Joining us for the latest instalment of The Maker feature is Anton Bogdanov. Anton has been recording, performing, and releasing music under the project name Pool Of Light since 2017, combining guitar, analogue synths, voice, and extended playing techniques to create lengthy and evolving dronescapes. Anton’s latest offering under the Pool Of Light project, ‘Modern Caveman’ (RTR040), arrives Monday April 26th. Anton is currently based in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and has released music via labels including Golden Ratio Frequencies, Grisaille, WV Sorcerer Productions, along with a number of self-releases.
In this feature, Anton talks about early experiences with Doom and Drone, using Bandcamp to discover more experimental music, different approaches to music making, and the sound of cassettes as a creative and listening artefact.
How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?
To be honest, I don’t exactly remember how it all started. I’ve been aware of stuff like Earth and Sunn O))) years before and quite enjoy such music to this day. About eight years ago I came across acts like Stars of The Lid, Barn Owl, and Kawabata Makoto’s solo works, which had a huge impact on the way I see and hear things. Then I dived into Bandcamp, eager to find more experimental and bizarre stuff. Still, I’ve not left my metal and extreme music preferences behind – like many other ambient or drone musicians, I have a metal background and try to implement it somehow in my music
What inspires you to create a new body of work?
I do not have any specific trigger for writing a new piece. It just happens, but I have two approaches – the first one is the track-by-track recording. Putting everything together, polishing the whole thing in DAW. I used to do this in my early days. The other one, which I prefer now, and the new album is all about it – is constantly recording jams and then putting them in some order, more or less in a way that achieves consistency. Sometimes jams happen to be an hour-long, composed of many parts, sometimes it could be one C key-driven 40 min drone with minimum evolving – it just happens this way.
How do you approach working on a new release?
As I said, most of the time I just play and record live and then polish it a bit, with minimum additions and alterations. ‘Modern Caveman’ is no exception – those tracks were recorded over a two-year period and feature different guitar playing techniques as well as varying moods and feel. Track names are usually a mystery for me, they come out pretty spontaneously and may have some concept behind them, but it is the sound that is driving me to create new works, not ideas.
Can you tell us about your favorite new release from the last 12 months?
It’s GNAWED’s ‘Subterranean Rites’ – incredible work by incredible project, one of my recent discoveries. It is hard to describe this music and which part of it I enjoy the most – those amazing field recordings or dark synths, or the whole atmosphere. It’s really hard to tell.
As RTR is a tape label, we have to ask: What attracts you to the cassette medium?
Cassette is a pretty good way to give drone and experimental music a good feel, make it more lively, uneven, not perfect. It is not about old underground aesthetics for me, it is about the sound and its quality – it becomes an integral part of the work and helps it to stand out.
Pool Of Light – ‘Modern Caveman’ arrives on Monday April 26th, available in a limited run of cassettes and as a digital download.