T.O.P. Interview: B/B/S

 

B/B/S: If music was a statically developing scene full of experimental patterns leading us to a neverending explorational state of mind, without any limits.

The B/B/S experience happens when the musicians, Aidan Baker, our today’s guest, Andrea Belfi & Erik Skodvin put their talents together. Based in Berlin they have released high-quality albums such as  BRICK MASK (Miasmah, 2013) and PALACE (Miasmah, 2016) showing us a powerful alternative to the mainstream electronic sound of Berlin. Their exquisite perception and taste, in terms of music production, is wonderfully translated into deep and elegant sounds.  Their music is dark, obscure and dynamic, with  jazzy  attitude and hypnotising psychedelia.  B/B/S can gradually lead us to a dreamy meditating state of mind classifying themslelves as a totally avant-garde band.

T.O.P.: How did you come together as B/B/S and what’s  the main ingredient of your connection?

Aidan: We began playing together in 2012 with the very simple idea of just seeing what might happen…no plans, no concepts, just experimentation. We were, of course, familiar with each other’s work before we started playing together, so we did know we shared certain aesthetic sensibilities, at least.

T.O.P.: Is there any special moment during the creation of your last LP on Miasmah records you want to share with us?

Aidan: “Palace” is made up of material from two separate sessions that were actually recorded two years apart…which I think says more about how we create and work with music, than the music itself, as there isn’t especially a noticeable difference between the two separate performances. Rather it took us some time to chose, edit, arrange, and mix the best material to create a consistent album as a whole.

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B/B/S/Palace

T.O.P.: How is the music creation perceived by each of you and when do you know that something is ready to go out there?

Aidan: Given my response to the last question, I think the three of us have quite different perceptions of when a song is finished and suitable for release. But again, I think this stems less from the music itself than it does the way we work, both individually and collectively. Our music is entirely improvisational, which makes for quite different experiences depending on whether we are playing live or recording. Live performances are so much more about the experience, being in and of the moment, both for ourselves playing and the audience listening, while recording is an attempt to capture both the sound and the feeling of that experience and trap it in a form that bears up to repeated listens. Which, separated from the immediacy of a live performance, is not necessarily the easiest thing to do — this takes a considerable amount of listening and crafting by all of us before we can agree on a final form that we all feel is successful.

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T.O.P: What is your viewpoint regarding the contemporary music in Europe and how do you experience being part of the Berlinesque scene?

Aidan: Speaking as a North American, Europe is so much better connected and appreciative of the arts, that living and working as an artist here is much more rewarding. There is lots of great music in Canada, of course, but the population of the whole county is about of third of Germany’s so there simply aren’t the same opportunities for an experimental musician. And even if there are a lot of concerts and musicians in Toronto, I would say there are even more in Berlin and quite often musicians end up staying in Berlin for extended periods, which offers more opportunities for performing together or collaborating.


T.O.P.: Is there any venue/ location/country you would love to perform at and why?

Aidan: We have performed in both Norway and Italy to date, the home countries of the other two band members, so I would like us to play in Canada someday, which would most likely be in Toronto or Montreal…but who knows when or if that might happen…

T.O.P.: Do you have any plans for the close future?

Aidan: Nothing definite, at the moment. We often do a short tour in the early months of the year, so perhaps we will do so again in 2018.

T.O.P.: We often ask this; Which is there any record you would recommend as mind/sound healer?

Aidan: I only discovered this album relatively recently, but I’ve been finding David Sylvian & Holger Czukay’s “Plight & Premonition” very soothing of late.

More about B/B/S: http://www.miasmah.com/BBS/index.html 

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