Late Bloøm is the latest project from multi-instrumentalist/composer Simon Spiess. You might know him from from his trio or the outfit called Træ, or from his collaborative work with projects such as ‘Kaos Protocol’ or ‘Aint About Me’. The forthcoming double release is just the beginning of a new language which will be explored by a whole cycle of releases.
1: I‘m a saxophonist and a synth addict! Late Bloøm is something new for me, a new persona. It gives me the space to explore a new found freedom.
2: I lived in different countries but always came back to Switzerland. I live a more isolated life now and it gives me this focus to steadily create.
3: I am dedicated to honesty expressed in sound.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Life with its indescribable magic. Otherworldly things, nature, landscapes and the mystical fog of autumn! I love the feeling when you pass through a lush field abloom, past the tall grass, and you can suddenly see the waters of the fjord.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started early! As a teenager I played in a funk and jazz band. When I think back on this time I can still taste the coffee and smell the cigarettes! I became a multi instrumentalist much, much later. In the beginning, my focus was on polishing my skills on the saxophone and learning music theory. After that, I got hooked on synths and tape techniques. I still bathe in the sounds of my modular, almost daily. As Late Bloøm, I‘m more focused on electronic instruments, tapes and effects. In this context I use my woodwinds more as sound processors.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
A Love Supreme – John Coltrane
Meditations – John Coltrane
Tabula Rasa – Arvo Pärt
Insen – Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto
Piano Nights – Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
My great grandmother was Jewish, she survived WWII while living in Berlin, refusing to evacuate her apartment! She was so stubborn and strong that she could actually pull this off. This taught me that if you have a clear focus in life, you’ll be able to reach your goals, regardless. Berlin was my home for a while and I got into techno and electronic music while living there, and my interest in synths started in this city, as well. I can clearly remember that feeling of going out to my first techno party. It was so wonderful! Dancing the whole night to this rough music.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I live in a very shitty small town right now, because it has this beautiful old factory called ‘Hugi’, with amazing lofts. This factory, which is now my home and the home of my family is by far my favourite place at the moment! There’s a slow river flowing through the forest nearby. The factory used to produce shoes, but it was empty for decades, until it was finally renovated. Now all kinds of people live in it. It has this calm atmosphere, which my need of being more in tune with my centre. I draw a lot of power and inspiration from this. It’s also nice to wake up in a room with a ceiling that is four metres high! It gives your dreams and imagination more space to grow.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
I’d be a monk. It would’t be so much different from being a musician, though. I meditate every day anyway!
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
‘Ambient Piano Works’ from Hainbach. I bought it because he’s a big inspiration in terms of techniques. I love the album because of it‘s roughness and how it was recorded. He can create this wonderful sonic universe with loops and soundscapes! You can tell, that he‘s working on his music as if he was possessed! I feel the same way.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Hainbach, Jogginghouse, Elin Piel, Jan Wagner. These are musicians who I really admire for their personal musical language and technique. I’m already in contact with some of them, and learning new things from them. I worked with Jan Wagner on a wonderful project called ‘AINT ABOUT ME’. That was a great experience! He made everything I recorded for him sound so much more beautiful. He’s such a special producer and a really creative mind. I love to work with souls like that.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
There were so many! What I look for is being strongly connected with the audience, and having an open channel. That happens sometimes, but only if you can let go of any expectations you might have of yourself, your music, the audience and that moment. There were several gigs which I just played with a clear mind and no expectations. When you are on tour, traveling the whole day, having all this stress related to logistics, sometimes you go on stage not wanting to play anymore, because you are so affected by these experiences. On a day like that, after the third song, usually, you start your solo and….. BAM!!!! There it is! A straight channel to one or more people in the audience. The hair on the back of my neck starts to rise. This is what I live for.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It’s very important. It‘s important that I use a lot of analog gear, which warms everything up and which makes the sound more lo-fi. I use a DAW only for recording. So, if I go to the gig, I bring a lot of heavy shit! One of my favourite synths is the Cocoquantus. It’s like a delay/looper, but in synth form. You can patch cables to transform the loops or the incoming signal, completely. So if you start a song and use it, the song can change completely, over time. You can hear some of these technique on my album. I also used the Lyra 8 from Soma Laboratory in almost every song. As the name implies, it’s very lyrical and has this melancholy in its sound. It’s one of my favourites, because it acts like it’s its own organism. Actually, all the instruments that I use, I really love them! I have a personal relationship with every single one of them!
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I‘m a happy single child, but my wife is a great mirror for me. She has this wonderful honesty which warms my heart. Even when she gives me really hard feedback about something, it comes with this depth and love, which automatically transforms my way of seeing things and gives it a very loving and new direction.
Photo © Late Bloøm