RSS feed RSS Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook 15 Questions 15 Questions

Slaapwel: "Nothing but a slow fading Outro"

img  Tobias

How did the idea for the label develop?
I have lots of silly ideas.., And one of them was to create a track that would be really good to put on when you go to bed. I make music all the time, so I'm constantly having ideas for tracks, both conceptually and musically. At that time, I used to listen a lot to music while going to sleep. It's a perfect moment to really listen to something, and then float off into sleephood. It was in 2006. So I created the track, and made the artwork entirely from fleece, so it sort of resembled a supersoft mini-pillow. Some friends seemed to like the idea, and I was thinking: Why not invite musician-friends to do the same. And so the idea of the label was born -  Slaapwel meaning "sleep well" in Dutch. I invited a few friends and asked them for a piece, but it was not until Wouter Van Veldhoven submitted something for the first release, that the idea really took shape. With that release the whole aesthetic of the label were shaped, the "rules", and the sort of label I'd like it to be. It all evolved pretty seamlessly and without too much tought.

Mostly, artists are eager to keep their audiences wide awake. What is their reaction when you approach them about scoring "boring" music to fall asleep to?
Most of them seem to fall asleep to other music as well, so they seem to understand the idea before I explain the goal of the label. I guess musicians in general (or at least the ones I invited) are really involved with music as something fundamental to their lives, so they're pretty open minded to what music can be. It can be boring, and it can be exciting... and both can be positive or negative. Different circumstances can ask for different music. I haven't had a complaint about my use of the word "boring" either. In a way it's offensive, but if you keep the goal of the label in mind, it's just the opposite of "exciting" and everyone knows it is difficult to fall asleep to exciting music :)

After having followed the concept for four releases now, what are ideal factors for sleep-inducing music according to you?
Well, I try to ignore those ideal factors. I'm not trying to release (or find) the best sleep-inducing music. I'd prefer to release a lot of different types of sleep-inducing music. I know I can sleep to Autechre or Tim Hecker very well, even though some might find that music to be aggresive. I do know drones can work really well, the absence of beats or drums doesn't harm either. A common "mistake" I find when I get demo's or submissions is that a lot of artists tend to start really quietly, then some sort of modest climax and a slow fading outro. The ideal release is nothing but a slow fading outro. All the rest is just too interesting, or tension raising. The most interesting part of your composition should be the first ten seconds, after that, it should do nothing but fade.

Given the sympathetically eccentric outlook of the label, I could well imagine that you do not only build friendly relations with your artists but with your customers as well. Do they tend to give you a lot of feedback whether they are really listening the music before falling asleep?
Well, there are some friendly peeps who really seem into the label and definitly want to have them all. Sometimes I suspect them of not really using the music as it was intended, but for listening purposes! Which is fine :-) -  I rarely get an e-mail of someone saying that the music really helped him/her to fall asleep. So, yes, I have some friendly relations with "customers", but there's no one yet who offered any advice on making better sleeping music or something along those lines. I secretly hope someone will though. I'd be most happy if someone not only liked the music, but thought it was useful for sleeping too.

Which release of your catalogue do you personally prefer to fall asleep to?
You know this is a "wrong" question! It's like choosing between your own children. Fortunately, I can do that. :-) - While I like (and succesfully tested) all releases, I must say I am most pleased by "Home" by Steinbrüchel. Everything of that release is perfect. The way you seem to plunge into the music, literally the first second of the record, is perfect.., and then you're among slow guitar-waves and they're incredibly soothing. It's so good, at various levels of volumes to put on while going to bed. Also the sound of it all is so well produced. Highly recommended!

„Home“ bei Steinbrüchel is available from the artists himself or a couple of select mailorders. A limited stock of earlier Slaapwel releases can be ordered with the label.

Homepage: Slaapwel

Related articles

CD Feature/ Steinbrüchel: "Sustain"
Virtuosity: Explores the untapped possibilities ...
CD Feature/ Jason Corder & Beta Two Agonist: "Further to Find Closer"
Accidental Progression: A morphing cloud ...
CD Feature/ Nebulo: "Avutma"
Ghostly networks: Different tones, playing ...
CD Feature/ Description Without Place: "Filaments"
Constantly taking stock of their ...
CD Feature/ Alva Noto: "Xerrox Vol. 2"
Emotion transcending the tools used ...
Interview with Machinefabriek
An Interview with Rutger Zuydervelt ...
Chocolate Sprinkle Sounds
Torturing the Postman: Stephen Vitiello ...
CD Feature/ Asher: "Intervals", "Cell Memory", "Graceful Degradation: Variations"
Methodical perfection: Three albums by ...
CD Feature/ Schurer > Steinbrüchel: "Falte"
A sensually engulfing experience: Musical ...
Net Feature/ Sawako & V.A.: "Summer Tour Remix Volume 1"
The Summer tour goes on: ...
Non Visual Objects: Surrealist Techniques (a.o. releases)
Vienna-based label Non Visual Objects ...

Partner sites