UE.43: Bernard Baum
A couple of weeks back we introduced you to Panatype and Bernard Baum. The former, a new record label from Peckham-via-Paris trading in warm electronica and glitchy micro house; the latter, its co-founder and production wunderkind whose reverb drenched ‘Atoll’ we premiered.
That track was taken from Baum’s album After, a 9-track mini-album which saw its release earlier this month on limited-run cassette and explores the thinly veiled space between ambient and minimal in an incredibly assured debut.
For Panatype, this follows an acclaimed debut of their own through a similar cassette offering from Newcastle’s Schuttle earlier this year and a subsequent remix EP that featured dancefloor ready interpretations from Jackson Blumenthal and Edmondson – and sees them establishing themselves as purveyors of a captivating brand of electronica with a very British flavour.
If you were to listen only to After, you’d be forgiven for thinking Baum’s proclivity leans towards the beatless, with eight of the nine tracks being atmospheric soundscapes and experiments in found sound.
Through his guest mix, we’re pleased to offer up another perspective through a sixty minute mix (and not a single second longer, how’s that for accuracy) that takes in silky 2-step and mechanic melancholia. (Keep an eye out for his show-stopping remix of ’90s British electronic act LFO.) We caught up briefly with Bernard below.
Tell us a bit about how you approached the mix. With most of the tracklist made of up your own productions, how did you select the other artists you’ve included here?
I wanted to present a mix that gives a good impression of where I am currently as an artist. All the other artists included are friends of mine and artists whose music Panatype has released or will be releasing in the future. There are a few tracks that will be coming out via Nixwax which is actually how most of the artists on this mix know each other. That project has been going since 2011 but 2018 should be the most exciting year yet.
You recently left London for greener pastures. Why Offenbach? Do you feel London has less to offer producers like yourself at the moment?
My decision was more of a personal one, sometimes you can get too comfortable where you are and so it’s good to put yourself out of your comfort zone every now and again.
I wouldn’t say that London has less to offer producers like myself, on the contrary there seems to be a growing interest in ambient and beat-less music, I just felt like it had been a while since I had an adventure and that now was as good a time as any for a change.
Your productions seem to skirt between ambience and club tracks. Do you find that an easy or a difficult space to navigate?
Yes, I never sit down and think I’m going to write this kind of track – whatever happens, happens. The majority of the material that makes up the album was written in a six month period where for whatever reason I just wasn’t in the mood and it wasn’t fulfilling for me to write music with a beat. Since moving to Germany I’ve found myself writing around 130bpm and sometimes faster – there must be something in the water out here.
Swing and broken beats feature prominently in the mix. Does that influence come more from UKG or the 2-step end of minimal from Romania and in Europe?
It’s a blend of the two with UKG just shading it. Being from the UK means that Garage is always going to be part of your thinking when it comes to writing a track, it’s part of who we are! A lot of the influences have also come from going back and listening to stuff I used to listen to as a teenager on Warp. At the moment it’s very rare for me to write a track with a consistent 4/4 kickdrum and chopping breaks up or writing things with a more broken structure is what I’m finding fun.
Tell us a bit about your production set up for the album. Do you have any plans for performing it live?
The album was made using Ableton Live and predominantly stock instruments and effects. I did use some Max4Live patches and a couple of other plugins and there are also field recordings that I took with a Tascam DR40. A live set is something that intrigues me and something I would like to explore at some point. I have an idea of how I would like to execute it but it’s like all these things – there’s never enough hours in the day.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
I have a couple of releases lined up for next year that I can’t go into right now but keep an eye out for them. Hopefully continuing to write and produce at my current rate, continuing to work on Panatype and having a nice time in general.
Where next for Panatype?
Next up is an EP featuring remixes of material from ‘After’ by Schuttle and Dream Cycle, along with an extended DJ version of Atoll. This will be out at the end of January. After that our next tape is from Red Hook Grain Terminal (two tracks of which feature in the mix) and we’re really excited about how that one is shaping up. This will be out at the end of February and will also be followed by a remixes EP after which another tape etc etc. We’re sitting on a lot of great music so there will be a good steady stream of releases for you to listen to. We also have a couple of other surprises up our sleeves for the coming year – watch this space!
Bernard Baum: Onra – Panatype
Dream Cycle: Absolutely (Them & Us Mix) – Sneaker Social Club
Red Hook Grain Terminal: Justsyntholdtapes – Forthcoming Panatype
Bernard Baum: Protozoa
Bernard Baum: Waiting
Jackson Blumenthal: Sandy
LFO – Premacy (Bernard Baum Edit)
Bernard Baum: Oviscape
Alec Falconer: Golf Dads – Forthcoming Nixwax
Bernard Baum: Jang
Bernard Baum: Sensual Yarn – Forthcoming Nixwax
Schuttle: Meed Trope (Edmondson’s Fellini Dirge) – Panatype
Dream Cycle: S.O.U.R – Sneaker Social Club
Jaxson Payne: Hopen pt12 – Self Released
Bernard Baum: Flyst – Panatype
Bernard Baum: Atoll (Beatless Mix) – Panatype
Jaxson Payne: Hopen pt10 – Self Released
Red Hook Grain Terminal: 8 – Forthcoming Panatype
After is out now via the Panatype Bandcamp, where limited edition A3 and A4 prints of the beautiful album art by Baum’s sister Amber Leaman are on sale.