Shine A Light On… Flug 8 – Monday Is Ok Mix
Back in October we premiered the superb nocturnal creeper Trans Atlantik from Flug 8 via the mighty Disko B camp. Matching the dark and cold of October with crystalline icicle melodies it took Kraftwerk's autobahn fetishism to a darker, spookier place. We dug deeper into the debut album – which features collaborations with N.U. Unruh (Einstürzende Neubauten) and Kristina Krisoffersen (Mono Girl) – and we were impressed. So we got in touch with him.
The project is the brain child of Frankfurt based photographer Daniel Herrmann. Flug 8 is his response to years of photographing musicians on tour, internalising the loneliness and futurism of hours spent in airports. The results have a curious blend of isolation and euphoria that grows in stature with every listen. It's this sense of isolation that we've asked him to explore in his Monday Is OK mix that he's put together for us. Get it on here…
Soundcloud kindly blocked one of the tracks on the first incarnation of this mix. So you can hear the original selection on Mixcloud above, the Soundcloud version features a little later on.
We chatted to Daniel about the album, Robert Johnson and more…
You're pretty new on our radar, fancy telling us a little bit about yourself? Who are you and where are you from?
I'm Daniel Herrmann, I come from the area Taunus close to Frankfurt/Main. I lived in the city while studying, but I missed the mountains, so I moved back.
You’re known originally for your amazing photographs at Robert Johnson. Have you always been producing on the side or is this a new chapter in your artistic life?
I make music as long as I am taking pictures. It all started when I was a child, creating music with a lot of different bands over many years. As I started studying arts in 1999, the band projects were pushed in the background, because I was quite successful with my pictures. Travelling around the world became a full-time job. If I had a little time for music, I spent it just playing for myself. After a while I realised that a little studio was growing in my Atelier, and that I had more and more equipment like: samplers, sequencers, drum machines, synthesizers, organs and tape-machines. By 2007 I had released my first Flug 8 record, without realising it really. A good friend of mine, Martin Gretschmann aka Acid Pauli, offered me to release on his new label called Smaul. It was a great platform for me, just to let go of the new music that I had until that point kept to myself.
Who would you say are your biggest influences and what are you hoping to achieve with your music?
As a teenager I tried to be like the British/American rock and roll bands that I admired and looked up to. When I started art school, a whole new world of interpretation opened up to me and I felt the urge to find my own identity with pictures and sound. I see myself as a part of the independent german music scene. I'm influenced by many things, a lot of them have nothing to do with music in particular. When I create music, I don't think about a certain sound or genre that I want to fit in to. I hope I am able to continue to be passionate about my work, like I am now. I know, I cannot predict the future, but that is also the exiting thing that keeps me going.
What were your original aspirations for Flug 8? How do you think you're shaping up?
Flug 8 started as something personal, close to my heart. From there on I wanted to have a platform, where I was able to have the freedom to create what I wanted. In the early stages I only worked with hardware, that has always been the main stone in my sound, but now I profit from all kinds of modern technology, and it's exiting to be in this particular time, where so much is going on.
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
Haha, my grandpa was building electronic organs and he was the first guy who hooked me up with the electronic sound.
What was the first electronic record you heard and how did it make you feel?
I don't really know if it was Kraftwerk "Computerwelt" or Jean Michelle Jarre with "Magnetic Fields". My Father was listening to that a lot, he was quite interested in synth pop and electronic music in general. The music was very visual to me, I dived into the world of sounds. That's what music should do, I think… Make you travel in your mind.
What's your musical heritage? Who inspired (and still inspires) you to make music?
Like I described above, Rock 'n' Roll and Punk music got me started personally, closely followed by the music my parents listened to… 60's pop and the early electronic pioneers. But I am especially interested in nature, science and technology. And I love to watch people, movies and read a book…
What’s your favourite photo you’ve ever taken?
I don't have a personal favorite. All my pictures are a part of my life and things I experienced while taking them. Most of them have that sort of value to me, and are a part of a never-ending process.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve ever taken a photograph?
There are too many strange places I've been too with my camera in my hand. Believe me when I say I've seen quite a lot of things… Something that left a huge impression on me afterwards though was the birth of my daughter.
Are you still involved with Robert Johnson?
Yes, it's been a while since I have made any pictures there though, but at the moment there's a big art-exhibition running at the well known MAK Museum in Frankfurt a.M called: "Give Love Back" showing until Jan 11th 2015.
What one set at Robert Johnson sticks out most.
Oooh, there has been too many sets that stick out in different ways over there for the past 15 years, and I guess there are more to come. They just got a good feeling for inviting interesting artists and Dj's. 🙂
How does your brain work when making music? How does it work when you aren’t?
If I make music I try to switch my brain off as much as possible and follow my instincts. If I start to analyze in the process I will lose something. When I'm not doing music, it flips around. That's when I finalize and settle on things.
How would you describe your sound?
Atmospheric, electronic, melodic, dark, reduced and german 🙂
What was the thought process behind your album? It’s an incredibly diverse affair and you can hear a plethora of influences on it.
There was no concept or a plan for Trans Atlantik, even if it might seem that way. I gave 30 Tracks I recorded the last years to Disko B, and they basically selected the tracklist. 25 tracks went to the mastering. And in the end 12 tracks survived and became the record.
Who do you listen to in your spare time? Do you spend this time sitting around the house in a comfortable chair listening to music? If so, which chair is your favourite?
I spend a lot of my time listening to all kinds of music, it's relaxing and energizing. I especially love Rock 'n' Roll stuff, experimental and World music, Jazz, electronic sounds and combinations between different styles, mixed up together. I don't have a favourite chair. I love to sit on the floor, close to the fireplace and feel the fire burning, while the music plays.
If you could be on all the screens around the world at once for 30 seconds what would you say? Would you drop the F-bomb?
"Save the planet!"
Soundcloud kindly blocked one of the tracks on the first incarnation of this mix so you can hear a slightly edited version here….
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Probably somewhere comfortable and relaxing, like home.
What should we be wearing?
What would be your dream setting to record a mix: Location/system/format.
Like I did, with my laptop in front of the fireplace.
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
J.M. Jarre with "souvenirs from china". It was on a compilation on Klaus Schulze's Label "Innovative Communication". I actually bought it a few weeks ago and didn't know the track, so it was a personal surprise for me.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
With my label boss Upstart (owner of Disko B records). He has a very good music taste and is fun to be around.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
2 turntables and a mixer. Now I have a computer in there too. I like the idea of being able to take my laptop with me and make a mix wherever I feel like it.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
I think they are both of equal importance. My vision was to make a mix that's not a perfect match for the club. I wanted the music to glide into each other, to build up an atmosphere. The last track is, in my opinion, the first one; having a club appeal. I like the idea that the last track could be the first track of another mix.
What were the first and last records you bought?
My first record was a maxi-single from EAV (Erste allgemeine Verunsicherung) with Banküberfall and the last one I bought a few weeks ago was the latest Dopplereffeckt.
Are you a kick drum, hi hat or a snare? And why?
I never thought about that, I'm not ready to answer such a question. 🙂
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Dogs, Squirrels, and driving my car.
What's your answer to everything?
"I don`t know."
Flug 8 releases 'Trans Atlantik' on 19th January, click here to pre-order.