Interview: Riad Michael a.k.a. Geyser (Geyser Rec.)

Riad Michael / Geyser

Riad Michael / Geyser

Even though Riad Michael and his label Geyser Recordings have been around for quite a while now and he even lives in the same city as me, I have to shamefully admit that I hadn’t heard about him until a few weeks ago. He emailed me about his new single “Desire”, and I thought that this was worth much more than a short release review, so I asked him for an interview.

Riad Michael produces a surprisingly wide range of electronic music, ranging from Tech House to Trip Hop and Ambient tracks. This wide style seems to be almost natural to him, and it seemed to me that he never really thought about limiting himself to just one style:

“It feels to me that I have been making music all my life. It’s just a natural way of expressing myself. I had my first release in 1993 with an EBM project that I started with a friend from school, and from there I went through Techno, Trance and other styles until I arrived at the sound that I play today.”

Describing his current sound is not easy, but if you compare Riad Michael’s releases under his real name with the tracks that he releases as Geyser, there are a few notable differences:

“Geyser goes more in the direction of Trip Hop or lounge sounds, while the tracks I record as Riad Michael are usually Tech House/Progressive House or Ambient tracks. Geyser tracks usually incorporate analogue instruments, such as acoustic drums, percussion, guitar and also vocals. I do like to work with analogue equipment and hardware synthesizers, but in the end I didn’t want to limit myself too much here.”

When Riad Michael founded Geyser Recordings a couple of years ago, this was originally a label for his own tracks only. However, quite a few artists have released on Geyser Rec. over the years, and I asked Riad about how he got in touch with all of them:

“Geyser Recordings has been growing organically from the beginning. When I started, I hardly found any artists that played the sound that I wanted, but over time, I found a couple of artists that I liked, and some artists also approached me directly. Nevertheless, I have become more picky about who I sign, and I also think that this is only fair. I learned that it can be quite difficult to promote a new release, and I want to make sure that I can give every release the attention that it deserves.”

His current plans include a new Geyser album which will probably be released in fall this year. He also plans a new Riad Michael album for next year, and when he mentioned that this will probably go in the direction of “Techno and Tech House”, we got into an interesting discussion on club culture and his influences:

“I think my music is not quite the same as the stuff they play in Techno clubs. What I have produced is more playful and more melodic than most of this so you can enjoy dancing to it as well as just listening to it.”

About marvis (209 Articles)
Marvis is the founder of Sweet Headache. He lives in Cologne (Germany) and has been a music nerd for a long, long time.

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