "field" around the floor. Do you intend to do that?

PVH: Yes, this is definitely part of my interest. Sound is a spatial event, so for me it's important to treat it accordingly. On the Labyrinth sound system this becomes a rewarding exercise, as you can easily translate the spatial quality through the Funktion One system. It's just a matter of getting to know the system, then you understand what's possible with it. Many of my tracks are constructed with this idea of 'space' or 'field', as this is what sound is about for me. And I feel it is important to learn about sound systems and the different ways in which they translate the music. Prior to my live set at Berghain earlier this year I went to the club three weekends in a row, to really listen to the sound system's qualities. Listening attentively to the Funktion One rig definitely helped in preparing the live set.

HF: Could I ask you about your residency at Fuse? also, appreciate if you could briefly exprain the venue itself - of course Fuse is known for Japanese fans as one of the most important clubs in Brussel but still less information about it right now...

PVH: Fuse was the first real techno club in Brussels. Last April we celebrated the 16th anniversary. That in itself already tells you a little bit about the club, as it's not easy for any club to survive that long. The club itself has two spaces, one large (downstairs) floor and one upper room floor. The main floor holds about 900 people, the upstairs about 350. My residency usually takes place in the downstairs room, as this is the main techno room. Most people coming to the club are very much aware of what they are going to get, they are interested in the music and the people playing. We recently started an event called "Time To Express at Fuse". This event takes places every two to three months. It allows me to invite related artists that haven't played at Fuse before, or haven't been to the club for a while. In October we have James Ruskin as guest, we're very excited about that.

HF: Could I also ask you about Sendai, the project by you & Yves De May? Amazing "midnight lounge" set was definitaly the one of highlights of the Labyrinth 2009 for me.

PVH: Thank you for that comment, I will let Yves know as wel :-) It was definitely a very special event for both of us, playing for everyone gathered together under the stars. As far as Sendai is concerned, we are currently working on an album. It's not very clear to us when it will be finished, we're working on it without a fixed deadline. I guess it will be done with it's done, without any pressure. What we do know is that it will be the experimental side of Sendai which will be most present. Some of the material is quite abstract.

HF: How is the electronic music scene in Belgium these days? Could you name some interesting artist around you?

PVH: The Belgian scene is difficult to describe right now, to be honest. In the early nineties we had one of the best scenes worldwide. A lot of artists over here were making groundbreaking music, supported by a selection of interesting labels. But over the course of the year this slowly changed, for many reasons. Until three years ago the situation was a bit stagnant, but now I see some good things happening again. There are several producers making excellent music, finding their way to an interested audience. So it looks like things are moving forward again. Also, on the label side things are picking up. Labels such as Curle, Music Man, Mowar, Meakusma, they are all trying to push the scene forward. And lastly, electronic music, in any form, is still widely accepted by the audience. People are familiar with electronic sounds, that's something that will not change very fast. So all in all I think there are many reasons to be positive.

HF: Next, I'd like ask you about your label "Time to express". How did you start this label?

PVH: Previously I had set up Foton together with a good friend of mine. This was a label focused on experimental electronic music. Around 2006 I wanted to concentrate on techno again. It took me about two years to find the right setting. In 2008 I launched Time To Express as a sublabel of Foton. The idea was to create an outlet for my own productions, a bit like my own private musical playground.

HF: How do you choose the artist for Timecast? also, I like the idea of time-enhanced style. could you tell who makes it?

PVH: TimeCast is something Yves and myself have been working on together. The idea is to do a podcast series that focuses on a more abstract approach to music. Yves takes care of the enhanced podcast format, we are working either with the artists involved or between ourselves to choose the images and the style.

HF: In the linernotes of your album "Entropic City", I found the text about "Horizontal / Vertical nights". Appreciate if you tell us more about it.

PVH: This refers to events I organised in the past, between 2002 and 2006. The first part of the night was for listening, the horizontal part. We provided cushions so people could lie down and dream away into the music. The sound system always consisted out of four points, one speaker in every corner. Then, toward the second part of the night the music became more dancefloor-oriented. The cushions were take away and people moved to the vertical position. For us it was a natural way to allow the audience to experience different types of music in one night.

HF: Are there any other conceptual parties by you?

PVH: In 2007 I decided to stop organising events as this took up too much time. There was not enough time to make music anymore, so I had to make a choice. Maybe in the future it will happen again, who knows... For now my focus is on the music and the label.

HF: I also found that you did some musical works for theatre play and modern dance performance. Do you still do that? Is there any chance to see those works as videos (or hopefully live)?

PVH: Yes, I'm still involved with this type of work. The dance company I work for at the moment has just started touring again with a new performance. For this piece I have created a 5.1 surround score. As I had many engagements of my own (for example Labyrinth) I could not join them on the road, but it's nice to know that they will be playing all over Europe in the next couple of months.

HF: You 've visit Japan several times already not only for the labyrinth but also your Japan tour. What kind of impression do you get from there?

PVH: That's a question that could lead to a very long answer :-) First let me tell you that since a long time it was always my dream to come to Japan as a musician - to be invited because of my music. So when Labyrinth invited me in 2008 this was literally a dream come true. For many years I've been interested in Japanese culture, so whenever I am in Japan I try to experience as many things as possible. One of the recurring sensations is the hospitality and respect that I experience. In this regard Japan occupies a unique position in my view. There is also a deep respect towards the details in the life surrounding us. This I find necessary but also beautiful - in Europe people tend to sometimes loose sight of that. Somehow I share this love for the detail, so I think I can related to it in a certain way. This interview is probably also a very good opportunity to thank everyone in Japan for their continued support and hospitality. I will not mention any names but those people involved know that I am talking about them. Thank you.

HF: Could you tell your / time to express future plans after the labyrinth 2010?  Hopefully the album from Sendai ?

PVH: There will be three more releases on Time To Express before the end of 2010. Right now this is one of the label's priorities. The Sendai album will probably be released sometime in 2011.

HF: Please give a message for your fans who is waiting for you at the labyrinth. Thank you so much! I can't wait to dance to your set again.# my final (funny) question - is Sendai comes from japan's city name???

PVH: Yes indeed, Sendai is named after the Japenese city. We came accross the name in one of William Gibson's books. And my message is very simple: I feel very privileged to be part of Labyrinth again, so I'll do my best to make everybody happy with my music. During the last months there has not been one day that went by without thinking of Labyrinth, so I can't wait to be back to share the experience with everyone out there. See you soon!


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