Do you know that KapTep in Cyrillic will be Carter? Or is it intuitive?
I did know that based on my travel to Russia. That’s the reason I picked it. I wanted something unique.
Awesome! Tell me more about your travel experience and how it influences on your music.
I have traveled my whole life both on vacations and for work. I love to travel. I think a lot has changed with digital music and the fact that people can carry their whole library or playlists with them and listen on headphones. When I was younger airplanes were loud, now everyone just listens to their own music, movies, and podcasts.
That is, we live in an era when everyone is in their own individual information field.
Exactly. I listen to a lot of ambient music just looking out the windows of airplanes or hotels.
Do you think the meaning of the ambient has changed a lot? What is ambient for you today?
I think it’s changed a bit. Or maybe now that I’m producing it I’m more aware. For me, it is not so much background music so much as soundtrack pieces. Music is part of the visual experience. I think for me there can also be an experimental aspect. I think when most people hear “ambient music” they tend to think of meditation and spas. It’s much more than that. I like the phrase you use “deep listening”.
What equipment do you use to make your music?
I use a variety of synths. Moog Sub 37, Nord Lead 2, my favorite synth at the moment my Hydrasynth. Then I have the usual assortment of VSTs and effects in my DAW.
What instruments you didn't use before, but want to try in the future?
Good question. I have always been 100% electronic by design, but have thought about adding guitar or female vocals. I’d also like to acquire some FX pedals. I’ve never done that much.
If you had the opportunity to collaborate with any musician from any era, who would it be?
An unexpected choice for an ambient artist.
I started as a kid with David Bowie. He influenced everyone. If you listen to his Berlin trilogy albums that Eno produced there is a lot of ambient happening. Reznor is just so talented. I love Nine Inch Nails. Because it is electronic, aggressive (evokes emotion), but yet his soundtracks are brilliant as well. He’s a genius. Honestly collaborating with either I would not bring anything to the table.
Tell me about your expectations and what you feel now after releasing your first album on Chitra Records.
Well, I don’t know what my expectations really were, to be honest. I’ve listened to ambient music and Chitra a lot in the past. There are a lot of really good artists out there. I was probably a bit nervous about the release of Overcast. Mainly because I had no frame of reference as to whether the tracks will hold up against other artists. I thought they were good tracks, my wife said they were good, but until you release them into the wild you never know. Post-release I’ve just been blown away (and humbled) by the reception I’ve gotten. It’s always nice to create, but when you put it out there and people also like it it makes it that much better. As far as Chitra goes they have been awesome to work with from the beginning all the way post-release. I never realized how much work goes into a release.
I want to begin looking at tape loops, pedals, etc. for my next set of songs. It’s something I’ve never done before.
This is a great idea! To work with tapes sometimes is so difficult, sometimes like magic.
Yeah, I watch a lot of YouTube ambient videos and at least it looks fun. Like a tape loop, a small synth, and an effect pedal or two, and wow it sounds so good. It may be a nightmare based on how I work, but I want to try it out for new tracks at some point soon.
Interviewer – Dionis Afonichev (Dionisaf)
Photos from Derek Carter's archive The name of the cat in the photo is Jessica
Edited by Iuliia Rychkova More noise ambient music in our Spotify playlist