ProtoU – “The Edge Of Architecture” Interview (ambient/drone)

ProtoU-The-Edge-of-Architecture-610x610When it comes to the cinematic dark ambient/drone artists on the Cryo Chamber label, we often find that the album-specific interviews are indeed enjoyed by the readers.  Furthermore, in some cases a review seems less appropriate than do the words coming from the artists themselves.

The Edge of Architecture is the latest release from ProtoU on Cryo Chamber.  Sasha was once again kind enough to answer some of our questions about the album.

The new album.. “The Edge of Architecture” starts off with some very interesting sound samples.  Could you talk about them and their source material?

Thanks for mentioning that. Those samples are random radio transmissions I have found at I edited them, rolled some distortion over to glue everything together and here we have it. Those were meant to put the listener into the atmosphere of the album. Pure everyday experience. City that always surrounds you.

According to CryoChamber, the Edge of Architecture “probes into the future of the modern age.”  Could you talk about the general theme that you had in mind when you were in the process of writing?

When I started composing this album I was inspired by Blade Runner atmosphere and urbanistic grounds I saw while I was traveling in my city and in the foreign countries. Each city has it’s soul, whether it is warm and natural or cold and iron. This characteristic made me understand that music can describe this stiff yet very interesting emotions of buildings that keep emotions and history of thousands. 

Has anything changed in your studio equipment since your last release?

Yes, a bit. my friends gifted me small and comfy midi keyboard that is good for traveling, live performances and home production. Also I started using microphones more often. 

Speaking of field recordings, where were some of them done for this album?

This album contains field recordings I gathered with Dronny Darko in Kyiv, Egypt and Berlin. 

If there ever was a “Cryo Chamber” fest with several of the artists do you think you would try to weave in pieces from your albums, improvise by yourself on the spot or improvise with someone else on the spot?

Haha, that’s actually a good question. When I perform I use pieces of my album, different layers, field recordings, slow beats and percussions and improvise with those, so I really could do it anywhere on the spot. Even unprepared.

How is this release a further exploration of the previous albums?…an evolving theme perhaps?

I always enjoyed narratives when it comes to music. This time as well as with Khmaoch I was exploring themes I touched on my first collaboration album Earth Songs with Dronny Darko where we expressed the story from the beginning of times to an event where we leave our home. I sort of had 3 chapters in mind. Khmaoch was the first and about the most primal side of things. Referring to the first part of the Earth Songs. The Edge of Architecture is more about the middle part of it. Days we live in. Somewhat related to the track Singularity on Earth Songs. Modern world with all it’s glory and horror. 3rd and final chapter about leaving our home world is in progress at the moment 😉

It almost seems with this new album that you further tried to blur the lines between the ambient/drone tracks and the field recordings?  Was this a conscious decision?

That was not intentional 🙂 I guess it came out this way by itself since I like to experiment a lot. A lot of those tracks were done long time ago. Some even before Lost Here, my debut solo album. I edited them and overall they had a very cohesive feel and the concept was born. It’s not that I try to make something crazy but more importantly something that entertains the ear. Makes you come back to the release and re discover it rather than following trends and making an album about Chernobyl or something surfaced like that. 

When creating an album, do you generally try to place yourself in the middle of the “scene” or do you generally view things from a third person perspective?

I think in my works the listener is always the main character. I try to tell stories that everyone can embrace without any special knowledge. So that you could just drown in them and float freely. 

How do you successfully evoke the image of a stationary object with sound and how do you approach doing so differently when you are creating an album with someone on the other side of the planet?

The thing about collaboration is different only in a way that you don’t jam together. To be honest I was jamming only with Dronny Darko for the Earth Songs. We edited everything afterwards. I think Explosion was the only track we didn’t edit at all. It was so good to jam it and magically it turned out pretty good 🙂
Regarding my other collaboration works those are mostly studios that sync. After all it’s all done and tweaked in the studio with proper atmosphere and mostly in solitude to get the vibe going. It’s really important to catch the idea. If you succeeded in doing so – it’s a beautiful beautiful day 🙂

If you could set up your studio anywhere on the planet and record field recordings and then create the album right there… where would you do it?

Definitely a place where there’s a lot of nature around. Maybe somewhere near the ocean or in the mountains. Or both haha 🙂 I’m very inspired after taking a walk in the forest, by the sea or any place where nature is in charge. Those are places where you feel we are all one with the nature and you feel the cycle of life that drowns you in a sort of tranquility. This all makes you feel as one with everything. You are everything!
Here’s a link to a previous interview we did with ProtoU/Hilyard for their collaboration:

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