Labchat with Alex Albrecht

by Isabel Thomason-Officer

The past few years have seen Australia’s Albrecht La’Brooy steadily hone in their unique spin on dance music via releases on their own label Analogue Attic, as well as Night Tide, Voyage Records and Butter Sessions.

As one half of Albrecht La’Brooy, Alex Albrecht presents Melquiades is a relatively new solo project from the talented Melbourne based producer. Following on from his solo debut project ‘Blue Caves’ on Francis Harris’ Scissor & Thread Records, under the Melquiades guise he is back with another stunning release ‘The Bluff’. 
Comprised of four tracks all recorded live with a distinct improvised feel, the title track captures the signature sounds of the Australian bush with surprising accuracy teleporting any Australian with a strong connection to nature straight to their happy place.

Dropping the EP on his own imprint Analogue Attic earlier this month, Fiction Lab caught up with Melquiades to chat about this new solo project, what his creative and studio process is like, his influences and what’s on the cards for the remainder of 2018.

3.jpg

This is your second solo project in just three months, what made you want to explore a solo project separate from Albrecht La'Brooy? How would you say the two artistic projects differ musically?
I’ve been developing solo material for quite some time now, it was only after being given the opportunity to release on Scissor and Thread that I started working on releasing it. I would say the Melquiades project focuses more on dance floor orientated sounds and the Albrecht La’Brooy project is moving towards more listening and concert orientated sounds.

I listened to the title track 'The Bluff' of your upcoming EP and it reminded me so much of the sounds of the Australian bush from back home - I swear I can hear the cockatoos! What made you want to emulate such a unique sound scape and how did you go about recreating it in the studio?
I
t was the result of some field recordings I took from the bush. The way I record music is usually playing a field recording and reacting to it in a live setting. 
The previous release on Scissor and Thread was inspired by a trip to Greece and this was inspired by trips to the Outback. 
I look forward to seeing how other places I visit have an impact on the creative process.

1.jpg

How did you first get into music production?
I started getting into production at about 16 or 17 after listening to electronic music. always had a huge interest in music and production seemed to be the natural progression. 

What's your studio set up like?
I use a Nord A1, Mamaha mx49, an Eventide Space, a Livid Controller, and Ableton.

When approaching a new record, what's your creative process?
usually listen to a collection of field recordings I’ve taken and react to them in a live setting. I then refine the tracks to create a finished product. 

I read that your live performance with Albrecht La'Brooy is inspired by the jazz greats - do you apply this same philosophy to Alex Albrecht presents Melquiades during your live sets?
Absolutely, all the live sets are improvised and liv.

Who really inspires you as a producer? 
Terre Thaemlitz, Mono Fontana, Harold Budd, Bill Evans, Vangelis, Sakamoto, Ahmad Jamal.

2.jpg

Have you signed anyone recently to your Analog Attic imprint that you're really excited about? Any up and coming Australian talent we should be keeping an eye out for? 
We're really excited to release Adam Mccoy's aka. Citizen Maze's debut record in a few months. 

There's such a wealth of talent when it comes to Melbourne - Mike Callander, Jamie Stevens, Tornado Wallace, Planète, and of course yourself and your Albrecht La'Brooy partner in crime Sean La'Brooy to name but a few. How do you think the scene compares with Europe and even North America when it comes to where we are on the map of underground electronic music?
think there's an immense amount of talent coming out of Australia and we're absolutely comparable to the Europe and North America scene.

Do you have any additional solo releases or with Albrecht La'Brooy in the pipeline? 
There's another EP, a remix and an album in the solo pipeline as well as some more Albrecht La'Brooy music hopefully soon!

What are top venues/festivals/promoter nights in Australia to play at?
t's always amazing playing for ONO, Inner Varnika festival and Butter Sessions Records.

Any tour dates for Europe or the US in the works for 2018? Festival appearances?
'm heading to Europe in a couple of weeks to play a show in London and Berlin before heading to the States for some Scissor and Thread shows in August.