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Interview: Granulit

We have been keeping an eye on Simon Zimmerman aka Granulit for some time now. This youngster from Düsseldorf is a self-made man. Working hard to get where he wants to be. Last year he got rewarded with a very nice deep & dark tech house release on the great Black Hills recordings imprint. This was a first milestone for Granulit and made him work harder and expand his horizon.

Now a few months after the release I thought it was time to have another chat with Simon. To see how things are going. Not surprisingly things turn out just well for him. With more unsigned work up the shelves and a side project he keeps going at a steady pace.

So let’s hear it from Granulit.

Simon Zimmerman aka Granulit taking the time to sit down with us for a chat.

What are you up to these days? You told us you are working on a new project?
This year I launched a new project with the guitarist Yannik Brehm. It’s called Exolar. It’s been in the works for some time now and brings out an experimental electronic sound, much in the fashion of Nicolas Jaar’s discontinued project, Darkside. We play everything live with Yannik doing all kinds of crazy stuff on his guitar and me turning knobs on controllers and playing the piano instead.

Is it going to be something you’ll be focusing on for a 100% or do you keep producing as Granulit as well?
Exolar started out with me trying to think the ideas through which just don’t fit with Granulit. Granulit is more of a dance floor oriented kind of project. Also making music making with another person is just a whole other thing to do and it reminds me of my days as a drummer. The two projects inspire each other in cool ways and are complementary. I don’t think I could ever stop producing house & techno music as Granulit.

When can we expect new work?
Very soon. I have tons of new Stuff sitting on my hard drive awaiting to be released. I come up with new tracks at a fast pace at the moment. I’m trying to get all the ideas out of my head first and then send new music to people who might want to do something with it. I also have a
collaboration with the Amsterdam based producer Working Dog on the way. We understand each other’s style in techno very good and aim to release a 3 track EP including one collaboration and solo work by each of us.

You had a very nice release on the great Underyourskin daughter label Black Hills recordings. Did it get you the attention you had hoped for?
To be honest I had hoped for more attention at the time. But Undreamed was my first release and I might have had a little too high expectations. But I think that’s normal. The guys at Underyourskin did a great job with the beautiful artwork and Mastering. I’m very happy to be part of the Black Hills Recordings catalog.

Are you planning more releases with them? Or any other label you will be releasing on?
I’m already thinking about where all the new material might fit in. I experimented with a lot of stuff ranging from pretty melancholic vibes to very enthusiastic pieces and some Acid House Tunes. I also received an offer for a 4 track EP on another label but that is still in very early stages. As the tracks differ quite a bit I think I’ll try to reach out to different labels. I definitely plan to send Underyourskin something new too.

Here is a free download on Bandcamp:

How are things with gigs? Are you playing a lot?
I’ve been playing on a few events in cities around Düsseldorf, my favourite being Cologne. This because the house and techno scene is pretty big over there and the experience was always amazing. I also organize a party called Vertigo with a good friend of mine, a DJ/Producer called Bird’s Clutch. It’s getting traction in Düsseldorf which is nice of course. WWe always have a great time because we can design everything as we like and want it to be.

You have a passion for hardware. If I am correct you like to construct things yourself. What’s your favorite piece of gear?
Yes, when it comes to gear I can get a little bit geeky. As long as it’s creating new possibilities to make music. Last year I designed a Midi Controller which I built and programmed myself. It controls a Noise Generator via a few knobs and an old Nintendo DS touch screen. You can create a wide range of sound obscurities with it. I have loads of fun with it and use it on every Granulit track as well. Even more in the Exolar live set.

When playing live how does your set up look like?
With Exolar I have a small setup consisting out of my Laptop running Ableton, an APC40 to trigger all kinds of different loops, a Midi Keyboard to play stuff live and of course my own Do It Yourself Controller for constant noise generating. Yannik plays the guitar which he has set up to use with a shitload of effects and a looper. As Granulit I play with CDJs, I have a pair of old Pioneers which are very reliable and don’t distract
me with waveformdisplays.

Can our readers see/hear you play some were in the near future?
I just played a DJ Sets at the Vertigo on the 30th of March in Düsseldorf and will be playing again on the 28th of April in the Nachtigall Cologne. Another highlight will be an opening slot for the 4 year anniversary of “Haut & Knochen” which is an awesome party series in Düsseldorf.

To get up to date you can always check my Facebook page where I update my upcoming events. Sometimes they come in at short notice!

Thank you very much for your time.

Thank you, Claudio!

Follow Granulit & Exolar’s journey via following channels: » » » » » »

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