Interview with Adam Mańkowski (Limited Liability Sounds)

LLS (Limited Liability Sounds) is the name of the Polish noise/electronic musician Adam Mańkowski. Project is active since 2006, when appeared first official CD-R release, titled – “So Hysterical!”. The name “Limited Liability Sounds” is a kind of protest against the treatment of noise as a phenomenon that does not deserve the term as a musical genre. Mańkowski always claimed that the noise is something natural, which has always accompanied man and has the same rights as silence. Music from the sign LLS is a mixture of extreme electronics, ambient, noise and minimalism. You can hear references to artists such as Nurse With Wound, Current 93, Biosphere, Bass Communion,  or legendary Master Luigi Russolo.

As well as being a prolific musician of LLS, he is active in several musical projects, oscillating around electronic (Insomnia), drum n bass (Stapler) or doom metal (Extreme Agony). From years associated with the Polish record label Larch Records, recently with the Russian Nihil Art Records and USA Palemoon Productions.


“Angor”, K o h l e n s t o f f  Records 20/12/2013

Noise seems to be an important element in your music. What is your perception of noise as a musical element?

Noise is present in our lives constantly, and something called silence do not exist really. Every day, we skip and we completely ignore the whole mass of sound, melodies and noises as well. Inoculation noisy elements to my composition is an attempt to draw attention to this kind of message. He was also there! It is a full-fledged member of a musical composition, as well as sound synthesizer and mellotron. In the early recordings, which appearing under the banner of LLS, noise prevailed and was the dominant component, now in a natural way for me to balance between noise and ambient music is offset.

How would you define your music?

My music is an attempt to seek a post-industrial inspiration and combine them with more traditional elements. I have always liked the contrasts and this is probably the crux of my compositions. I reach for often the classic keys or lots of strings, but subjects it to the synthesis of – I do not like how something is said directly, I prefer to cover it up. The music of LLS is the most common delicacy smuggled in a deep and dense background. The ambiguous textures and backgrounds approximating or rejecting the traditional sense ambient music. My music is also still ongoing process, which characterized by high volatility. I am very happy with the current sound, but certainly it will be evolved and in the future.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Inspiration is difficult to characterize in one sentence, it is difficult to specify them. The impact on my sound is everything that I learn not only in the sphere of music. I’m also a film buff, amateur takes a photograph and music journalism. Annually, I’m visiting dozens of concerts and recognize a similar amount of new music albums. I like also explore the old, abandoned industrial buildings/factories – these allow me to collect my thoughts and evoke a lot of reflection. It’s that my personal industrial search. All of these incentives, that I mentioned have an influence on me and certainly translate into what formation.

Can you tell us a little about the activity of the electronic music scene in Poland?

The electronic scene is well developed and still surprise me newfound projects, like the very fresh-sounding duo We Draw A. In the last month I listen to their debut EP “Glimpse”. Decent sound entering the ear is the whole mass, but it is still a sphere firmly pushed underground. Extremely rare that the country was officially released album with more ambient music or minimalist electronics. Most artists are looking for the right opportunity outside Polish borders, an example can be phenomenal, ambient project of Filip Szyszkowski – 21 gramms, yet albums had been released in the publications of the English, German or French. Of course there are positive exceptions, it is worth to mention young, but very vigorous publishing cassette – Sangoplasmo Records.

You do a lot of video-music… Does the music accompany the image or vice versa?

This is a picture, video or any other form of expression is an illustration of the transmission of music. Music has always formed first and is the starting point for all activities related to the promotion. However, as rightly noticed on Youtube, you can find a lot of video images, which  illustrating the tracks of  Limited Liability Sounds. I will plan to also prepare a video for the title of the composition of the album “Angor”. Often in my clips appear in scenes that illustrate my search for a post-industrial space, as I mentioned earlier.

When will you come visit us in Montreal?

Thank you very much for the invitation, it would be nice to meet and talk about music in person. I’ve never been in Canada but I hope that someday I will be able to visit your country. Divides us but a huge distance, nearly 6.5 thousand kilometers and plan such a trip requires a significant investment, not only financially.

How did you work for the creation of this album?

If you ask about technical issues and hardware, is a growing part in building my compositions are field recordings. My previous album “Megrims” was saturated with this type of provisions.  Here, too, you can hear them, but the records have been subjected to much more powerful synthesis. I use recorders and microphones field, which often try to have with me. In the comfort of your home I create a sound based on synthesizers, sequencers, modulators sound. While working on the album Angor I’m trying to get a consistency of tone and mood. Reaching for more ambient music CD’s, I really appreciate if it make a clear form from beginning to end. Do not judge me or in this case achieved it’s my point, but that was just my assumption. Music was created in October and November of this year.

What other artistic disciplines influence your music?

The most important non-musical inspiration, which I mentioned earlier is the cinematography. I meet a lot of films, in particular, reach for cinematographic works from the 60’s and 70’s of the last century. In recent times, inspired me most of all French films, Danish, Spanish. It is worth to mention such names as Louis Malle, Roger Vadim, Carl Dreyer and Luis Buñuel. Sometimes it happens that people write to me, that my compositions resemble the soundtrack, claim that music of LLS can be an excellent illustration of a film image. I do not deny it because it is in this much right, although I did not make even a typical film music, however, I was greatly influenced by this kind of composition.

The world of music is difficult. It is often necessary to fight, not only to find its place, but also to be able tocreate it. What motivates you to get up in the morning and to keep making music?

I’ve never had much of a problem with self-motivation. Making music for me is just a natural part of her listening, what is more, it is one of the strongest determining the needs of my life every day. Of course I have periods when I relax completely from the synthesizer and the computer, but after a long time simply feel the lack and longing. I love to work on music, creating every album created much more than what the composition closes later in the form of the finished disc. I often go back to these tracks at a later time, I reconstruct them, pull them samples, etc. With external motivators can be replaced only by coffee and chocolate, which are an integral part of my daily diet. ;)

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Yes, I finished works for my next album from Limited Liability Sounds, which will be release in the next year by British label Avalon Sounds. I will plan to make a new album for Insomnia project, which I will create with my friend Lukasz Modrzejewski. Currently we are lookin’ for publisher and perhaps  decide on a modest release on my own.

Finally, the secret weapon of Adam Mańkowski is…

This is top secret, otherwise it wouldn’t be a secret …. I really like secrets ;)

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