Really not much is known about Damaskin, the mysterious Belgium-based techno producer who’s also known as Seraphim Rytm. He’s extremely skilled in the world of harsh industrial techno, but he’s not a stranger when it comes to creating ambient-leaning sounds either. He’s been doing numerous self-releases but he’s recently appeared on labels like Silent Season, Noiztank, New Body and New York Haunted, finally gaining some recognition. However, we think that he deserves to be even more in the spotlight! We chatted to him briefly and he also recorded a rather special live composition, which is an homage to our all-time favourite Eliane Radigue.
You’re quite the mysterious type, since not much is known about you. What can you tell us about yourself, how did you get in touch with music in the first place?
My main focus is on the music and not my person. And that’s how I try to work or let’s say to express myself these days. To answer your question about how I got in touch with music goes all the way back to the early 90’s when I used to live in Bosnia. So during that time it was hard to find some good music… this pushed me hard to look for it and when I found something it was very inspiring and at the same time educational material for what I try to do these days. Back then my focus was on techno and specifically on early material from Downwards Records, Surgeon etc.
How did it work back in the days in Bosnia? How did you find good music?
It was not easy to find good music. But I searched for it and I found it. Basically, I was ordering some vinyls from Germany because I couldn’t find anything in my area or in the surrounding countries. And of course listening some rare radio shows during that time that were trying to introduce some underground/avantgarde music.
Could you name a few artists and records that made the biggest impression on you back in the days?
Birmingham sound had a really big influence on me. Downwards Records and all their early crew: Regis, Female, Surgeon and Portion Reform. Basically all early Downwards Records were just great. But at the same time Slovakian influence was there too with records by Olga+Jozef, Rumenige, Kre. And not to forget some Tresor records at the same time with amazing LP’s by Surgeon. Some of the records from that time that still play big influence even today are Regis – Gymnastics, Female – Into The Exotic, Surgeon – Communications and Basictonalvocabulary on Tresor.
When did you first feel the need that you had to make music yourself? How did you start out your own creative phase? The first Damaskin EP (Kaona) dates back to 2014, but something must have happened before already.
Yes, the need to express myself in music came long time ago but it didn’t really happen until 2014. The reason why is because I had a lot of ideas during those years and somehow I wanted to be more clear in which direction I wanted to go. So yeah, basically many years of thinking, learning and then trying to put that into action.
You prepared a live recording especially for Sounds Of A Tired City, which is dedicated to Eliane Radigue. It’s quite different what we would usually expect from Damaskin. Could you tell us a bit about this choice?
Yes, this one is very different from the rest of my production. The reason why is simply because I really admire Eliane Radigue’s work and her complexity with long drone compositions. It’s simply her work is something quite different from the rest of all drone producers. Somehow she translates silence into electronic work and that’s something that many producers don’t have. For that reason I tried to create a long drone composition as a thank you note to Eliane and all her work, which was a big inspiration to me.
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