Vasilis Kesalidis, born and bred in Thessaloniki, has been active as a music producer for the last ten years, now being in a position to showcase an impressively diverse range of electronic music, through projects such as One Arc Degree, Fabrics, Space Scavengers, and Speedhack, among others.
His solo works, as Spinnet, usually orbit around his drum & bass, techno, dub, and ambient influences. Regarding discography, he has released three LPs so far (VIM Records and Exosphere), numerous singles, EPs and remixes throughout the last ten years on various imprints, including Literature Recordings, Ortem, Black Crane and Regression Media.
How is the Thessaloníki electronic music scene other than the Reworks International Festival?
I’m embarrassed to say I’m not the right person to answer this question since my nightlife is pretty much non-existent these last few years. I know that afro-tropical dance music is a current trend and some variants of techno still rule the club life here. Other than that, there is a strong bass/dubstep/drum ‘n’ bass crew organizing big events. Nothing on the deeper, atmospheric side of things though, I’m afraid.
With the power of Google, I found someone who looks like you holds a Master of Science in Theoretical Physics. If so, that is an unbelievable achievement. Can you confirm this?

Yes, I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Physics right here in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and then took my Master of Science in Theoretical Physics from Utrecht University, in the Netherlands. Currently, I teach physics for a living, in secondary education.

There is a concrete connection between your science discipline and electronic music. Can you elaborate on the process of toggling the creative hemispheres of the brain?

Approaching the arrangement of a music piece as a problem to solve, I guess. After the initial phase of experimenting and following the creative flow, I tend to get very analytical about the whole process. I usually have a pretty clear idea of what I want my next release to sound like, be it album or EP, and I like to plan ahead at least a few releases.

You are ambidextrous (exempli gratia Space Scavengers; Fabrics). How were you able to decipher the right production ingredients that each genre needs?

It’s quite easy really, because One Arc Degree, Space Scavengers and Fabrics are all collaboration projects with different people. So I just have to allow what they bring on the table to shine through and find the best way to compliment that with my musical character. After a few years of producing, we have a more or less clear idea of where we want to take each project. For example, One Arc Degree is always about emotive and deeply melodic soundscapes while Space Scavengers are more firmly rooted in dub techno. As Spinnet, I get the freedom to explore other, more personal paths, lately experimenting a lot in the 85/170 domain. I took the formula to a space-themed cinematic ambient style, for example, in my last LP called “Syzygies”.

Less is more. Do you find that you tend to narrow down your music tools to only a couple out of many? How do you approach music production?

I would definitely describe it as …spartan! I make everything in the box, other than recording a few vocals or instruments from time to time. A couple of midi keyboards and my computer is what I use. Regarding digital instruments and effects, I usually stick to just a few and use the same techniques when I’m writing an album or an EP, so that the tracks will come together more easily. I try to switch tools and techniques over different albums though. In fact, I deliberately try to make each album I write very different from the previous one.

The future NOW Dnb producers incorporate the 85 bpm as the root and the 170 bpm as the branches and leaves. As a Dj, do you notice more club patrons dancing to the deeper strands of Drum and Bass?

I’m afraid not, not here in Thessaloniki at least. I think techno will always lead in the clubs and maybe rightfully so. I love the 85/170 framework and all the possibilities it gives me as a producer but I also love the 115-130 domain and it doesn’t always have to be four to the floor!

I frequented Steve’s, a Greek Restaurant in Boston, it was my best experience eating Gyro. How good is your cooking?

I’m not too bad, just a bit rusty nowadays because my lovely wife is doing most of the cooking. When I do cook, I enjoy making fried rice fusions, baked stuffed mushrooms, and salads.

According to UN General Assembly President María Garcés, 11 years are all that remain to avert a climate change catastrophe. Music is a powerful tool that can change the hearts of the people. Why do you think the electronic music industry is slow to take any action?

I believe that the climate crisis goes hand in hand with the socio-political crisis we are experiencing on a global scale. Capitalism is driving us as a species to extinction. Unless there are huge, historic political events right at the turn of this decade, I think the situation is irreversible. Electronic music has been at least implicitly political in the past (eg. disco/house/techno music and homosexual rights back in the 80s or the rave subculture of the 90s) but now everything seems assimilated by the mainstream. I’m not optimistic.

Space Travel is inevitable. Since you are a well-trained physicist, how would the acoustics play in space?

More or less the same way they do in a tin can! I think there is little point in treating acoustically the inside of a space shuttle. Why not supply the travelers with top of the shelf wireless headphones running over a stereo/surround simulation software. There are some very decent commercial ones already!

What are your plans for the future?

Stay healthy, creative and playful.


Download Episode

Tracklist:

1 Spinnet – Exterior Minor [Ortem]
2 Untitled – Untitled
3 ASC – Router [Auxiliary]
4 Untitled – Untitled [Literature Recordings dub]
5 DYL – Interwind World Gate 2 [Literature Recordings]
6 Untitled – Untitled [Literature Recordings dub]
7 Lyterian – Satyr [Space Cadets]
8 Synth Sense – Red Skies [Auxiliary]
9 Spinnet – Vicious Walks [Exosphere]
10 Istota – Space Prison [Ronin Ordinance]
11 Driftsystem – Willow [forthcoming Black Crane]
12 Grey Goo – Lost Transmissions [Darkestral]
13 Aquatone – AQ4 (Paracusia Remix) [Regression Media]
14 Metro – Bad Funk [Ortem]
15 Instra:mental – Rogue [Darkestral]
16 Untitled – Untitled
17 Untitled – Untitled
18 Spinnet – Hyperelliptic [Literature Recordings]
19 Central Industrial – Intrusion Countermeasures Electronica [Auxiliary]
20 Untitled – Untitled
21 Projekt 22 & Owl – Bodiless Interception [Literature Recordings]
22 Untitled – Untitled [Literature Recordings dub]
23 One Arc Degree – Teleute [Synphaera]

Equipment used:
Ableton 10

Links:

Spinnet – Phuturistic Bluez Podcast Episode 9

Category: InterviewPodcast