Smitten since her dizzying Somewhere Else performance at Trouw, we figured it was about time we sat down with Lena Willikens
Pascal Pinkert is easily one of the most interesting producers in our little country. His music defies categorization, taking in bits of strange electronic soundtracks of seventies pulp cinema, off-kilter disco and – as his stage name Dollkraut already suggests – there’s a fair bit of Sovjet-era Germany in there as well. Being such a singular and seemingly weird character, we were eager to find out more. It turns out he’s not the evil genius we we’re half expecting him to be, but a very friendly chap with a penchant for old movies, coffee and analog gear.
There’s a quote on your Soundcloud page that reads “Always in search of ancient mysteries”. How many have you found so far?
Well, I read a lot of… not really conspiracy theories, but things like it, stuff like Area 51 or the Bermuda triangle. I find those kind of mysterious phenomena really interesting. I get a lot of inspiration out of that as well. But that particular quote has a different meaning to me. I’m really interested in old music and recording techniques and stuff like that. So that sentence is really more about that. I’m not that interested in innovation in music. Like, I relate it mostly to those people who perform live with just a laptop. I mean, what the hell are those people doing, anyway? And why does the audience just accept that? I just don’t understand why someone would bother playing live if they’re not doing anything besides pushing some buttons on a computer. I’d much rather make something completely from scratch.
One of the songs on your album is called ‘NSFW’. Have you ever accidently opened something while working that in retrospect you shouldn’t have?
No, not really. I’ve never really had a proper desk job though, I’ve always had pretty dull jobs, you know, just to get by. Now I’m quite able to live off of music. I think it’s really important that you do something that you really love. So that’s what I’m doing.
Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong decade? I mean, with your interest in old technology and movies and all?
Yeah, I sometimes think that. I would have wanted to live in the ‘70s. For starters because in my opinion the best movies were made in that decade. One of my favourites is a movie called Goodbye & Amen, an Italian crime movie with a magnificent soundtrack. It’s a bit cheesy but also very funky.
What does the word ‘obscure’ mean to you?
Obscure things make me happy. I think it means everything that’s extraordinary. Things that are weird. If it’s not easily to point out what something is, I’m instantly interested. I think I’ve always been different, I’m not one that follows the masses. Sometimes people ask me if I can’t make a hit song or something. But that is something I really just can’t do. I wouldn’t know how or where to begin.
What’s the most obscure object you have in your possession?
Hmm. That’s a tough question. Let me think. I’ve got a pretty weird espresso machine. Which is good, because I’m pretty much addicted to coffee. The coffee machine is Italian, and it’s called La Pavoni Europiccola. I really like old stuff. I also drive an oldtimer Mercedes. I guess I’m not the type that could buy a lamp at Ikea or anything.
What’s the oldest thing you have?
I’ve got a really old synthesizer, a Kawai from 1978. And also a drumkit from ‘67. I think that’s the oldest thing I have.
You are playing Lente Kabinet this spring. The visual style of Lente Kabinet has this whole vibe of carnival freakshows. If you could put together a freak show, what would you want to have in it?
I think I’d much rather show movies that I love. I’d call it “Dollkraut’s fantastic film house”.
If they would make a drawing of you in the visual style of Lente Kabinet, what would you want to look like?
I think I’d like to just stand up straight. I’m not really good at posing. First of all I’m really not that flexible, and also I’m just not that weird.
Dollkraut performs at Lente Kabinet 2015 at Het Twiske, Amsterdam on 30 May.