A native Londoner who spent the first 20 years of his life wandering through Europe, the Middle East & Southeast Asia, Eric Volta’s exposure to different cultures throughout his formative years has helped fuel his diverse artistic and musical curiosity. Eric Volta’s music is cosmic, psychedelic and extraordinary. Responsible for one of 2013’s biggest records – Love Your Illusion – Eric’s unique style and his tendency to cleverly walk the fringes & blend music from many different genres has often created some of the most memorable musical journeys that one will rarely hear.
In this edition of 10 Questions, he shares with us a little more about himself and the one record he’d listen for the rest of his life.
Describe your surroundings right now.
I’m sitting in there room where I lived growing up as a teenager in Singapore. My mum has decided to turn it into a storeroom of sorts. It currently houses all the clothes she used to wear in the 80s. I suppose she thinks at 70 and after a few diets she will be rocking these over the top and loud-assed jackets. If they were my size, I would happily wear a lot of them. Over the last 4 years it’s a bit of a struggle between her and I on just how this room ought to be used. Within 5 minutes walk of here is one of my favourites and one of the best prata houses in Singapore at 89 Kampung Bahru Road.
What is the hardest thing you have learned since becoming a full-time artist?
How to not see this as a job – it’s definitely something you have to learn before even thinking of yourself as an artist. I think anyone who sees art as a job is betraying the purpose of being creative in the first place. It’s a wretched way of bastardising the creative endeavour. It’s tough, you have to realise you are a commodity – which is a horrible realisation – but that doesn’t mean you have to install the same mentality towards what you’re making. I’ve gotten over that now for many years. But that part is definitely hard. I tend to enjoy things more from the outside these days. Stepping in to make a little noise and then go back into hiding.
What is the one thing everyone gets wrong about you?
That I’m not so serious.
In there one particular track that you are most proud of?
My closest friends can tell you about the music they get to hear at my studio or home. Stuff that never gets released. And I’m ok with that. Not everything is for sale. Not everything has to be shared. Somethings are sacred, intimate and personal. Sometimes I’ll play some of these in public. Sometimes
What are the elements of a good party?
A good sound system that is neither too loud nor too quiet, friendly security & staff, nothing is overpriced, and whoever is selecting the music must have good taste.
For you, is the dancefloor a lonely place where you lose yourself in music or a communal place where you feel connected to everyone?
Being on the dance floor is pretty rare for me. These days I enjoy sitting back and listening to the music. I don’t like loud music. Sometimes I find a quiet corner and I remind myself that I know how to breakdance.
But my favourite moments on the floor are when all are one. When there is unity and we all feel like we’ve been on a journey of discovery together. It used to be so prevalent with drum & bass with everyone trying to outdo one another. Those are my favourite moments on a dance floor.
If you had to listen to one record for the rest of your life what would it be?
This is such an unfair question. Like choosing a life partner! More perverse in fact, like choosing only a small part of a life partner.
I’ll narrow it down to a few of the top of my head Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient works I & II , all of Chopin’s Nocturnes, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side, Seckou Keita’s 22 Strings, Radiohead Kid A, Vangelis’ score to Bladerunner, some Kronos Quartet , some Arvo Part, some Bad Plus, some Rancid , some Tosh, some Mulatu… can’t be just one record!
Do you have a vision in your head of where you want to be, musically speaking?
I still want to get involved in more video and film projects. If anyone out there reading this wants to collaborate – hit me up!
What is your favourite record store in Berlin?
I guess the main one would be Space Hall. They just have everything. My favourite, up till it closed last year, was Record Loft with crates of old unknown records. You’d really have to dig for your treasure there. My other favourite is Wowsville, which specialises in 7” records (a favourite format of mine); their killer collection of Mod records.
What’s next in store for Eric Volta?
I’ve just finished 2 remixes for some cool labels. Both vinyl only. The first one up is a special remix for DOTT from Bangkok on More Rice. These are some of my favourite people! The other remix is for a vinyl label from Peru called Segman. This remix is a straight up trip. I went into the studio to bounce my finished project and somehow 20 hours and lines later this other version is what surfaced. Homeys Navid Izadi and Tone of Arc will also feature on that 12”.