Read the feeder insider extended interview with Walrus and discover his latest EP produced together with Adi released on their imprint “For Playful Manners“.
producer / techno / Belgium / electronic
feeder.ro: Hi Michiel, thanks for taking the time to talk with us, you’re about to launch a new label For Playful Manners alongside Colombian artist Adi, could you tell us a little about this project and how it came together.
Walrus: Hello Feeder! Nice to meet you 🙂 Thanks for your interest and for this little conversation. Yes yes, the new label has been rollin’ since the 1st of July, normally you can find your copy in your favourite record (web) shop, if not, you can get it directly from the Basic Moves Bandcamp.
Adi and I met 3 years ago. Winter times in Colombia. Christmas in the sunshine. We got introduced through a common friend. She picked me up at the airport and a few hours later we were playing records together under a lemon tree at a small automagically event. (the parties that Adi and Samantha, who does the graphix of FPM, organise in Bogota). We became friends and did the album “Basic Moves 14” which was so fun to work on. I’m so happy about that record. It’s fully intuitive and creative. super alive and edgy at the same time. The music sounds like her. Also shout out to Chris Ferreira, our mix engineer for a great job and the ping pong conversations about sound, mix and composition. learning together. movin’ and groovin’ slowly. So after that, we decided to start a new label. For fun. Playful, but with manners towards the history and the culture of music, clubbing and dancing.
f: The artwork is based around a puzzle and all of the tracks and producers remain anonymous through question marks, could you tell us a bit about why you decided to do this and how it works?
Walrus: Yes, an old fashioned crossword puzzle! The buyer/listener/supporter/dj has to play the game to get to know from whom the tracks are. since we announced that it’s a split between Adi and me, but you’ll have to work a little to get to know who’s track is from who, haha. We like this idea since Joe Delon, our friend and fanatic crossword gamer and big music-ensyclo-docus are around to help us out, otherwise, it would have been hard to make it. Since I’m dyslexic, and Adi also seemed not too comfortable with starting this from scratch… haha.
Yeah, Joe’s puzzle is great, it’s about the +50 years of clubbing history, we want people to discover music and culture in this way. We also know that it’s only for a few beautiful freaks that we do this, hahaha, most of the peeps just play the record or dance to it of course haha.– Walrus
f: What does the future hold for the label, the first release features music from yourself and Adi, will this continue or you’ll be welcoming others onto the label also?
Walrus: The second For Playful Manners 12” will be a split from Penelope from Paris and Ludovic from Lima. and the third is from Gwenan from London and Camiel from Brussels. If I’m not mistaken this will be the first-ever vinyl release of all these artists. (!!!) Mix downs of the tracks on the 2nd release are done by legend Dan Piu in his studio in Zurich. The fourth is still a secret since it’s going to be a 2×12” from an American techno legend! All very excited.
f: You’re also running the Basic Moves label, for those who may be unfamiliar with this imprint could you tell us a little about it, what the aesthetic and vibe is and some of the highlights from the back catalogue?
Walrus: Basic Moves I used to run together with Ailsa Cavers aka Dj Islas for more than 3 years but now our paths went in different directions and I’m doing it with help from Joe, Kim, Camiel, Jordan and the Crevette Distribution boys, which I’m feeling so thankful for.
The original idea of BM was born when I used to work at Doctor Vinyl record shop 7 or 8 years ago. It’s a hangout spot for the whole Brussels scene, especially the older house and techno DJ’s and friends. That documentary The Sound Of Belgium was born in that place. And I quickly understood that a lot of the music these DJ’s and producers made in the late ‘80s till the mid-’90s was never released. So I carefully started to show interest and a few years later (yes I had to prove myself for a long time to them) we were listening for very long nights (and mornings) to dozens of DAT tapes. Then the question was, what tracks are still relevant nowadays? Do we need edits? Most of it was recorded in one take on a stereo channel. So there was no way we could re-do the mix. Thanks to our mastering engineer Stefan (Betke) at Scape Mastering, who does an amazing job on the old and new material.
But also hearing all the stories and memories that go with the tracks and the imaginary flashbacks in time was so exciting. This human connection is so important for the whole project. It’s not always easy also, you know old cats can be grumpy sometimes. And yes I can be very … eum …let’s say “pro-active” and I want to listen to everything several times. Sometimes our cultures clash, but we always find a way out. hahaha.
One thing I would like to mention is that we never wanted to do a strict archive label. Or a re-packaging label (as there are plenty today). It should always be more than digging that 100€++ records on discogs, fix the artist rights, repress and cashin’-in … hell no …I don’t like this neo-liberal way of re-issue culture, it’s a pity not more of these labels tell the story behind the music and their creators! We want to balance it out with new artists, and very important: with music that was never released before!
Since release number 11 we press strictly double 12” packs. So the individual story of each artist on that release gets more detailed and they can show other aspects of their creations since there is room for 6 tracks. It became mini albums, let’s say.– Walrus
It’s hard to choose a few highlights for me but I’m giving it a try 😉
Caustic 14 & Mike DMA – Excalibur (In Valen’s Name) (BM07)
Amazing piece of Brussels electronica. You can really hear the overseas UK influence: Stasis, The Black Dog, AFX’ bubble bath or Luke’s 7th plane … the great thing is that the track is looooooongggg … bleep bleep! (still, some copies are available thru Bandcamp btw. ;-))
Signal Kommt (aka Z@P) – Elegans (BM13)
Personally, I feel a lot of emotion every time I listen to this track. It came out during a turnaround moment of the label and my personal life + start of this pandemic + lockdown = crossroad restructuring. The mood the tune gives me is not a happy one, but also not a sad one. More of a hunting one, a bit witch’ie almost. Reminds me there is always a way to go on. We need these transcendental rhythms more than ever in our lives now.
Besides being a top top top producer and excellent dj, Nando (Z@p) is also such a humble, human being. Blessed we met and we took our time for this project. Thanks, Nando!
f: Lastly, could you please share with us something that’s been bringing you joy lately outside of music, a place you’ve been, a movie you’ve seen, a book or anything else that comes to mind?
Walrus: I’m reading mostly books about music hahaha, I got that Andrew Weatherall Jockey Slut tribute book, amazing to dive into his life. He just did it. no business plan. just a lot of soul and self-respect.
Movie wise I like to get surprised by the streaming website Mubi.com. Very much enjoyed watching Michael Haneke retrospective but also The Fantastic Mister Fox by Wes Anderson.
Places I’ve been not related to music …. mhh …not easy ….
Oh yeah during that kayak day close by the city but discovering ultra-secret spots to enter protected still water rivers and no speed boat engine noise around. Just floatin’ on the water and enjoying the wild ducks and birds singing’
Thanks, Feeder, see you on the dancefloor!
f: Thank you Walrus for your inspiring answers.
For Playful Manners 01 produced by ADI & WALRUS is out on Bandcamp.
Words by feeder.ro
About feeder insider
feeder insider is a series of interviews that explore the universe surrounding music and visual arts while connecting the local to the international creative scene.