Johannes Auvinen is a man of impeccable intrigue; under the guise of Tin Man, he has explored the intrinsic world of acid house, turning it on its head with a multitude of releases dedicated to the sub-genre. Whilst Auvinen presented his own singular take on the world of dancefloor otherworldliness, he had another part of him calling. Enter his latest full-length endeavor, Vienna Blue, a romantic homage to Vienna trickled with warmth, ambience and sonicly intimate appreciation. While bending the lines between ambient, classical and dance music, Tin Man is constantly at work, with a new album in May focusing on his love of acid, once again. Along with that, he is releasing another house-oriented 12″ on Shaddock, entitled “S_MPL_HOUSE”. In the meantime, Auvinen took the time to craft an endearing mix for URB’s podcast series, as well as took the time to answer some questions. Check out the interview after the jump.
URB: ACID. Previously, that was your realm of mastery; why was the journey through that specific sound so important to you?
TIN MAN: Love. Acid, first of all, was an obsession for me. I was captivated by the hypnotic groove. So, I collected many records and eventually decided I wanted to try to make some myself. Ten years later, I realized I could make a unique contribution to the greater field of acid with my style of long twisting melodic tripping Acid. I still really just love it.
URB: Moving forward, classical and ambient influences seem to hover over your sounds; what brings you to explore the expansiveness of these sounds rather than something somewhat dance-oriented?
TM: External influences always play a role in the formation of ideas for records. On my first record,Places, watching Tarkovsky films and reading Jorge Borges suggested I imagine an ambient landscape to make a connection between those muses and my reality or to transpose those muses onto my reality. The main circumstance directing Vienna Blue is having moved here to Vienna five years ago, and trying to tell a story of this place and moment in a romantic light. In terms of instrumentation, I was influenced by working with a trio playing music at the Austrian Pavillion at Expo in Shanghai for three months. In terms of writing, Gonzales’ Solo Piano work was influential in that it reminded me of a certain romantic era and also worked for me as a “winter” record. I terms of sounds, the work of Christian Fennesz and his use of physical modeling synthesis and more brittle sounds was an influence. If I had to choose a book and movie, I would say Fitzgerald’s “Tender is The Night” and Visconti’s “Death in Venice”. I took off my dance cap for this record.
URB: There are some vocal bits on this album, which are touching on your love for Vienna. What made Vienna so important to the creation of this album?
TM: Vienna Blue is a fantasy record. It’s me as a visitor conjuring fantastical, romantic, and even touristic ideas of a moody city. Cities everywhere have become, or are becoming, all the same. I would have difficulty in telling a story of the anonymous suburbs where I grew up. It is difficult to have an overview of the bigger story of your city. What’s more, I doubt any Viennese local shares the romantic notions that tourists have of the city. So, I found myself in this singular position as an outsider with preconceptions, where I can make up my own version of this place. As all fantasy contains some aspect of the truth, the listener can decide what they want to believe or dismiss. And, if you believe in it or not you, can still share your existential crisis with me in a Vienna cafe.
URB: It’s safe to say you are one of the most exploratory electronic composers out there; touching on a variety of genres and finding a niche wherever you go…how do you continue to evolve as a musician and composer with every musical direction you take?
TM: I do feel the last years have been exploratory. There are a few reasons for that. One reason is the impish side of my personality. If people expect something from me, then I want to do just the opposite. I want to be between the birds and the beasts. Or, better said, I want to hang with all the birds, and I want to hang with all the beasts. A big part of it has to do with finding the sound that is very specific to the moment. And, part of it has to do with curiosity. I do not know if it is always evolution, but mutation is the first essential step of evolution.
URB: Of course, this album isn’t always ambient or classical; there are some moments of dancefloor steadiness, but in a lighter fashion than your previous releases. Do you think you’ll ever be able to escape the dance world? Do you even want to?
TM: I was afraid that I would not be able keep up making dance music. I asked myself if I would still have a passion for dance music five or ten or twenty years from now. I also asked myself if I had something substantial to bring to the table. There are so many fantastic dance producers in our time! I wanted to escape, and branching out helped ease the tension. After some reflection, I have realized that I do not want to escape the dance world. I feel my interest in dance music is only getting stronger with time and I want to contribute to the story of dance music.
URB: What’s next for Tin Man in 2012?
TM: Dance. House. Acid. I am focusing on signature Tin Man-branded House and Acid. There are a slew of releases coming in the spring.
URB: What piece of studio kit is necessary of you to use, no matter what sort of track you’re making? Why?
TM: One really nice-sounding object FX/synth/software that has a nice interface that you feel connected with and can translate your ideas into music with agility. Because, you should not waste your time fiddling.
URB: Tell us about this mix you’ve done for URB.
TM: This is a mix featuring some different songs and flavors that influenced Vienna Blue. Additionally, some of the ambient songs of the album appear throughout. I suppose the main arc is a psuedo-classical romantic mood. It features Lieder edits and versions of Franz Schubert, preludes from Mompou and Gonzales, electronic Debussy via Tomita, modal moody Ravel, and ambience sampling Murcof.