Interview: Panoram

This interview came with a handful of stipulations. Right off the bat we were given demands. No photos. No names. No previous work listed. We were told to keep this “mysterious.” We can say that the shadowy musician is a former Academy participant, but any more info would spoil things.

Panoram is the new project from this said musician. His recent release Accents is a thick stew equal parts interstellar disco, synthesizer psych, distorted fusion and BGM (background music, natch). And it's really, really good. In the words of the label: "A brief, yet intense holy celebration of the power of sounds and their audacious craftsman. Placed between an acid and electrifying intro and a dramatically dissonant ending, Panoram’s sermon unfolds in a variegate and kaleidoscopic universe... In Panoram’s world quietness has always something disturbing within". Read our interview with the enigma, wrapped in a riddle, and shrouded in mystery below.

First of all, tell us a little bit about Panoram. What is the focus or goal or inspiration of this first project 'Accents'?

Panoram is the sum of multiple points of view on music. There's no particular concept behind 'Accents', honestly they're just a bunch of tracks the guy from Scenario [label] liked and wanted to release. I would say that pretty much everything that happened in the past year has been an inspiration for these tracks.

The record has a hint of a library feel, especially noticeable in some of the shorter tracks. Is that in any way part of the reason for the name 'Accents'?

I'm not a great library music digger. I have friends that are into collecting and buying it, but I don't. I usually appreciate this music when it's in a context, but I rarely listen to it on its own.

I actually like "background music" a lot. I mean the kind of music that is not supposed to be listened carefully. I love short pieces that loop endlessly,the kind of stuff you used to hear when you were on hold on the phone with your bank.

A lot of music I like and listen to doesn't come from records. It's funny how somethimes you find better music outside of the music industry. This stuff has always been a big source of inspiration to me even if I think it shows just a little on 'Accents', but there's no connection with the title of the record.

Panoram - Mute City Blues

The distorted synthesizer you're using has a very unique sound. What was the studio setup you used for this record?

Ha! I'm not sure which sound you are referring to. Sometimes I can't recall from which machine a sound came from but I can tell you that the laugh you hear on 'Mute City Blues' is from one of the most interesting producers of the moment.

About the setup, I think it's important to not always have the same one. That way you can avoid the chances of repeating the same things while you are recording. I usually borrow equipment from friends so I always have different gear.

When you are about to record something and realize that a piece of equipment you wanted to use is not in your studio anymore, you realize that it can be a positive thing. It makes you focus on ideas insted of gear. You can't depend on things.

What music were you listening to before and during the making of this record?

Dmitri Kabalevskij, Yumiko Kameya and Naoto Ishida.

What is your feeling about music looking backwards? For instance, music trying to sound like it was from a different decade. One argument goes that this shows a lack of ideas, while others say that the way to the future is looking to the past. Do you have any thoughts on this matter?

I think it's limiting to look only backwards. If you manage to find a new way, and most importantly new things to tell, there's no issue in wanting to use old sounds and instruments.

If you don't offer something new it's like remaking a film in the same way it was originally shot. Using the same actors, same locations with the same plot... Gosh, maybe that would be more interesting. The actors would be all fat and old! Haha.

Going back to music, if the only aim is to copy the aesthetics of another period then the result will be just music that talks about other music, which I think is quite pointless.

What has been your experience as an independent musician in getting yourself heard? Is touring more important, or recording? Which do you prefer?

Recording and making music is the priority. Then, if just one or a million people hear what you have done... Well, that's unpredictable and doesn't really matter. Haha. Performing live is important in order to be connected with what is outside your inner self.

Courtesy of Scenario 2012

Piero Umiliani, Nino Nardini, or Morricone?


Here comes the cliché question. What are your plans for the 2012?

Probably make some more music.

Where can we expect to pick up the record?

You can find the record in different stores like Bleep or Phonica.

By Red Bull Music Academy on February 6, 2012