Who is Chinaski and where is he from?
I’m Stefan and I come from the Baltic Sea.
Are you following a specific musical or visual concept with your art? Is that different from label to label?
In general, I think all my work is speaking the same language. In real life, I separate the art forms of music and video. For example, in music, for me, only the output counts. There, I don’t have many possibilities to force or construct it so much. It is after I have some output that I decide where it fits. With video art, it’s totally different. I really enjoy having the distance of working for other artists. A good example is my work for “Die Orakel;” there, I have taken a completely different approach.
How did you develop your approach and how did that changed?
I just count on my taste and try to restrain my creativity so I don’t go overboard. For me, it’s more about curating the instruments; the tone, the instrument or the sound. It’s all there. You just have to choose. This choice is the only thing that reflects your personal preferences. The rest comes by itself.
You can’t deny a certain fascination for the Eighties in both your music and your visual work. Can you explain which aspects you’re interested in most?
The choice of aesthetic languages is what counts because it is where you feel at home. A lot of the things from this time, I think, are banal and horrible. From the present perspective, the cultural decade of the 80’s is kind of superficial. It’s materialistic and affected by attitudes that I dislike. But, what still fascinates me, is the technical revolution during that time. All that new technology from back then like: advanced synthesizers, samplers, or studio effects allowed something new. How artists and producers approached this new technology back then still affects pop culture today.
When I listen to a Trevor Horn production now, I think, “Ok, wow,” but it’s slick at the same time. So, what I do, is deconstruct this superficiality and technical perfection. I came to a point where I started to intentionally make mistakes in mixes and record onto a bad quality medium like tape. This gave it back a good balance for me. The memories of my early childhood and the first influences of music and movies did the rest. For me, it’s not about reminiscing in good old memories but more like further processing those impressions I was left with to then begin building my personal, artistic identity from there.
You are also doing soundtracks for films, for example the American 70s occult classic “Lucifer Rising” which you even performed live. What is your approach to that?
I just like movies. To make a new score for a movie is fun, and the input I get from its visuals really does it for me. Live performing “Lucifer Rising” just happened by coincidence because friends from
“Hotel International“ crew asked me to play at their party. The idea came to my mind because the event isn’t a clear club format and I had just finished my work on the soundtrack. The approach to perform it live combines my work as a musician and video artist. It also feels different to me because in this performance the movie, not the music, stays at the center of the audience attention.
How would a movie night with Chinaski look like? Which movies and/or their soundtracks are important to you?
Genre movies, that is for sure. Let’s say Evil Dead or the O.S.T. of Goblin. I always find the subversive flicks more exciting; like when something is provoking society, disturbing or redefining your viewing or listening habits.
Are their certain routines you follow when you’re making music? Is there an idea before you start or do the ideas occur while jamming?
It is always different but I never do jams. My production is mainly based on an overdubbing routine. There, I lay myself in chains which means it’s dependent on my mood, the surrounding and the situation. When everything is set, the everyday routine fades out and I let myself go. What comes out in the end…is mostly Ambient music.
Are you happy living in the Rhein-Main-Area now? What does the region offer that appeals to you? Or do you miss the sea?
Fuck yes. I miss the Baltic Sea but I’ve found wonderful and caring people here too. I like Frankfurt and Offenbach because these cities want to be something bigger as they are in reality. That’s funny to me. I have my base here with the club Robert Johnson and a great musical landscape.
What are your next projects?
I am going to do some more live performances this year and there is a new record coming out on Live At Robert Johnson by the title of “Ghost Rider“.
Is there a certain piece of music that influenced you the most?
iTunes / direct mp3 download