QA: naano tani vs. baitong~xystemes


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autoportrait by naano tani vs. baitong~xystemes

1 – Who are you?

Hi! I’m Toto, aka naano tani, baitong~xystemes/ systemes, naang tani and tnkwai. I’m a Thai – French artist and designer working in NYC. 

2 – What do you do?

I weave in ideas across different disciplines such as sound, graphics, installations, and arts organizing. I co-run HYPH STEMS with pH and Reginald. Shout out to them~

3 – Where do you often create/produce?

At home.

4 – When?

As much as I hate to say it, whenever I have looming deadlines.

5 – When did you start making music?

I had a really shy start with electronic music production, but I have been immersed in music my whole life. I was classically trained at a conservatory – Although I never did composition per se, I was involved in chamber music, symphony orchestras, choir, and years of solfège. The first piece of gear I bought was an MPC back in 2014, then Ableton a year later. Somehow I barely produced anything between 2016 and 2018.

6 – Which track defines you the most?

A old molam song.

7 – How would you describe your own music?

To be honest, I have no idea. It’s a mess.

8 – Any track of the moment?

Not any in particular, but I really love what Christelle Oyiri (Crystallmess) has been doing, both as producer and writer. I’ve been into this podcast called Gravy, focusing on the link between food and social histories of different pockets of the South. 

9 – What influences your work?

My current research dissects how concepts of animism, language, and regional oral folklore can manifest themselves in various architectures. I source information through first-hand experiences, readings and web surfing. A lot of my influences stems from growing up suspended between conflicting cultural narratives. 

10 – What’s your academic background? Are you an autodidact?

It’s a bit of both – I would say my current practice is a form of self-taught response to formal training. I got disillusioned with the legacy of European classical teachings, and how it set a blueprint in the ways other music genres get institutionalized. 

Aside from music, I have a background in design & tech. One of the things that was stressed during my studies was to accept obsolescence in electronics and wares, although a lot of the technical syntax in softwares is interchangeable. 

11 – Favorite designer?

I used to have a cut up image of Vivienne Westwood dressed up as Margaret Thatcher on the cover of Tatler, which is the only cool thing to have come out of that shitty magazine. 

12 – Favorite book?

“Exercices de style” by Raymond Queneau. It’s a one page story that’s being retold / re-contextualized 99 times. 

13 – Favorite classic movie?

“La Haine”and “Tropical Malady”. Both have amazing soundtracks. 

14 – Your dream collaboration?

I’ve always been interested in film scores. Dreams always turn into nightmares though, and that sounds exactly like one.

15 – Are you analog or digital?

Analog, digital and acoustic all at the same time. 

16 – Which soft wares/tools/ instruments do you use/play? !

Ableton is my main organizational tool, paired with a few pieces of hardware given by friends. I play cello, piano, and khim, which is a Thai hammer dulcimer. I use some quirky free 3D modelling softwares and the demon Adobe. 

17 – Describe your creative process?

I am a disorganized person, so whenever I find interesting entry points I like mapping it out . Having a dialogue between preliminary ideas and messing your tools is essential – it contextualizes technical accidents as defining steps into making. Setting parameters and limitations can be beneficial, but if you feel stuck, letting it go is important too. My biggest internal question though is wondering, is this material finished/ unfinished? 

18 – When are you the most prolific (creatively)?

I thrive under stress, a blessing and a curse.

19 – Any favorite record stores? (Real/virtual)

I’ve had really cool recent finds at Brooklyn Record Exchange. When I go back to Bangkok, I go see my friends who run Zudrangma Records, before eating a bowl of noodle soup right next door. 

20 – What’s your life philosophy? (Optimistic/pessimistic)

Cursing is my outlet. 

21 – Do you have a healthy lifestyle?

Yes. It should be affordable and accessible though. 

22 – How do you manage your time effectively? (Job/hobby)

Time management is by far one of my biggest flaws. I only have weekends to do most of my creative work, it would it’s important to precede it with a balanced week. But that never happens.

23 – Any secret skills?

I have some funny ones, but I’ll have to tell you in person.

24 – Any future plans?

Working on a few exciting projects for 2020 . Stay tuned ~~)) 

25 – What’s your life motto?

Pour vivre heureux, vivons cachés.

26 – Any “mot de la fin”?!

Fuck Shazam! 



*naano tani vs. baitong~xystemes is djing at Club Night Club’s next installment with Hodge, Chevel, Logos and DJ’J, Friday December 13th 2019. Reduced tickets are available here