AGF: Poem Producer



One of the most important and prolific electronic music producers working today, AGF (Antye Greie) spoke to Raz Mesinai’s Underground Producers Alliance blog about her extensive work in sound, language and social activism.

UPA: You are one of my favourite electronic music producers today and are clearly prolific, with over 20 albums. What advice can you give our students and readers on remaining fresh and vibrant from one project to another. If it’s in the food you eat, please share the recipe!

AGF: Thanks. What drives me? An appreciation to be alive. Gratefulness to be listened to.

Like a responsibility? My luck-destiny that this fucking [Berlin] Wall came down and I am allowed to travel and make music.  I grew up in a North Korea-type of world.

I have explored a lot of angles to the audio practice.

I started out making records in the ’90s, touring first in Germany, then Europe.

I produced records in dirty industrial complexes, freezing my ass off, with no budgets and toured tirelessly.

Then there are economic motivations.

I need to make a living. I am an independent artist, a mother too and I need to participate in this society.

I need to kick ass to make this happen because I don’t want to spend my precious life time doing things I don’t stand behind.

This is very difficult to achieve, an experience that you can not learn but must live. A constant negotiation. I am constantly studying.

It is a political practice as well. I was raised communist, with an understanding of the laws of oppression.

I come from nothing, this is my only shot. I probably learned to navigate, creating space for creating, creating teams, crews, collaborating.

I live strange now. I live on a sparsely populated half-Arctic island in the north with a fast internet connection.

I read a lot and listen to almost everything that is released.

I been around, I traveled. I understand the complexity of the music production game.

I also don’t want to participate in some hands-in-the-air games.

I want to contribute something that makes this place more diverse.

I am lucky to be doing this and make it my life.

I risk new things. I value work. My work is my contribution to evolution.

It is also what nobody can take away from me.

Food? I don’t eat meat and live very healthy.

I don’t drink nor take drugs.

I thrive off of sound, music-making, networking, philosophy, language. I am interested to find new spaces and in hybridity.

I live half of my time online, so I understand it as the human’s larger body. What if we all are not individuals but just single cells, each of us is building the larger being we don’t know but we are part of anyway.

Currently I study pre- and Soviet history for a poetry project I received a generous grant for.

I am also preparing (to be) an artist in residence at a nanotechnology facility.

UPA: As a listener, it seems that you’ve taken the cut up style of contemporary poetry and literally produce with that approach, but with beats and sounds. In what ways does poetry inform your work, especially in your instrumentals?

AGF: To me, poetry is everything. Even my new album, SOLIDICITY, does not contain one word. I still see it as poetry.

Language is incredible. When we think of our brains and the capability of language construction, it is amazing.

Poetry is the most creative form of it. Rap music is.

Poetry comes out of us. Very much directly, brain, emotion, skill.

No presets, no machines, no tools.

It is very creative and non-hierarchical, you don’t need money to do it.  It is just for me the highest form of art.

Not quite like synthesizers or computers, although (with) computers, code is language too.

It is fascinating how deep this source is and that says a lot about humans too.

Now we live in the cyber age, we are slowly digitizing ourselves, melting with machines. I cut in there…

Seeking the machines and connecting the language, which these machines are built on.

But also I am not only interested in the human and its effect. I very much care for the non-human too. This is why I love seclusion now.

UPA: Which contemporary poets inspire you?

AGF: All rap music, grime. women telling their stories.

I listen to poets from all regions of this planet.

I listen to all women rappers always!

I made several poetry projects about women’s language, looking for early poetesses in several languages I know.

Did you know that in the 23rd century BC, the high priestess of Sumer, Enheduanna, invented literature? She was the first person to realize that writing could do more than record a contract, send a message, or convey facts.  Her genius and vision resulted in the creation of the poet, poetry & literary form.

The first algorithm was written by a woman too, Ada Lovelace.

Right now I am working with Russian women’s writing. I like this new young writer Galina Rymbu and also Pussy Riot’s writer, Maria Alyokhina. I like a young Japanese poet I collaborated with, Misumi Mizuki.

But you know, for me even Twitter is poetry.

It is my fave – people are quite creative with words.

UPA: How often do you record the world around you?

AGF: Often, I would not say daily but a lot. I use an iPad these days with attachable RØDE mic.

And a Tascam for more serious stuff.

Lately I facilitated field recording and listening workshops.

I did a bunch of outdoor camps with others.

FIELD WORK & CAMPS (sonic wild{er}ness)

UPA: I know that you were doing some classes in Finland with children. How did that come about?

