Dear friends, today we want to acquaint you with a musician from Sweden – Babylon Barsebäck aka Buddie Backman.
— Tell a little about yourself, and especially about your passion for electronic music. How long have you had an idea of making music? And is your education related to it?
— I found music in my early teens and since then I’ve slowly gone trough a whole bunch of phases, interests and what not. I landed in the ‘electronic’ side of things after some stints with noise music, dub and post-rock separately a few years ago and as I started to explore ‘dance’ music more in depth. That coincided with me exploring myself and how I project myself in the world, which in turn led both me and my productions to slowly start moving and bouncing more. Hasn’t come to the point where I can formally educate myself, these days I’m a busy worker.
— Please describe how your creative work process is going on – from idea to realization.
— It can vary. Often I find myself exploring one aspect of a sound or sample and that usually leads to multiple productions. There’s a bunch of my tracks that share some elements with each other because of this. But otherwise I often get ideas and inspiration from non-musical things. I like to explore feelings, moods and such to draw inspiration from without any clear musical goal in mind from the get-go. Then I ask myself how I can translate that to a musical language. It sounds grandiose and dramatic but you can get some more light-hearted fun out of this line of thinking as well. And you could of course intertwine this with actual musical ideas and inspiration. I think I just want to able to answer the question “What is it about?” or “Why does it sound like that?” no matter how short or long my answer would be.
— Tell me more about your release “Savannah Sides”, who or what inspired you for its creation? Specifically I find the track “Wristwatch (You Know the Time)” simply amazing, what kind of hardware did you use?
— Savannah Sides wasn’t made as a cohesive unit, it’s more a collection in that sense for me. Tomahawk (love you) reached out to me and we sanded down a bunch of my tracks down to those four. I like how they kind of represent different styles and moods that I tap into, and as it’s my first physical release I was excited to show those. Wristwatch is one of the first ‘proper’ house tracks that I’ve created so it’s great fun that people tend to like it. Hardware wise I’m kind of barebones, I have an old casio that I rig up with a bunch of effect pedals which I use and I play my own bass guitar lines every now and then. I also sample CD’s that I buy (love thrifting for fun things) or straight field record stuff. Reason 5 is my software buddy otherwise.
— What are you working on now? And what are your plans for the near future?
— Honestly I’m mostly working on myself these days. I’ve been depressed for a long time but I’m gaining traction in that struggle more and more which feels great. I just put out a big collection of my tracks so I can focus on myself and spontaneous production. I plan to establish myself locally a bit more so I can give back to the community that fostered me, and then go from there once things start to level out for me. I’m not a career person in any sense so I’m terrible at planning for future success, but I’m open for any opportunities that might come my way. But for now I’m playing it a little cool I suppose.
— In which countries would you like to perform and why?
— I want to spend more time in Copenhagen in general (I’m half danish and I live essentially on the border between Sweden and Denmark) so I can definitely see myself exploring the scene there. Georgia would be great fun, really love what’s going down over there and I had a great time last year when I was there.
— Have you ever been in the post-Soviet countries or would you like to visit it?
— Georgia is the only post-Soviet country I’ve visited so far if you count out Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. I’ve had my crosshairs on the Ukraine for a while as a travel destination. Would like to explore the underground music scene there some day, and get a tour of the Chernobyl area.
— Do you have any favorite labels and musicians? What kind of music do you prefer to listen to in the player?
— I really like some of the local output here. Spazio Records has some great music along with Geography Records, TV FEH, Pom Peri Posse. I listen to pretty much everything more or less but lately I’ve been listening to a lot of 80’s pop ballads. The latest two CD’s I bought are a Krzysztof Komeda soundtrack and a compilation of “Turkish music composed for dancing” (with a picture of a pretty turkish girl even!).
— Is it important for you, from which media to listen to? Is it necessarily with vinyl, or can it be with digital media? Do you collect vinyl?
— I’m not a format snob by any means. But I can see the value in their differences. I mostly buy CD’s or digital but I have a little vinyl collection and some cassettes. I think it’s problematic that there’s a tendency towards a clear hiearchy between the formats. Not only because in something so subjective as music it’s hard to make judgements on what is a better or not as a format. But also because it’s a question of cost as well that I feel a lot of people ignore. I’ve seen to many people with massive hardware setups and huge vinyl collections smack down on people who prefer other formats. Not everybody can afford a modular laboratory or a walk-in-vinyl closet and it’s honestly tiring to be described as worth less or ‘not true enough’ because you don’t have the same income.
— How would you describe your music?
— Well intended.
— Does music help you in everyday life?
— It’s such an integral part of my everyday life so it’s hard to say actually. I don’t feel empty without anything to listen to exactly but music can elevate or alter feelings to the extent where if I’m observant of myself enough I can for example improve my mood with the right track or album.
— Do you think that the creation of music is not just a hobby or a job, but a way of life?
— I believe it’s what you make it to be. I’d struggle to call it a way of life in that sense but I believe that like all creative outputs, music is a tool that you wield and then you make what you want out of it. It’s fantastic in my eyes that a perfected concerto and a recorded fart released on CD are both musical contributions to the world. I like that flexibility and subjectivity as it reflects back on my own ideas on how to regard the world and life itself.