Hey hey, we hope all is ok. And welcome to Tanzgemeinschaft.
Thanks for having me, hope all is well with you too!
How are things going these days?
Not bad thanks. Just busy juggling work, being a dad/husband, making music and living a life. Every day is a challenge but I can’t complain.
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Let’s start with your recent release, Temples. What’s the story behind this release and how did this one come together?
Well, all of the tracks have actually been written at very different times. The title track Temples is what brings it all together.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to visit Japan. I managed to go alone for a month and had the opportunity to stay in a Buddhist Temple. It was an incredible experience and inspired me greatly.
The first song I wrote when arriving back in Germany was a very early version of Temples. I stored up all of this inspiration and injected it into that first track. I wanted this to be the title song for a release, and then over the years would select other songs that I had written that would complement the release.
The final cherry on the top was when Definition, aka the label owner, remixed an amazing version of Ueno, and the release felt complete. I would say as a whole, the EP is a homage to my time in Japan.
Allan Shotter – Temples is available
You have intriguing names for the titles of the tracks. Is there a story behind it?
I actually really struggle with naming my songs and tend to ask my wife for ideas. I just don’t have the connection to words that others have. I have that for sounds and textures. If I read poetry, it’s like I am reading something in a foreign language, I just can’t connect.
I think for this release, the titles are coming from very relevant experiences. Temples was written after staying in a Buddhist temple, Ueno was a district in Tokyo that I spent a lot of time in, and Cube March, well that’s a weird one.
I have synaesthesia and tend to visualise my mixes/songs. For some strange reason, I felt like this song was some kind of cube that was marching, hence the name.
Looking at some work you have released, you don’t shy away from working in different genres. Do you have a favourite?
No, not really. Anything with energy. I just create whatever resonates with me. Sometimes that can be something super upbeat and aggressive, and other times some kind of lo-fi ballad.
I think with computers we have the possibility to do so much, the thought of doing the same thing over and over again bores me. I don’t know how others do it.
On the genres, how do you differentiate each project? How do you set your mind to each of these when working on it?
I don’t really see them as different projects, they are all just songs that I write. I usually start playing around with something small, and just follow whichever direction it goes in. I never have a predetermined plan of what I am going to do, I just sit down and start.
When I am in writing mode, I usually wake up at 5:00 to write, rolling straight from the bed to the studio means your brain hasn’t quite switched on, and the results are much less planned. This however usually means that I end up with a bulk of songs that are all quite different and not quite connected.
I usually wake up at 5:00 to write, rolling straight from the bed to the studio means your brain hasn’t quite switched on.
Labels can usually give me some perspective on how they could work together, and help to craft a release.
Your influences must be broad. Can you name a few?
I like lots of different types of music. In particular, music that has energy. I actually created a playlist that would give a good impression of what I have enjoyed in recent years:
Which would be some of the key elements that define your music? Is there a particular Allan Shotter sound?
Wonky, hissy and loud. I like to think that my music sounds organic, although it has been written with electronic tools. Hopefully, that comes across.
How would you describe yourself as an artist?
Oh Jesus, that’s like asking how would you describe yourself as a person. I just make the art that I am interested in, that’s the kind of artist I am, an honest one.
I just make the art that I am interested in, that’s the kind of artist I am, an honest one.
As the last question, where are you based and what makes it so special to be there?
I live in Berlin, Germany. Pretty clichéd to be making electronic music and living in Berlin, I know. I love it here. But actually, I love Germany, not just Berlin.
I never really felt complete as a person living in England, something was always missing. In Germany, I find the history, culture, language, people and food all really interesting. Plus, the seasons are defined, in the UK, it’s seventy percent rain and so unpredictable. Here you get to experience the seasons for what they truly are, and this really has a good impact on my well-being.