Surkid’s debut album, “Home Frequencies,” will be released on May 12 on the Modularfield label. We spoke to him about his music journey, current influences, and Polyend gear. Enjoy!
Polyend: What is the most crucial device used throughout your career? Presently?
Surkid: Unlike many other musicians, especially those with classical piano training, I’m a fan of MIDI controller keyboards with small keys. Simply because I randomly happen to find chords that I wouldn’t find with the usual keyboard size. Sometimes I just drop my rather large hands on the keys, and my fingers would magically rest on an interesting chord that I haven’t thought of before, spanning more notes than I could play with larger keys. That’s why the Yamaha Reface CP has been a faithful companion in my studio for many years.
Polyend: Can you reveal one sound design or music production secret to us?
Surkid: It took me quite a few years to figure out that less is more when it comes to writing and producing music – at least for me. Back in the day, my computer was cluttered with sample libraries and plugins with thousands of presets. With that enormous pool of sounds, I never knew where to start. Today, when I start a new track, I limit myself to only one or two hardware boxes and a couple of plugins. I use presets that I know by heart because I’ve created or modified them myself over the last few years. This reduction of tools has helped me a lot in my creative process! And that’s also what I like about the Polyend Play. You could just grab this device and create a complete track with it.
Polyend: Why do you choose Polyend devices?
Surkid: The Play is my first instrument from Polyend. If I had to sum up this box in a single sentence, I would say that the Polyend Play is the solution to every electronic musician’s writer’s block! It’s impossible not to come up with something! Sometimes all it takes is just one sample you throw at it. What finally made me buy this box was this track on Isobutane’s YouTube channel. The whole sequence took him five minutes. It’s based on a single sample and sounds really magical to my ears.
That being said, I also like the design language of Polyend hardware in general. I wish that wasn’t so important to me, but it is. The look of something has to appeal to me. Otherwise, I can’t be creative with it.
Growing up in East German prefabs while listening to everything the 90s rave scene spilled out, Surkid has come a long way in his musical socialization. Yet, his predilection for relatively simple melodies might not be the only remnant of that time. By chance, his musical path took a turn when a good friend introduced him to Radiohead’s Kid A album, which changed how he perceived music until then. Today Surkid hosts a monthly radio show dedicated to ambient, neoclassical, and electronica on the German station ByteFM.
His debut album, “Home Frequencies,” will be released on May 12 on the Modularfield label.
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