deadwords » interviews 08.07.2011
David Vangel – A new musical beginning

Die Kontrolle der eigenen Atmung spielt generell im Leben eine große Rolle. Der auf Equinox Records beheimatete Soundtüftler Vangel hat nun unter seinem neuen Küntlernamen David Vangel auch ein großes Debüt-Album abgeliefert: Breadth Control. Simon Segieth hat im Rahmen eines Features für das hhv.de mag mit dem sympathischen Kanadier Kontakt aufgenommen, und nicht nur einen Einblick in seine berüchtigeten Live-Auftritte, sondern auch seine Historie und seinen Blick auf das Musikbusiness bekommen.

DEAD: Who was Vangel and who is David Vangel?

David Vangel: Vangel was my production name for the last 10 years; starting in hiphop and slowly moved into an instrumental focus. David Vangel is my new production/artist name, obviously not a stretch from the old, but aimed at being more sincere and in carving a fresh start to a new musical beginning.

DEAD: How did you start making music?

David Vangel: I think I started producing things I would actually call tracks in 99. I had been fortunate to have lots of close friends that had a love for, or played music, but all in diverse genres; they all put me onto some inspirational stuff, and I think that’s what got me stoked at the idea of making music.

DEAD: How did you get in contact with Equinox Records?

I’ve been really fortunate to be featured on a lot of Equinox releases and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me.

David Vangel: I sent them an old fashion demo in the mail around the time the PostModern Eros EP came out, they liked my stuff, and I got lucky. I’ve been really fortunate to be featured on a lot of Equinox releases and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me.

DEAD: You are working on several other musical projects – tell me a bit about them.

David Vangel: Right now the focus is on gearing up for the album release in late May. There will be a single release + Single Video coming shortly, an album megamix/sampler in early May, and then some shows, including a release party in Toronto and a tour in the summer. In terms of new music, I have a string of oddly all over the place EP’s coming to fruition; one Classical/Choral, one traditional Jazz, a Mediterrean inspired EP,….basically, whatever is not cool. I might venture into what’s ‘cool’ next year. lookout.

DEAD: How would you describe your own live gigs? What kind of equipment do you use?

David Vangel: I’d describe Live shows as fun, for me. I really love doing my live sets cause they’re never the same, musically challenging, and eye opening in terms of where old ideas get taken to. I know that all sounds selfish, but this way I don’t have to fake performance enthusiasm or wave my hands in the air all the time to connect with the crowd. I hope crowds connect with how into what I’m doing I am. I know that’s asking a lot, but the whole cheerleader dance step thing some dj’s/electronic performers are doing these days is not for me. I respect and understand that form of artist/crowd connection, it’s just not for me.

The live sets I’ve been doing are based on improving with loops from my within my original material. In terms of of gear, I’ve been using Ableton Live, Triggerfinger, Remote 25SL, and some mics most recently. Before that I was messing with some footpedal and turntable stuff.

DEAD: Is it important for you that your music is getting released on vinyl?

Vinyl is that medium that’s still standing on an audiophile and collectors’ pedestal because its meaningful to people, and sounds warm like music could/should.

David Vangel: Hell yes! Vinyl is that medium that’s still standing on an audiophile and collectors’ pedestal because its meaningful to people, and sounds warm like music could/should. Some people rightfully consider the medium art unto itself. It’s particularly important to because of my background as a dj and my personal love of records. In some aspects its kinda like getting to join this club of a pan-historical click of musicians that have released music on these odd looking black circular slabs, and that’s an honour for me.

DEAD: Please describe your new record in three sentences.

David Vangel: Breadth Control is meant to be somewhat melodically emotive, but still a drum based album. It’s a fusion of sampling and live instrumentation, including elements of hiphop, jazz, indie rock, electronic, gentle psychedelia, and world music. I put a lot a range of styles I like into the record, so I’m hoping a wide variety of music lovers find different things to like or dislike about it.

DEAD: How long took it to finish “Breadth Control”?

David Vangel: The songs and parts came from all over the place somewhere along the last 3 years, but the writing happened pretty quick.

