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The synths of SILF

Published December, 2012
by Easterndaze


The Budapest-based duo of Silf is a new project by experimental electronic producer Martin Mikolai aka Stephan Olbricht and his Farbwechsel co-founder and label boss Bálint Zalkai aka Alpár, exploring leftfield territories of acid, Chicago and Detroit house, with a blend of Eastern melancholia, tropic daze and vintage nostalgia. Their self-titled first EP premiers here today /insert smug smile/, stream the record in its entirety before it will be released on 1st of January 2013 via Farbwechsel. Btw and if you’re at it, check out their nice podcast they’ve done for us a while ago here.

When have you started Silf?

Bálint Zalkai: A little more than a year ago Martin came over to jam and make music. It evolved into Silf in spring of 2012. We had another work title for the band while sending out the demos but the music was also completely different. It was more like noisy techno and acid stuff. Around then we started to work on instruments like synthesizers and drum machines replacing computers. So, it started in last November and evolved into Silf by this spring, until it came together musically and we began to feel how to use the instruments.

Martin Mikolai: …And to collect the right instruments for the production because first we just had a drum machine and a synth.

Are there any influences you had on your music production?

B.Z.: There were many genres influencing me, almost every year I changed the music genre I was listening to though I had some records stuck in my CD player. Then two years ago when Chicago house came back we were wondering on stuff showing up from the 80s. Simple stuff made with a drum machine and two synthesizers but fucking cool. Kind of basic but still enchanting. We started Silf in this mood and here we are now.

How did you make your first video?

B.Z.: The video is directed and styled by Éva Szombat and Adél Koleszár. It was inspired by the first picture we made ever, it has a kind of a trash-style, Eastern tropical feeling. The track of the video “Satellite Phone Blinks Red Light” is the oldest track on the EP.

The EP has been also recorded with one drum machine and two synthesizers?

B.Z.: No, there are sometimes three synthesizers but it is very minimalistic. And as we found out something, we were practicing it a little bit and recorded it immediately. All of the tracks are two layered recordings without post-production. We didn’t take something off and on. Somehow we don’t make nice music, it’s just happening somehow. If we found some interesting themes we tried to completely unfold it and not to sit and think on it for months.

You released the EP on your co-founded Farbwechsel, can you tell us more about the label?

M.M: The Farbwechsel label consists of four of us. Besides us we have Erik Bánhalmi aka Svindler from Monkey6 crew living in Los Angeles right now, and Balázs Semsei aka Norwell  debuting with a new EP via Shabu Recordings recently. The label boss is Bálint Zalkai and he manages Farbwechsel’s business.

What’s Farbwechsel’s concept?

M.M.: We wish to promote Hungarian acts. There is a bunch of cool stuff out there but they can’t make it just until Bandcamp, for example Route8 , Henry Winstanley etc. The label has roots in house but there will be more cool records beyond that released.

What’s next for Silf?

M.M.: There is a new EP in the making, the recording session will take place in January. We have a couple of drafts so we’ll see the exact date yet.

Stream their EP here:

Silf’s self-titled debut EP will be released on 1st of January 2013 on Farbwechsel and will be available on limited 50 copies cassette edition and digital formats. The cassette edition includes two extra tracks Asian And Mexican Billioners (Slow Version), Shadows On White Limestone Monuments (Alpár Remix).

by András G. Varga live from Budapest