The Theory of Entropy: A Conversation with Airborn

Back in May we took an Echosynthetic deep dive into the music of Airborn. You can find that article HERE, but I also recommend you head over to his Bandcamp page and do some exploring for yourself. Why? Because as much as I covered I was only able to scratch the surface of what’s there. Airborn’s discography is full of little treasures that reveal themselves over multiple listens, so by all means do a deep dive of your own so that you can experience them for yourself.

To celebrate the release of Airborn’s new record Entropy this week, we decided to talk to the man behind the music and dig a little deeper.

Thanks so much for talking with us! What can you tell us about Airborn for someone who might be new to your music?

Thank you so much for reaching out, always further than most, in order to get more insight into the creative world of the artists and people who appreciate their work. Much respect for that.

As someone who is new to my music, I would suggest to keep an open mind and give some tracks more than 1 listen, since my works are intricate, and with subtle touches, that true music lovers can maybe recognize and could appreciate the effort that I pour into these compositions.

My styles are also rather varied, so there should be at least one or two tracks that someone might enjoy as a listener or a fellow producer.

You have a new record about to hit named Entropy. How do you feel now that it’s done and ready to be released?

Entropy has been a concept in the making for the past 2 years. Now that this weight is off my shoulders, I am just anxious about next week when it hits, since I am already going to start pursuing another record release. I even might focus on a heavily jazz-influenced, and contemporary classical sound.

Label releases do take a while after the contract has been signed and the artwork and track listings have been approved, but in the meantime my mind is always racing towards the new audible horizons I can reach, so it isn’t like I am going to take a well deserved break after this release. Music waits for nobody, it is there to be explored, created and exposed to the world, all the way to infinity.

Can you tell us more about the theory of entropy concept that is embedded into the record?

In general, the theory behind entropy is that everything succumbs to a state of constant, and sometimes unnoticed degradation, slow destruction and atrophy into oblivion. For me, however, the human being, us as a species, and all life on this planet in general, is like a middle finger to entropy and the surrounding universe, because we are made and born in order to fight entropy. We try to build, create, sculpt and construct in spite of this universally occurring law in the cosmos. This empowers me as a human and artist as well.

It is the impetus that is embedded into our essence, that drives us, and renders entropy non-existent.

You’re an Ableton guru. Why do you think it is such a great platform?

Ableton is just right, and the community is way more supportive and outward looking than other DAW communities I have encountered. The interface design is top notch, highly customizable, even visually, and it is the ultimate tool for live performances and DJ-ing. I will be relying only on Ableton for my future tour concerts or any gig I have coming up this year or next.

Ableton has been programmed to work with a HUGE range of MIDI products intended for live performances or studio recordings. I also like that it just feels professional and minimalist, in every aspect. Easy to use, hard to master, I have been trying to master it since 2010, but I am even to this day still learning, and even running a mixing & mastering course at the moment with Point Blank music school from London. It’s not that Ableton or any DAW is a mystery to solve, but it has so many options in terms of built-in instruments, synths, FX, and general samplers and sound modification that for me it is almost an adventure every time I sit down and try to come up with the next track or project. A whole lotta Ableton fun.

What is your recording set up?

I currently use an AKAI APC20 as my studio mixer, MIDI controller and DJ tool. I also own a Behringer C1 mic, and other than that I try to rely on my studio pc with 2 monitors so I can run ableton on 2 screens. This way I can quickly flow form the mixer screen to the arrangement view. As a struggling artist in Bulgaria, it takes time to gather up finances for further tech improvements, but I am already researching what knob surfaces to get to supplement my APC20 set-up, so that I can play around with lots of FX and filters that I can add to my set-up. Other than that I keep it tight and practical, because I learned to be a wizz at the mouse and keyboard classic combo. I didn’t start off with any tech apart from the PC basics (mouse+keyboard), so for me it’s good experience, because now I can work at any time anywhere, without having to rely on third party stuff if I want to jot down a quick demo.

What do you listen to when you aren’t recording?

I listen to a lot of artists who post their music on forums such as the /mu/ board on 4chan, I also listen to synthwave and any 80s related stuff, when I find links that pop up on my twitter and facebook feeds. But I do like jazz, rock music and pretty much anything that has some synth and guitar action, as I am a guitar player myself. But I mostly listen to deadmau5, Matt Lange, Porter Robinson, Falling in Reverse, Jon Hopkins. Oh and Mick Gordon’s DOOM soundtrack.

Where do you see electronic music headed as a whole and what are you doing to affect it?

Music right now is diverse and beautiful, as long as you are willing to go look for it. We need to invest in even more beauty, because music made for selling only is shallow and dull. I am still rather confident that nothing is going downhill, sure some genres come and go, but that’s just because they have become a meme, but people didn’t embrace it, this is why dubstep is considered dead by many people, and most of the listeners just shrug it off. I try to contribute to the expanding list of tracks, soundscapes and genres, by doing a lot of work in MOST genres that I like to listen to myself. After all, not to seem very egocentric, but artists also make music that they want to listen to for themselves, and our tastes are changing more rapidly, but that’s a good thing.

Any advice to new artists just hitting the scene?

Any new artist that is trying to go for a musical career should at least know music theory AND to play an instrument, any kind of instrument, because if you don’t feel the music physically, you won’t feel it mentally and the end results will be very underwhelming. Try going for chord progressions, melody writing, and the rest will flow on its own. Also don’t try to push your music to your idols. All my musical idols have blocked me on social media, but at least I am now motivated to become my own idol, now that they have turned their backs on me. Last advice would be to not be afraid to use samples, just don’t throw it into your track, but play around with it, modulate it, tinker with parameters on your DAW, and be surprised what new sound can spring up from the simplest note hits or midi chord progressions.

What are your biggest creative influences?

My biggest creative influencer is definitely deadmau5, because he is too smart for his own good, his music is technically perfect and superior to any track that gets released nowadays. His mixes are tight, his feel of melancholic and profound melodies and drums is out of this world, so I feel a kinship with Joel, that sadly he has yet to acknowledge.

Any parting words?

I would like to part with these words: Engaging people into dialogue, whether it be on the street or online works wonders. Communication is the key to success, and good times in general. This goes also for artists who are just joining the music scene. Try to talk to people, privately as well, you never know what kind of person (a whole universe of a person) is sitting opposite of you, just waiting to share something amazing with you, and make the world a more colorful place for us to enjoy. Stay strong and persistent, and know that life is wonderful if you just decide to be bold enough to live it. Much love and respect to all.

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