Name: twocolors
Members: Emil Reinke, Pierre-Angelo Papaccio
Ocupation: Producers, songwriters, instrumentalists
Nationality: German
Current release: twocolors' new single "Break Up", featuring Pascal Letoublon, is out now.
Gear Recommendations: Ozone iZotope and recently we checked out the new Roland cloud that is slowly recreating all the massive 90s synthesizer as VSTs, that's also pretty cool.

If you enjoyed this interview with twocolors and would like to explore their work in more depth, visit their official website. They're also on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, and Soundcloud.

twocolors · Break Up

What was your first studio like?

We had two studios from the start. One was built by Pierro’s dad, so he always had the opportunity to use it and make music.

The other studio was in the basement of Emil’s dad’s house, which literally had nothing, no water, heater, toilet and over time we rebuilt it. So that is our second home now. It's the place where we have all the sessions, meetings where many ideas start.

How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?

We bought many guitars, keyboards, a lot of digital instruments, synthesizers, also smaller things like better headphones, and a really good microphone.

It's hard to say what our most important pieces are. It's more that the whole setup has evolved, so we are more able to work without compromises.

Some see instruments and equipment as far less important than actual creativity, others feel they go hand in hand. What's your take on that?

When we do sessions and we are creative and write new music, it's all about the flow.

And most of the time it starts just on the piano or guitar so we think it goes hand in hand.

A studio can be as minimal as a laptop with headphones and as expansive as a multi-room recording facility. Which studio situation do you personally prefer– and why?

We've been to some other studios than our own. But to be honest for the creative process like songwriting, we love a cozy, living room vibe and prefer it to a perfectly soundproofed professional studio.

Of course only until Pierro is doing the final mixing and mastering. Then we take it to our Studio West.

From traditional keyboards to microtonal ones, from re-configured instruments (likedrums or guitars) to customised devices, what are your preferred controllersand interfaces? What role does the tactile element play in your productionprocess?

Until now we've mainly used more digital instruments and samples. But we are also having and buying more hardware now. Because it's so much cooler for example to play on a Moog Subsequent and tweak the sound instead of doing it just digitally.

In the light of picking your tools, how would you describe your views on topics like originality and innovation versus perfection and timelessness in music? Are you interested in a “music of the future” or “continuing a tradition”?

We try to stick to our own sound, which is handcrafted music with a real guitar being played. But we are also mindful of how the zeitgeist sound is shifting and how we could incorporate that into our music to create something that is new.

So let’s say it’s a mix of both tradition and the future, these are the two colors we are painting our music with.

Most would regard recording tools like microphones and mixing desks as different in kind from instruments like keyboards, guitars, drums and samplers. Where do you stand on this?

To make music we need a microphone, our speaker setup, interface, headphones, a guitar and a piano/keyboard and most importantly, ourselves. (laughs)

How would you describe the relationship between technology and creativity for your work? Using a recent piece as an example, how do you work with your production tools to achieve specific artistic results?

The relationship between them is important in as far that you can digitally implement what you have in your head as an idea using all means. With the aim of being so good that you can quickly implement 100% of what you have in mind. Like a vision of a film that will actually be seen in the cinema at some point.
Within a digital working environment, it is possible to compile huge archives of ideas for later use. Tell me a bit about your strategies of building such an archive and how you put these ideas and sketches to use.

When we write a song, the instrumental is also developed at the same time, so at the end of a day we have a pretty advanced demo. After some days we decide if this is worth working on more – and if we feel it could become a single.

The unused ideas stay in our digital cloud. Sometimes we do think maybe the new idea we just created needs something from the old project so we go back to that file and use a sound, bass or drum loop or even more of the old production for something totally new.

How do you retain an element of surprise for your own work – are there technologies which are particularly useful in this regard?

We love to work with splice, as the sample platform sometimes helps you to find a certain sound in a specific key. And then you can get a new influence that helps to finalize that idea.

Production tools can already suggest compositional ideas on their own. How much of your music is based on concepts and ideas you had before entering the studio, how much of it is triggered by equipment, software and apps?

All ideas for our songs come from our brains. (laughs)

After we hear a song or a cool sound and  record it, the idea is laid out digitally. Also, we listen to a lot of music from all genres for inspiration.

Have there been technologies which have profoundly changed or even questioned the way you make music?

Splice changed the way we work with samples, but nothing so far has changed our view on how to make music or find chords.

To some, the advent of AI and 'intelligent' composing tools offers potential formachines to contribute to the creative process. Do you feel as thoughtechnology can develop a form of creativity itself? Is there possibly a senseof co-authorship between yourself and your tools?

Ozone iZotope for mastering that's the only KI we are using.

What tools/instruments do you feel could have a deeper impact on creativity but need to still be invented or developed?

So many things but right now a software/KI that helps you in faster vocal editing. So you just press a knob and then all is timing wise put in the right place.