Interview: Aril Brikha

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

In 1998 Aril Brikha reacquainted the world with deep techno soul, as his record Groove La Chord crossed generic boundaries. Is it techno? Is it house? Is it deep house? It's everything and nothing.

Groove La Chord is simply timeless. No one was more surprised about the success of Groove La Chord than Brikha himself - after all, he'd originally presented it on his demo as a potential B-side. Two years after he recorded Groove La Chord, Brikha heard it in a club for the first time - Derrick May pulled it out in Chicago. Aril then realised it was a good track. The renegade always walks alone. As a cultural exile in Sweden, Aril Brikha has never been one to conform

1. You know what our first question is going to be. Tell us something about the "Groove la Chord". How did this track come about and would you say this is the one that started it all?

It came about just like most tracks, you just play around with some sounds or a groove and when you think you like something, you try to keep the essence of it and most importantly finish the track as soon as possible. It was a very simple idea with the whole beat and bass section made in a drum machine and then I just added the chord. I would say it's the one that started it all yes.


2. Have you always been interested in music and considered it your life path or did it hit you out of nowhere in a moment of epiphany?
No it was actually always a hobby for me and when I quit my daytime job more than 10 years ago, it was only planned for 1 year to see if I can just get by making music and 10 years later I never ended up going back to a normal job. It's a passion for me for sure but I've always tried to keep it as a hobby and not as a job which I think would ruin the passion for it rather than something that pays your rent.

3. It has been suggested that you slalom among the membranes of specific subgenres but do you have one you prefer and in which direction do you think your sound is going right now? If you had to choose would it be techno or house, or is it like kids, you just can't pick a favorite.

I've always got bored of making one thing and one thing only so I will always go between what people call genres but I just call it Electronic music. Derrick May mentioned the word "High Tech Soul", I think that has a nice ring to it :)

4. What has Derrick May meant in your career? Does his sound in any way influence yours and what were the artists that inspired you the most at the beginning?

Speaking of Derrick I must say that it's thanks to him that I am where I am now but to be honest it was more the music of UR, Mad Mike, Robert Hood and Moritz van Oswald that influenced me the most.

5. Your Deeparture in Time LP was a major hit. Since it used just one keyboard, a drum machine and an Atari do you consider that this was an element that helped it jump out into the limelight? How did it feel to have a composite of six years of work finally issued?

I don't really know, this was just music that I made in my bedroom over some years and I had no idea or plan that this would end up being released or that anyone would actually listen to it. I've always made music for my own pleasure but it's a blessing to be able to share it with others. In terms of the amount of machines you used, I've always preferred to limit myself and learn the tools you have....think this is a bigger problem these days when people have tons of VST's in their computers but no music is end up being made. Back in my days there was no such thing as just turning a piece of gear on and instantly have a preset with "detroit strings" or a "house bass", you had to programm it yourself.

6. What do you plan to show to Zagreb’s dancing crowd? What can we expect on Jan the 16th in DEPO club?
I haven’t actually planned much to be honest, I like to keep my live-sets as "live" as possible in the sense that I can choose what and how to play depending on the crowd. I haven't been to Zagreb for ages so I have no idea what people know or don't know about my music...or let alone expect. :)

7. What new plans are brewing for the future? Who would you like to collaborate with and what has been your favorite gig so far?
I've collaborated with Vince Watson on a track for Cocoon last year and I have collaborated with Chymera doing live-sets together. I have always made music alone and performed my music alone so it's nice with some change. Any other plans would be finishing the huge amount of tracks I've started and never end up finishing...the problem with having a virtual set up where you can work on 20 different projects at the same time..

8. Wild Card Question: Are you a morning person or do you function better under the dark veil of the night?

Very good questions, I'm definitely a night time person for making music and being in that mind set. I'm more creative and more comfortable then...but on the other hand I do love mornings and seeing the sun light. I usually wake up around 9 and I'm not like some of my friends that get up early, leave their kids in school, have breakfast and start making techno in the my days are usually waking up, going for a walk and/or yoga, then breakfast, then emails and online wasting of time...then meeting a friend for lunch and a walk/coffee and THEN techno :)