0063 // Vialan


You'd be hard pushed to find a more fitting addition to the SM-LL imprint than their latest signee, Vialan. Based in Aaarhus Denmark, Vialan's contribution to the label comes in the form of 'Default 0007' and is very much attuned to the ultra-minimal hardware musings of the imprint's founder, Pokk! Covering seven tracks of crackling, thinned-out dub and technoid beat experiments, 'Default 0007' delves deep into the world of drum machine experimentation.

Speaking to Vialan earlier this month, although always important, it appears minimalist electronics haven't been the only focus for Vialan over the years. "I got into electronic music sometime in the early '80s when I heard Kraftwerk’s 'Spacelab' played on national radio" he begins when quizzed on his early musical interests. "I was totally amazed - those futuristic sounds were far away from anything I’d ever heard! Fortunately, I recorded it to cassette. I remember making a small exhibition in my room of LEGO spaceships - the space theme seemed to go perfectly with the sound of 'Spacelab'."

"Later I discovered Depeche Mode and then I got into Italo-disco. I remember listening to “Discoboksen”, a show on local radio playing all these fresh Italo-disco tracks and mixes. I was into the early electro/hip-hop scene as well and still love a lot of it, especially the Street Sounds 'New York vs L.A. Beats' mix. Later, at high school, I would often go to the local library looking for interesting records and books about the Dadaists. I would hang out in the local record store, buying Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten, Skinny Puppy, Front 242 etc. I also listened to punk and more experimental electronic music like Stockhausen and Xenakis."

Following his school years, Vialan began studying Electronic Engineering before moving to Ireland, departing music for a time due to tinnitus amongst other things. Luckily the hiatus didn't last. "At the end of the '00s I started getting into making music again. I still had some of my old equipment, and slowly started learning Ableton. It took quite some time and when I finally felt I had grasped it, something felt wrong. I discovered I enjoyed making music using hardware a lot more than making music in the box, so I created a setup where I could work without a computer. Most of the tracks on the SM-LL release are excerpts from longish hardware jams, recorded from the main outs of my mixer into a digital recorder. The sound on some of them was quite bad, but Martin [Thompson from SM-LL] did an excellent job mastering them into something a lot better for the Default 0007 release."

Vialan initially began communicating with SM-LL through Soundcloud around a year ago. From there it appears the progression towards arranging a release was a very natural one. "I messaged him, mentioning I was a big fan of Pokk! and SM-LL" he responds when asked about how the release was formed. "Somehow we got into discussing Roland classics, specifically the CR-78 and the RE-201. Inspired by our conversation I quickly did a track based around the CR-78 kick through the RE-201. Martin liked it and the rest is history (laughs). I already had his releases from Sonuos and An Epic and at about the same time started buying the releases on SM-LL. I’ve bought lots of releases through Bandcamp, but Martin was the first one ever to reply with a nice personal mail saying thanks for the support. That made a major impression on me - discovering that the person releasing some of the cleanest, coolest, most interesting and disciplined music I had heard was also a very polite and nice person."

"We send back and forth a lot of ideas, thoughts, tracks and sketches. Honestly I was a bit unsure if I was spamming him or not, so I was a bit nervous when I met up with Lucia and him at Intonal Festival in Sweden, at Malmø’s St. Johannes Church. We met right after Rroses brilliant live performance of 'Having Never Written a Piece for Percussion'. Fortunately, Martin and Lucia both turned out to be even nicer persons in real life than I’d hoped. Lucia and Martin also introduced me to a lot of other nice people, like Finn Albertsson (DJ Finn Of Tomland). Funny thing, because it was Finn’s recommendation on Bandcamp that originally introduced me to SM-LL."

'Default 0007' is the product of a series of jams conducted by Vialan - his preferred method of working. Martin and Lucia of SM-LL then set about curating these live sessions into a coherent release, with Vialan left intrigued by their final cuts. "At first I was quite surprised by their selection" he states. "It’s quite varied in style - I guess. But after a few listens I found that the tracks kind of supported each other in a good way. And started really liking how the tracks supplemented each other. I’m quite glad they did the selection as I really dislike listening to my own tracks."

"The tracks were produced over a long period of time and putting them next to each other seemed weird at first. Funny thing is, the tracks were produced very differently. The first track “Juno Dyb” was a snippet of a very simple dub recorded through the microphone of my old iPhone. Martin had asked me about how my Juno was doing. My reply was that it was well - and still had the dub. I included the recording to prove my point. Imagine I was quite surprised when they suggested that as the opening track."

Vialan's mix for us features a number of the cuts which didn't make it into the final release alongside some more uptempo offerings. In his own words the podcast was his "first mix since making mixtapes in the early '90s, and plenty of tracks were harmed during the making..."


Latex Lynx - Çause [Night Vision Tapes]
Monoton - HZ Waltz [Oral]
*slo-Fi - Untitled (7) [Microwave Recordings]
Ø - Ilta [Sähkö Recordings]
Yves De Mey - 228r [SM-LL]
Vialan - Rainy 303 (Session #13) [UNRELEASED]
SPK - Stammheim Torturkammer [Side Effects]
Clock DVA - Buried Dreams [Interfisch Records]
Lundin Oil - Tear Gas Reason [Northern Electronics]
Goem - ∞ 9 [Microwave Recordings]
Clock DVA - Dark Attractor [Contempo Records]
SPK - In Flagrante Delicto [The Grey Area]
Vialan - DR-55 Session #01 [UNRELEASED]
Else Marie Pade - Syv Cirkler (c.i.r.k.l.e.r.) [Resonance.dk]
Richard Chartier - Err [Microwave Recordings]
Coil - Corybantic Ennui [Threshold House]
Vialan - 20150804_01 [UNRELEASED]
Einstürzende Neubauten - Finger Und Zähne [Some Bizzare]
Throbbing Gristle - United [Industrial Records]
Pokk - 207 [SM-LL]
Ø - Medusa [Sähkö Recordings]
Von Grall - No Contact [Planet Rhythm Records]
Sam KDC - Clairvoyance [Auxiliary]
Flxk1 & DB1 - B1 [Hidden Hawaii]
øjeRum - Part 1 [Scissor Tail]

  • Published
  • May 20, 2016
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