Non-Print label head and producer Głós wants to create something outside of the conforming realm of Techno, and he showcases just that in this week’s Global Vibe Radio mix.
Głós has already reinvented his early work through his latest album, and his lucid yet on-point productions continue to reveal a rarefied character.
Głós has made a point out of not following the sometimes linear Techno patterns with his artistry. He comes from a band-focused rock environment and runs his own label, arranged to be a wildly experimental project. Głós (pronounced ‘Gwos’) is also in several ways a close contributor to the Ressort Imprint label, founded by fellow producer Ekserd, since its start in 2013, already then having left his native Poland to become a Berlin citizen. The label website informs you that ‘‘Ressort’ is a German synonym for a journalistic or administrative department’, and that their specific expertise is the dance floor. Ressort Imprint has released several of Głós’ productions and features other regulars such as Array Access, Border One and The Plant Worker—as well as remixes by Cassegrain, Evigt Mörker and Pfirter.
Głós’ new platform, his very own label Non-Print, released his debut album ‘Fem’ in September 2018, marking the exact five year anniversary date of his first EP, ‘There Is No One Like You’ (Ressort Imprint, 2013). The producer describes it as ‘a collection of re-works as well as new material without any creative limitations’. ‘Fem’ is presented as one continuous mix—with each of the tracks being available in their own individual entity.
As a producer and performer, Głós’ background, which is a very hands-on analogue way of working—recording for example distorted keyboards and guitars—continues to influence his music. The industrial rawness of these elements are still present in his Techno, only now existing mantled by a softer drone and ambient-type of layer. Głós portrays cinematic scenes in his music. You are surely guided by the kick-drum, but the productions are spatial—distant rave signals and voices echo in a fantasy-like landscape. His live performances are often of a hybrid of his own work and others.
The Techno here is pure Głós, but in various parts he manipulates selected Ambient pieces, making them his own for his distinctive shows. Again a situation where Głós’ live band-background plays a big part.
‘Music For Sleepovers’ and ‘Music For The Morning After’ are the Berliner’s latest two albums with a playtime of about four hours that were released as a double-feature on Głós’ own Non-Print. Fresh off the press in 2020 is the latest EP ‘Psalms’ on Berlin-based imprint Escapism, featuring three of Głós’ more up-beat productions made for the dance floor.
We grabbed an in-depth chat with the Berlin-based producer, which we recommend you enjoy reading while listening to his highly-emotive Global Vibe Radio mix!
Thank you for the mix and for taking the time to talk to us today!
Well, thank you for having me!
Can you tell us a bit about the mix, your mood when putting it together and what you wanted to communicate to listeners with it?
I want to make people drink wine and smoke cigarettes while looking out of the window and thinking about what to do with their lifes. I did that the other day myself and I’d actually quite like that. Have you seen Only Lovers Left Alive? That’s a setting and a mood I like, that whole vampire stuff left aside. But honestly, ideally I’d like to be thought-provoking and give people some inspiration about how things could be done differently than they are at the moment.
You see, people seem to have such a defined idea of how Techno is supposed to sound like that they rarely ever try to break out of it anymore. They imagine the music to bang within a warehouse room, filled with sweaty bodies alongside flashes of stroboscopic light. Nothing’s wrong with that, but it’s been done to death. I’m trying to find other places in which this music can function, because I think it’d be sad if the only and singular purpose of Techno and Electronic music would be to try making people dance.
There is so much more in this world to express oneself with than only dancing. Again, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with dancing, quite the contrary, but what I’m trying is to shift the idea from ‘dancing’ to ‘movement’ in general. Imagine you’re moving outside, maybe even without a destination. It’s night, it’s raining, and opposed to a club, you’re not around hundreds of dancing people but amongst other moving people—or maybe even alone. I want to evoke imagery inside the listener’s head of moving towards the future, not towards the past.
As I started recording this mix, the weekend before I went to the last Griessmuehle party. You probably heard in the media that this quite relevant venue in Berlin was forced to shut down and there has been a public outcry, as so even covered by The New York Times. At this point, I associate six years worth of memories with this club. It’s the venue I played in the most to this date and it also hosted Ekserd’s and mine Ressort Imprint label nights more than once.
Naturally, my friends and I went there for one last time to give it a proper send-off, and while I recorded this mix some days later, still hungover and sipping on a bottle of cheap red wine from the shop down the corner, I was thinking about those times that will now never come back. And yet there are so much more other things to come and we don’t have the faintest idea yet what that’ll be.
