Interview: Eric Maltz

von walter812103
© Lucia Baragli

As Flower Myth prepare to celebrate their first birthday this Friday at Arkaoda with live sets from Beatrice Dillon and Paul Frick, we speak to label boss and sole soul responsible for its releases so far, Eric Maltz.

Eric has quietly been dishing out beautiful tracks that sit at the confluence of dub techno and deep house, with three releases to date on his label. But as you’ll soon read, he’s been active for much longer,  with his roots dug firmly in the fertile sonic soil of New York City. Speaking of New-York, Eric’s music comes with the Levon Vincent seal of approval, who released his first record in late 2017. Not a bad way to kickstart things. 

Make sure to pass through Flower Myth’s Bandcamp for records and digital downloads of Eric’s music and we highly recommend digging into his very recent ambient live set for Lichtenberg’s best kept secret, Cashmere radio.

Hi Eric, thank you for speaking to us and happy anniversary to Flower Myth! What spurred the release of the label and how was this first year bee

Thank you! Flower Myth was born out of my own music, to slowly find the label’s musical language with the idea to later start building community, signing new artists and evolving into new projects.

This first year I’ve put out three records, all focused on a live dance floor sound with variety and experimentation, and the imminent presence of an acoustic soul. The label shows beautiful artwork by Clovis Wieske – which also speaks deeply to the sound and identity of the label.

Already last fall we started to think it was time to grow, by building a community of friends, artists and musicians – so this second year we are expanding! The upcoming party on Friday is a big celebration of our moving forward. Shortly after, we’ll be releasing the first volume of Acoustic Jaguar, a conceptual Muzine compilation which we are very excited about, with some really special artists contributing to it.

I’m very proud of everything we’ve accomplished this year – and I say we because it’s very much a family business – with my wife Mónica helping on everything from admin stuff to selecting which tracks we press.

You’ve been active for much longer as a pianist and we’ve heard you also worked in studios and record shops in New York. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how it ties into what you’re doing now with Flower Myth?

Well I’ve been playing piano my whole life, everything for me comes from there. I began with classical and learned about free playing and improvisation while in high school. At the same time I got into 4 track recording and sampling and combined all these skills to get into music conservatory where I studied composition and production techniques. After graduating I got a job working in Halcyon and stayed there until their Smith St. location closed. This was a perfect job, always listening to great music and dj’s, I didn’t realize how lucky I was!

When the shop closed I found myself looking for work, and ended up getting hired by a Jingle House. I spent night and day in that studio, during the day recording, engineering, and writing music for Adds, and the night recording, writing, and working on my own music. I was going crazy, trying everything, writing music in 5.1 surround, blasting tracks out the windows and using the streets as a reverb chamber. It was a great opportunity.

Eventually it was time for me to move on and set up my own home studio, where I continue to work out of today, running the label as well as doing session work and arrangements for other artists, producing albums, writing music for dancers, films, and multimedia works.

Up until the last two years I’ve spent most of my time behind the scenes, I guess relatively safe in the studio. Flower Myth is me putting my heart and my musical vision out there, with all my experience as an instrumentalist and as a producer having found that balance between acoustic and electronic and synthesizing all my different musical experiences and influences into a cohesive whole.

We particularly enjoyed your last EP Dream Journal. Are you a wild dreamer and what’s the eeriest dream you’ve had recently?

Thank you, I love that record! As far as dreaming goes in high school I was way deep into lucid dreaming and traveling to these different worlds, it was something that came naturally to me, and I had a great piano teacher then who was also well versed in that field so he gave me some tools for those types of practices, over the years I let a lot of that go.

The most recent experience I’ve had was not a dream exactly but a very intense Shamanic breath session in Bali, where I went into this in-between lucid dream sort of state. My subconscious was brought up and I had all these crazy visions – actually it was quite a violent opening, for lack of a better word. I had visions of my grand parents, where I could feel their hands on me, saw my daughter laughing before me, and intense music and harmonics, feeling ears at the back of my head. An incredible expansion of my sound field and consciousness – a very important experience which reconnected me to my dream and emotional bodies.

We’ve been enjoying the early work that’s on your Bandcamp, particularly the piano pieces with Nishit Patel. Do you still compose such types of work or are you focusing on your electronic project for the moment?

Thats so great you are into that album! We recorded that spontaneously one afternoon. You know, Nishit is my meditation & yoga teacher, we’ve known each other for a very long time. He is a very musical person, but has no training on the piano or anything like that, I was blown away while we were sitting at the piano together, what he was playing, it was a very special moment. It was all totally improvised and unplanned.

I actually have about two albums worth of solo piano material written and recorded, an ongoing project called Los Sobres, a series of original piano and instrumental compositions – I’m looking for the right moment to put it out – 2020 is resonating like a good date :)When I started first focusing on the electronics, at the beginning something I realized I was doing was compartmentalizing my musicality, sometimes ignoring my abilities as a pianist and as a composer. With my Flower Myth releases I have learned to integrate rather than divide, tracks like Estuaries – one of my favorites to have come out – are me reconciling these differences. My future sets and releases are definitely evolving more and more into reflecting this complete inner universe of ideas, merging the duality that has been a part of my whole life and speaking from a true essence.

What should our readers expect from the party at Arkaoda this Friday?

EM: This party has a focus on Live Electronic Music, edging towards the experimental dance floor. We teamed up with Possible Futures to put together a really special night, it’s an evening filled with inspiring friends, and a perfect balance between the head and the heart, and we will be riding that razors edge from start to finish.

We feel very excited about Beatrice Dillon, her music is exceptional and I personally am a huge fan of her work! Paul Frick’s solo record on Apollo is a piece of music I can’t get enough of, so to hear him play live will be a real treat. I just came back from studying Gamelan music in Bali, and will be dubbing it out with all new textures, ideas, and inspirations, with a really nice guest appearance from m.c. Mambo Punk. Kristiina Männikkö is a great selector whose sound is a perfect bridge between the live acts and the dj booth, and Curious Paul pulls from all genres of music with elegant taste to create warm and inviting atmosphere on the floor. The icing on the cake will be the live analogue visuals from artist and performer Amydala.

So expect to wander through the dream state with us, and dance!

Kommentar verfassen

Trage deine Daten unten ein oder klicke ein Icon um dich einzuloggen:

WordPress.com-Logo

Du kommentierst mit Deinem WordPress.com-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Google Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Google-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Twitter-Bild

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Twitter-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Facebook-Foto

Du kommentierst mit Deinem Facebook-Konto. Abmelden /  Ändern )

Verbinde mit %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.