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FIELD THEORY

Lotus Wash, aka David Herzig, is a prominent force on Prague’s music scene. Apart from working with Bert and Friends, Never Sol and Oliver Torr, among others, he is known for his captivating live modular synthesizer sets. He has recently released his debut album Field Theory on LBD Sounds, and in this interview he tells us about the debut release, his history with music, and creativity during pandemic times.
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To start at the beginning, how did you get into music? How old were you and what did you listen to back then? 

I have been listening to music for as long as I can remember. I started playing guitar at the age of 6. When I was 11, I switched to bass because me and my friend wanted to start a band and we didn’t have a bass player. My mother had vinyl records with some Beatles songs at home and that is the first music I remember playing on repeat. During my early teens, I went through a couple of groups. I was a huge fan of Pink Floyd and I still love them. On the Run – the second track on The Dark Side of the Moon is probably the first electronic music I have ever heard. I had a bass guitar teacher who played me some records by Jaco Pastorius and that brought me into the world of jazz. That was the point when I decided to go study music in-depth and put all my time into it. Through jazz I discovered hip hop, through hip hop electronic music, and here we are.

You studied bass guitar at the conservatory. Can you tell us about the overlap with electronic music production and how you employ these skills in the genre?

My conservatory studies were focused on jazz and improvisation. I learned a lot about how music works in general. We studied musical structures, composition, and how they evolved throughout history, as with rhythm and harmony. Some of the tutors were interesting personalities too. Our teacher of classical music history was, for example, always talking extensively about the political and social context of the historical periods we were talking about and connecting all this to the discussed composers and the music they were creating. The conservatory also taught me a lot about performing on stage and playing in a band.

What is it about space and quantum physics that inspired you to dedicate an album to these “heavenly bodies”? And what made you choose LBD for the release? 

When I was creating it, I was watching a lot of quantum physics lectures on Youtube. It fascinated me because it implies some things that feel almost supernatural and yet they are happening in the world around us. It also made me think a lot about space in music. I wanted to create something not based so much around motives, but a sonic environment which slowly evolves around you as you listen to it.

When I had the demos finished, I sent them to my friend Olin Soldán from LBD, who had asked me if was working on something new. He ended up liking it and proposed that they could release it under their label. He created the graphics for it and was very helpful during the whole process.

Tell us about your studio process. What are currently some of your favorite pieces of gear and production techniques?

I am quite a modular head. I like designing my own sounds with hardware and sometimes I am being a bit toxic to myself about it. I have been experimenting recently with sampling, processing and trying to push the sounds from my system beyond the limits of the modules. My favorite piece of gear at the moment is probably the Elektron Digitakt. It is a sampler which recently had a firmware update and I now use it to control and process the sound of my whole modular system. 

You mentioned much of the album was recorded at the beginning of lockdown. How did the pandemic affect your creativity and artistic sensibilities?

It created a vacuum around me. That was artistically helpful on one hand, but also hard on the other. My social circles shrunk, and I started looking more into myself and less at the world around me. After I finished the album, I found a space for my studio outside of the flat I lived in and moved all my stuff there, because I couldn’t focus at home anymore. That was a big step for me and it had a positive impact on my workflow. The pandemic also gave me plenty of time to experiment and learn new things. It showed me the social and artistic preciousness of live performance and how important it is for me to perform music for actual people.

You work at Prague’s Noise Kitchen. Can you tell our readers more about the store, its community and activities? How does your job intertwine with your creative process?

The community there is very inspiring. I found plenty of new music and met some great artists because of Noise Kitchen. Of course, gear talks happen often too, so you are kind of informed about the news on the market. It is an international collective as well, so it keeps my spoken English on a plausible level.

What are your plans for the near future, where can we catch you playing live? 

We are currently planning a release of a music video for the track “Spooky Action at a Distance”, which was created by the guys from NotReal_Virtual studio. They work with 3D graphics and offered to make a video for one of the tracks and chose this one. Then we had a meeting, where we discussed the general aesthetic and brainstormed some ideas for what should be happening in it. We recently premiered it at a late launch party at Bike Jesus and it should be online pretty soon. That is the last thing to do for Field Theory and I will then move on to make some new music.

In terms of live gigs, I am going to play at Colour Meeting in Polička, the Rosnička festival in Svitavy, and Zlatá x Chemie – a microfestival in Prague. I will also be performing with Oliver Torr on Flaam festival in Slovakia.  There are some yet-to-be-announced concerts of GTA Soundsystem that I am really looking forward to. You can also catch me at concerts of Bert and Friends in Prague and elsewhere.

Do you have any music you can’t get enough right now to recommend to our readers? 


Right now, I listen to podcasts and lectures much more than music to be honest. I try to dig for new stuff every once in a while, but for some time now, nothing has really touched me deeply. I feel like I got a bit addicted to information and I am examining this state. I can recommend Charlie Bones’ morning show on NTS radio, it is a great start of a day.

BIO /  Lotus Wash, aka David Herzig, is a Prague-based musician who combines conventional music-making approaches with modular synthesizer alchemy. Apart from his solo electronic project, which is based on live and improvised sets which he regularly gigs in Czechia and abroad, he is also an experienced bass player who has worked as a session musician and producer. He is currently involved in the music projects Bert and Friends, or Never Sol, among others. He is also part of Noise Kitchen, the Prague store with electronic musical instruments on Krymská street. 2021 saw his debut release Field Theory on LBD Sounds.

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Listen to the full album at Bandcamp

https://littlebeatdifferent.bandcamp.com/album/field-theory

OR Soundcloud

CREDITS

Music / Lotus Wash, aka David Herzig  @lotuswashxb1

Interview & Translation / Tomáš Kovařík

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