Scanning for Lifeforms: An Interview with Akkya

Again, sorry this is getting posted so late.  The transition at my new job has been exhausting and though things are going well, I have been so burnt out from the long hours that I generally come home and face plant.  So naturally, nothing really has gotten done around the apartment, let alone on here.

Without further ado, here’s is the interview with Akkya.  I hope you will check out Akkya’s album and keep an ear out for his upcoming works!

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Me: Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Akkya: I’ve been making music since I was 13. I started on an old Atari ST making music for a friend who coded demos. I started on a program called Audio Sculpture; it was in German and used hexadecimal code. That was how I started… sampling small 4 second bits from hardcore tapes and weird electronica and then putting them together… I’ve been doing the same thing ever since but moved on with the technology. I always
hoped that I would be able to make a living from it, by making it and uploading to a label or something.

Me: What gave rise to the “Abandoned Future Perfect” Project?

Akkya: I really wanted to make a concept / soundtrack album based around a kind of movie I had in my head. I wanted to go through the idea of a world that had abandoned its perfect future, and had ended up a dystopia. The actual “script” of the “movie” is kind of private, but the music is a direct audio translation of the images I saw. It took me 8 years of working on it through various styles and sounds before it all came together. It was really hard having not completed a piece of work for so long. I just couldn’t let it go; I knew I needed to complete it. Finally all the bits I had written over the years came together in a really cool way. In the process I found a new way of working that really changed everything for me musically.

Me: What is the overall goal for Akkya?

Akkya: My overall goal is to create music and art that inspires me, makes me feel good, and to make a living from it. I have ideas for further projects and how to go about them, using new technologies, and am looking into those avenues. I ultimately want to be able to support myself and family by making visuals and sound.

Me: What are your future plans?

Akkya: In short to make another album, I’m looking to do more field recordings and to get into recording my own instruments. I would love to have the time to create synths in Reaktor. The possibilities with that are just incredible.

In the long term, I want to explore releasing digital multimedia packages… I used to Dj and do digital performances, but the idea of that really isn’t for me anymore… As I said, the new process for me is quite expansive and open, so I want to work towards creating a full multimedia piece, art, lyrics, poetry, digital files, physical booklets… All compiled as a piece of work in itself.

Me: What have been your inspirations as an artist?

Akkya:  Future Sound of London, Pink Floyd, Primal Scream, The Doors, Sonic Youth, Richie Hawtin, Aphex Twin, Beastie Boys, Photek, Global Communication, Senser, PWEI, so many to mention. Also I’m really influenced and inspired by movies and sound design. The sound of the guns in Aliens, the sound design in the Saw movies… old sci-fi… and books heavily influence my ideas, I would love to someday work on doing a soundtrack album based on Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Saga.

Me:  You mentioned some books have inspired you in your work. What books or authors have you found that have inspired you the most (aside from Isaac Asimov)?

Akkya:  Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, in terms of how technology can be used to hinder our spiritual growth, and to remember to maintain humanity in all things to some degree.

Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, had a profound effect on me, in terms of the way that societies emerge and develop, even without imposing institutions.

Tom Wolfe’s Electric Cool Acid Test, opened my mind to a world of psychedelic fun and exploration, not only in life, but in how to think and develop sound recording techniques and to be more abstract and experimental with my music.

I wrote my first full album, (One Random Thought), based on a line in the book Gods of the new Millennium. That book is very interesting and far out, unfortunately out of print, although strangely enough I managed to find a copy on Amazon recently and I’m looking forward to re-reading it soon.

I often read, and enjoy thinking of soundscapes to settings and situations. Sometimes a line in a paragraph will jump out at me and inspire a track title or an idea for a composition.

The same thing happens with movies, a line of dialogue, or a sound can trigger a kind of call and response feeling, and I jot down the idea on the nearest available item, be it phone, paper, laptop for future reference.

Me:  You had mentioned you self-released this album via iTunes. In your opinion, what are some advantages and disadvantages to self-releasing music?

Akkya: I don’t really have much experience of it as it’s my first release. However, it is great to be able to do it yourself, when labels aren’t responding. You can put it out there, but obviously, you need to promote it, and it can be hard to stand out from everyone else. I like to think that the music will speak for itself, and things like Soundcloud are amazing additions to this way of working.

Me:  Besides Akkya, are you involved in any other musical projects?

Akkya:  Not at present. I am looking to work with a few artists in the future who inspire me and seem to have a similar sound or thought process to their work.

Me:  How well does this genre of music you’re working with now allow you to express yourself?

Akkya: I can’t express enough how liberating it is to finally settle into this way of working. I’ve spent years making all types of music, a long stretch of which I was making Drum n Bass. The idea of working with a 2 second loop for 4 hours is just about the last thing I want to do anymore. This music, style, way of working, allows me total freedom to take an idea, or image or whatever it may be and develop an auditory version of what it makes me think or feel.

Me:  Have you released any of the drum’n’bass tracks or plan to do so, even though you’ve moved more into an ambient direction?

Akkya:  I have put DnB breaks packs up online in various places for free, and there are I think 2 or 3 tracks floating around the web to download for free, but in terms of planning any new DnB stuff… No, I spent a long time making drum n bass, I would like to leave that part of me behind for a while. I spent so long eq’ing breaks and hits and compressing drum channels and so on, just to get a few seconds worth of sound. It became so
limited and laborious as a way of working.

Add to that the music style changed into what seemed to be, who can get the most headroom and loudest snare in their productions, compared to the dynamics and editing of the early days of Source Direct, Photek, Moving Shadow etc. It really became hard for me to want to be part of that area of music.

I would love to find a way for me to get back to the old Platinum Breakz sound or to develop an album like T-Power’s “Self Evident Truth of an Intuitive Mind” … but I really need to explore the more ambient side of me for now… I am purposefully leaving out any obvious drum  rogramming in my recent work for exactly that reason. Change is good…

Me:  What is your opinion on independent music?

Akkya:  Independent music has always been important to me… I think the term has changed over the years, but music still needs to be challenging and thought provoking. The mainstream seems to shy away from allowing this into the public consciousness. I think that is a real shame, but as one of my favorite bands said, Pop Will Eat Itself!

Me: I am kind of new to Soundcloud, but it seems there are musical communities on that site. How tightly knit do you feel the ambient/experimental music communities are?

Akkya:  I’ve only been on Soundcloud since August this year… So I don’t really know… Although I can say Soundcloud has really helped me get my music out there, and I recommend it to any artist. Everyone I have been in touch with has been welcoming and generous.

Me:  Do you have any advice for aspiring artists out there?

Akkya: It’s been said a million times, but make your own music. It’s the most important thing about being creative, it’s also the hardest…

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Again, a huge thanks to Akkya for the interview!

If you would like to purchase this album on iTunes, go here: ( DO IT!)

http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-end-of-your-desire/id467463077?i=467463146&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

And, please take a look at Akkya’s Soundcloud!: http://soundcloud.com/akkya

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About tuning in to the obscure

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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