Interview with collaborative musicians Robot Koch and BlankFor.ms

Nothing short of breathtaking, Robot Koch and BlankFor.ms’s latest single ‘Migratory’ soothes and lifts the tangled mind almost instantly. Both artists have unique sounds independently, but this latest offering merges these two worlds with ease and panache. The track was released via Trees and Cyborgs and follows their previous single together titled ‘Subtle Ones’. We reach deeper into the minds of these dynamic talents, as we ask them a few questions about their music and working together below. 

Stream/ download: Robot Koch and BlankFor.ms – ‘Migratory’

If you had to pick one aspect of each other’s music you enjoy most, what would you choose?

BlankFor.ms: Tyler has a great ear for both textures and harmonies, which I find really inspiring, especially in that combination.

Robot Koch: RK’s skill with the full sonic spectrum is awe-inspiring. Every beat, every transition, every breakdown is a dense narrative of shifting timbres and energies. His mixes tend to be vast, open,  and multicoloured.

Describe your sound for us. What do you want people to feel when they hear your music?

BlankFor.ms: I started making music to find ways to communicate things that I couldn’t express verbally. Sensations. Emotions. I couldn’t describe it now any better now than I could then.

Robot Koch: It´s music with lots of depth and texture. sonically and emotionally. I want people to feel connected to themselves, as well as the inner and outer space that surrounds them.

Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?

BlankFor.ms: Miles Davis. The Smashing Pumpkins. Duke Ellington.

Robot Koch: Too many to mention. Here are three random names that just represent my eclectic taste:, John Coltrane, Slayer, and  DJ Shadow.

How did you discover your particular sound?

BlankFor.ms: Constant exploration, soul searching. It’s all about daily work. I’m just trying to be open and present when luck strikes.

Robot Koch: Experimenting with space between the sounds and around the notes.

When the time came to decide which parts of ‘Migratory’ to cut and which parts to keep, how did you negotiate those decisions?

BlankFor.ms: Collaborating with RK has been largely seamless. We don’t belabour decisions, rather we just send ideas back and forth. We rarely have to edit or backtrack. Robert does magic with the ideas I send him, and I’d presume the feeling is mutual.

Robot Koch: There was no discussion really, the track fell into place really organically.

Tell us about one of the first struggles you faced (as a group or a solo artist) and how you overcame it?

BlankFor.ms: There’s no clear path in the arts, it’s easy to get sidetracked. A few years ago I quit every collaboration I was involved with to make room for my own work and it was the best choice I’ve ever made. Since then I have been collaborating rarely, this track with RK is a shining exception.

Robot Koch: My mixes were not that great in the beginning, I always needed someone else to mix my music when I started out. But I watched how they did it, and gained confidence in my mixes. It`s a process.

What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?

BlankFor.ms: Tascam 414 mkii, and Chase Bliss Mood.

Robot Koch: Currently my tape machines and my laptop.

Music for the individual or the masses – which do you want to create?

BlankFor.ms: For the passionate listener.

Robot Koch: I think my music finds the people who need to hear it. I don´t care if it`s one person or many, as long as it resonates deeply.

Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far?

BlankFor.ms: Those incredible moments while creating when it all comes together. Rare, but worth it.

Robot Koch: There have been a lot of great moments and memories, but I tend to look more into the future than back to the past. Really, the present moment is always my fave.

If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or passed, who would it be?

BlankFor.ms: Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Robot Koch: I always try to come up with a good answer to this question, but I find it hard…maybe one day I can think of someone. I feel like I will always find the people I need to work with or who need to work with me. I can just trust that.

What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?

BlankFor.ms: I have an upcoming album and software collaboration. Unfortunately, I can’t get more specific than that.

Robot Koch: I just finished a new album for my ambient project Foam and Sand which will be out in March 2023. The first single comes out in August this year.

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Robot Koch image credit: Neil Kryszak     BlankFor.ms image credit: Whitney Browne

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