PILLOWDIVER PROFILE ON TEXTURA
August 27 2009
René E. Margraff
: Born in 1975, currently living and working in Berlin
Personal Style, Philosophy, or Approach
: I am not sure how to answer the question about my personal style. I guess you can call it drone, experimental guitar music, or whatever. The main sound source of my music is the guitar. This allows me the biggest variety of sounds. I also love the directness of the guitar, as opposed to pressing a key on a midi-controller or even a synth. The light touch of a string or the wonderful world of noises picked up/created by the guitar keep me fascinated. It is definitely the easiest tool with which to express myself although virtuosity never rang my door. Pillowdiver started with the idea to focus on the guitar in my music, but not in a restrictive way. However I am not interested in overloading my tracks and always try to find the essence in simple motifs. If a note does not add anything, don't play it. Or to cite one of my heroes, Mark Hollis: "Before you play two notes, learn how to play one note—and don't play one note unless you've got a reason to play it."
Gear and Working Methods:
a Fender Jazzmaster (62 RW, made in Japan), some hardware loopers (EHX 2880, Line 6 DL4), some effect pedals, fed into an old Line 6 Pod and/or a small Fender Tube Amp. Sometimes recorded directly into Ableton Live, processed further with delay, reverb, and distortion plug-ins or recorded onto some old Fostex cassette 4-track. There is no rule and no fixed work flow.
I am not so sure if I am influenced by other guitarists. I would rather get stopped by my non-virtuosity.
Lee Renaldo, Michael Karoli, Ash Bowie, some amazing Marks: Mark Hollis, Mark Clifford, Mark Nelson, Charles Bullen, Ian Crause, Kevin Shields…
Desert Island albums:
1. Seefeel's Quique, because it combines lots of things I love and does not show its age at
2. Ben Frost's Theory of Machines, because of its great balance of noise and
3. Belong's October Language, because it still sends shivers down my spine and creates a
fuzzy wall of sound
4. Dinosaur Jr.'s You're living all over me, because of the energy and the angst; J. Mascis
is the only guy who I can stand playing a Wah-Wah pedal
5. Sonic Youth's Evol, because it is their best record, a more stripped-down sound and
6. Hood's silent 88, because I grew up on this.
7. Autechre's LP5, because they know how to impress me with complexity…
8. New Order's Ceremony seven-inch, my favourite song ever…
Life-Changing Concert Experience:
Polvo in 1993, because of the amazing tunings and energy on stage; Long Fin Killie, sometime in 1996, because of their tightness; Ben Frost in 2008 as he knows how to translate his music into a live gig.
Regarding my life as a recording artist the answer is clear: releasing on 12k
Take on Experimental Music in its Current Form:
I listen to lots of current releases; however, it is usually not more than five records a year that become long-time favourites. I cannot say if experimental music has become better or worse…
Currently Promoting / Latest release:
Sleeping Pills on 12k
Tony on a bike on Under the Spire (later this year)
Currently Working On
: Currently I am breaking my head over a good approach how to present my music on stage and still keep the gear necessary rather small. I've also started recording new tracks.
textura review: Sleeping Pills