Pow-Low on sound design, Zürich’s local scene and his ‘Fibonacci’ EP

We sit down with PSYCLE. label boss Pow-Low ahead of his forthcoming ‘Fibonacci’ EP

You’re about to release your new EP ‘Fibonacci’ on your own PSYCLE. imprint, we’ve got the exclusive premiere on the lead track which you can hear but for those who haven’t heard the whole project could you tell us a bit more about it?

Fibonacci: Music is a very mathematic art. I am fascinated by how composers such Mozarts, Beethoven (almost deaf), Debussy a.m.o. have used consciously or subconsciously the Fibonacci sequence. So with my track dedicated to the Italian mathematician Fibonacci, I tried to use chords based on Fibonacci-numbers and some highlights happen around “Fibonacci-measures” throughout the structure of the song. (34, 55, 89 and 144 and 233). Many modern compositions f.e. by Pink or Queen are based on Fibonacci-numbers as well. Most of the organic growth in nature is also based on the golden ratio as well as architecture, paintings and the proportions of the human body.

Jack’s On Dub is a more laidback number. It features a massive sub-bass line and dubby delay sequences that constantly alter. There are literally hundreds of little details to be discovered every time the track is played. The voice-sample features Jimmy Jam (The Time) talking about two legendary musical siblings. Their name is “coded” in the track title! 😉

Rock Right originates from one or two late night jam-sessions. The groove is big and dirty. And works well at  underground house-clubs after hours. I really love the voice sample.

Beelzedub is a dark minimal-techno track. Elements are sliced up to grains, re-quantized and juggled to clever rhythms and new musical contents. I have used some voice samples from my favourite TV-series “The Office”.

Sunking: was originally produced and sang by me for my band-project „No Religion“ (EMI/Virgin). The song was the soundtrack to the eclipse of the sun in 1999. When started 5:30 minutes before the total eclipse, the track is composed in synchronicity the sequence of this wonderful spectacle of nature. It features metal-guitar riffs and an alphorn solo in the break (traditional Swiss instrument).

The press release tells us you have quite a long history in sound design, engineering and studies in Jazz, could you tell us a bit about your history as a musician before you started the Pow-Low project and started releasing your electronic style?

In my teenage years a was lucky to be accepted by jazz star Pierre Favreas a student. For sure this has contributed to my openness towards different styles of music. After my time at Full Sail University I worked at theRecord Plant in Hollywood and at Bop Studios in South Africa. Before I started the „Pow-Low“ producer/DJ-activity, I was a musician (singer/drummer) and a metal-producer (Coroner). I had a band called No Religion, we fused metal and techno/house and even got signed by a major label. We released 2 albums and many singles on EMI/Virgin. I still run a professional soundstudio called Schallzentrale for mixing and mastering. I mastered music for Peter Gabriel and thousands of tracks by many artists around the world. For many years I had lots of fun organising music events under my label Hertz, some of the highlights were multi-days outdoor festival held at beautiful locations, such as an amphitheater or right at the shore of lake Zürich.

You’re from Zurich, Switzerland, could you tell us a bit about the music scene of your hometown and how it feeds your creative mind?

Zürich annual Street Parade is the world’s largest electronic festival. About 1 million people attend. I have recorded and mastered several official SP- compilations. Many of them reached gold and platinum statuses and I became good friend with some of the DJs. One of the most important electronic albums for me though was Terry Lee Brown Jr.’s masterpiece „Brother for real“.

Being a metal-guy and getting professionally involved in electronic music led the the fusion band „No Religion“, as an mentioned earlier. Zürich is also the hometown of the electronic Pioneers „Yello“. I had the pleasure to meet and work for them. Dieter Meyer has used some of my music for his watch collection called „Re-watch“. It was also Yello’s manager Peter Zumsteg who has helped me a lot with advice and did…  what a nice guy!

Besides making music what else is part of your day to day, and Is there anything that’s been a part of your life recently you’ve found to be a source of inspiration outside of music, whether that be a place you go, a book you’ve read, a movie you’ve seen or anything else that drives you to create?

I love fly-fishing, nature is great source of inspiration for me. I recently read “The power of now” by Eckhart Tolle, by which I was very impressed. Next up will be a book by Bruce Lipton about epigenetic.  A daily routine are the walks with my dog “Leyno”… he’s the best!

What’s next in the pipeline for Pow-Low and the Psycle imprint? Any upcoming releases you’d like to highlight?

The next release will be remixes. I love to remix my own tracks, I’ll be focusing on the fusion of real-drums and drum-machines. It’s like giving them a second life!


Pow-Low’s ‘Fibonacci’ EP is out on PSYCLE. 1st November 2018.

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