Exclusive mix 66: The cinematic intimacy of Mathieu Serruys

Ghent-based graphic designer and musician Mathieu Serruys (1988), who also runs record label B.A.A.D.M. together with Joris Verdoodt, works primarily with reel-to-reel tapes and analog synthesisers, his compositions underpinned by sound explorations and other musical artefacts. A fact reinforced in this exclusive mix, which he describes as  having some sort of intimacy. One to meditate to. Or make love to.

Can you describe yourself in a few words?
I’m a graphic designer and musician living and working in Ghent. As a musician, I’m working with the (dis)advantages of reel-to-reel tape machines and analog synthesizers. My work is merely based on looped compositions and surrounded by noise artefacts. I’m also running a label named B.A.A.D.M. with fellow graphic designer and good friend Joris Verdoodt, which focusses on the exploration of music as a medium to evoke extramusical meanings, references, ob­sessions or strategies that can lay hidden behind sound.

How did you first start making music?
When I was a teenager, I was in love with the sound of Boards of Canada. The idea of using old machines to recreate artefacts seemed interesting to me. Today, I kind of grew out of that Boards of Canada love, and opened doors to other, more experimental landscapes.

Is music a full-time thing for you at the moment?
I get around with combining my graphic design practice with live concerts.

Can you describe the mix in a few words?
As with my own music, I’m always subconsciously searching for a filmic, romantic atmosphere. I really like songs that touch me. I think it has a certain intimacy, and may be a bit confronting? I don’t know. I’d listen to it with my headphones on in my bed.

Can you tell us about the exclusive track on the mix?
There are two exclusive tracks on there. One is a track by Mattias Gustafsson, which is to be released on B.A.A.D.M. in the near future. I first discovered him when I was at the Dutch school Werkplaats Typografie. I was building a transmission studio with a friend and there was this tape playing while we were doing it by Cryme. Later, I discovered he was in that band. He also did this project called Ornaments, which made us decide to release an LP by him. The whole LP is basically about decay, about something that’s seemingly dying. The second exclusive track is one of my own. It includes field recordings recorded high up in the Alps in my tent on a peak called Le Cheval Blanc. I love it myself because it represents the place so well for me.

What’s your favourite track on the mix?
It’s hard, but I think I’ll pick the Body Sculptures one. Its very new, so maybe thats the reason. But its so intense. It also makes me think that the Posh Isolation label has only revealed a small part of their capacity. I think so much good music will be flowing out of Copenhagen in the next few years..

What are your top 3 albums of the year so far?

— Vanessa Amara – You’re Welcome Here (Posh Isolation)
Just simply beautiful, from beginning to end.

— The Pheromoans – I’m on Nights (Alter)
The nonchalance of this album speaks to me. And I love edgy pop music!

— Mats Erlandsson – Selective Miracles (Posh Isolation)
I love this cassette because of the beautiful textures. It makes me think of very imposing landscapes.

What do you have coming up in the next few weeks?
I’m thinking of recording some new things.. I think it’s slowly becoming time to give a valid answer to my debut LP.