Deru (aka L.A.'s Ben Wynn) from Los Angeles is a musician who privilege textures conformed of statics and noises, aesthetic that allow him to confront and at the same time fuse with the harmonies that unfold throughout the keyboard's lines. This is what he promotes this time with the release of his second album Trying To Remember on the Merck label.

His first LP, Pushing Air, was released in 2003 on the London-based Neo Ouija imprint. In addition, he did a remix for Tiki Obmar and made appearances on compilations released on Delikatessen and the third volume of the series Clicks & Cuts on Mille Plateux.

It might be difficult to understand the equation between noise and melodies with ambience in the background. How do you explain this symbiosis in your music?
Noise definitely plays an important part in my music. I've always liked dirt and static. It's one of the first things I noticed about hip-hop. There are so many different kinds of noise, so many colors. We only have a few words for describing them. I tend to accent noise and bring it out. Noise and texture often form the basis for my songs, then I place the melodies somewhere within all that.

Which kinds of sounds or noises do you like to record?
If I'm sampling I like grabbing sounds that have odd random sounding events in them. It could be the part in-between two sounds, or maybe the end of a phrase. I like to start with complex sources; I find the end result more satisfying that way.

It seems there is a story behind your album Trying To Remember, as can be noted from the track titles ("I Don't Know You," The Reasons," "Words You Said"). What's your opinion about this?
The title for the album came from around a time when I was thinking a lot about memory. I've been fascinated by how terrible I am with people's names and driving directions, yet I remember words to rap songs I haven't heard in a decade. I've heard these types of things are stored in different places in the brain. Like Alzheimer's patients who can't remember the names of their children but can sing along to songs from their youth. This was also a transitional period for me. I was doing freelance work after I graduated school and had a lot of free time. My grandmother died during this period as well, so she was an inspiration. Her voice is on the first track.

What's your opinion about the netlabels? I realize that many traditional labels - for the most part - keeps and cares about quality, but unfortunately there are many netlabels which are of dubious quality, and therefore keep a low profile.
I like objects. I've never really felt like I've owned music unless I have a copy of it for my own. It gives a location to place your feelings.

I think that the last track on the aforementioned album, "Only The Circle," shows a different side of your music. It's still ambient, but the kind of atmosphere that evokes a different place. I would say that the rest of the album was made within the city limits, while "Only The Circle" was made far from the city. Do you agree?
I like your analogy. I know what you mean. This is one of those tracks that built itself. Those come along ever so often for me and they're usually my favorite tracks. It's a more introspective song compared to the others, but I think it compliments them. I named it "Only The Circle" because I like the idea that everything comes around in the end. Things resolve. It's about those times when you feel at peace, completed, when you know everything is going to be alright, or when you finally remember.


Mush Records