Reggy van Oers (RVO) is an excellent prolific producer and DJ from the Netherlands. His experimental grasp on electronic music is stunning and has yielded a series of great albums, with the latest instalment being his debut full-length Taciturn Manner. In this interview, we discuss his new record label, Telemorph, the Dutch techno scene, the production cycle and influences of his new work and his plans for the future.
Hi Reggy! Firstly, thanks for finding the time to do this interview, it is much appreciated! So, you have recently started your own label, Telemorph, under which your debut album, Taciturn Manner, is being released. What is the reason for starting the label? How active will the label be, release-wise?
Hi, I would like to say the same…thank you for taking the time to have a chat with me.
I’ve started Telemorph as a platform to be able to release music that really speaks to me and where the productions are “coloured” by an experimental ground or theme. This can be, for example, by exploring instruments and use them in a more unconventional way. It naturally happens when I collaborate with an artist in the studio by applying different techniques that enhance the awareness of certain details. Something that can be new to one of us, can lead to an interesting part of the final production.
I don’t feel any pressure in terms of the amount of releases. The most important thing for me is to be completely satisfied with the music I do release on the label.
Taciturn Manner marks your first full-length album, after a series of great EPs and singles. What pushed you to release a full-length? Is there something particular about the material that felt that a full-length record was the right format?
I wanted my first full-length to be a very personal one, to show different sides of myself as an artist, but still making one compelling story. While producing the material for it, I felt that the elements were representing my diversity, as well as staying within the character of the whole piece.
I think the combination between the organic aspects of the field recordings and all the different layers of modulation made me realize that it needed to be one record.
Can you give us some details in the production of the new record? If I am not mistaken, you made use of field recordings. How do you go about processing these, and do you start with an end goal in mind, or do you go with the feel of them?
I’ve just put some parts of a recording through FX channels, making them change in nature, pitch and tempo. I then put the result of this in a sampler and did the same process again by changing the parameters and intensity of the FX channels.
As soon as the soundscape started to appear, I could control it with a certain mood, and from then on I knew where I was working towards. From this recording, I started to select fragments to be used as percussive elements while other parts were, for example, the base of my atmospheres within the track. By layering and modulating these components on top of the existing recordings, I could give them direction. This is basically how I’ve worked throughout the album.
“Primal Need,” from your new album, was featured in a short film/video clip by Zee Marla Osh, which came out absolutely stunning. How did the collaboration came to be, and how involved were you in the actual video?
Actually, we met about a year ago. She liked was I was doing musically and I thought her way of filmmaking and my music could be an interesting combination. We discussed our taste for colors, structures and films. Basically, out of that she made the video clip for a track for Telemorph002 called “Thedar.” When I was working on the album, I had a feeling it would be nice to have a video of “Primal Need” and Zee was very enthusiastic about it. I just gave her some sketches from the artwork for the album and I told her my vision for it. A few weeks later, Zee sent me the video and I loved it!
You recently had an event at De Muziekgebouw aan het IJ In Amsterdam, part of an event series entitled Morph. Firstly, how did the event go? And what is the theme that this series will follow?
We are very happy with how the event went. Our idea was to use the environment of this venue to continue the path we’ve started, gradually building in tension and intensity of the musical expressions. This time, we chose to create a night in a wider range of electronic music.
There is a strong cinematic element about the album. Considering that the Morph live events also feature audiovisual performances, how important would you say is adding a visual/cinematic dimension with your music? Do you find it challenging achieving that?
I’ve always been fascinated by (dramatic) cinema. It can really suck me in when the combination of images and music touch me. When I make music, it basically works the same: I visualize the different layers, each of them telling a part of the story. Adding visuals that follow or even lead the music can make it a multi-dimensional experience – it hits you harder and deeper, it’s just more real!
In a previous interview you mention that the album was written during a difficult personal time. I do not want to go into many details, but do you feel that a certain mindset provides a good breeding ground for new music and ideas?
Yes, I really think it has an added value. I didn’t expect it at first, but, for me, everything made more sense instantly. I’ve also noticed I’ve excluded myself to the outside world, which did me good, just having my focus on one point without having distractions or opinions. This period or the state I was in made me more aware of doing things in the moment instead of postponing them.
You have been a member of the Dutch techno scene for a while now. What would you say is different and unique to the artists and projects from the Netherlands? Is the scene vibrant and do you feel there is a strong appeal to what you guys are doing?
There’s a lot going on for sure; depending on your taste, you can always find something you are looking for. Besides the familiar parties, clubs and festivals, there’s also a demand for concepts which focus more on the niche side of techno. That’s why I’ve initiated Morph as a series of events to support the artists and labels that I really respect and like. This resulted in intimate events where the performing artists can express themselves freely, while being connected to a crowd that becomes part of these musical journeys, instead of just attending them. There has been a lot of attention to the atmospheric and hypnotic parts of electronics. We are open for experiments and luckily, our way has been attracting more and more people.
Other than the Morph events, do you have any further plans for any gigs?
Next week, I will play a live set at a new event in Barcelona called “On//das” alongside the initiators Deepbass, Ness and Massa. Afterwards, I’m heading to Tbilisi where I’ll be playing at Khidi.
Friday the 14th Of October, I’ll perform a new live set at About Blank for the event “Ghosts” alongside Iori. As this is also the release date of my album – it will be an exciting day for me.
What are your future plans in terms of recordings? Should we expect another EP or single soon? And what are the imminent plans for Telemorph?
I will be releasing some ep’s and singles pretty soon on labels like PoleGroup, Informa and Affin. Also there will be some remixes out the coming months.
Regarding Telemorph, I can say that I will start a new collaboration in two weeks. It is a very special one for me and I’m very much looking forward to it.
In 2017, there are a few collaborations planned next to a solo release.
Alright Reggy! Thanks again for finding the time to answer my questions! All the best to you!