Sied van Riel is terug met 'Rielism 3'. Sinds 2009 was hij niet zo enthousiast en gemotiveerd om muziek te maken. Lees in dit interview hoe hij het album heeft samengesteld en wat je van de plaat mag verwachten!
Om een groter publiek aan te spreken, hebben we het interview in het Engels gelaten.
Welcome, Sied – thanks for chatting with Partyflock and great to have you as the cover star of our June issue! How are things in the Riel World at present!?
First of all, thank you for having me, of course! Things are going very well. I've found my production 'mojo' again, so I've been locking myself up in the studio any chance I got since the start of this year.
I must say that it feels really good. I didn't feel this determined, motivated and excited since 2009.
You've had a busy first half of the year. Give us a quick blow-by-blow of what you've been up to and where you've been playing?
I've spent the first three months almost exclusively in the studio. I was also setting up plans for a new venture with Black Hole (more about which later) and getting the new singles locked in. I did only the occasional gig, as I really needed to focus on the production side. Actually, the first gig was Ministry of sound in London at the end of January, which was a break from the studio, but without breaking the actual rhythm and flow! Quick sidebar: love that venue!
So the year's first real touring started in March after I'd finished 'Rielism 3'. Once that was all sorted I could leave home without having to worry too much! So Ultra Miami and The O2 in Glasgow were the first 2 main events really.
We're mostly here of course to talk about 'Rielism 3'. What's your primary goal when approaching the compiling and mixing of the series' instalments?
For me, when it comes to a compilation, it is all about atmosphere. A track can be really good, but if it doesn't match the atmosphere I want to create, I won't use it. Overall it is quite a process, I think. This is maybe because I think about things a lot (maybe too much) before executing them. So I think about the vibe that I want to lay down in both mixes and what kinds of tracks are needed to achieve that.
Then I'll slowly start gathering music till I think there's enough to form a good foundation. After that I'll begin 'beta mixing' the compilation. I need to feel and hear it and especially find the time the transitions that work really well for me. Normally a label would clear the tracks first, then the artist will mix the compilation after receiving the .WAV files. I do this though myself upfront. When I think both mixes are done I'll send the tracklists over to the label and then I have to wait until I get the green light and hope that no track has been denied. With 'Rielism 3' I had to change one track and then I was presented with two choices. One of them was to postpone the release of 'Rielism 3' in order to be able to use the track, but I had no intentions to do that. Luckily I was prepared and I replaced the track and it was a sealed deal.
Musically, what styles of trance does it cover?
It's not a secret that I've always loved everything that trance offers. Progressive trance, vocal trance, tech trance, uplifting trance. you name it - it's on 'Rielism 3'. I choose to do this because I like to build, drop and roller coaster the ride before peaking it. Also the reason why I prefer long set times, when playing live. This also makes it a lot more challenging for me and it's also cool to try and combine various styles within the genre and then try to make that work. It's old school maybe when you compare to those 35 tracks in an hour mixes you see More And More these days. But again, for me, it's about atmosphere, quality of music and not about how many hits I can shovel into an hour's mix.
You're notably more compilation-focussed rather than artist album oriented. What are the main motivations behind that?
Never actually put much thought in to that to be honest! Maybe it's because I didn't want to put too much pressure on myself. My main motivation was to get my productions back on track and release regularly instead of 1 track every 6 months. Now I want to release good, solid singles and move forward. Then take it as it comes by giving everything I've got. Not saying I'll never do an album, but for now I want to focus on solid releases. Never saying never...
What's the day-one start-point for the mix-comp?
Ha! It would go something like this. and remember it's a long process for me. Wake up. Have an epiphany. Walk my dogs, double black coffee and a smoke. And then think, think and think again.. Think some more (lot of thought goes into this). Write a few emails, delete them.. Then probably rewrite the same emails again, cause at second thoughts, they sounded quite good. Send more emails to my A&R manager, manager, agent and then wait. Then set a date with the label and at that very moment I already know I'm not going to make that deadline (hahaha!). Seriously. After that I'll start picturing the music and vibe. This happens at the most random places and at the most random times. I could be in a conversation and wonder off. I'm a daydreamer by nature so I think I get away with it. My grandmother always use to confront me with that. "Stop daydreaming, Sied!"
How close a representation do you feel it is to you 'typical' club set?
Good question. Mix 2 would be more how I would play in a typical club situation. BUT if I was playing an extended set, you'll hear me starting like Mix1 of the compilation and then taking it up. Because I never prepare my sets 100% I can actually adjust on the fly when I play live. I think (personally) that this is important to do as a DJ. Every city, country, region for that matter is different. Sometimes you play more vocals, or deeper, harder or more tech trance, or a combination of. Sometimes I do not build and just dive in headfirst. It really depends on various factors. The line-up, set time, DJ before / after me, what a big plays, etc I'll respect that and take it down towards the end of my set. If I'm headlining I'll do Whatever I please - hoho. I love it all so I'm easy when it comes to adjusting on the fly.
The release of this album also ties into the launch of a new arm of your Rielism marque. What's your mission or intention in launching Rielism Records?
My mission is simple. Release good, solid outings and with that my intention is to help up and coming artists a platform to be themselves and put out the music they think is on par. It's not my intention to be THAT A&R that takes a demo and shapes it into "industry standard". Obviously the mixdowns have to be spot on, but when it comes to arrangement and track lengths and such. hey, go for it! I really want to give them an opportunity to be able to think outside of the box and divert (if wanted) from what is seen as standard these days. If the breakdown is 30 seconds longer then average. So what? If the music and vibe asks for it to be 30 seconds longer then so be it. I already have a cool group of new talents that I'm working with, but it's also very cool to see guys that are already known sending me demos. Awesome and exciting!
Skies the limit, fantasy island: which is the one artist or act you'd like to sign to it!?
Well, let me get this out in the open. I will not use them exclusive deals that turns an artist into a slave. The type of deal where you have to ask for permission even when you want to go get a milkshake. You can't force creativeness by pinning somebody down and neither can you keep it all to yourself. In the end you'll lose. Dictatorship is so 1970s. I'm here to guide and help an artist to grow if that's desired. BUT having said all that, if Aly & Fila ever need a new label place to crash, well welcome aboard chaps! Hahaha. No seriously, I'd like to work with anybody who's positive, produces from within and sends me tracks that rock my world.
What will be your target number of releases by this time next year?
Quality over Quantity: that's the Riel strapline Partyflockers! Every release needs air to breath. I could easily push out a release every 2 weeks, but that would be over doing it. So I am aiming for 6 or 7 releases by the end of this year. That would average 1 every month. In my opinion that is good for the music and the artists involved cause this way a release would never be overshadowed by the next one.
Finally, what are your plans for the second half of 2015?
Produce music, do a lot of gigs, release solid music on Rielism and enjoy it all! Nothing more to it than that.