DEAD: What are your musical aims? Why do you make music?

David Vangel: I guess my musical aims are to continue along my path and take more chances and trust my intuition in taking on and developing new ideas and approaches to making music. Collaboration with tons of musician I admire and have respect for is definitely an aim I’m pursuing. I’ve made music for lots of reasons, but the main one’s that resonate are feeling inspired at given times to output into a creative medium, and making sense of myself through unassuming stabs at listening and arranging sound vibrations. Sorry, I know that sounded really elusive in a post-hippy zen moondust kinda way. I make music for the free stickers.

DEAD: What do you think about the actual music business situation?

I’m interested in artistic and critical thinking in the music business, but no so much by the pure business aesthetic of profit margins and ROI.

David Vangel: Music business is interesting to me because its moving so fast, and to a certain extent I’m involved, so I have an inside perspective. I’m interested in artistic and critical thinking in the music business, but no so much by the pure business aesthetic of profit margins and ROI. I’m more interested and focussed on being an artist who thinks critically and sees the music business as an apsect of making art, but not a centrifugal force that directs it.

DEAD: Is making music your full time job?

David Vangel: No. I’ve come to love having the separated lives where I can be an artist and do what I feel, and then work a day job to keep me floating. I love my day job too; its very creative, so its a win-win.

DEAD: What influences you while producing?

David Vangel: While producing, its usually a record or a sample that has got me hooked to find other sounds to marry it with. In general I’m inspired by the possibilities, and what gets done with those possibilities while writing. Producing, especially with samples, is just a long string of micro and macro decision-making processes all intermingled, playing off each other.

DEAD: What music is David Vangel listening to?

David Vangel: Everything! The internet is a definite distraction when it comes to instant access to anything and everything you want to listen to.
This week I been listening to new AmonTobin, oddball vocal jazz, old Clark, new Slugabed, Origin, old MF DOOM, Gorod, 2econdclasscitizen, Necrophagist, Faceless, Caribou, Lorn, AlphaPup shit, Cephalic Carnage, Ceschi & Dj Scientist, Eskmo, FourTet stuff, older Quantic, Robot Koch, DDay One, tons of Brazilian Jazz, anything by Rachmaninoff, tons of my friend’s music, singer/songwriter shits, Swedish Indie rock. In my car it has been strickly old hiphop cds: Aceyalone, DeLaSoul is Dead, & Dj Mixes. I’ve been really impressed and partial with Podcasts lately.  Addictive – and free. Its made me explore some non-musical podcasts and found my self downloading and listening to a whole series of Harvard lectures, a “Finding you Confidence”seminar, and learn to speak Mandarin sessions. Nerd shit really.

DEAD: If you could wish for two things – what would it be?

David Vangel: I wish I had a mini half pipe in the garage.
I wish I had a garage to put the mini pipe in.

DEAD: If you would have to categorize your music – where would you file your music?

David Vangel: I have no idea. Honestly, Im better on a song to song basis…”Electronic” seems to encompass all programmed music so I guess that fits. But, in between the grid there’s some jazz and classical influences. But, Im hiphop as shit, so pan-Canadian Crunk will do.

DEAD: How did you grow up?

David Vangel: I grew up in Toronto, Canada, but my parents immigrant shortly before my birth from Greece and Macedonia. Id say I grew up middle class. I spent most of my teens and high school years in a suburb of Toronto called Scarborough. Growing up, everyone around me seemed to be doing some hiphop shit: breakin, writing, rapping, djing, skating (the 5element). I think living there made me a hiphop head for sure, and open my eyes to the notion of a diverse community of artist that were all doing totally different shit, but had love for each other and all called everything they did by one name.

DEAD: Is David Vangel your real name?

David Vangel: …For government and tax purpose, no.

DEAD: Any last words?

David Vangel: Thanks to HHV.de, Equinox Records, DEAD Magazine, DEAD Radio, DougEgen.de, & everyone in Toronto who’s down.

Link zum Feature auf hhv-mag.com

Credits: Interview im originalen geführt für das hhv.de mag
Foto(s): Bradley J Dean