Berlin-based Florian Meindl has finally emerged from the lairs of his studio to release his highly anticipated ‘Time Illusion’ album, along with a string of global shows showcasing his signature groovy, melodic and pumping techno melodies.
Fourteen years in the game as an energetic DJ, live artist, studio producer and sound designer, Florian has paved a solid road for himself in the world of underground music and continues to shine beyond the confines of his studio.
A strong connection between his hardware and own brand designs of the Riemann Kollektion and Riemann Modular, Florian’s positive attitude and immense drive behind his work means we’ll be hearing a lot more of this guy in this coming months.
We caught up him fresh out his music lab to see who is really behind all those wires…
‘Time Illusion’ comes out quite soon now, what’s your process and working routine for producing an album?
“It’s my third album and some things were the same like with the previous ones but some things have been done completely different. All albums have in common that they are released on my imprint FLASH Recordings and that they have been produced, mixed and mastered by myself and the artwork was created by the same person! But ‘Time Illusion’ was created almost only with analog gear and most tracks have been recorded live at once, not one layer after the other – this is what I had planned and realized in the past three years.”
How did you overcome creative block when making the album?
“This time I fortunately didn’t have any creative blocks, it was actually the opposite – I had 40 completely finished tracks but they were in different styles so I had to narrow it down to about 10 tracks! I think I had a good flow because there was so much to learn and discover in the analog world, each new module for my Eurorack System opened up new paths and I also played much more melodies myself than in the past.”
Talk us through your studio and the one piece of hardware or software you can’t live without?
“Let’s maybe start with the acoustics as it’s very important for me, the most expensive speaker or compressor will not unfold its full potential when the room has got too much reverb and standing waves. So I have got bass traps, wall absorbers, a ceiling absorber and a wooden diffusor.
“I use the same monitor speakers like 15 years ago when I started producing music which are the Genelec 1030A – they are still very good and I know them very well. To create club atmosphere and level I use the high end speakers “Bullfrog” from Martion audio – but I only use them to listen to mastered tracks because the have horns inside and are very dynamic and loud.
“I record everything in my DAW Cubase 8 and mix it in the Mackie 8-Bus mixer, which is a crunchy sounding 1990s mixing desk.
“Despite some synthesizers like the Virus TI or Mini Brute I use my Eurorack Modularsystem a lot, which his also the piece of gear I don’t want to miss at the moment. The possibilities and incredible and the sound can be super rich, warm and analogue.”
Being a producer and DJ, you’re pretty much your own boss with the help of an agent and manager for shows. But how do you continue to stay motivated when it comes to making a full album and ensuring to reach deadlines?
“I’m naturally motivated when the balance between everything is right, which is not always the case I agree! Sometimes I invest a lot of time, energy and also money into something where the outcome is quite unclear or risky but that’s the price you pay when you are your own boss isn’t it. Everything has got advantages and disadvantages.
“I try to avoid deadlines though because they put too much pressure on me, the better solution is to plan things so that they are realistic beforehand – but in terms of my album I wanted to release it 6 month earlier but then I kept improving stuff and the mastering and planning of vinyl manufacturing took too much longer then expected!”
Do you ever have a plan when it comes to making a certain track or do you experiment and see what happens?
“It’s almost always different, sometimes I just experiment with my gear and when something interesting comes out I take it from there – but often I hear something let’s say in a classical music piece or a jazz song and I kind of reinterpret it or merge it with other ideas. Sometimes I just want to create a certain atmosphere so at the beginning it is unclear if the track will have a beat or not!”
Would you say being a producer and DJ can be a lonely life?
“Not necessarily but in my case yes – but for most of my productions I need to be alone and fully concentrated.
“Traveling to gigs can be a bit frustrating if it gets too much, especially with long overseas flights but sometimes I take my girlfriend with me or just use the time to read – so I really would never complain about that!”
What’s your plan for the next few months?
“I’m playing gigs and I’m already working on new material, this time maybe also for other labels as well and maybe there will be album remixes in October!”
Florian’s new album ‘Time Illusion’ is out now.