Over a period exceeding twenty years, the Time To Express head has drawn inspiration from a plethora of musical styles from Belgian Synthpop to EBM, New Beat to Detroit Techno. Currently residing in Berlin, Peter continues to churn out intricate yet grandiose production work alongside a chaotic touring schedule. Mime caught up with the man ahead of his performance at the Dystopia launch event next month.
Describe to us the mechanics of both Foton and Time To Express. Foton was founded in Brussels around 1999 to create a platform for experimental electronic music. Right now it's on hold creatively, but it still functions as the administrative and legal context within which Time To Express operates. Time To Express was founded in 2008, primarily as an outlet for my own techno productions. Over time the label has opened up to other artists, mainly friends and people I feel comfortable with. I intend to keep it that way.
How do the Berlin and Brussels scenes differ from each other? Brussels is a fragmented city, in many aspects. This makes it a very interesting, challenging place. It takes a while to understand all the different scenes and codes. To me Berlin feels more cohesive. It seems that people work together in an easier, more relaxed way than in Brussels. There is more of a supportive attitude towards local talent. This explains the blossoming of a rich electronic music scene, in my humble opinion. Fertile grounds breed talent, this is how you keep a scene alive and thriving.
Explain your inspiration and process behind your production work. That's a difficult one. Life in general is probably the main inspiration. And I try to work in the studio on a regular basis, keeping a steady pace. I try not to over-analyse the process too much. It's very much an intuitive, energetic process, not so much a cerebral one.
Explain your objective and approach to live and DJ performance. My objective when playing a techno set, be it live or DJ, is to present a physical experience. I want people to be sucked into the music. When I play house or new wave it's different - this is more about the selection and the sequence of the tracks. I guess the emphasis is more on the musical side of things, whereas with techno the emphasis is on the total experience.
Tell us about your drive and motivation – how much of your personal life experience and acquired sagacity filters into your work? My drive. I feel like there is only one thing for me to do in this life, and that's to make music. It's very simple. It's very hard for me to judge the influence of other aspects of my life into the music, I feel it's not up to me to do that. Judging one's own artistic output from this perspective seems like a complicated issue to me.
Tell us about your latest ‘Sendai’ project – why/how is the partnership of audio and visual important to you? With Sendai we try to give the audience an experience which works on both senses - auditive and visual. Here also the idea is to capture the audience, to totally pull them into our world during 50 minutes. The visuals enhance the music, thus enhance the total perception. When we play live we try to present the tracks from our Geotope album in a new context, enhancing and remixing them within an improvisational framework. Every performance is radically different.
Where next for PVH and TTE? We're currently in a redesign phase for the label. This means that we are looking into setting up a second, smaller label for more experimental music. Alongside that we have some thrilling release planned for 2012. I can't say much about them at the moment, but you'll definitely notice them when they arrive.
What are we to expect for your set at the Dystopia launch event? 100% contemporary techno.
Peter Van Hoesen will perform at the Dystopia launch event alongside Dadub on the 2nd of June in Shoreditch, London.
Tickets are available from Resident Advisor and Ransom Note. Further information can be found via the Dystopia website.
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