Thanks to the magic of the Internet, I can make international interviews and meet interesting artists like BB3 Dynamics. He is an electronic music producer whose latest EP called ‘Life Trichotomy‘ combines music with philosophy. Below, he answered in a nice way to all my questions, and it will be great for you and me to discover more about him…
1 – What is the story behind your artistic name, BB3 Dynamics?
My birth name is “Bates Belk III” and therefore “BB3” is my acronym version of my birth name. The “Dynamics” in my artistic name has multiple meanings to me including the dynamics of embracing life with continuous change and the dynamics in intensity and contrast when sounds interact. And of course there are always dynamics when anyone enters the world of BB3…guaranteed!
2 – Why did you move to Berlin?
I’ve always had every intention of moving to Europe to live. After 20 phenomenal and exciting years of living in New York City, it was the right time for me in early 2015 to make a major change and move to Berlin. Over the last few years for me, as an artist in New York City, it had become increasingly challenging finding other artists to collaborate with…simply because local economic conditions forced many artists to find other cost effective yet less effective ways of creating their art in New York City. And like me, many artists ended up leaving New York City to continue their art in other parts of the world. The talent pool and amount of risk-taking artists in New York City dried up for me. Germany is a wonderful country that publically welcomes artists of multiple disciplines from all over the world. And I’ve been visiting Berlin regularly since the 2000s and I’ve always been able to find a surplus of like-minded artists to collaborate with. It’s the right fit for me and my art at this time. I’m having a great time in Berlin.
3 – Describe a typical day in Berlin with BB3? What are some activities/places you enjoy in the German capital?
A typical day in Berlin for BB3 is creating my music 16+ hours a day: concepting, songwriting, sound designing and collaborating with other artists all over the city. But, when I am not creating music, a typical day in Berlin for BB3 can include exercising for 2 hours in my neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, drinking a cappuccino in one of the numerous cafes, exploring in one or more of the over 2500 gorgeous parks and gardens, visiting underground art galleries, dining at one of many gourmet restaurants in the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, shopping for vinyl at the many record stores, hanging out at the endless supply of bars and cafes, attending concerts or experimental theatres and then most likely dancing somewhere until the sun comes up. I like to have fun in any city I am in. Berlin is a perfect city to have continuous fun. I haven’t owned a TV since 2008 and I don’t hang out on couches. I’m always out and about making sure I can have the best experience possible.
4 – What is an essential piece of gear for you in the studio?
My MacBook Pro. But beyond that my Moog Sub 37 synthesizer. And while it’s not a piece of gear, no matter where I am on the planet, one will always find me carrying my notebook of my current compositions, sound design notes and lyrics. I carry my notebook around with me under my forearm just like I did in elementary school on my way to class.
5 – Where did you study Sound Design? Have you remixed tracks for other artists?
I studied sound design at the Dubspot electronic music school in New York City. I did a Disco remix for British artist Little Boots. And what started out as a remix ended up turning into an original production and collaboration with one of my favorite bands of all time, the legendary electronic industrial band, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. I re-produced one of TKK’s latest original songs, “Neon Diva” off of their most recent album “Spooky Tricks”, into a new dark Electroclash song. I will be releasing “Neon Diva” on my label in early 2016.
6 – What inspired you to create a Techno EP based on philosophical principles?
Well, what was planned out originally was one Techno EP, entitled “Life Trichotomy”, of three songs (i.e., in a 3-part Trichotomy) with each song encompassing my philosophical life statements. But then that EP spawned a second Techno EP entitled, “Life Trichotomy Reincarnated”. The second EP has stellar Techno remixes of my songs by other international artists including Techno pioneer Abe Duque, boundary-pushing innovator Astrolith and experimentalist Mëtël EkTõshi. Each artist delivered such winning dance remixes. They are all so talented and I’m honored that each of them jumped on board and put forth their Techno versions of my Life Trichotomy songs. And I’ve been very fascinated with the Techno movement of today. Partly because I started studying and dancing to the classical Techno incarnation from the Detroit masters in the early 1990s, but also because it’s fascinating to witness new artists arrive today and effectively release their own versions in the evolution of Techno today with their clean and simple sound design partnered with hypnotic beats. As a musician and lyricist, I am a big proponent of including vocalists, vocalese and/or the human voice in my music (as one can hear in my previous music releases). When it became time for me to investigate adding Techno to my music repertoire, instead of working with vocalists like I have on my past dance songs, I decided it would interesting to work with a voice-over actor to deliver my simple hypnotic philosophical life statements that anyone could relate to at whatever stage they are in their own lives…all to my dance rhythms.
7 – Who is your favorite philosopher of Ancient Greece? Why?
I am not an expert at the philosophers of Ancient Greece, but one philosopher that has always come across in my journeys has been the pre-Socratic philosopher, Anaxagoras. While born in ancient Turkey, Anaxagoras fled to Greece and for most of his life put forth principles that were routed in questioning the “norm” and resisting groups that tried to impose their views on other people. He was a “realist” that believed that the human mind was infinite, self-ruled and one’s mind controls one’s destiny…in other words, the mind will set things in order and then actions will take place. So to me, set your goals, work to reach your goals, and go onto your next challenge.
8 – How would you describe the music you make to someone who’s yet to hear it?
Musically, both as a listener and an artist, I’ve never been one to fall into any particular category and I’ve never been in favour of labeling myself. But, I do consider my music to be theatrical, dramatic and atmospheric (usually to a dance rhythm). My music is heavy on electronic sounds and I always try to ensure there are messages and/or questions that the listener interprets when listening to my music. And any of those messages that are delivered in my music almost always have multiple interpretations.
9 – What do you think the best thing is about modern day Techno music scene?
I’m in favour of any music era that brings people together to dance in a state of euphoria and bliss. I’ve been very fortunate to witness and be part of many different music eras in my life including Disco, New Wave, classical Techno, 90s House, 90s Acid House, Funk, Rhythm and Blues, Industrial, Hip-Hop, Ambient, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Alternative, Trance, Jazz, Indie Rock, Electroclash, Nu-Disco and Electronica. So, to witness a movement like today’s modern day Techno that is building dance communities across the world and providing a positive music experience for people, then it’s just one more thing that is countering all the negativity taking place today and that’s a good thing.
10 – What are your hopes and dreams for the rest of the year?
Right now I’m in the middle of writing my debut album and it’s my goal to finish writing all demos by the end of 2015 as well as secure all musicians to be ready to record in early 2016. I’m very excited by this album because it’s a large-scale production with multiple musicians and vocalists and it’s going to have an orchestra playing on it for most songs. It’s going to be a very cinematic album!