German artist Broshuda has flirted with a number of sounds and genres over the past few years, skirting the periphery of everything from Los Angeles’ beat scene to soupy, washed out house and techno and the nebulous regions of post-rock and krautrock. With a flair for working playful narratives into his work and a ceaseless work ethic, the artist otherwise known as Flo has released on labels like Sonic Router, Seagrave, videogamemusic and Phinery over the past several years, plying his trade mostly on cassettes, often accompanied by his own hand drawn cover art. Currently residing in Berlin, Broshuda has coyly referred to his work as glambient, Eno-grime and post-wonk and while all of that nomenclature comes across as slightly silly, it usually comes from a strong conceptual base and more often than not is right on the money as far as descriptors go. With a host of forthcoming releases (see below) and a hotly tipped collaboration with Joane Skyler on the way we grabbed the shapeshifting artist for an Astral Plane mix and a quick interview, going over his preference in labels, work flow and his online persona. Like his sonic and visual output, the mix is an honest take on what he’s been enjoying and challenged by recently, a cornucopia of beautifully analgesic sounds from across the past few decades. Hit the jump to read the full interview and stream/download the mix below.
Hi Flo, how are you? Where are you answering questions from?
I’m perfectly fine, thank you, just in the process of finishing some upcoming projects, tucked away at the hideout in Berlin at the moment.
Your sound and visual projects usually feel pretty synchronized, especially No Fun, Vush and Fatima’s Dream. Do you design your album art after recording or are the two processes more tied together?
Well that’s different each time, but it’s definitely quite intertwined in general, like for the Vush release Tobi (Vuptes) and me got together for the artwork once we were done with the music right away, which was quite an intuitive thing since we’ve known each other for a long time and already had an idea of what we wanted to do.
No Fun is actually an Anthology of stuff from as early as late 2009 up to 2013, which I´d originally released via micro runs of tape and cd, so the Art for that ended up coming from a Poster I did a lot later.
I’ve been a big multi tasking aficionado for a big part of my life, so doing things simultaneously has always been quite fun to me, even though it can get a bit out of hands and chaotic every now and then, haha.
You’ve worked closely with labels like Sonic Router and videogamemusic over the past few years, both operations that avoid traditional genre boundaries. What do you look for in a record label and what drew you to those two in particular?
I’ve actually done more work with the manns over at Seagrave HQ if you want to be really exact, like designing artwork and some still to come bits for them apart from my own releases there. When Sam from VGM got in touch they were just starting out and weren’t exactly a “label” yet, so we just shared some ideas and spoke about what we might potentially do… we originally intended for me to do an all Metal Gear Solid PS1 concept thing but that kind of fell asleep and feels like ages ago thinking back… I´d still love to do it at some point though. I told him he´d still get a release from me which then ended up being “Fatima´s Dream” this year.
It was all very much a process and also seemed like a nice place for the Giganta Remix Extravaganza thing earlier, for which Sam got a ton of amazing people on board, plus he was down for me doing the art bits for my eps and riso print for tapes is always a plus so… yeah. I love seeing how VGM is developing at the moment, they have some amazing releases lined up.
As far as Sonic Router goes… that one I guess came about by me doing the “Over” Track with Tony aka B£ams (Shout to you Bruder <3) which ended up on “Unforthcoming Self” in late 2014, Oli (YO!) from SR got in touch a bit after that.
That was actually the real no brainer for me since I’ve basically “grown up” with Sonic Router and had been an avid reader and listener for several years (RIP), but somehow never thought about sending them tracks. We’ve actually only done “Outlines” together so far, but rumour has it there might be something along the lines of a Tshirt and of course the release of the mysterious Bro Skyler / Joane Shuda Collabo tape on the horizon for SR.
I’m down with basically any label that´s run by people i can respect for whatever reason and that take care of proper communication and have proper distribution. Just basic stuff really, like precise and clear communication for example is very important to me, I’ve been in touch with people before on several occasions who can´t just put basic information like who/what/when in an email, which tends to draw stuff out quite a bit and in general is just annoying and can feel a bit lazy at some point. Why would I want to work with someone who can’t even just reply to my messages? Fuck that.
I feel like Seagrave get the vibes just right in this dimension. They seem very focused about what it is they want to do and have “established” themselves in quite a nice and old school-ish way in my opinion… just putting out good music by interesting artists and building a roster basically. There´s some amazing stuff coming from that camp this year still, so i guess the ones that care might wanna keep an eye out for that >>>>
We’re having a big Label Showcase / Family Gathering this month on the 28th in Berlin, which will bring peeps from all over the globe together, sometimes for the first time, it’s lovely. I’ve met/known/bumped into lots of the guys IRL (music friends in general) over the years, so it again feels very intuitive and grassroots-y/honest to me. It’s a good feeling to know there’s people out there that you´re on the same page with.
