We launched Point Blank Recordings last year with the intention of developing artists with real potential and guiding them in their early stages. It was also brought into existence for the express purpose of championing tracks that we just really love. Given that she’s well into a multi-faceted career (and given the track’s irresistible summer groove) Ann Streichman’s ‘The Flow’ definitely falls into the latter category. The EP contains remixes by DJ Sneak, Terry Grant and a Point Blank favourite in Kells, alongside Ann’s original mix. Stream it on Spotify and buy it at iTunes and Google Play.
Though Ann Streichman may not be a name your familiar with, she has turned her talents to several different disciplines. When she’s not creating perfect summer pop tunes she makes for film and television, writes subversive pop-punk with her band Munch and DJs at all manner of parties and events, including a recent set at a talk by Barack Obama. You can find info on here various exploits at her website, but we thought we would get into the mind of this insatiable artist face to face. Read on for an in-depth interview about the record and her creative processes and stream the radio mix of ‘The Flow’ below.
Hello Ann! Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. I’m talking to you in your studio. Is this where you normally make your tracks?
Yes, these days this is where I work. But ‘The Flow’ I actually made in Tel Aviv in my studio.
Cool! Is that a permanent studio that you’ve got there as well?
Yeah, over there I’ve got a proper studio [laughs].
That’s cool – Tel Aviv has a really interesting music scene at the moment.
Yeah, it’s great, Tel Aviv has fantastic nightlife.
So the EP came out [on the day we speak]. How does it feel to have it out?
It’s really exciting! I love the remixes, I think each of them brings something else. Each artist really managed to take the song to their own world – I absolutely love it.
© Michael Topyol
How did you make the original?
So at the time, I was babysitting some gear, my friend lent me some of his synths and gear and I just decided to do a track where I used each synth and each effect that we had in the room, just to try them out. And that’s how it came out.
I guess that can be quite inspirational when you have a limited amount of stuff to make something.
Yeah exactly, everything except the drums was made with hardware, synthesisers or an external reverb, that kind of thing.
That’s cool, was it kind of like a jam when you made the track or were you going for something specific?
Oh it was a jam [laughs]. I didn’t know what was going to happen and I think the first thing I did was those arpeggiated synthesisers. They pretty much made the track. Then the bassline and everything else. The vocals were I think the last thing that I added. They’re quite different I guess.
It’s perfect timing as well, it’s a really summery tune. I wonder if you could tell me how you got into making music in the first place?
Well, I grew up playing classical piano and then I did my major in high school in classical music. After that I went to a music school, like a music production school where I studied sound and music for three years, then I got into a few bands and started producing music.
Obviously you have quite a few different projects now, you do a bit of film scoring, djing, etc. Maybe you could tell me a bit about these other projects – with film scoring for instance, how is that a different approach to making a pop tune?
Well, when I make music for film or theatre it’s completely different. First of all, you make music for something that is already there, and you have to adjust the mood and the vibe you’re creating with the images you’re seeing and with the director’s wants and needs. I actually really like it because you can create music that usually wouldn’t be acceptable or listened to in another context.
It’s obviously a different world to being in bands, how did you get into it?
I always wanted to do it, but it was only when I moved to New York that I started to do it. Since I’ve been living here I’ve been doing less and less live shows and more studio work, which I actually prefer.
Why do you think that is, do you find performing nerve-wracking or do you just really enjoy being in your zone, doing your own thing.
Well, with performing… I used to be a keyboardist and performed with other artists as well. Every time before going on stage I would want to kill myself, I felt sick! But then once you start playing, after a minute on stage the adrenaline goes up and all of a sudden you think ‘I don’t want it to ever end’. It’s such a rush. After the show ends you feel amazing and then the next day you have to go back to your life. It’s a great feeling but I don’t miss the carrying the equipment around and all the other things you have to deal with.
I suppose with DJing you’re less exposed in a way, you’ve got that barrier of it being less direct between you and the crowd.
Yeah exactly, and your just making people happy. I guess it’s more organic, it’s only you and it’s not like a big production.
I guess people who have come to the party just want to dance.
So what kind of things do you play when you DJ?
I like playing a lot of genres, it depends on the venue and the party, but anything from 70s disco and funk to house music and different subgenres within house music. And even Hip Hop and RnB, whatever’s happening. It depends on the party – some parties only want house music and dance music and some are more about whatever’s on the radio right now.
What are your favourite kinds of parties to play then?
Hmm, where’s there’s people dancing! A DJ should always be about that. if I manage to make people happy it doesn’t matter what kind of music I play.
There are so many different things going on with you, how do they all fit together?
It happens naturally. I have to create all the time, otherwise I feel like I’m doing nothing with my life. Some projects come to life because people call me up and say: ‘do you want to do this or that…’ and then I try to take advantage of my free time to make my own music as much as possible.
Ann performing at the Streicker Centre before Barak Obama gives an address
Are you still making music with your band Munch?
We live on different continents at the moment so it’s hard, but actually we have more songs, we’ve just never released them but we should! The band is so much fun.
I love music that’s joking. Not a lot of people do that, people take themselves quite seriously.
I know I know, I just can’t!
Going back to ‘The Flow’, which of the remixes is your favourite?
I love the Terry Grant remix. This is something that I would definitely play when DJing. But it’s also such an honour that a legend like DJ Sneak would remix my track and I love his music obviously. There’s such a summer vibe to it. And Kells took it to a more melancholic vibe which I also love. I think they’re all fantastic and honestly, I don’t have a favourite.
That seems fair. What else do you have going on at the moment? Anything planned for the summer?
I’m working on more music, I decided to take some time and just do my own stuff for a while. I already have a few tracks I’ve been working on and I also want to try and make some pop music, with like different singers… In New York, there are so many talented people. I actually want to make music without a purpose, just take the time to make music, experiment and try new things.
Thank you Ann!
PBR is always on the lookout for new artists to work with, so if you’re associated with the school or not, please get in touch and send demos to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you don’t feel ready yet we can teach you how to make music or help you on your journey whatever level you’re at, from an Intro to Music Production to honing your Mixing and Mastering skills. We also offer a comprehensive degree programme in the BA (Hons) in Music Production and Sound Engineering. For more info please get in touch.
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