D//E Interviews: Robot Koch // Foam and Sand

Having moved on from the days of Jahcoozi, Robot Koch has grown to become a prolific, acclaimed and all around successful producer in the world of underground electronic music and beyond. Especially lately, the artist has delivered a series of incredible releases, including Sphere and The Next Billion Years, and is currently preparing to unveil a full length under the different moniker, Foam and Sand.

In the interview which follows, Robot has a plethora of interesting things to say about his work and more.

How has your music evolved since your first releases as a solo artist?

It has become more subtle. It uses less elements and has a different intention. I was more and more attracted by subtlety on a personal level too. And simplicity, not in a dumbed-down way, but in a way of making things more about their essence. And I payed attention to what kind of effect music has on my body, I started to pay more attention to how things felt in my body, what soothes my nervous system and what agitated it. And then I wanted to make the kind of music that felt good in my body with the intention to also make other people feel that way.

What are some of your earliest memories involving music?

Sitting at my mom`s piano and just pressing one key while holing down the sustain pedal and hearing how it reverberated in the room.

How do you distinguish the music you write for Foam and Sand from that created under your own name?

Foam and Sand is all tape-loop based. That`s how the project started and there is always something at least running through a tape in these tracks. Also, it`s all ambient. There are no beats in Foam and Sand, when I do stuff as Robot Koch there are usually more percussive elements at play, not always, but often. The process is also more intuitive. I don`t try to perfect these tracks as much, some of them stay in the same raw and unpolished way that they came to me, I don`t fine tune them as much as I would on a Robot Koch track.

How would you describe Foam and Sand's artistic purpose?

The job of the artist, whether shaman, painter or musician is to reach beyond current human knowledge into the realm of the unimagined and bring back something useful for the community. It`s an intuitive process of expressing something I don't have words for. That`s true for my music in general. With Foam and Sand I think I intend it to be even more of a sound healing experience for the listeners.

What would you say the new Foam and Sand album is about, and how was the creation of it?

It`s about that, it`s about communicating without words, creating resonance between me and the people who are in resonance with what I created. Or what came through me. Often times I just think of myself as a vessel for ideas to come through.

Did you put forth an effort to creatively maximize your time in quarantine?

No, I did have a lot of time but I was not ambitious about doing anything with it. It just happened, it was not a planned effort. In fact it was not effort at all. It was all play.

What is the theme of the Circles series? Will the concept continue to evolve?

It will continue and by that it will evolve. Into which shape exactly I don`t know but I´m excited to find out.

What are some of your preferred tools for making music?

Tapes, analog synths, field recordings, all sort of acoustic instruments.

Your music has been featured in a lot of movies and TV shows. Would you be interested in focusing more on a career as a film composer?

I really enjoy writing music to picture. I`d like to continue doing more of it for sure but I don´t think I want to be a full time film composer. I enjoy working in a team but I also enjoy working by myself and not have anyone give me any notes on my work. As a film composer you need to be open to receiving feedback and respect requests about changes by the director or the producer. I`m happy to wear that hat sometimes but I also enjoy deciding when a piece is finished myself.

What qualities do you seek in a collaboration?

I think some of the best music happens in collaboration, so I guess I look for an element of surprise and synergies.

Do you have any aspirations in other forms of art?

I´m interested in many other forms of creative expression, especially if they are offering a new form of experience. My immersive full dome show Sphere which I co-created with visual artist Mickael Le Goff was an example of something that is more than music and I`d like to create more immersive experiences like that, in different forms.

What other things, besides music, have had a big influence on your creativity?

Nature, silence, meditation.

What does your immediate future hold?

The Foam and Sand album comes out March 17th, I`m focusing on that for now but I have a lot of new music in the making, as well as some other very exciting projects. so there will be more to talk about when the time is right. I always like to keep things under the lid until they`re ready to be shared.

Artist photo by Neil Kryszak

Robot Koch Bandcamp | Spotify | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Foam and Sand Bandcamp | Spotify | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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