SOPHIE MSMSMSM: „I’m interested in synthetic reconstructions of the material world.“
Mysterious SOPHIE, who will be headlining Turban 100th Anniversary Party, is one of the most exciting producers in the contemporary club environment. He rarely gives interviews – so this one exclusive to Radio Wave is much of a blessing there! Read below about his opinions on music making, synthesised sounds and cuteness in pop music!
Your secretive existence brings the notion of „sophisticated simulacra“ in contemporary popular music environment. How important is your public image to your musical being? It's a further opportunity to be creative and have fun.. Raising questions, challenging systems etc. Music should be about ideas and sound. Not about individuals or 'idols' I reckon.
The sounds you make feels like club music after plastic surgery. What are you favourite „implants“? Thank you… Yes- I'm probably interested in plastic surgery for the same reason I am in plasticity in music/synthesis. The idea that something can take a solid form and then morph into another solid form is something that I think about.... A percussion becomes a melody becomes a vocal.. Taking the same basic material – i.e. waveforms –as the building blocks of sound to create the appearance of one material/shape and then morph into another entirely. You start to see this happening in physical modelling synthesis where there is a parameter which allows you to morph between synthetic reconstructions of glass, metal and wood for example. I also find the idea of an entirely monophonic, morphing composition interesting. Polyphony was required in the times of orchestras and even 3/4 piece rock bands of the last century because different shaped instruments would produce different sounds/timbres but with synthesis you can produce the full frequency range with one instrument so there's no reason to think about music polyphonically necessarily e.g. four players playing simultaneously. It should just sound like one morphing, elastic, full-frequency spectrum composition.
The way you treat sound from the scrap makes me think about raw materials – could you give a brief description of what’s behind your „music materialism“? I'm more interested in plastic taking on the physical appearance of metal or liquids than I am those materials themselves. Synthetic reconstructions of the material world.
Your music and also your involvement with PC Music seems to generate some strong statements about future of pop music. Is there any final frontier you want to reach in the context of music (and if so, what would that be)? Pop music is the only type of music that exists - and it should be the most fun thing in the world. I suppose that's my only opinion a final frontier. It should be the most fun thing in the world and the ultimate form of entertainment. Embracing all aspects and forms of technology to make the most fun and sensually stimulating experience possible at any given time.
Pop music often seems to struggle with its own definition of „cute“. What makes a sound /music „cute“ for you? Cute sounds kind of annoying to me. Cute implies pretty but harmless. I wouldn't bother making anything pretty but harmless so I'm also not really interested in anything cute. I am more focussed on sound as material so I treat voice in the same way as I would synthesized and percussive elements. If people perceive that as cute then that's fine but it's certainly not a term which inspires me creatively or I would aspire to creatively. In fact I think that term applies much more fittingly to the majority of retro looking music or meant-to-be-emotional music. Those things are painting a much more 'pretty but harmless' picture.
SOPHIEs music has so far found its most accurate visualisation in the form of water slides and toboggans cover art made by you yourself. I guess the turbulent experience they bring with them is also somehow very characteristic of what your music should evoke in audience, isn’t it? Um yes.. I think I get what you're saying.. It should feel like a waterslide ride... Crashing against the walls and into water… A thrill or rush where your body looses control. Absolutely want to try to give people that experience yes…