22-02-2013 | 11.27
When LET (Les Enfants Terribles) celebrated its #5 party he appeared in the line-up. He is one of Sandrien’s special guests at the upcoming edition of Imprint. Still he is a well kept secret that one is not too willing to share with just anybody. Who is Viktor Palmer?
The name Viktor Palmer just popped up right before that legendary showcase called Clone X Delsin X Rush Hour at Trouw. We are talking about October 19th 2012, at the height of Amsterdam Dance Event. Red Bull Music Academy Radio’s Bér Engels was in the house, getting ready for some live recordings from the club. That night one could say there was magic in the air. Definitely. Bér was busy and running around, but that didn’t stop him from sharing his well kept secret with us. ‘Keep track of Viktor Palmer. The guy is an allrounder!’ And that is how the name Viktor Palmer sort of got stuck between our ears. The fact that he is present at the next edition of Sandrien’s Imprint seemed like a good opportunity to put a spotlight on him. Who ís Viktor Palmer? How come there is this buzz around him? Time to give him a call.
‘Mark speaking..’ Fact: Viktor is an alias. But hey, what’s in a name? Within split seconds the only issue to be discussed is music. Genuine music, that is. Joy Division, Thom Yorke, Moritz von Oswald Trio… As soon as Mark van Hooijdonk aka Viktor Palmer starts talking about where he gets his inspiration from as a DJ, there’s a whole universe of sound opening up. Techno, ambient, new wave… it’s a typical case of musical gluttony. When we ask him to name his three favourite producers there is silence first. Too many choices. We are talking to a guy who empties his iTune library every six months or so just to be sure not to get used to any specific sounds. Finally he comes up with one name: Moritz von Oswald, a Berlin-based multi-instrumentalist, beter known as Maurizio. In the nineties he was one of the leading German techno producers. Viktor – that is how we will consequently call him from now on – praises Von Oswald’s ability to innovate sound and at the same time turn it into something that seems to have been there for ages. Now the producer is leading the Moritz von Oswald Trio and playing concert halls all over the world, together with musicians Vladislav Delay and Max Loderbauer. Their atmospheric music stretches from Miles Davis to dubby techno. ‘You can’t describe it in words. You have to listen, and listen, and listen’, Viktor stresses. That is what he finds himself doing all the time: listening to music until his ears drop off. It is the music that seems to be barely there, but holds this enormous richness of sound that he cherishes the most. Experimental music, more or less minimalistic.
The interview is turning into a YouTube session. Viktor has three suggestions for us to listen to and all for a good reason. Whether it is ‘Ionit’ from Philus (Mika Vainio - 1998), Ben Klock’s ‘Grab me’ (2008) or ‘All for the best’ from the compilation Ciao My Shining Star (2009), performed by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, there is this density, this moodiness. The tracks are hypnotising and grab you by the throat. With our conversation coming to an end we do would like to know where his alias comes from. He is not too keen on explaining why he chose it, but yeah, think David Lynch, think Twin Peaks, think… Laura Palmer. Full of mystery, that is for sure. Viktor Palmer: remember that name.
Text: Bonita van Lier