Imagine, all the new save spaces we could open; all the new people we’d meet, all the new memories we’d make. And I’m already beginning to feel nostalgic for these memories, even though none of it has happened yet. People call this ‘nostalgia for the future’, don’t they? These are all thoughts I had while recording this mix, and damn, that was a long-winded and almost too cheesy of an answer, but all of this is kind of why I’m making music: to open up new ways of seing things and subsequently thinking.
How many Głós originals can we find in this mix?
Five—a number that seems to haunt me. One of them is a remix I made last year and one is part of the currently released ‘Psalms’ on the Berlin-based label Escapism.
Is this mix a reflection of your current performances in front of a crowd?
No, hardly so. I mean, the Techno part is, yes. But you see, when I play in a club, I play a club set. I think people would hate my fucking guts if I got behind a DJ booth in a Techno club and started to play Ambient and Trap. But when I’m at home, I’m in a different mood than when I’m going out. In the club, I’m all out-going, there’s people, there’s usually a great mood, I get all enthusiastic. At home, I’m more introspective.
People who know me from parties probably will never expect this as I’m always in a joking mood, but alone, I often get very melancholic. I had a very difficult 2019 and the end of 2018 wasn’t easy either, and I think it reflects in the two albums I recently brought out. When I’m recording a mix at home, I want to communicate what’s going on when no-one’s around. It’s things I’d never talk about in seriousness because as soon as someone’s around, I’d start cracking a joke instead.
Additional to that, I spend so much time listening to the weirdest music on YouTube when I work in the office, and there’s so much going on out there, it’d be a shame to just play dance music. Consider this to be a collection of tracks I recently listened to a lot and that inspired me, sprinkled with my own music in between which I consider to be the music that got inspired by this. It’s like roots and trees, or water and plants.
Your sound is hard to piegeon-hole, and I love that. How would you describe it to someone who has never heard your work?
You wouldn’t believe how often I get asked this question and how much I struggle to answer it. When I say I made Techno, it wouldn’t really pay justice to what I’m making, because the Techno I make is more Ambient than anything else. At least that’s what I’d say is the main difference between me and other Techno artists. Other Techno artists sit at home and think of what to play in the club. I go to the club and think of what to make of what I just heard for when at home. It’s hard to explain.
Honestly, I think, the best answer and also the most vague one would be that my work is a hundred percent me. It’s in a way everything I like and that interests me, shoehorned into music. Also, I make what I feel, which is why it gets so emotional at times and why it can span over more than just one genre. It can get really bizarre, and I can say that because, contrary to the other people out there, I know all the music on my hard disc that hasen’t been released yet. It still gives only a faint idea of what’s going on in my head.
Do space and nature influence your sound?
More than anything. Given that I live in a city, I’d describe my sound as very urban. You can hear cars passing by and rain on asphalt in a lot of my last productions and mixes. I often use ambiences from cities and voices that sound like spoken in empty spaces, in tunnels or under bridges. It’s my idea of romanticism.
Then, last year in October, after I finished working on ‘Music For Sleepovers’ and ‘Music For The Morning After’, I went to Iceland for my first holidays in a long, long while. I ended up recording another whole album in just one week there again, because the landscape, the people and the general vibe were something completeley different and very inspiring. Needless to say, this album also turned out accordingly different because it’s way more inspired by nature and what seems to be an endless open sky.
What else inspires you in the studio?
This might sound stupid, but lighting does. A lot even. After watching Ryan Gosling’s ‘Lost River’ on my 31st birthday, I decided to get myself a Flamingo neon lamp, inspired by the scene in which Saoirse Ronan sings along to playing a little synthesiser in the attic, with nothing but said Flamingo lighting up the place. It was sweet and romantic, and it made me want to get one myself the very next day. Coloured neon-light is a great mood-setter, more so than a regular ceiling light. The place one makes music in should be a save space in which one feels at home. It should be personal, so that the music can be personal as well.
What would you say your goal is with your performances? What effect do you hope to achieve with the crowd?
I go for people dancing with their eyes closed—and I’m very happy to succeed with that so often!
The name Głós means “voice” in Polish, and is chosen also because of your impeccable use of vocal elements in your productions. What makes the perfect vocals?
