III

It’s no big secret that we’ve been keeping an eye out (or rather an ear) for Dimitri Grimm aka Dimlite. The last time we spotted him he was throwing down at a Brainfeeder party at the Fabric in London. It was an insane night, and Needless to say, he was killing it. So we got hella amped the other week when we got word that he’s back; this time editing and producing a monster of experimental / contemporary music, a project called UFO. UFO is a three piece based in Switzerland. They are: Michael Anklin, Lukas Huber and Robert Torche. However, for their latest offering, the long player entitled “III“ they’ve enlisted an army of musicians (quite literally) and sound artists, to redefine the idea of producing and writing music. And Mr. Grimm was the one that made sense of the aftermath by editing and mixing the final version of the record.

“III” will be released on A Tree in a Field Records on the 24th of February. Pre-order on Bandcamp now. We caught up with Lukas to find out more about hydra headed project.

Brooklyn Radio: We haven’t heard from Dimlite in ages – what’s he been up to?

Lukas Huber: He‘s still making a lot of music and he is still very innovative. He‘s just not using the alias „Dimlite“ for it at the moment. So check out his page https://www.dimgrimm.com/ and the answer will be given in form of music.

Brooklyn Radio: So what was his role in this record, because he’s not a part of UFO per se?

Lukas Huber: No, he‘s not part of the core ensemble of UFO, but since we‘re an openly structured band, almost anybody could be part of UFO at some point. Dim‘s role on our new record was to find a suitable order for the tracks he received, as well as to generate some tracks himself, and to find a coherent sound for the whole record.

Brooklyn Radio: How did you guys hook up in the first place?

Lukas Huber: One of our core members met him at a concert and they started talking about electronic music. So when we thought about the artists we want to collaborate with on „III“, his name popped up…

Brooklyn Radio: In a way this record takes a whole new approach towards improvisation, correct? Did you have any preset parameters for the process, or was it all unscripted from the beginning to the end?

Lukas Huber: We knew, that recording free improv is contradicting, since it‘s probably the purest performance-genre in music; we decided, that it doesn‘t make sense to just record and mix free improv sessions.
So what we did is recording in several free improv sessions with various artists, then gave each session to a different – not necessarily previously involved – artist to work on (they all were free in their approach), and then again gave all the received tracks to Dim Grimm, in order to bring them together. It was important to us to let the recordings pass different, independent steps, in order to see, if and how it is possible to work with recordings of free improvisation at all.

Brooklyn Radio: Are you happy with the result?

Lukas Huber: We‘re very happy with the result, since we were quite surprised. And that was the whole purpose: Keeping the music alive by finding a – previously – unpredictable way of putting it on a record.

Brooklyn Radio: We’re featuring UFO 5 (Valentin Liechti) here, can you tell us a bit about this song, the initial improv session and how it evolved into this final version?

„Lukas Huber: 5 (Valentin Liechti)“ ist probably the only track, that can stand for itself. It will, nevertheless, still mean something different in the context of the whole record. And to be honest: I have no idea, from which session the material was coming that Valentin Liechti is using on „5 (Valentin Liechti)“ – as I said before, all the post-production artists were completely free in their approach and some of them went further away from the original material then others. Valentin used sounds from our recordings that he liked and created something new on that fundament.

Brooklyn Radio: Being that the production was so layered and featured so many different artists – is it even possible to take this record out on tour?

Lukas Huber: That was never the purpose. The record stands for itself! Of course the sound colours are often very close to what we‘re doing, but as I said before, free improv is quite a pure performance-genre. On the other hand, it could be interesting to see what happens, if we try to transform something into a live-version, that originated from a live-event, but then took a completely different shape. Let us think about that!

Brooklyn Radio: What’s next for the UFO?

Lukas Huber: Maybe finding a way of playing „III“ live!? Besides that, I guess there‘s probably a change of direction coming, since „III“ is such a satisfying product of our engagement with free improvisation, and we‘d like to see how we can use the gained knowledge in different contexts – after all this was one of the main reasons why we founded UFO in the first place.