[Interview] Bruno Pronsato exclusive for MNML.nl

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Daniel Logikal
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[Interview] Bruno Pronsato exclusive for MNML.nl

Post by Daniel Logikal » Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:15 pm

Bruno Pronsato

Bruno Pronsato, aka Steven Ford, has been making a lot of noise from the relatively quiet surroundings of Seattle, Washington. With releases on Orac, Telegraph, Musique Risquee, Philpot, Milnor Modern & Hello? Repeat, his music is shaking a lot of ass from North Amercia to Europe & Australia. Mnml.nl invites him over for a chat…

Images courtesy of Christian Meinke @ www.minlove.net

The past year has seen you release some unique, booty-shaking material. There is a definite Bruno Pronsato sound that is unlike any other. Where do you take your influences from that make up your sound palette?

I think I go through a lot of musical phases as far as listening goes. When I go through these things, they’re pretty severe. Like teenager-style or something. I get very one-sided about what I’m listening to and really immerse myself in it – not like a ‘study’ or anything. More like an infatuation, I guess. So each phase affects my music differently. If every record is sounding a little different, (at least to me) it’s because I spend one month on a Curtis Mayfield freak-out, then the next one on Webern, then the next on Dan Bell, etc. I think all producers are hugely influenced by a diverse set of musicians and composers. I guess the ‘Bruno Pronsato sound’ is a sort of attempt to capture all of my favorite moments from all of my favorite musical influences.

Do you draw any influences from your hometown, Seattle?

The city itself is a great place to work. It’s pretty mellow here, actually – so you really get work done. I don’t hang out with a lot of people here, I do run into Jeff Samuel & Lusine at shows. That’s always good time, and those guys are very supportive. But Seattle as a techno scene isn’t really my sort of thing. Aside from the Decibel Festival, which is amazing (incredible, really), I think Seattle is a little bit on the faster BPM side of things when it comes to techno – big hooks and stuff – a little too hard for me personally. So, I’m not out too much going to parties. And of course if I do a show here there are usually about 10 people in attendance – and those are my friends. I usually clear the dance floor in a hurry around here. Real fast like.Seattle has a special thing going on though. There are many active people doing a lot good things. It just doesn’t happen to be what is moving me & I’m not moving Seattle much either.

Where the bloody hell did you come up with the name Bruno Pronsato? Sounds like a Sopranos character...

Ha! It is a real name: Bruno Pronsato is the name of a very charming young man. The real Bruno Pronsato is living in La Plata, Argentina – and yes he knows I ‘borrowed’ his name. He thinks it’s pretty funny actually. I’m glad he’s not angry about it. Steven Ford is really kinda boring – but I’d use it in a pinch.

…And Mrs. Pronsato, what's her involvement in the Bruno Pronsato juggernaut?

Well, she’s actually doing some vocal stuff in just about every track that I make. She’s not really to into the whole techno thing, so it’s pretty easy to talk her into doing vocals. The upside to all of this is that when the vocals are recorded, I’m not having to spend days arguing about how they are arranged or what effect I used. She just does the vocals and after that I just do my thing to them. It’s a very easy process.

Who is Bobby Karate, & will he be making a comeback in the future?

Well, that was a project I did a few years ago. It was pretty much an experiment for me. I think I was probably just trying to find what I liked to do. So the record that I made under that alias is pretty weird as far as stylistic approach – it’s kind of everywhere all at the same time. I think I really came into my most inspired moments making techno – so I figured for the time being that would be my name. So I packed the BK bags and introduced my friend Bruno…

I couldn’t imagine that project resurfacing really. It would be very uninspired if it did. I can say with near certainty that the project is over with.

I read that you were involved in rock bands in an earlier life. Was it a case of progression when you moved into electronic music or did you just get bored of the whole rock band thing?

I think rock just got super boring for me. It just seemed like a case of constantly rehashing the past with a new twist. Not to say that’s what it is in its current state, but as someone making music with other people, it was definitely a direction I couldn’t really see myself maintaining for long. I love playing drums and being in a cooperative environment, but rock doesn’t really do it for me these days. So I got a computer and started to see what could happen there – that was like 1999 or 2000, I think.

Would you agree that as an electronic music producer you can be more creative with the music you make than compared to the standard, sometimes even rigid structures of rock music?

For me the answer is yes. I don’t think that rock is dead, or that it has no future. Like any art form, I’m sure it will see some sort of huge change in the near future. But as far as my personal tastes are concerned, there is nothing *right now* that is really grabbing my attention. Sonically, rock doesn’t do it for me. But as a genre, I’m sure it will see better days. To be fair though, I’m not digging around record stores searching for the new rock sound – that may have a lot to do with my opinion at the moment.

Images courtesy of Christian Meinke @ www.minlove.net

What does your live set-up consist of? Is it pre-planned before a gig or do you improvise on the fly?

My live set-up is Ableton for software. Controller -wise I am using a MicroKontrol and a Doepfer Pocket Control + my powerbook.

I would hate to use the term ‘improv’ with my sets. To a certain degree I improv with samples that I have created - but I want to be clear about what I mean by improv, because I think there is a distinct difference between what I do and what a jazz musician does. First off, for the time being, I am not using any instruments ‘Live.’ What I do is this: In an average set I have anywhere from 200-300 ‘scenes’ in Ableton, which consist of, at most, 8-10 samples a scene.

So, about every 5 scenes or so I have an ‘idea’ or a sketch of some sort. That means there is a bassline, what some might call a ‘hook’, and a few percussive elements and a basic sound of some sort. In each channel I have effects.

