On 10th March, club Lizdas will host June – a Greek living in Berlin, also known as Πρόσωπο and one half of the group Manie Sans Délire. For the awaited occasion of coming to Kaunas, Vaida Stepanovaitė from Lizdas had a quick chat with someone who releases on his co-label, plays live, DJs and basically knows what’s up in terms of electronica of nostalgia echoing to our days.
Name June, releases in June, June Records. What’s so special about June?
Nothing in particular, it is only a name. I think that what is behind a name is more significant than the name itself and it is this an entity that provides a name with an identity. Concerning June Records, I did not actually choose this name. When the first record was released as a white label, record stores gave that name to the label since JUNE was only written on the vinyl sticker in addition to the track titles. After the first release I thought that it was too late to change the label name as this could be misleading.
Could you describe in one-two words each of your names? June, Πρόσωπο, Manie Sans Délire, June Records.
Not really. All of these entities are based on various ideas that are morphing over time sometimes as well and it would not be adequate to describe them in one or two words.
With Πρόσωπο (Prosopo) you turned to something more experimental and sharper. A different path to follow, from the usual warmish synths? How did you come to it?
Πρόσωπο evolved from the idea of using vintage digital delay units for processing audio to the point where the digital delay became a sound source itself.
In this record I think there are only three tonal synthesizer lines. The rest of the sound sources include vocals, drones, drum machines and mainly percussive elements made with white noise, self-oscillating filters and analog FM.
Other than that the process of making this record, in terms of programming, was exactly the same with other recordings of mine either as June or as one half of Manie Sans Délire.
How would you describe Greece’s underground music scene nowadays? Do you participate in it or intend to more in the future? I read in one interview that you want to move back to Greece from Berlin.
I would describe Greece’s underground music scene as being more vibrant than ever, especially if you take into consideration the amount of artists and record labels with a high quality output, as opposed to 15-20 years ago. However, I must say that there were always very good Greek artists and labels that remained active at a local level, which is not necessarily insignificant.
In terms of event organization, it seems that many efforts are being made at the moment such as large or small scale festivals taking place as well as regular club nights, despite the economic crisis.
My involvement in it so far has been made in the form of playing for Phormix (regularly) and Fasma Festival. At the same time I have a lot of friends there who are active in the so-called scene either by running their own labels, making music or organizing events.
Manie Sans Délire is a new collaborative DIY electronics project of June and Trenton Chase. Two Greeks, one in Berlin, one in London. How do you manage with June Records and you musical project?
Also, could you elaborate on DIY electronics part more? And how is it different from the creative and technical process as June?
The part of managing the label while living in different places is not too difficult since Trenton Chase and I are very close friends and we are communicating on a daily basis.
The part of making music together is a bit trickier as we need to be in the same room in order to record. Everything we have recorded so far has been made from both of us in the same physical space. This is resolved by visiting one another frequently.
The DIY aspect that you mentioned is originating from the fact that the whole process of making a record, from creating the music to finally releasing it is made by us.
I would say that the main difference from my solo project is that with Manie Sans Délire there are two people participating in the creative process. Another difference is that Trenton Chase is doing the vocals almost exclusively.
From a technical point of view, Manie Sans Délire and my own solo project are not different at all. The main idea behind both projects is to perform and record each piece live. The sequencing, programming, etc. are being done with the same techniques; by using CV/Gate analog and digital step sequencers, synthesizers, drum machines etc. One minor technical difference would be that we have slightly different equipment in our studios, however the main principles remain the same, just different synthesizer models.
It’s not the first time in Lithuania for youand not the first time dealing with Lithuanian promoters (DOS in Vilnius, Untitled Tricks in Copenhagen, both in 2016). This time you came several days earlier to Vilnius. It seems that you like us. Do you know a lot about our music scene? Maybe there will be some collaborations with Lithuanians in the future?
In fact my first time in Lithuania was in 2014, when I was invited to play at STRCAMP. My story with Lithuania or Lithuanians, to be more precise, is predating 2014. While I was studying in London I became good friends with a Lithuanian who is one of the people that later invited me to play at STRCAMP.
I suppose I do know a lot about your contemporary music scene as I have friends (Lithuanian and non Lithuanian) who tell me about it. I do not know much about the past of Lithuanian electronic music though, which is something that I would like to know more about.
There are no plans for any collaborations at the moment but this could happen in the future, you never know.
Seven years on June Records, fourteen years in music. What milestones would you point out?
I don’t know, I guess a third person could answer this question better than me.
Any news to release, before your night at Lizdas this Friday?
A repress of Manie Sans Délire – Untitled (JUNE11) will be available soon.