Joshua Schwarm On The 32 Bar Loop Curse

Joshua Schwarm is a new artist from Hamburg, Germany who has a promising future ahead of him.

Hi Joshua Schwarm, thank you for talking to us. How has your year been so far?

Joshua Schwarm: Hi guys, pleased to meet you and thanks for having me. It’s an honour. My year was great so far. I decided to strip down on my daily job to focus on what I always wanted to do on a more professional level – music production. Feels good to escape the daily grind and finally waste your time with things that really matter to me. The last month were full of new experiences in the studio as I am pretty new to the techno genre and I am still trying to find my very own style.

How were you introduced into the electronic music scene and were there any tracks that gave you that eureka moment to start producing?

Joshua Schwarm: Electronic music (beside a lot of other genres) has always accompanied me. From Drum & Bass to House Music to Electronica, etc… My job involves a lot of audio engineering, programming and mixing – there has never really been that eureka moment or a special track I rather slided into it quite gently because I am surrounded by sequencers, mixing consoles and audio equipment all day.

How would you describe the electronic music scene in Germany?

Joshua Schwarm: It’s a higly vibrant and forward thinking scene I would say. With Berlin as a hotspot and many other cities like Hamburg we have a really solid community of producer, clubs, festivals, etc… It seems like Germany provides a lot space where artists, promoters and clubowners have the freedom to be creative and are able to keep the scene alive.

What are your favourite clubs?

Joshua Schwarm: Watergate / Berlin Pal / Hamburg Blitz / Munich

With your EP ‘Slingshot’ coming out soon on Friso Traas’ label EXYZT, was there a particular theme you were going for on the release?

Joshua Schwarm: Good question. Hahaha… unexpectedly not really. I was actually just trying stuff out. I guess this is how music production works in the beginning or even in general. You just have to go with the flow and see where it leads you. For now I am trying to stay away from limiting myself to a certain synthesizer or a particular sample bank or so… I just want to experience all options (which is impossible, I know) and I have the feeling that after a while your very own style will slowly evolve to hopefully a point where people understand your way of producing music as a piece of art that significantly distinguishes from what other producer do.

Who were your main influences on the EP?

Joshua Schwarm: I don’t really have a particular artist or song in mind that influenced me in the production process. Indeed I am trying to stay away from listening too much to what other people do. When I get home I usually jump on soundcloud and browse all kind of genres. Lately, lo-fi hip hop gives me a good feeling when I do my household. I listen to a lot of piano music or classical stuff, lot’s of Indie stuff. Drum & Bass from my workout. My girlfriend listens to a lot of german hip hop, trap… she loves Drake (I don’t really!). What I am trying to say is that all these genres influence me not a certain artist or song or label. It is more about the whole picture of music that surrounds me. I hope that makes sense.

What challenges do you face when it comes to producing music and what do you enjoy the most about it?

Joshua Schwarm: Finishing a song is definitely a huge challenge. Probably the biggest by far. I bet most producers are more than aware of this issue. It’s always so easy to have a 32 bar loop that just grooves like hell but when it comes to arranging it and making it to an actual song it collapses a lot of times. A very frustrating thing to experience… lol What I enjoy most about producing is losing the feeling for time. It sometimes feels like a day could pass by without food and water and I would still sit there and do my thing. Music production shows me that life is actually simple. Do what you love, love what you do.

Are there any artists you’d love to collaborate with if given the chance to?

Joshua Schwarm: Oh yes there are a lot. To name a few. I’d love to work with Martin Buttrich, Tale Of Us, Bonobo and Stephan Bodzin.

Apart from electronic artists, do you have any favourite artists from other genres and do they make an impact on your production?

Joshua Schwarm: Definitely a lot and yes, as I mentioned earlier they have a certain impact on what I produce. Kind of hard to describe but they build this huge cloud of music that surrounds my head and constantly influences me on a rather subconscious level. Just throwing in a few names here: Nils Frahm, Bonobo, Jono McCleery, Lambert, Douglas Dare, LTJ Bukem, Portico, Anderson Paak, Solange, Robert Glasper, James Vincent McMorrow…

What is your normal day to day life like outside of music?

Joshua Schwarm: Erm… nothing flashy… hahaha… I have a three day work week and the rest of my time I try to spent (first and foremost) in the studio, with my girlfriend, my friends and doing sports every now and then.

What are your plans for the future?

Joshua Schwarm: Focusing on music production and just working on building my very own style.

If a song were to play every time you enter a room, kind of like your own theme tune, what would it be?

Joshua Schwarm: Nils Frahm & Olafur Arnalds – Wide Ope


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