Track By Track: Bartellow – Panokorama
Based in Munich, Bartellow is a producer whom you might not perhaps be aware of by name but by sound. Instead you might be familiar with his involvement in the Tambien trio who have previously released music on Public Possession and ESP Institute. Now, he returns with a brand new independent project as he prepares to release his debut album.
"Pankorama" is set for release on the 24th of March later this month on ESP Institute. It sees Bartellow strive to explore the variation within his own musical taste and sound across ten tracks. He explores depth through percussive flares, draws out soundscapes between melodic flutters and dabbles with experimental structure.
We caught up with him as he guides us through the album below.
For inspirational reasons, I featured two "no-go´s" at once here. I sampled stuff I wasn't allowed to and I did it from a lo-res youtube video. The sound which resembles a steam-engine is from an Oskar Sala documentary where he plays the Trautonium. To get rid of the mp3-compression glitch I used a little room and a cheap digital reverb. Underneath I added some proper FM-Bass, stabby sharp chords (how to implement a eurodance element elegantly in a track.), and a free floating melody in the break.
I couldn´t find the exact video, but this gives a nice impression of him. Genius.
I am addicted to sounds I cannot describe, so, here I am. How to describe a sound I cannot describe. The basic 6/8th percussion loop sounds like an afropercussion sample creatively chopped, but it isn´t. It's a waterdrop sent through a modulated delay with a really short repeat rate, it oscillates between a few milliseconds, therefore the high rate produces an uncommon tonality. Besides that I am totally obsessed with that 6/8th groove you can find in many music cultures. The whole aesthetic of the track reminds me of an underwater-level in Super Mario World (the snes version had a pretty similar sounds).
Not exactly what I was looking for, but there are some real jewels in here. In general: japanese game-sountracks and the whole manga-movie-world is highly inspiring:
I simply love it when different elements blend into each other in a way that you are not longer able to differentiate each single one. The main sound here is a Polysix arpeggio with a clusterchord switched on chordrepeat, high resonance. Plus a lot of tapesaturation on the percussive side. Again, simple melodies. Thats my cup of tea. The title says exactly nothing. You can fill in the words yourself.
There´s a place called Shufflington. It´s a small town in the middle of England. In this town everybody freaks out on housy shuffle grooves. Raw analog gear-house can be heard from every basement. I want to go there. In recent years I moved away from using presets and drummachine sounds, even if I really appreciate their functionality. But I simply heard them too often, it bores me. There is just one big exception: 606 cymbals, slightly distorted, edgy, but still enjoyable when played out loud. Ahhhh…
It's a typing error. I wanted to write EX5 when I was saving the first draft of the track. The percussive arpeggio comes from a session on this almighty silver bullet KORG produced at the end of the nineties. The timpanis which appear after a few minutes got pulled out of Nord Drums, my main percussion synth. I had that vocal sample after the break in mind and it took me ages to find it. It had to be that particular one. Check out this endless source of inspiring sounds:
It's a pretty dark one. The chords in the beginning are quiet and even more unsettled by the polyrhythmic oddmeter-in-the-face-beat. Not often, but sometimes I really wallow in dark sound. Picture by Paul Putzar.
Operator in Excelsis
Is a hommage to FM synthesis. From the bongo-like percussion to the bassline and the theme (played on an FM7II), it´s all FM based sounds. Well not entirely. I also recorded some autofiltered ebass slapsounds and the hihats are certainly from somewhere else.
Do you hear the Djembe? It´s there, there from the very first moment. A bit rushed though. The rest is standard dance vocabulary. 3/16th-delay, resonator, important groove-elements to come and go. I like it simple and effective when it comes to dance and arranging dance tracks.
For me, this is a special one. I had many different versions, the theme derives from a boogie/disco track. The percussions are field recordings a friend made in a percussion school somwhere in Brazil, you can sporadically hear the teacher shout something. I love those bottle-like hollow tube-sounds. If you listen to it on a big PA, you will find ou, that the low end has also some samba-emphasis on the beats 2 and 4.
I don´t possess too many expensive synths (well… ok, a few), but I definetely do not collect them. I collect cheap and strange sounding instruments. One of my most beloved instruments is the Casio CZ1. You can shoot it for a relatively small bargain. The DA-Conversion is so trashy that every sound has a lot of noise in it, killer. I know it´s gettin' a bit techy here, but I am convinced, that the aesthetics of these instruments manifest in the imaginativeness of the listener.
I have a background of being able to deal with notes like others deal with words, I always tried to merge the world of sound and tonality into one wholistic picture. Somehow I always fail.
This is the first piece in which I feel comfortable with the subject, the tonal side is not under represented – even only in a late 80's dream-synth way. Funnily, the whole album is pulse-based. Only in the final seconds of the last track does it indulge the listener in a little ritardando. The beauty about music is the fact that you can draw your own pictures to it, like reading a book. Panokorama is a landscape (panorama) with a (to-be-defined-by-the-listener) strange object in the middle of nowhere, named 'ko'. The title refers to the whole album.
As I am a big fan of Japanese culture I created a Pinterest moodboard to get some inspiration for the cover. I really enjoy the zen reduction and the wideness in the landscapes.
Buy the release HERE.