First, can you introduce yourself ?
Hello, I’m Daniel James Martin, AKA Kommune1. A twenty-something northerner, currently building a musical fortress in the city of Leeds, UK.
What can you tell us about your Kommune1 project ?
The Kommune1 project happened in my final year of university (I studied Computer Music Technology).
I’d been in bands before, recorded solo (horrible and infantile) electronic music and needed a “stage name” for a performance I was being assessed on.
I’d at the time got into Kraut-Rock on heavy rotation, and delved into the movement both musically and aesthetically.
I came across the name “Kommune1” in an article I reading about the communes of artists that would correlate to create.
The name (regardless of all connotation and meaning) stood out on the page, it just looked nice. So I went with it…
After university I carried on making music for myself but had got into a form of composition, which I describe as “Music to dance and fuck to”.
Growing as an artist on the cheapest equipment in my bedroom, I started plucking up the courage to send tracks out to people. I would occasionally appear on rinse or in some lesser known mixes, and one day to my surprise I got a reply from R&S artist Lone. He loved my track so much he wanted to put it out on his MagicWire label, that track was “Motus”, and thanks to that I remain, making music my life’s meaning and taking endless gratitude to the people who have “danced and fucked” to the sounds which exit my brain via Ableton.
We’ve noticed a very space side into your productions: many reverb, delay. If you had to choose an artist who best illustrates your productions, who would it be ?
First there was Martin Hannett. Then there was Burial.
When I started getting my grubby little hands on proper production equipment when I started college, my thing was Post-Punk and the late 80’s “Madchester” scene.
Pivotal to sculpting the cities sound-scapes was Martin Hannett. An arsehole of a person, armed with a punk ethic and an interest in the production of dub reggae, he applied this to bands such as Joy Division, A Certain Ratio, Magazine and New Order.
Sparse, cold, bleak sounds. Raining on record, with the echoes of industry. This completely spoke to me as I was born and raised in a northeast industrial town names Middlesbrough (If you wonder what it’s like, take away the Japanese influence in Blade Runner and add more smog). The life I saw and the surroundings of my growing up were summed up perfectly by this music, which in essence comes from the same place.
In a very similar way Burial came along when I was really finding myself as a “Bedroom Producer” and just blew me away.
I’d never heard anything like it. Not before, and never really since.
I totally see all of the references to other genres of music (2-step, half-step, UK-garage, drum & bass, jungle, ambient) and created this merged entity, which was really a collage of other styles, but portrayed with such emotion and textural beauty.
The first time I’d found myself not only wanting to shake my body to the swing of the drums and the deepness of that bass, I was really listening to it. Stripping back the textures in my mind piece-by-piece, trying to form an understanding as to how and what has been done.
Both producers had major influences on me at very influential moments in my life thus far, and seem to be a sort of reference point for me. If I ever get lost, this is where I’ll turn for a reminder of why I am doing this.
You’re young, what is your production process? In your tracks, there is also an industrial side. Is what happens to you to use the principle of field recording ?
I used a vast amount of field recording during my university days, going out with a Zoom recorder and hitting things, scraping on things. You could do so much with everyday sounds, the sounds you never notice for their true identity. Depeche Mode, especially Black Celebration was a great discovery in the art of recording and manipulating sounds to not only layer up your compositions but as main elements in the track itself.
I really love ambient, beat-less, drone music and I always try and apply that to what I’m doing, as I evidently love filling up the space in the mix. But I’d rather wear a tuxedo than be naked. You dig!?
Three outputs since 2012, including one on Leisure System. How was the meeting?
The Leisure System release was a great one for me. It was one where I felt really free to express myself the best I could, which is why all 3 tracks are very different, the label were very happy to showcase my inter-genre production which I was more than happy with.
We have a release coming mid-year with a great remix, but that’s all I’ll be saying about it for now.
I also have other releases planned with 3 other labels including getting my own label ErimusRecs a series of releases by strictly new-comers, all featuring remixes by myself. So a lot in the pipeline that’s for sure.
Finally, which live or DJ set that you saw lately slapped you in the face?
The recent Karenn live sets have just been ridiculous! Seamless, and sounds like a studio recording because it’s so well orchestrated and thought through. I really respect the artistry in it all.
Leeds always has good names coming into the city and gracing us with amazing evenings to remember. Surgeon, Vessels, Dettman, Blawan even the mighty Depeche Mode allowing me to sing my guts out for an entire night.
The city has a lot to offer in all genres, always something on to go to, and a lot of local talent.