Ben Lukas Boysen: The ‘Monday Is OK’ Mix
Berlin-based composer and sound designer Ben Lukas Boysen is constantly experimenting with techniques and processes, crafting compositions that ease across sonic terrains.
Under his previous alias HECQ, he notched up nine albums that navigated everything from ambient to breakcore, now as a close family member of London's Erased Tapes – the left-of-centre electronic label who've become a home for the likes of Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds and Rival Consoles – Boysen continues his established scoring abilities that manifested on his acclaimed album Gravity, and then on his follow up, Spells, in 2016.
Ahead of the release of Mirage, his third album for the label, Boysen takes the reigns for this week's Monday Is OK mix with an hour of soothing soundscapes and crunchy electronica…
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you, what are you?
I’m Ben Lukas Boysen, a composer from Berlin.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
It’s a selection of some of my all time favorites, some hidden gems and some classics.
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
To me it feels like a Kris Kuksi sculpture, drawn by René Magritte.
If it were a food what would it be?
Black coffee and Whisky Sour (no egg white).
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Under the clear night sky somewhere in the countryside.
What should we be wearing?
Whatever makes a nightly walk comfortable.
Where was it recorded?
In my Berlin home / studio.
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
Nope, no problems with mondays so far, quite the opposite. They are a new chance for a good week every time.
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
The fact that practically soulless machines can produce the most wonderful sounds.
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Hard to say as my influences change, grow, shrink, fade and evolve. Everything that is emotional to me (by my definition, challenging your hopes and fears, your past and present as well as your perception of the here and now) is interesting and I’d want my own work to be as emotionally engaging as possible.
What were your original aspirations as musicians and how do you think you're shaping up?
I wanted to make music that I haven’t heard before (this had a different meaning and relevance when I was 16,17 years old). This worked out okay many times but my interest and focus on what I want to be as an artist also shifted greatly over the years.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
I’m not entirely sure as the timeline is a little blurry but among the first was Tri Repetae by Autechre and it felt like seeing an unknown color for the first time. After that everything changed for me, a real eye, heart and brain opener.
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
It’s always rather foggy and somewhat philosophical, which makes everyday tasks a drag sometimes, but when I write this fog gets channelled much more creatively and becomes useful.
What were the first and last records you bought?
The story of my first record is (also) a little blurry and longer but the short answer is, it might have been Keith Jarretts Köln Concert and the last was Se (In) De Bos by Vvolk / Book Of Air.
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Writing the next album.
If you could travel in time…where in time would you go? Why?
Not further back than 15-20 years, just to double check certain life choices. Living further back is nothing more than a romantic or maybe even idealistic concept and that’s not for me as I feel that I live in the best possible time.
Some self-help questions for a Monday… Am I excited to dive into the challenges that I have lined up for the week?
Am I going to my dream job?
Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?
No, probably and yes.
Your doctor says you need more exercise….what do you take up for exercise?
Not enough, that’s for sure but I take walks and encourage everyone who sits a lot and has back problems to get a WaterRower – it helps me a lot.
What's your answer to everything?
There’s no ultimate truth.
Anything else we need to discuss?
Always… Many many things… Where should we start?
01: John Carpenter – Darkstark Excerpt
02: Eduard N. Artemjew, Vladimir Martynov – Monteverdi „Lo Mi Son Giovinetta)
03: Zara Leander – Der Wind Hat Mir Ein Lied Erzählt
04: Vromb – Emission
05: Illusion Of Safety – Lilt
06: Kashmir – Pedestals
07: Legiac – Keplarian Orbit
08: Speedy J – Amoco Cadiz
09: L’usine – Sustain (Sustained by Funkstörung)
10: Ben Lukas Boysen – Medela
11: Alexander Desplat – Clouds
12: Ingram Marshall – Dark Waters
13: The Orb – Battersea Bunches
14: Alex Sommers – Remembering
15: Richard Devine – Error Trapping
16: MMR – ADM – Track01
17: The Low Frequency Band – Roll With It
18: Rob Clouth – A Pareidolic Sequence
19: Jefferson Airplane – Comin’ Back to Me
20: Supersilent – 13.9
21: This Is The Kit – Bashed Out
22: David Darling, Jon Christensen, Ketil Bjørnstad & Terje Rypdal – The Sea Pt. I
23: Jasper TX – A New Language
24: Olan Mill – Neutrino