This month, the Finnish production outfit Renaissance Man releases their debut album on Turbo Records. They both come from an architectural background, you can tell from listening to the record their jobs intertwine with writing their full length record. They’ve progressed so far from 2008 when they appeared in the ‘blog house’ generation, their outlook now is on more ‘serious’ production, and thinking outside of the box with a full length that stands next to the ever growing Turbo roster. Their album is smart and as a live set they keep getting smarter, after relocating to berlin and learning how to lifestyle it up they’re created a real aesthetic for RM; a sound/live show/lifestyle for themselves that’s all their own.
They made a special URB mix for the interview piece, and with their own words; ‘This is the sound of critical house’
URB: Do you see music in architecture, or is all music architectural?
Renaissance Man: Well not so much. In the beginning we worked on our productions in a rather similar fashion as we had used to work on architecture at the office where we met, but now they exist in their own spheres for us. Yet music exists always in space and for our music that space seems mostly to be framed or contained within architecture.
How does the Finnish mentality and culture color your music?
Finnish culture is less about big movements but rather finding you own thing, the odder or more unique the better. Which is both a vice and virtue.
What kind of impact has Berlin made on your music?
It’s of course an exciting city for all the music it has to offer. Luckily it’s diversifying more and more beyond house and techno.
Has your production style naturally progressed and developed, or have you made conscious decisions?
We try to never stay put in one ‘sound’. Since we started our style of production has been evolving and of course you constantly learn new ways of working. We are not afraid of mistakes; they keep things interesting for us, but presumably also for our audience.
Have you kept your day jobs?
Well work on music happens mostly during day time, but we do other stuff as well.
Is there any irony or humor in your productions, or do you take it all very serious?
It’s dead serious.
What’s the worst labeling of your music that you’ve heard?
Lately it was Pitchfork calling us the “Finnish electro wreckers”.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received?
A good one came from Tiga, after he first heard the album and said that while listening to it for the first time not even for one moment did he know where would it go next. It’s great if you can still surprise someone like him.
How do you prepare for live shows?
We are now building a live show, it’s quite a lot of work since we try to build something that is truly live and in the moment but is grounded in our production work. In terms of visuals we work together with our graphic designers Åbäke. The idea is to deconstruct our back catalog and then reconstruct it every time live on stage.
Are you influenced by label mates on Turbo?
Naturally Jori Hulkkonen being one of the biggest figures, a giant, in the Finnish house and techno scene has been a huge influence. We’re still listening to Helsinki Mix Sessions on repeat.