Otto Lindholm: The Monday Is Ok Mix


Otto Lindholm is a Brussels-based drone artist who performs live with a frankly astounding collection of analog gear, loop stations and a huge double bass. His self-titled debut album was released last month on Icarus Records. Three tracks long – each lasting somewhere between 8 and 17 minutes – and all three pieces were played and recorded in one shot. He's also recorded this rather adventurous mix for us, which covers a lot of sonic terrain – perfect for a Monday afternoon. Listen below, and read our Q&A with Otto:

I’ll let you introduce yourself first!

Otto Lindholm is my new solo project. It is the result of a long musical and technical period of research. I was searching to create a dialogue between my instrument and a system of loopers and effects allowing me to both record and play live in a new way. Double bass player for many years now, I was looking for a personal analog set-up that will simultaneously give me freedom and ergonomics in my creativity, an electric extension of my acoustic instrument. From the beginning, my will is to explore a pictorial music that attempts to contemplate through the use of power and lyricism, in reminiscence of my emblematic ancestor Otto W. Lindholm, a 19th century Finnish explorer who literally travelled more than 10 times around the globe.

Tell us about the Monday Mix you’ve put together for us.

For this mix, I chose and mixed the music thinking about sea waves… I mean back and forth in terms of intentions and energy. I focused essentially on tracks that influenced me through sounds, instrumentation, lyricism or compositions. Some of them are also music played by artists who have touched me when I saw them in concert. For example, I had the pleasure to share the bill with Oren Ambarchi during the last edition of the Bozar Electronic Arts Festival. His performance was amazing!

What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?

Playing backgammon with your partner or a good friend.

What should we be wearing?

It depends on the person you choose to play backgammon with, it is your privacy!

If the mix were an animal what would it be?

A meerkat family, you know, up-down… they constantly stick their head out and then hide themselves.

If it were edible what would it taste like?

Spanish tapas, a lot of small dishes with a lot of different tastes.

What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?

I really begin to enjoy recorded mixes with one of my best friends. Each time we met, he was mixing discs. Maybe he was trying to influence the conversation we had spinning this or that disc…

What were the first and last records you bought?

Honestly I think it was 'Tarzan Boy' by Baltimora, I was 8 years old. The last one was a second hand vinyl, a version of the La Planète Sauvage soundtrack, plenty of old analog sounds!

Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?

If I look back to my musical journey, I think my major influences would be John Paul Jones, Charlie Haden, Tortoise and Steve Reich, in that order. All four of them opened me to a way of thinking of the music as melody, contrapuntal, blending or minimalism.

Are you on the same wavelength as the Boomtown Rats or do you actually like Mondays?

I like Mondays sufficiently to not shoot someone on that day… Seriously, except if I have to pay bills, I like Mondays. They are the beginning of a new short cycle, new stuffs are coming and everything can be done.

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?

For sure, my wife and my bass. I'd prefer to starve than eat them!

What are you obsessed with at the moment?

Serial music, Escher’s metamorphoses and Kafka’s mazes. I’m busy working on those thematics.

What’s your answer to everything?

Keep going, the show must go on.

Any other business?

I’m currently touring in India making an artistic encounter between western and Indian musical culture. In each city we visit, we invite a local artist to perform, taking the ‘improvisation’ as the common denominator.

Otto Lindholm is out now on Icarus Records.