31.05.2018 | Words by:
Lon & Luc
The evening before this interview took place, Guy (Makam / Talismann) gave a call to De School headquarters, asking if he could use our Xone mixer for a few days next week. Not that he didn't have one already, but not this specific type, and in preparation for his all night set he wanted to try out a few things, practice, leaving nothing to chance.
When asked how his day had been, this day that had been so unbelievably hot, he seemed to have missed the good weather completely, as in: he hadn't noticed. What he had found was a new trick to flawlessly swift between 130 and 140 bpm, after which came a technical story too complex for us to follow, but it did become clear he had spend his day inside, working on new tricks.
There's one specific kind of roti Guy had introduced us to (soy sauce roti) and around the corner of his house / studio is the best place to find it, so we tried to bring as many veggie snacks and bags full of roti with us. When Guy opened the door he looked pleasantly surprised. Is this the new school service?
The second inhabitant we greeded was Zip, Guy's big red cat. Zip spends most of his days outside but tends to come home alone, only lately he had been bringing a friend in black and white. I believe she's called Mahou?
Zip lives a good life in between high windows, large tropical plants and white walls full of record sleeves from the Makam and Talismann catalogue.
Both Zip and Mahou join us to the terrace, an oasis connected to the studio. Sometimes Guy turns around his computer screen, opens the window and points his monitor speakers outside, so he can make music from the terrace. We have to believe that the neighbours wont hear a thing as long as it during day time, when the cars from the busy shopping street downstairs absorb the noise. While most of the time Guy's music tends to sound quite dark - especially the more recent Talismann tracks - there's definitely also elements that can be traced back to this sunny outside studio between the plants. His Than Sadet LP refers to an island in Thailand and has beach sounds and cheering chihuahua's on it to name one.
Guy gives us a tour through his plants. An apple tree, Japanese maples, three big pots with bamboo, a raspberry plant, a purple one, the same his grandpa used to have. A while ago he had confessed it was one of his dreams to open a store selling records and plants. Platen en planten.
Some obscure Japanese editions for the real heads maybe. Another plan he talked about over roti was to find a way in the world of soundtracks, producing music for games or television. But this won't happen in the next few years, because selecting and making music for clubs is still taking up all his time. Recently he had been spending most time on finishing his new collaborative album with a percussion section from The Hague, the same town Guy has his roots. He interrupts the Mark Ernestus Ndagga track playing to put one of the forthcoming tracks, at the same time explaining the ideas behind, wanting it to sound shamanistic, but also having his doubts with that concept. It's still in the middle of the process he explains while cutting wood for the firepit on the terrace.
But for making music there wasnt much time in the last few weeks: selecting tracks for this all night set took up all the time. I have this list with like a thousand tracks that I wanted to go through. And I'm gonna play a lot of own unfinished work, trying out things, doing some live stuff. Playing loops I made over other tracks. There's so much I want to do - it might start with ambient, but will go up quickly, being super intense, but then going down again, in waves. Intense peaks, but no straight lines.
It's hard to think of other DJs who still take weeks preparing, creating a situation for themselves that resembles the club, walking through the set for hours in a dark studio, only stepping out for a late night cigarette between the plants. Talismann plays the basement all night, and doors open at 23.00. Tickets are available online and at the door, more info can be found right here.