David Poltrock is the mastermind behind the exceptional experimental electronic music project Poltrock, which merges ambient, electronica, techno, house and IDM genres, creating a unique new sound all of its own. Working over the years with a slew of impressive names in music such as Tom Helsen, Arid, Lois Lane, K’s Choice and many more, as well as achieving three Belgian number 1 hits for tracks on which he contributed to writing and composing, Poltrock has now been showcasing his prowess and expressive nature with his solo project.
Poltrock recently released his brand new track, ‘Titanus’, the first single off his upcoming album ‘Machines’, set for release on November 16 via Poltrock Music as part of the ongoing album trilogy ‘Mutes, Moods and Machines’, all highlighting a different approach to the 88 piano keys.
We caught up with this multifaceted musician and chatted about creative processes, organic synths, and his upcoming tour.
Tell us about you, how long have you been producing music? What did inspire you to start?
I’ve been a professional sound designer and session keyboard player for nearly 20 years now. My Brussels studio has turned into a vintage keyboard and synth museum over time and I suddenly found the urge to use it to the full and release music of my own.
It’s been quite a challenge to turn my technical skills into something I felt entirely comfortable with and that was musically relevant so I quietly took a couple a years of refining my initial ideas to finally end up with the trilogy ‘Mutes, Moods & Machines’
The music industry is super competitive these days, was there a moment in your life that you wanted to give up on music? How did you manage to stay focused and achieve what you want?
I found myself playing with high profile Belgian bands in my early twenties and have been asked for sessions and productions on the continent ever since. So I’m aware that I’ve been a lucky bastard not having to worry to make a decent living out of music-making. The real challenge in fact was to find some time in my busy professional schedule to work on what matters most in the end: creating my own stuff. So I took a sabbatical, rejected all job opportunities and decided to completely focus on the production of my three albums.
How would you describe your creative processes? Who writes the lyrics to the songs? Are the music and lyrics written in conjunction, or separately?
Well I make instrumental music which kind of narrows down the challenges of lyric writing. I basically just settle in my studio in the morning with a cup of coffee and just let the inspiration guide me. I like to impose strict limitations to my creative process by for instance forcing me to use only one particular instrument, one particular scale or chord progression on one particular recording technique. This really triggers my creativity and forces me to get the most out of a limited amount of resources.
Where does the inspiration come from?
I can get immensely inspired by listening to good music. I can start a sunny day listening to John Coltrane while answering my emails and suddenly feel inspired to rush into the studio and end up with a dark nocturnal ambient improvisation. It’s hardly a one-on-one inspiration and I just recently discovered that the brighter and shinier the day gets, the more gloomy my music turns out to be. Maybe I should go and see a doctor about that.
What’s your favourite track from the upcoming album and what other bands/artists are you listening to right now?
I’m really glad with the track ‘Titanus’ because it originated from a night jam with two of my favourite synths. I basically approached this track like an improvising jazz combo; I started jamming, got lost in the vibe of the moment and ended up 6 hypnotizing minutes later with 80% of the track finished.
I’m a big fan of organic synths and love all the Rival Consoles stuff. The new Tim Hecker album is a masterpiece. Jon Hopkins keeps making amazing stuff as well and London techno artist Tim Green just released a great new album.
What’s next for you?
I’ll start touring on 23 October in Belgium and Holland which is exciting as well as frightening, because I’ll be improvising surrounded by a grand piano as well as a rig of capricious vintage synths. A lot of things can go wrong from a technical point of view which is great fun. I hope to be playing a couple of gigs in the UK early 2019.
My album will be released on 16. November and I’ll release a remix EP in December.