You ever had this moment when you were flirting with someone and you went away from wherever you were with them, had a conversation with them on the street or at home, and you hear them saying things that make you feel like you’re part of a film? It gives me the shivers. These unique moments, as if you witnessed something that no-one else will ever witness like that again. It’s this feeling of intimacy that I’m looking for. The perfect vocal is intimate and it must feel as if it’s only there for you in this very moment, and for no-one else.
2020 is a year of important releases for you. Can you tell us a little bit about what you’ve been working on and what you have coming up?
As mentioned before, I recorded three albums last year and managed to bring two of them out myself. Of course, I hope to also see the third released this year. I’m constantly working on new music whenever I have the time for it, and this year many of it is finally scheduled to see the light of day. The ones I look forward to the most right now is a series of collaborations with other musicians who I’m lucky to call my friends. For example, two tracks I made with ARTS’ Linn Elisabet and Killekill’s Tigerhead respectively just went into mastering and should go into pressing as soon as we got the artwork done.
Who are some of your current favorite producers and DJs out there?
In all honesty, I hardly ever listen to Techno anymore. I love to make it and to play it, but I only really follow my friends these days until this genre stops to be so bloody regressive. I’d love to give a list of who’s great, but given my hungover state, I’d probably forget half of them. I definitely promised myself to collaborate more in the future, so basically check out everyone I’m going to work with in the next couple of months!
Is being an artist your “full time” job?
It used to be for a while! But times changed, now I work in an office as some sort of proof-reader. But you know the deal: never give up, never give in. No retreat, baby. No surrender.
You live in Berlin, a city peppered with DJs and producers. What percentage of your week would you say is dedicated to music?
Ideally I would say 25. The other 25s are my day job, sleeping, and then, of course, doing other things, like getting inspired by just living and doing shit. I seriously wonder how other people maintain their productivity, I never asked. But I for myself say: no output without input. Means, if there weren’t 75% in my life that’d hold me off from making music, I wouldn’t have anything to make music about.
So besides music, what are you into? What do you do in your spare time?
I used to do loads of stupid and fun shit like going out, partying, studying, having all sorts of adventures, and now, ever since I turned 30, I went back to doing the same things that I did before I graduated from school—which is mainly consuming endless amounts of media and literature. I went from nerd to bon viveur to nerd again and got myself a Nintendo Switch in the beginning of December. Now I can’t stop playing Super Mario Odyssey and Pokémon Shield. I’ve become such a sad person. Hence the sad music, I guess. I’m joking, by the way.
You studied linguistics in University right? How many languages do you speak?
Too many. The problem is that for every new language you learn, you forget an old one. I made the theory that you can only speak five languages fluently at the same time. I have several books floating around here at my place, so I always have the chance to refresh, but I also have to say that the older I get, the more difficult it becomes to learn languages. I also have my doubts that having all those different languages around is helpful for humanity in the end of the day. As a linguist I shouldn’t say that, but as a human, English and music should be all we need.
Is there another language you’d love to learn someday?
The obscurer it is, the more interesting I find it. I’d like to learn Tagalog or Xhosa next, just to see the look on people’s faces when I get the swear words out. But I probably won’t. My favourite language remains music.
What is your favorite restaurant in Berlin?
Any Asian place that has free pickled slices of garlic in little vats next to their Sriracha bottles should be your place to go!
If you could perform in a new city anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I think this would go to either Tokyo, NYC, LA or anywhere in Canada or Eastern Asia. Or, you know what, anywhere, really. I always dreamt of getting out of Europe for once and what would be nicer than to do it through music? I honestly never left this continent, and seeing as much of the world as possible should be anyone’s dream. I want to make as many new experiences as I possibly can!
Global Vibe Radio Tracklist:
1. Nuages – Distant – Nuages Self-Released
2. Isis – Weight – Ipecac Recordings
3. Głós – Twenty-Nine Stabs – Unreleased
4. Głós – Whisper – Unreleased
5. Vulkanski – Hafgufa (Głós Remix) – Unreleased
6. Głós – Psalm (A Handbook That Becomes A Poem) – Escapism
7. Głós – Phosphore (Cut Lingerie) – Flyance Records
8. Ellen Allien – Love Distortion (Introversion Remix) – Bpitch Control
9. Sewerslvt – Mr. Kill Myself – Sewerslvt Self-Released
10. Bonjr – It’s Ok, You’re Ok – Bonjr Self-Released