Projekt Ortsschild

The World Is a Dark Place

Oliver, of Projekt Ortsschild, says:

‘Schwarzmalerei’ was written during the pandemic

My batteries ran out, there was nothing left

The modular system is a very new passion of mine

We don’t record music as it was done in the ’80s, and we need to evolve

The Electronic Corner met Oliver, the mastermind behind ‘Projekt Ortsschild’, to learn more about his outstanding bleak sinthwave work and his vision of life.

Sir Joe: Tell us about your origin as a musician. For example, were you always playing solo or did you start in a band?

Projekt Ortsschild: Musically, I come from the punk, post-punk and hardcore scene. I was also listening to a lot of alternative rock, doom metal and stoner rock, but also a lot of minimal synth, even in the past.
My first musical project was as a singer, in a straight edge hardcore band. After that there was a long break and then I sang in two “Hamburger Schule” projects.
SJ: In your album ‘Schwarzmalerei’ we have songs like the title track, ‘Heaven is gone’ and ‘Schwarz und leer’, to give some examples, whose lyrics sound quite pessimistic.
Without going too personal, can you tell us what inspires you to ‘paint’ (since we are talking about malerei) such a dark and hopeless world in this album?

Projekt Ortsschild: ‘Schwarzmalerei’ was written during the pandemic. Those times were dark and pessimistic, so they definitely played a role in its creation.
‘Zu lange’ is dedicated to my mother, who died in 2021 after a long illness. ‘Schwarzmalerei’ reflects a bit the way I feel and think. I always think that if you assume the worst, then you can only be positively surprised.
‘Schwarz und leer’ is about the incidents at the Djatlow Pass, the mysterious disappearance of those students. ‘Heaven is gone’ is also related to the pandemic, the hopelessness it brought.

SJ: On the contrary, ‘Neue lebensräume’, a much older album, with its 8 bit sounds so reminiscent of arcade videogames conveys a more cheeful atmosphere. Can you tell us something about this specific album?

Projekt Ortsschild: ‘Neue lebensräume’ is an album that I produced long time ago.
At that time I felt the inner urge that my music should sound like the computer games from the eighties, the Sid sound from the 64 or the 8-bit sound from the Gameboy. All of that played a role, because it reflected my interests, so I tried to incorporate these sounds into the whole thing.
Lyrically, however, the album is actually rather pessimistic. Maybe it sounds a bit funny because of the 8-bit sounds, but in the end, the lyrics are just as pessimistic as those on all the other albums.

SJ: Why did you take such a long pause before releasing new material?


Projekt Ortsschild: To be honest, my batteries ran out, there was nothing left.
I have a creative profession, and creativity is not endless. I have given up music for a long time and I didn’t think I would start again.
But then, the pandemic has somehow sparked new energy in me, to resume making music.

SJ: Which is your favorite gear among the things you have and why?

Projekt Ortsschild: In short, it’s the modular system, a very new passion of mine. I have lots of different synths, but at the moment I do almost everything with the Modular system.
As the name suggests, it is modular. I’m constantly adding new parts and it is very flexible.

SJ: If you had an unlimited budget, what would you buy to put in your studio and why?

Projekt Ortsshild: In the past I would have said that I want a handful of retro synths, but with time I have completely abandoned that idea.
As I already said, I’m doing everything only with the modular system. There are filters from the old synthesizers which I have also installed in the modular system.
That means the sound is still there, in a way. Sure, it is not the original synthesizer, but we no longer live in the eighties and we don’t record music as it was done in the eighties. Those times are over, and we have to evolve a bit.
That’s why I can actually answer the question in this way: More modules for the modular system. That is enough for me.

SJ: It looks like you don’t play live, or at least I could not find anything in internet. Are you planning to play live, now that you have a new album out?

Projekt Ortsschild: In the past, before my musical break, I used to play live, and it was really fun.
Sure, I have thought about playing live again, but I just don’t have the time.
Life got in the way. I have a job, I make music, and of course I have my personal life, so I can’t do that anymore.
Unfortunately, that is the truth.

SJ: Although I did not have a chance to listen to it yet, I know you have just released a new album. Can you tell us more about it?

Projekt Ortsschild: That’s right! On the 17th of November, a new album has come out. It is called ‘Negative Aktivität’ and it has been released on cassette as a limited edition of one hundred pieces. As usual with my works, it is also available in digital form at Bandcamp.
The album has been mostly recorded with the modular system and it sounds different from the others. Thematically it has also changed a bit, in terms of the lyrics. It is a lot about money, capitalism and how it is ruining the world.
Anyway, I don’t want to give too much information, just listen to it.
Another thing: In early 2024, probably in the first quarter, the label ‘Minimalkombinat’ will release a vinyl, a sort of best of that will reflect a bit the history of ‘Projekt Ortsschild’.
Please follow Minimalkombinat on Facebook, where you can find the album and also pre-order it.

(Now I invite you to watch the following video, starting at 09:29, where we assit to the development of a potential new track, with a full description of what is going on. Make sure to have subtitles turn on, if you don’t understand german).

We say thanks to Oliver of Projekt Ortsschild for the nice interview and wish him good luck with the new album.

Don’t forget to visit his Bandcamp page

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