Catching up with Derek Piotr

  • Catching up with Derek Piotr
  • 2018-02-18

The last time we spoke to Derek Piotr, the Polish producer and composer had released fifth album Drono. In the 18 months since, Piotr has been touring, hosting a radio show and is now on the verge of unleashing new album Grunt. We caught up with Piotr to get more details on his recent work.

I am not attempting harsh or shocking noise, but rather something life-affirming and emotional.

You’ve just finished a noise tour. How did that go?
The tour was wonderful and intimate, a couple of small-scale shows in New England with free-improvised electronics and voice, featuring a few new pieces I am working on at the moment. The response was emotional from the audience, it was very satisfying.

What were the highlights?
Definitely being understood for my point of view of noise; I am not attempting harsh or shocking noise, but rather something life-affirming and emotional. The reaction from the crowds seemed in sync with that.

The recordings are on SoundCloud, which are you most pleased with?
The Moron Mountain show is my favourite.

How has listening back to those performances influenced your music going forward?
As I mentioned earlier, I am workshopping some new noise pieces by playing them live. A piece reacts very differently in the wild versus in the studio; it’s helped me understand the way in which they should sit in the world more accurately and some of my edits since the performances reflect that.

You run a weekly radio show called B E A U T Y. When did that start?
A couple of months ago an organisation (radio.computer) from milwaukee approached me with the opportunity to have a weekly radio show which has been a lifelong dream; to be able to share my library with the world and play DJ is a total thrill, and I love playing deep beautiful cuts listeners have maybe never heard. I am also hosting feature interview guests on my show and they pick tunes as well - among them Maja Ratkje, Phil Elverum, AGF.

What response does the show get?
I find it’s generally well listened to, and people have contacted me positively around it.

How can we tune in?
Every wednesday at 10pm Eastern Time on radio.computer. Later it goes into archive on MixCloud.

You’re working on a remix compilation for LINE called ‘Underlined’. How did you decide who to remix?
‘Underlined’ was an eight-year project; all of the remixers are featured already on the LINE label. Some close friends as well as first-time associates.

How have you approached the remixes?
The remixes are not mine to approach; I have a generally lassez-faire attitude when it comes to handing stems to producers for remix.

Do you have an particular favourites?
I adore France’s and Simon’s mixes a lot, I also like the re-work i did myself of one of my early tracks (Value System).

You’ve got a new album out later this year called Grunt. What can we expect from that?
Grunt is ugly, noisy, direct. Warts and all. Cathartic. Exciting (hopefully), and I am involving the work of one of my idols (Kevin Drumm) and a violinist. I hope to have it out in the fall.

How does it compare to Drono?
Grunt is a direct extension of Drono; very similar moods and wordless approach, but I find Grunt livelier and less durational and more freewheeling. They share some common samples too.

Finally, if you could wish for one thing to happen to you this year, what would that be?
It is my dream to raise chickens.

Listen to Derek Piotr’s recordings from his noise tour on SoundCloud below. For news and tour dates go to derekpiotr.com.

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