Last month London-based Frenchman Franz Kirmann returned to his analog hardware roots for his Madrapour LP on our Ransom Note cassette sub-label BYTES. A departure from the digital sound collages of his last album Elysian Park for Denovali Records back in 2016, Franz continues his sonic exploration of the haunting and the cinematic, something he also practises in his electronic/post-classical project Piano Interrupted with composter Tom Hodge.
In his own words "like a Monday this mix is a bit all over the place"; a mishmash of experimental and downtempo musings to kick off your week...
Please introduce yourself... Who are you, where are you, what are you?
Hi, I’m Franz Kirmann, I’m a musician and producer and right now I’m in my studio in Battersea in London
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
It’s a bit all over the place really, like a Monday!
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
Maybe like one of this Radiohead crying monsters
If it were a food what would it be?
Large Skinny latte with an over sweet pastry. Sugar rush and then super tired again
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Walking. I walk a lot everyday and this is when I listen to music. So I’d say walking with your headphones on and that latte
What should we be wearing?
Keep warm! It’s freezing out there!
Where was it recorded?
In my studio
Are you on the same wavelength as the boomtown rats or do you actually like Mondays?
I don’t mind Mondays. I’m 43, I have learnt how to deal with them
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
Jeanne Mas “Johnny Johnny”
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
Depeche Mode (84 - 94), My Bloody Valentine, Fennesz, Early Cure, Warp. I hope my music moves people, that they can get lost in it
What were your original aspirations as musicians and how do you think you're shaping up?
When I was 14 I saw a bunch of 16 years old playing live at my high school end of year party and it made me realise I could perhaps do it too. They were called “The Sharks” and had two Casio keyboards. They were probably really shit but I was impressed. I’d never seen a live band before. The year after I started my own, I can’t say the name, it’s worst than The Sharks, but someone said we were better than them, even though we only had one Casio keyboard. I always loved music as far as I can remember, it always moved me, from the first Beatles cassettes my mum played me. So it was a natural thing for me to start making music. I don’t know how I’m shaping up but I’m defintely better than the high school band of my teens!
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygene was the first record I heard that was purely electronic. I must have been 6 or 7. It made me feel very uneasy, it sounded like the end of the world to me, I was fascinated
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
It’s quite a meditative thing, in the sense that I’m in the moment and I don’t think about anything else which is a beautiful thing. Often I don’t even remember how a piece of music came about. And when I’m not making music… well I just worry a lot
What were the first and last records you bought?
The first I bought was Depeche Mode “Some Great Rewards”, I asked my mum to buy it for me on cassette. The first with my own money was Passion by Gat Decor. The last one is “Two Orb Reel” by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, got it on Discogs. I love that record
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
If you could travel in time...where in time would you go? Why?
I’d go to the 50’s, to a dancing in America. I just love everything about that time, the music, the clothes…
Some self help questions for a Monday...
Am I excited to dive into the challenges that I have lined up for the week?
hum… yes and no.
Am I looking forward to engaging with the people I am meeting or working with?
Most of the time
Am I going to my dream job?
I don’t think I could do anything else, so yes.
Am I being compensated fairly for the value I bring to my job?
I don’t know how to answer that. Probably not.
Do I feel energised, rested, and confident?
Oh God no!
If you were trapped on a desert island with one other person, who would you choose? How long would it be before you eat them?
I’d say my children, can they count as one? They only little. They’ll eat me first.
Your doctor says you need more exercise... what do you take up for exercise?
Table tennis. But I have a routine I do where I let my underwear slip down my legs and then I kick it away to the dirty wash bin. You should try it.
What's your answer to everything?
I’m not sure
Anything else we need to discuss?
We need to talk about my label Days Of Being Wild releasing its 10 years anniversary comp. Super exciting and we have a great bunch of producers taking part. We’re even making T-shirts, how cool is that?
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe - M’bondo
James Holden - Solidarity Theme (Release)
Nathan Fake - Sunder
Boards Of Canada - XWZ (Peel Session)
Franz Kirmann - Persona
Autechre - Os Veix3
Franz Kirmann - Mysted
Glok - Pulsing
Jimi After - Three Paths To The Lake
Franz Kirmann - Rave Ikon
Clark - Amor (From Daniel Isn’t Real Soundtrack)
Grouper - Heavy Water (I’d rather be sleeping)
Pan American - Shenandoah