With his first solo project, HAND, Sascha Bachmann combined tape loops and moving images to create contrast with the fast, loud world we live in, forging space for emotions, self-reflection, calmness and also excitement.
Check out our interview below, where Sascha talks about his moniker – HAND, his sounds and why tape has a certain nostalgic spirit.
Valarie – Welcome, Sascha Bachmann. Thanks for taking time out for this interview. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – Well, thank you for having me.
Valarie – For anyone who is not familiar with your sounds, how would you best describe it?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – There is a lot to say, but to make it easy, I would describe it as ambient techno. I play with droned sounds and make them a little more dance-able. I want the music to create a feeling between dance-floor and art-room.
Valarie – Why did you take up the moniker – HAND? What does it signify?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – HAND, is mostly about the letters. I like the simplicity and how the word itself looks. Since I was a kid I was always into painting graffiti, where letters are everything. Besides that of course hands are used to create something. I like it to create, to play drums, cut loops from magnetic tape, paint or work with super 8 film. Also if you look at someones hands, sometimes it gives you an insight of who this person is. HAND has a lot of meanings for me.
Valarie – You have recently released your own solo project “HAND”, along with your new album “Debut”. What was the process like?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – To describe it with two words: it was exploring and free. I always wanted to make a solo album but never found the time and the right reason. So after 15 years of playing drums for other musicians, I decided to go for my own dreams.
I’ve already heard the music in my mind for a while, so I just had to find the right instruments to create the sound. I bought different tape recorders, started experimenting and found my way to work with them.
The ideas for the first 4 tracks were basically made in one day. Then I tried out various arrangements and got lost being too influenced by other records. For some reasons I didn’t like my music anymore and stopped listening to it for 5 months. After that period I got back to work and found my vision again, going to where I started and boom, that’s what you hear on the record. I´m very happy with the results.
Valarie – Why was it important to combine tape loops with moving images? What is it that you want fans to take away from this?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – Tape has this nostalgic spirit, and so does super 8 film. It has a certain vibe that you can’t fake or copy. It also reflects the mood of my music. I think music videos in general are supposed to bring the listener into another dimension and it’s important that both, music and artwork, fit together.
I use these kind of images, because I’d like to bring you back to your memories, but still be in the here and now. Like what happens sometimes when you look at old pictures. I hope the listener gets this special feeling.
Valarie – You also decided to make a documentary about HAND. Why was that important & what would you like for us to know about it?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – HAND is not only about the music, but also about the process. It’s very important to show how it was created and what’s the story of the person behind it. When I buy a record I am always interested in the background of the musician and I start researching. This is my way to enjoy everything about the music. With the documentary I want to give a little insight in why I am doing this. I’d like to be myself, an authentic musician.
Valarie – You’re a musician (a drummer) but for your project, you didn’t use any instruments? What was the reason(s) behind that decision?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – As I said before, I always played for other people and one day I was kind of burned out. I decided to focus on myself more.
Don’t get me wrong, I´m definitely a drummer at heart and I love to play drums, and to create music with other musicians. But after 20 years of drumming 24/7 it was time to define what sound for me is and starting to grow as an artist.
Valarie – Is there more music that you would like to share with us?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – I’ve made music in all kinds of genres and I´m sure if you dig a bit you can find some of it online. They’ve been some collaborations for instance with Siriusmo and Jan Driver, but I also played drums on a sampler called Hardcore Connection. I recently came out with an ambient mixtape (you can buy it as a real tape on Bandcamp). An old school techno mixtape is in progress!
Valarie – Do you think there are certain pressures that come from music? How do you cope with roadblocks?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – With music there is a lot of “positive pressure”, especially in the work flow. However the music business is very complex and sometimes forces you to do jobs you are not so into. This can take away your passion and excitement about it. So I am trying to get a good balance between these two sides.
I´m not on the road with HAND yet, cause I’ve been touring a lot in the past. I need a break from seeing the Autobahn all day. But I definitely will play live at special locations and events this year and would love to do a little tour through Europe or the US in spring 2018.
Valarie – Are there any surprises in store for 2017?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – Well, my record is out 🙂 I will create more music videos for each track of my debut. And maybe there will be another vinyl single coming out. It’s still work in progress.
Valarie – Top 5 influences as an artist?
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – William Basinski, Basic Channel, Elvin Jones, Chad van Gaahlen, Moondog
Valarie – Thank you Sascha Bachmann for taking time out to talk with us here at T.H.E – Music Essentials. It’s been an absolute pleasure! Can’t wait for what’s next.
HAND (Sascha Bachmann) – Thank you so much for the interview and all the best for T.H.E – Music Essentials.