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The Renaissance Man Project

The endlessly creative former architects speak to us about their latest productions on Turbo Recordings

The Finnish duo, Renaissance Man, who built their early repertoire of tracks around memorable samples of dancefloor-halting foghorns have come a long way in taking a right turn of exciting new sounds. Their consistently high levels of creativity show how the former architects are in it for the long haul, remixing the likes of Brodinski, WhoMadeWho, Crystal Fighters, HEALTH, and Azari & III.

Since first releasing their famed 'Spraycan' on Switch's Dubsided, they've moved on to grace Parisian labels Kitsuné and Sound Pellegrino, whilst their new single, "When You Do What You Do" is taken from their album on Tiga's Turbo Recordings. Here Dazed speak to them about the current state of production and their future sounds.

Dazed Digital: How has your 'sound' changed since you first started producing?
Martti Kalliala:
The first track I ever produced was a hip hop 'beat' made by sampling the Swedish hit Sommartider by Gyllenetider using two tape decks. This was in 1992. I would say there has been some change along the way.
Ville Haimala:
My first song was titled "Loser" and we wrote it with our skate punk band, 'Hangover'. We were 13 and looking at it now, I had no clue what a hangover is. As Renaissance Man our sound has moved forward with a pretty steady pace throughout its existence. I think developing something new – at least new to us – is the whole basis and driving force of the project, so indeed one could say it's a conscious choice.

DD: Do you think having your new release on Turbo makes a clear move away from what you were doing before or is it more of a continuation of themes?
Ville Haimala
: We didn't want to have any label involved when we were writing and recording the album, and the finished record doesn't really represent the "sound" of any specific imprint. We became friends with the guys at Turbo some years ago and when we sent them the record they really loved it. That was the initial reason to go with them for this album.

DD: How would you describe your new record?
Martti Kalliala
: It's the sound of critical house and post-tropical techno.
Ville Haimala
: A journalist described to me that on this record the "groove is in the air, and you need to know how to catch it". It doesn't really make any sense, but it sure was a funny description. For me the album is most importantly a container spacious enough to explore ideas all around the board. A testing ground. This was also a great chance for collaboration with people we know and admire. We had a chance to work with some great musicians K-X-P and Tuomas Toivonen on two tracks and also part of the music was written for fashion show for Bernhard Wilhelm and Heikki Salonen. The visual side is equally important the project. The record covers and the first video were created by our friends at Åbäke.

DD: Do you feel there is an over-saturation of similar sounds in electronic music at the moment and is it a necessary element in making music to create things that are new?
Martti Kalliala
: It is a truism that 90% of any type of cultural or artistic production is meaningless / bad / unnecessary / generic / uninspired / expendable. Why do anything else than strive to be in the remaining decile. Seriously – regardless of succeeding in it or not – why would anyone do anything less? I do not get it.
Ville Haimala: I have nothing to add.

DD: Having worked together for years, are you/have you thought about doing solo projects from each other too?
Martti Kalliala:
Yes, I'm producing a 12-year-old wunderkind called Critical Theo who's currently finishing his PhD in Literary Theory. Hopefully he and his magic will be released into the world after his dissertation.
Ville Haimala
: We both have also other projects in the works, although musically this will remain as the main output. I kind off accidentally made a pop album with my friend Norman this summer and I'm also practicing some new techniques for future projects.

DD: What are you listening to at the moment?
Martti Kalliala:
Bandcamp hip hop.
Ville Haimala: Trying to learn to enjoy dissonance. Not sure if that will ever happen.

DD: What's next?
Martti Kalliala:
Ville Haimala:
Hova Toff, Millennium and Madgermany. Some experiments in video making. And of course the album release tour.

Turbo CD 032: Renaissance Man – The Renaissance Man Project will be released October 31st, 2011 courtesy of Turbo Recordings