You can tell they didn’t just pop up out of nowhere.
They my Mayngos – Shout To Tim, Oli, Sam, etc.
You like to poke fun at the hyper-serious electronic music world, but your music is largely categorized in a very self-serious experimental ambient-whatever realm. How do you reconcile your persona of Broshuda with your musical context?
Do I? Not too sure if I am… I guess that impression might stem mostly from observing my Facebook persona, since i guess I´m not too overly talkative or fun, even “active” on twitter, where one nowadays usually gets the deepest “insight” into an artist’s character… that’s a spicy one… Let’s just say I enjoy keeping an open eye and ear while tending to be rather specific and nerdy about stuff. I like being really serious and focused (which I am about music and the whole realm) but also a bit, for lack of a better word, “cheeky”, it’s just part of my character I guess and I can’t really differentiate between Broshuda and myself anyway. There’s not too much of a difference I’d say.
Somewhat traditionally and funny enough some of the most serious and “avant garde” high level music persons I’ve encountered have also been some of the most laid back and just genuine and gentle characters so far.
Take your work seriously but not yourself too much might be a good ethos to go by.
Just be decent.
Your music, especially in mix form, seems to ping between recognizable pop trends, albeit experimental ones like krautrock and hip hop, and more abstracted recording tendencies.
Well, all the Mixes that I’ve done throughout the years are basically a very honest and true representation of what I’ve been listening to, whether for longer or more recent, so most of these are tracks I either play out when #veryrare djing or at home, cherished gems that mostly mean something to me, whether be it the post rock-y feeling stuff / krautrock or whatever else might be in there. For this one the Zurkas Tepla track especially takes the cake, all of his work is amazing and deserves more recognition. Not exactly sure what you mean by pop trends though since these two genres in particular have had an ebb and flow cycle in terms of interest throughout the years i think.
Fatima’s Dream feels like a pretty big step back from your dance music influences. Was that an intentional move on your part? Does it reflect your recent listening habits?
I never really considered myself a dance music inspired producer really, so I didn’t really see it as that much of a detour in my output, especially since “Fatima” and “Vanilla Sneak” are both from 2012 & 2013, so they’ve been around for a little while.
The music that is on there is basically the kind of music I do “for myself” when i´m just jamming on the synth and writing sequences that tickle my brain without thinking where I might end up. I’ve been doing these regular synth workouts for a long time now, so there’s a lot of weird bits in that dimension, as well as some more darker & heavier pieces. Free form experimentation and just taking weird turns still interests me the most. It’s all over the place 🙂
This is also somewhat of a representation of the way I’ve enjoyed music since I was a kid, growing up listening to the radio and whistling classical music and 80’s pop staples, just a sweet spot for melody overall which still leaves me feeling all cozy today. Lately I’ve been listening to Vanity’s “Samuelle” and The Car’s “Drive” pitched down on repeat for those extra #feels you sometimes didn’t even know you needed, haha.
I tried to channel some abstract childhood memories on the release, which seems to have translated to some people, which of course makes me happy. Zurkas refers to this Album as the “Memory Vortext”, which I really love.
What medium that you haven’t worked in yet would you like to/plan on working in?
Spoken Word / Installation. I’m also really up for doing more Soundtrack work again, especially Videogames and weird online sculpture bits.
Where do you generate the most trash, either physically or digitally?
Lately that would have been digitally, I’ve been pissed off about some stuff a couple weeks back and ended up generating 2gb of fucked industrial grime / breakcore one offs in two days on a new program.
What’s next for you?
SND – 13
Roger Tellier Craig – Sightings:Landfall
Glot – Vitriol Bile Pt2 (Forthcoming VGM)
Bing & Ruth – The Towns We Love Is Our Town
Actress – Againlude
Low Jack – Blinking Lights Sheep
Supreme Paris – Pussy Gangster Excerpt
Dean Blunt & Mica Levi – God Hour
Pez – Pez´s Face In Love Pt.1 Excerpt
Zuli – Dr Beckett
Zurkas Tepla – Waiting In Saab 900
Aaron David Ross – Cascade1
Madteo Ft. Sensational – Do What U Do
Ahnnu – Sugar In The Dark
Kode 9 & Flying Lotus – Kryon
Klein – Arrange
DJ Hotel & Broshuda – Kumpir
Glot – Sky Puncture
Vuptes & Broshuda – Goscha
Broshuda – Piano Bit For Richard
SD Laika – Mostly Trash Excerpt
Wu – Tang Clan – Older Gods
Sim Hutchins – Tie Me To A Rocket (And Point Me At The Ground) ((Broshuda´s DMX At McDonalds Remix) Forthcoming
Mimi Goese – Time To Go Home Now
Sim Hutchins – Silk Road Hand Grenade