Svengalisghost: An artist who used to steal disco and italo from his dad’s collection
Chicago’s his cradle and his dad’s a DJ that bought his son a first set of turntables back in the 8th grade. Marquis Cooper told me what it took to get those. All I can add to is that Svengalisghost is a name and a creator that was born after a harddrive with previous part of Marquis’s life crashed 7 years ago.
A great new life had to be started, and later Ron Morelli had to do all his best to convince Svengalisghost to actually release something. L.I.E.S. and Russian Torrent Versions can surely be proud to have managed to squeeze the beast into 12 inches of black vinyl – but it’s of course much nicer to be strached by the beast alive. Yes, live in Sūpynės festival in a few days, and now it’s time for some funny answers to my questions.
What were your teenage years like? School, college..?
There were many strange rooms filled with clouds of marijuana smoke. I went to a catholic school where I fluctuated from being the cool class clown to highly unpopular for my ideas about religion! The teachers and the principal hated me. I had to actually transfer in the 7th grade as I had burned all my bridges in that school with students and teachers alike.
My last suspension was because I asked how god could tell us we cannot kill when god actually told Moses to go smote the Canaanites. I had looked up smote the night before and found out it meant to kill. I was promptly told to go the principal office where I was promptly expelled.
I enjoyed making art, geometry and drinking during lunch period. I was also good at cutting class to go home with a girl.
College was a blur I do remember running from a police officer because I had a half-pound of weed in my book bag
Were parties and electronic music and all the lifestyle welcomed well in your family or did you have to sneak around and climb through the window? I’ve read your father was a DJ - but was he cool with his son following the slippery path?
Well I think the first 808 kick traumatized my parents, I generally had to stay at a friends house whose parents were more cool about staying out all night. My dad made me do various tasks around the house all summer to buy my turntables. He was cool until I started stealing disco and italo from his own collection
Do you remember a certain track that made you realize you also want to do electronic music?
The first time I was actually convinced I could make music was the first time I went to S.S.P.S.'s studio and jammed out with him on the 707 and CZ-101.
By the way, have you ever played any 'classical' instruments?
Never.
There aren’t too many records lined in your personal shelf; is that because you’re more of a performing/creating kind of artist? Is it important to be able to hold your music in hands?
Yeah, I have been trying to be more proactive with my releases. I promised myself in 2016 I will have 4 EPs.
It’s just that some of the stuff I did for live didn't work by itself and I wasn't really happy with my sound card so I just purchased a new one.
Yeah, I like seeing the music I make on vinyl. It’s a special feeling, maybe how a parent feels to see a child emerge from just fucking. Hahaha.
With your live sets so energetic and involving, it was kind of strange for me to watch your Boiler Room PA with most of the people just standing around. How did you feel back then?
Well you expect people to move but somehow when you bring a video camera into a well-lit room people are more prone to posing.
How often do you update your gear collection? Do you tend to 'outgrow' some of the instruments, I mean, kind of get tired and limited of their possibilities?
I was searching for the setup I have now which I feel is perfect. I believe 3 synths, a drum machine and a sampler are the perfect setup.
I have very versatile synths that give me a wide range of possibilities, until this point I was looking but now I feel happy to get to really know my Blofeld, Pulse 2 and Evolver.
Is there any device or item you couldn’t perform without and wouldn’t even climb on stage?
Sunglasses!!!
Was L.I.E.S the first label that offered you to work together or did you do some research? What is important for you in a label, what values should it carry in order for you to trust your music to it?
I had never intended for any of the music I made to ever be released, actually I tried to dissuade Ron Morelli from putting the first EP out. Hahaha, it took Ron calling me about 4 times and finally from Europe to convince me to let him put the “Mind Control” EP out.
I know you do have some other aliases. Is all the music you make dancefloor-oriented?
No.
What about the music you listen to?
Gong or Hawkwind in the morning, Liquid G in the afternoon and Sombero Galaxy's Buy a Gun at night before bed.
I know it’s most probably a long shot but the question has been lying in my head for some time now. Big pop stars sometimes make interesting gig choices and perform in private weddings or birthdays of weird government leaders etc - just for the sake of the good money, obviously. Would you imagine yourself doing something similar? Are you picky when choosing where to play or do you basically trust your agent to decide for you?
Not into playing for idiots in suits and ties, plus I highly doubt they would even know of my music. My agent is good and if an offer comes to me I check out the venue, festival, or city and decide from there. Money is good but vibe is essential.
Could you comment on the usage of USSR symbols on the releases of Russian Torrent Versions? Is fun the sole purpose of it?
I have no idea. I Hope it’s fun and not anything else. I really love the contrast of the colors. It really pops. I hope Putin won't try to use it for some propaganda
D.D. 2004 - 2016
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