Some more than others. The idea is to use each 5 or so scenes as an idea – because after all we are talking about keeping the crowd happy on a Friday or Saturday night in most cases. So you don’t want to go up on stage and do a SONG for 10 minutes. For me, working with these sketches or ideas, not only keeps me happy, but keep things interesting for the audience. Sometimes there is some real magic in one sound, or a percussive element with a certain filter. I keep the ‘ideas’ to a minimum because what works in here may suck there or vise versa.

Images courtesy of Christian Meinke @ www.minlove.net

In Addition to your vinyl releases, you've also had quite a few releases on net labels such as Minlove & Unfound Sound. How do you go about choosing what is given to a vinyl-based label vs a digital-based label? What do you expect net labels to provide you & your music as opposed to a vinyl-based label?

Well, there is really no decision after a track is done on whether or not goes to one label or another. What usually happens is that I have a back catalog of tracks. It really depends on who is asking and at what time they ask. If I have say, 6 tracks, and a vinyl label wants three of them, and a net label asks for one, then I let the vinyl label choose first because they pay. Then whatever is left, I send to the net label. On the other hand, sometime I work exclusively for a label, for example, most of the Telegraph, “Lime Works” series is stuff that I have been working on here and there. There is a sort of theme to those tracks, so they are reserved for that project. If I am behind on releases, as I am at the moment, I devote my time to the labels that are putting out vinyl releases. I usually have two or three tracks laying around that are really not vinyl worthy. By that I mean that they are more experimental and are not so much meant for the DJ. These tracks work much better as a sort of example of working out ideas, or an extended experiment or something along those lines. So they are perfect freebies as they are not fully fleshed out – deserving some one’s hard earned euros.

You played the Mutek Festival last year. Was it everything you expected & more? What other acts did you manage to check out & who got your ass shaking?

Mutek was great. I think it was a little bit more than I expected honestly. Mainly it was a great place to meet some of the people I have only known through email. Like, Vincent Limieux & Marc Leclair of the Musique Risquée label – and the amazing Michael Baumann from the Philpot label. It was really nice to actually have a real conversation with these guys and see a face rather than an email, you know?

I had to leave Mutek on the Sunday so I missed the real ‘booty shaking’ side of the festival. But I thought the Luciano set was amazing. He really knows how too work the crowd. Even though his powerbook crashed once, he was really able to get the crowd right back to the moment where he left off. And that is a real challenge.

You have just wrapped up a month and a half long tour of Europe. What were the highlights?

Wow! I guess every stop was a highlight in some way. But I really enjoyed Italy a lot. I did two shows there and both were really out of this world. From the moment I arrived there it just seemed like everything was amazing – meeting my friend Fabio from Minimono and just going around Florence with him and staying at his amazing house over-looking the city. Eating the best food in the world. Playing to unbelievably enthusiastic people. Italy really goes off on this sort of sound. I guess I just felt a special connection with the people there. This sound is really making headway there, and the people are totally embracing it. I played in Salerno the next night and it is just a repeat of the good words above. I met really too many nice people to name. The clubs, the people – pffff. ITALY!


What releases can we expect to see from you this year?

At the moment I have several releases lined up.

March 27 – ‘Wade in the Water, Children’ – Hello? Repeat
Mid June – ‘The Einhorn EP’ a collaboration with Dario Zenker – Telegraph Records
July – ‘Lady Collage’ – Orac
Late July – a new collaberation with Franco Cinelli on MilnorModern
In August I’m releasing a record on Underl_ne under a new monikor: “Osvaldo” it will be a four track ep.

So this year is a busy one for me. But keep in mind that most of the tracks are either in progress, or were completed in late 2005. I have been traveling around Europe doing shows and have had very little time to get in any time making new music. So, there will be a lot coming all at once, but there will be a pretty long silence after that, as the lead time on records is getting pretty big these days.

Your tips for this year:

Artist: Franco Cinelli
Label: Upcoming – Hello?Repeat – as a mainstay – of course - Perlon
Net Label: Unfoundsound, Microphono

Name your top 5 albums of all time, both electronic & non-electronic.

These are always really rough for me, because mine looks like a million others .

1. Loveless – My Bloody Valentine
2. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
3. Prince – 1999
4. Curtis Mayfield – Curtis!
5. Sly & The Family Stone – There’s A Riot Goin’ On

Something like this – this is what I have been revisiting a lot lately – it will change tomorrow.

Related Links:
Interview conducted exclusively for mnml.nl by Daniel Filipovic
Last edited by Daniel Logikal on Fri May 23, 2008 2:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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le K
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Post by le K » Sat Mar 25, 2006 3:40 pm

Bruno, you rock!!!
I'm completly agree with your vision of Rock'nroll, and like you I think the most important for an artist is to listen a lot of different music and let them influence him...
le-K aka Sylvain Garcia French Musician/DJ/Producer

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Post by Mirza » Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:08 pm

le K wrote:Bruno, you rock!!!
I'm completly agree with your vision of Rock'nroll, and like you I think the most important for an artist is to listen a lot of different music and let them influence him...
totaly agree with you :wink:

Jose Cabrera
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Post by Jose Cabrera » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:38 pm

I love ya Brunito!!!!!!! One of the best person and artist...

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Post by taylan s. yilmaz » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:21 am

beauty soul, good man, intelligent music ... love u bruno.

i'm not forget heinz :)

istanbul waiting you again, rock n roll!!!


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Post by phes » Thu Mar 30, 2006 1:45 am

Nice interview!
brunito´s music is probably the most incredibly intelligent techno (are we still saying minimal) ive heard ...

And also a very very nice chap! :D

Big thumbs up for him!!

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Post by Shadi Megallaa » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:19 am

I agree.. Bruno makes some sh!t hottt music.. adn its all about getting influences from everywhere, so he knows whats up.. big up..

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Post by nicktem » Thu Mar 30, 2006 4:59 am

your a very cool and interesting person, Bruno. And your production is amazing to say the least.


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