Syndrome ist das Soloprojekt des Amenra-Gitarristen Mathieu Vandekerckhove. Mit “Floating Veins” hat er vor ein paar Wochen sein Debüt über das belgische Label Consouling Sounds veröffentlicht. Die fünf darauf enthaltenen Instrumantalstücke bewegen sich zwischen Ambient, Drone, Doom und Postrock. Gitarrenwände, Gitarrenlandschaften und unter die Haut gehende Spannungsbögen treffen auf energetische Drums und im Titeltrack sogar auf fabelwesenartige weibliche Vocals. Das Mastering hat Billy Anderson übernommen, der schon für Neurosis an den Reglern stand.
Wir haben Mathieu ein paar Fragen zu seiner Soloarbeit gestellt und ein paar aufschlußreiche Antworten bekommen, aber lest selbst:
Tell us a little bit about the incitement behind Syndrome. How did this project of yours begin?
Syndrome started out very naturally. About 7 years ago I started experimenting with recording music at home. I wasn’t planning to ever release this at all. I did it just for myself. It had a soothing effect on me, like meditation. It allowed me to transfer negative energy into positive energy.
„Floating Veins“ found a home at Consouling Sounds. How did you meet up with the label guys?
Colin (Amenra) put me in touch with Consouling Sounds. I already knew the label from the Aidan Baker/Nadja releases. Consouling Sounds feels like the perfect label for Syndrome. My music fits in really well with the rest of the artist roster and the people who run it work hard. I’m truly overjoyed about them signing me.
There is a change of musical approach between „Project 1“ (DVD) and „Floating Veins“. The music moves from improvised Ambient to more complex arranged songs. How did this change happen?
I made Project 1 in cooperation with my girlfriend Tine Guns, who is a video artist. She showed me the images and those inspired me. For Floating Veins I deliberately opted to have separate songs instead of one track, as each song is a different memory for me.
Your artwork and your visuals are strongly connected to nature. What is the connection to the music?
Nature to me means equilibrium, freedom, beauty, inspiration… these are things I want the audience to experience through the artwork and visuals.
Is there a single track on „Floating Veins“ that has a bigger significance than the others? If so, which song is it and why?
Each and every one of the songs means a great deal to me, but if I had to pick one, I’d choose Wolf. I wrote that song after my son Wolf was born. I tried to turn the feeling I was experiencing at the time and the moment itself into a song.
You recorded the album last year at home in Gent. How did you work out the songs? Did you collect different ideas, or did you already have a concept in mind?
There wasn’t really pre planned concept or idea. I consider Syndrome to be kind of like my photo album, but instead of pictures I use music from different moments, different feelings… For the album it took me over a year to collect all the different pieces. What I’m feeling when I’m writing a song guides me. Each song represents a different memory.
Will you come to Germany to play live?
I hope so. If they book me.
Your record is very short and leaves the listener curious and hungry for more! Are there any near future plans for a follow up release?
Definitely, there’ll be a new album out on Consouling Sounds next year and at the beginning of November 2011 I’m planning to do a week of touring Europe (first week of november) with Sequences and Monotonos.
I’m also working on Syndrome Collective, which is a theatrical performance in which we experiment with light, sound, video and screens. The premier for this will be on December 2nd at the Next festival in the city theatre of Kortrijk.