Mikkel Oldrup is a composer and producer exploring trance-inducing rhythmical realms with a minimalist approach – oftentimes combining it with maximalist beats. In 2018 Oldrup co-founded the community based record-label No Technique with Emil Duvier andJohan Carøe, seeking to further the local scene in Copenhagen. Working with domestic and international artists, No Technique’s goal is to promote and champion a local community and seek kind and generous relations.
Mikkel now presents ‘Bracing Days’, an album consisting of six electroacoustic tracks playing with syncopation and layers, exploring memories over time in the pursuit of new perspectives and reflections in life. Mixing modular synths with piano and breakbeat percussion, the Danish producer examines how his hindsight shapes his foresight. ‘Bracing Days’ turns its focus to balance and spirituality, striving for a lucid album with fewer layers and a deeper feeling of zen.
1. Sometimes I’m on top.
2. Sometimes I have no idea.
3. I find zen in public transport.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Rhythm is my driver. Disappearing into rhythm is for me one of the best states for emotional connection when creating. So in a way dancing or moving. But I also spend a lot of time in the studio revisiting recent times, connections and events, analyzing and trying to accept.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing piano and drums as a kid and kept going with the piano through high school. I dreamt of being a classical concert pianist and later on jazz was my path, until I moved in with a roommate who was doing music with a computer.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
I can’t really figure out all time favorites, things seem to change so often. But I can list 5 that have been on repeat last few months
Casey MQ – babycasey
Merk – infinite youth
Colin Stetson – New History Warfare vol.2: Judges
Sevdaliza – shabrang
Johan Carøe & Sofie Birch – Repair Techniques
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Walking around randomly, hanging out with friends. Getting lost in a good way and then finding the best döner <3.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
A small park close to my flat where I go to recharge. It’s close to home and I never meet anyone there, so it’s a safe space to just be me (for a part introvert part extrovert). It’s halfway between my studio and the apartments of my four friends that live in two flats on top of each other (also a favorite place).
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Something with people that I would be able to help, maybe like a therapist. Talking deep for a living.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Beautiful collection of 5 different tapes by 5 artists released on danish label Forlaget Kornmod.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
First thing I think of, is a show with a drummer and me, playing the most flexible electronic setup I’ve tried making yet. Drummachine and electronics thru amps and the drummer on top playing like a train. Super warm and intimate — I’ve rarely had that much fun on stage.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
It’s essential and deeply integrated in all aspects. I feel that if I input the right stuff, and turn a knob, machines will output something I couldn’t have done as a human. I always seek to kind of humanize the result afterwards though, like an instinct to make the machine have flaws and make mistakes. Technology is also crucial for me to be able to capture ideas and mold them, until they become something new — the computer is perfect for this — but other machines have other qualities. I often feel an idea has to go through a process and become something else, before I can stick to it. With technology I can save it and when I come back, it’s what I left it at, not necessarily what I remember, but my perception has changed.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
I have a brother a few years older than me, he is a trained classical guitarist and his wife is a recorder player. Even though the two creative worlds differ somehow, we have a connection and understanding.
Photo © Emil Duvier