Photo: Press (Lapien)
Nick Lapien studied sound and composition before relocating to Berlin to pursue… Well, many careers at once. The part-time photographer has released records under four different monikers, out of which only one really is a collaborative project. However, Lapien this year mostly made a name for himself with his own last name: DVS1 released not one, but two EPs by the Dutchman on his Mistress imprint and a follow-up single is due in the middle of September on Radio Slave’s Rekids. We spoke with Lapien about his astonishing output, the state of politics and digging for poetry recitals in Greece. Listen to Lapien’s mix contribuation to our Groove podcast below our interview with him.
Apart from releasing under your last name and being a member of the more Techno-orientated Artefakt along Robin Koek, you have also released records under the Metropolis and Nepal monikers. Where do you draw the line between the four projects, how would you characterise them?
Its hard to put this into words, but I think there are both significant differences and parallels between the projects. The Artefakt sound is definitely a result of the great synergy between Robin and me. We have been working together for a long time and he has a set of skills and an approach that I admire and that really complements my way of working, and vice versa. It’s rooted in our shared love for both Ambient and hypnotic voodoo Techno. Metropolis started as a small concept project, inspired by the 1927 Fritz Lang classic, that got out of hand. I made 4 tracks in one day which all landed on my first EP on Other Heights, and it developed from there. I kind of grew up musically with the Dutch coast sound – Bunker, Crème Organisation – which you can definitely hear that in my current releases on Pinkman Records. Lapien is probably the most personal project. Because it is just me, and is not based on an external concept, it most clearly reflects my mood and personality.
You have just released not one, but two EPs for DVS1’s Mistress Recordings, both of which are clearly linked by their titles. What ties the Something To Tell You and the Something To Show You EPs together?
Stylistically there are many parallels between the two EPs and the tracks have been made in the same period, in which a lot was going in my personal life. Which always seems to put some kind of footprint on the work you do. Besides that, my production methods were similar. You invent some interesting new combinations of sounds and try them out in different context which can lead to an EP. Or Two.
Next up is your debut on Radio Slave’s Rekids imprint. The record’s title implies a sort of statement is being made with A Change Is Gonna Come. How would you put this statement into words?
The last months I’ve been obsessing over current political and social climate in Europe, and the world. I can’t help but feel that something big is about to happen. And besides the atmosphere being rather apocalyptic, there is also a hint of revolution in the air. The feeling that something has to, and will, change. Every reaction has its counter reaction. Just look at Kiev, where, amidst the ongoing conflict, a cultural revival is happening. Sometimes things need to be shaken up! So, in contrast with the EPs on Mistress that hinted towards a more personal story, this EP is thematically less about me and more about the environment I live in.
You are very keen on including “finding original sound sources” in your productions. As a DJ, do you also try to mix things up a bit by mixing in unexpected sounds?
I think every DJ is trying to get his hands of the hottest shit that no-one else has, and everyone has its own methods for this. Lately, I’ve been going through hours and hours of jam sessions, recorded at different occasion, for example at the improvised electronics events we organise in Berlin by the name Equations. I cut out some interesting parts to use them in my DJ-sets. There is also one hidden in this mix. Besides that, I like to play unreleased stuff from my friends, other producers I admire and that I exchange music with. And I’m always looking for strange records. Last week I was in Athens and I bought a record with a recording of a poetry recital! I already have a small collection of ‘non-music’ records that I use for layering over more conventional tracks.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I’ve learned that working with a preconceived idea often limits my creativity. The best things come out when you just let go. With that said, I did find it interesting to bring elements of live jamming into a DJ-mix, both by using excerpts from live jams, and by layering tracks and using the material more freely. And of course it’s great to have a platform to present your own favourite unreleased grooves!
Stream: Lapien – Groove Podcast 72
01. Artefakt – Tapestry (Unreleased)
02. Daniel Jacques – Mind your step (Unreleased)
03. Equations jam excerpt 01 – Aroma Pitch & Archaic Space
04. Steffi – Tank (Beat) (o-ton58)
05. Look Like – Unknown ëQH (Mistress 09, upcoming)
06. Equations jam excerpt 02 – Aroma Pitch crew & Archaic Space
07. Efdemin – There Will be Singing (Efdemin S Future Edit) (dialrec056)
08. Peggy Gou – Troop (Galcher Lustwerk Remix) (REKIDS085)
09. Jayson Wynters – Science – (PG053S)
10. Sonofdistantearth – Koan (LT009)
11. Steven Tang – Verged (AES010)
12. Manoo – Kromosome X
13. Additional Pad loops
14. Ferrer & Sydemham – Timbuktu (Pan-African Electro Dub) (IRC078)
15. Lapien – A Change is Gonna COme (REKIDS093, upcoming)
16. White Material – 1 Does Not Kno (WM004)
17. Alan Lomax on Dance & Human History