Subheim is the personal music project of Greek-born, Berlin-based artist Kostas Katsikas. Drawing from his experience in various band s as well as his current activities for film score and sound design, Subheim appears as a deeply personal experience in sounds, atmospheres and moods. May it be with the introvert electronica of his 2008′s “Approach” debut, the successful mixture of orchestral and jazz arrangements in 2010′s “No Land Called Home”, or the experiments heard in various live sets and tracks ever since (including acoustic, contact-mic performances and more beat-driven material), Subheim is a project which draws its cohesion from the truly human touch of his author more than from a small array of sonic elements. Subheim’s third album released by Denovali, Foray, is driven by a progressive subtlety, yet supported by an underbelly of sometimes forlorn, and at other times, disturbing emotion.
1: I’m writing music as a soundtrack to my life and knowing that other people enjoy it the same way is one of the main reasons for me to keep doing this in the years to come.
2: Inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPjwdiD24Kg
3: New album coming in November: http://denovali.com/subheim/
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
A fuzzy mixture of tunes that stuck with me over the years, interactions I have and had with people that play(ed) a role in my life, strange sounds I pick up with my field recorder. It’s not really a single thing I could point out. The aim has always been to write music from the heart, not necessarily well-produced but stuff that can touch people and doesn’t aim at catering to a specific audience.
How and when did you get into making music?
Music making didn’t interest me until the age of 14. That was the time when many kids at school were playing in band s, and other boys and girls were looking up to them. I then realized I wanted to be one of these kids but wanted to play heavier, darker music. That’s how I got into extreme metal, which then evolved to atmospheric and calmer music. From then on, I never stopped exploring music and sound trying to keep my ears and eyes open to anything and everything that resonates with me.
What are your 5 favorite albums of all time?
I’d give a different answer to this question every time I’m asked, so here goes off the top of my head:
GY!BE – F#a#infinity
Fields of the Nephilim – Elizium
Stereo Nova – s/t
Brian Eno – Apollo
Autechre – Incunabula
What do you associate with Berlin?
Basement clubbing, long winters, hot summers, underlit streets, chaos and order in one and the same place. I think it’s a great city to find and lose yourself in.
What’s your favorite place in your town?
I love my neighborhood, Neukölln. Ten or fifteen years ago nobody wanted to live here and nowadays it’s a melting pot for all sorts of cultures. There’s the Turkish community, the hipsters, families, musicians. Take a stroll and you hear all sorts of languages, see all kinds of people from all over the world. That makes it very vivid, colorful. And I like that cause it contrasts nicely with Berlin’s grim weather.
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Paint I guess. I used to be kinda good at it when I was a kid. It still bugs my mom that I dropped this for the sake of writing tunes.
What was the last record you bought?
An album from D’n’B producer Dom & Roland .
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
GY!BE as a spectator in London and ‘Festiwal Ambientalny’ in Poland as a performer.
How important is technology to your creative process?
Important enough but certainly not the predominant driving force. I went through that phase where I’d lay my hand s on all different kinds of software and gear but right now I’m just sticking to a few acoustic instruments, a portable recorder, a couple of analog synths and very little software.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have a younger sister. She’s very supportive, not entirely sure my stuff is her cup of tea but she’s there for me. She’s a good kid.