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Alley Catss: a rather nihilistic approach

Published January, 2013
by Easterndaze


The moniker Alley Catss does not hide bike messengers from New York, nor a power pop band from Russia or Japan, but a 14 year old electronic music producer from Hungary, Máté Janky. He released his sophomore record (II) on Sewage Tapes. We caught up with the fresh-faced producer to find out more.

You have several projects, can you introduce them?

I have many projects but mainly work on Alley Catss. That’s the first one. There is another one I’d highlight, IVVVV which has a similar style to Alley Catss, but it’s more experimental, noisy with sounds created by my curiosity. I also make harsh noise under my XKWX moniker and manage my netlabel Deaftapes.

How would you define Alley Catss?

I think Alley Catss changes constantly, it can’t be described. I’m making tracks instinctively and only think about it afterwards. Mostly I don’t really have any aims with it, it might be a rather nihilistic approach.

This nihilistic approach is something serious or just a momentous state of mind or mood?

Not serious at all, not important. My music is dependent on mood which is sometimes good sometimes really bad.

Do you have any world view or ideology that would define your creative output?

Actually nothing, lately I’ve been quite lethargic about everything.

You’re very young, how long have you been making music? Have you learned by playing classical intruments?

I don’t remember how long, since my childhood. I found an old record of me playing a Casio synthesizer at the age of five. Haha, that might have been the beginning… By the way I’ve been learning piano for seven years.

What tools do you use for making music?

I played synths before and recorded it, today I work as a producer, using Ableton. I prefer that one, it’s much more simple and effective.

Your music with Alley Catss is quite harsh which is used somehow in a harmonized way though..

Perhaps it’s because of the noise and industrial music that I’m listening to. And, of course, I like experiments, to blend various elements, motifs and styles to a massive dollop of music.

What are the influences and what are you inspired by while making music?

Several things… However I feel like Alley Catss just comes out of me and builds itself up. It’s strange but I feel it works independently of me.

What kind of music genres are you influenced by?

Lot of cold wave, black metal, ambient and drone. These styles of music infuence me at most.

What are the most influential artists in your life?

I think it was Boards Of Canada who had the biggest influence on me. And maybe Crystal Castles… their 2012 album III was a quite big disappoinment for me, though. I’m a bit out of love now.

What do the ‘90s mean to you? You work on your releases as visual artist, Vviolent Force as well. What do you think about the recent golden age of tumblr aesthetic and lo-fi images?

I like that aesthetic; I love gifs and lo-fi images. I think it’s a good thing to recall that era.

You are a part of the internet generation, what do you think about digitalization?

I don’t like it, music in real life is much better, there’s more excitement and effort to it than in online releases. It’s more tangible, too. I would love to work it out in a traditional band format.

What are your future plans?

I want to release a mini EP ‘RTC’ and another one this year and I’ll see what ideas will come to my mind next.

(II) by Alley Catss


by András G Varga, Easterndaze and Electronic Beats Budapest collaborator, you can find him on Twitter here.