Love Over Entropy, or Michel to those who know him well, made his first appearance on Nuno Dos Santos label in 2013, but the producer, DJ, and foremost, artist, has been involved with music since the early nineties. As much as he has influenced the electronic scene with productions such as ‘Tonii‘ and ‘Off the Grid, Michel also has had a helping hand in defining it. We spoke to the artist before his next release, a remix for Armen Miran’s ‘For Eternity’.
Torture the Artist: Your first EP ‘Off The Grid‘ was released on SoHaSo and you’re about to play the ‘SoHaSo‘-showcase in New York with Nuno Dos Santos and Baikal. How did you get involved with this record label?
Love Over Entropy: Before Love over Entropy I released records under different names and got to know Nuno [editor‘s note: Nuno Dos Santos] that way. At a certain point, he wanted to release the EP on the label of ‘Trouw‘, where he was a resident at the time. But it did not work out in the end, and he decided it would be the first record on SoHaSo.
I don‘t think I was ever part of any community or scene.
Torture the Artist: ‘Trouw‘ was one of the most renowned nightclubs in the Netherlands until it closed. Has the atmosphere or the club itself influenced your musical being in any way?
Love Over Entropy: I don‘t feel it had an influence on me. I went to Trouw every now and then, had some great nights there, but was never part of the community. In fact, I don‘t think I was ever part of any community or scene. Not that that is a conscious choice, it just never happens.
Torture the Artist: How did you decide you wanted to start teaching, and do you still give production lessons?
Love Over Entropy: With music, I‘ve always been into trying to get to the bottom of things and then helping others understand them as well. So after I graduated from art school in 2007, it was a small step to start giving production classes professionally. I became an Ableton Certified Trainer and I was asked to give classes for a private Dutch music school called Pyntago. I wrote a curriculum for them and I still teach there. At the moment, I teach both private lessons and group lessons. The group lessons consist of up to 10 students, which allows me to give a lot of personal attention to students. I think this is essential if you want to help people create their own music. As I see it, teaching is about much more than just understanding a certain subject really well. As a teacher you also have to come up with ways to explain subjects, and then make sure that students actually understand them. Especially the last part is what defines teaching in my opinion.
There is something romantic about you creating music while the rest of the world is asleep.
Torture the Artist: When is your favorite time of the day to produce music?
Love Over Entropy: I used to work on music at night, but now I try to do it during the day. Unfortunately, usually nothing really happens before 5pm. I‘m still trying to figure out whether I just have to get used to it, or that somehow I‘m wired to be creative during the evening and night. There is something romantic about you creating music while the rest of the world is asleep. But unfortunately nowadays my body can‘t deal with working at night as well as it could.
Torture the Artist: Your remix for Armen Miran‘s track ‘For Eternity‘ is coming out shortly. What does a track have to have for you to remix it?
Love Over Entropy: I listen to the elements, and then see if I can take them somewhere else. I don‘t really care to do remixes that add a bit of production to the original, I prefer to take it somewhere else musically. So there should be enough musical substance to work with.
Torture the Artist: What do you hope to accomplish when you play a set? For example, do you want people to forget all their problems and be present, or do you want them to hear new and unique sounds?
Love Over Entropy: Performing my tracks to me means deconstructing them in the studio and then putting them back together on stage while in the presence of an audience. Ideally it becomes a dialogue, where the energy of the audience shapes the music and vice versa. I give it my best, but not with any specific intention. People can take anything they want from it.
Lately I‘ve been getting deeper into music theory, to see what I can incorporate from that.
Torture the Artist: Is there a certain skill you wished you had, or plan on learning sometime in the future?
Love Over Entropy: I see many possibilities to improve my music, so I‘m working on improving my skills all the time. I‘m most interested in improving my musical skills. Production is interesting as well, but as I see it, ultimately it‘s never the factor that makes a track good or bad. Lately I‘ve been getting deeper into music theory, to see what I can incorporate from that.
Torture the Artist: Are there any milestones, or notable moments, in the evolution of your sound? For example, getting a chance to work with an idol of yours, or hearing a new, and different sound for the first time?
Love Over Entropy: Three things come to mind. The first is a studio session with Ripperton back in 2009. The speed at which he made decisions dazzled me. Back then, I went about quite cautiously in the studio, taking a lot of time to make decisions. In hindsight, I think Ripperton could work so fast because he has such good musical intuitions. It took me some years to develop my own musical intuitions, but that session definitely put me on course. The second notable moment was when I found out people were playing ‘Off the Grid‘ out, reportedly even at peak time. To me, it was always a chill-out track. So finding out it was played in clubs, gave me a different idea of what was possible with music for a club context. The third notable moment was when I heard the Dixon edit of Tonii. It was quite enlightening to see the same elements rearranged in a way that made it easy to play out for DJs. This is a sensibility that lacked in my music up to that point. I’m not saying that tracks should focus on being DJ friendly. I think the music should always come first, and that good DJs will find ways to play a track if they really want to. But some awareness of the context in which your music is played never hurts.
The second part of the interview will be published by our partners from FictionLab soon.