AGF: I would like to link to this article, where I explain all that.

UPA: Can you tell us a bit more about Female Pressure, how it came about, and what you feel it is helping to do?

AGF: I joined Female Pressure in 2004 and (have) since been a part of the anon grassroots community, with a few public figures.

We‘ve had many discussions about all issues you can imagine one could encounter in music and the music biz. We quite simply help each other and also make concentrated actions together. We made 3 fact studies, where we counted and fact checked festivals, labels and club events for gender (representation).

We made several music compilations, for instance the FREE PUSSY RIOT compilation, where we write music for a specific cause. We are able to make projects happen in a community and have access to many women in electronic music. We did the VISIBILITY tumblr with images of 500+ women in studio, production or during DJ sets. We made a solidarity campaign for the women fighters in northern Syria, the region of Rojava to support their women’s revolution in an active war zone and under ISIS attack. The compilation I curated and mastered was voted by FACT mag as best record of 2016 alongside Kanye West and Rihanna!

Everyone can contribute to the community as they want. I work a lot with the Twitter account and promote other women ’s work. It is still a reality that 1 in 10 media reports on music go to men. There is no reason for that. There is so much incredible work out there, which is simply ignored… well it is a huge issue … obviously. Many years of practice, building…

All over I can say I think that gender bending and gender justice is an important revolution of our time and I am convinced that this will bring other justice to this planet as well. I could say dismantling patriarchy and the system of conquering is a main concern of mine. Patriarchy kills us all.

Music is supposed to be in front, is supposed to lead, be subversive. If that is reactionary, it is unacceptable and I don’t want to have anything to do with it.

UPA: Your new album just dropped. Can you tell us more about this new masterpiece and why you feel it’s important to continue to melt faces with extreme bass?

AGF: Haha. it is just necessary. Love frequencies will lift us up.



The album starts out with a mosquito sinfonie. I live in the northern Finnish woods. The sound of mosquitos is very delicate. I loved composing with it in MAX. In addition I recorded a fly on my balcony which makes the main melody of the track. I produced the beats outside in an attempt for oxygen

LUXEMBURGism is my personal fav, search(ing) for sonic pleasure in arrhythmic pattern, breaking flow, resisting synchronisation, quantization, I think this piece will be good for dancers and movement artists. Please credit me 😉.

It is obviously dedicated to the amazing Rosa Luxemburg.

FUN-gi is made of experiments w #sonicwilderness crew 2016 @aedasonic & @microhom ’s pd patch. See below, finding the mushroom beat, my studies of @RadMycology {a vocal track has been released earlier on bandcamp called firemushroom}. The track was programmed on iMPC pro.

EU-rope: Made on a plane flying around Europe, on iMPC Pro. I am thinking a lot of peace building, transnational collaboration, governance. It is messy, an atonal situation. Only WE can build a juster existence. Our intelligence is our sword to replace imperialism and militarism.

MIGration: I live on an island which is used by birds to rest ’n feed during their annual south/north/south bound migration – as animals also humans used to naturally migrate according to seasons and food availability, only since land was obsessed over and capitalised migration got it’s bad rep, indigenous folks like the northern nation of Sami people and their reindeers still move around of course restricted by nation-state borders – borders and nation states are a base for power abuse, control over free people, it is an outdated concept watching and listening to the 100s of swans visiting every year twice has been one of the most amazing sonic experiences in my live, the way they collect, communicate, call, sing… this year I had this amazing moment {it was also my birthday} where about 100 swans flew over us > in a radius of 100m, a swarm of swans, each singing this pitching song they sing, like a multi channel piece of individual notes moving over our heads, while we were flat breathless on the ground, it was absolutely ones in a life time unrepeatable miracle of composition so the 6th track on my new album called MIGRATION is dedicated to the process of what we face being such a difficult thing for so many people on this planet, only the most privileged like me with a German passport can move, but it was not always like that, I grew up behind a wall MIGRATION is build out of swan sounds flying and singing and a sturdy beat made on the @Akai_Pro MPClive for WATER-ROR I used recordings I made by different streams in Norway and at a waterfall near Rovijoki near the Finnish/Norwegian border & played them in realtime from @samplr and @BorderlandsiPad {2 of my fav sound apps} into Logic – in this region fresh water is plenty resource crypto-CURRENT (8th track) is a dark messy uncontrollable hidden spoiled hopeful brutal distorted spiral piece noise stream of frequencies made in MAX @cycling74 it is like cheese, it will stink and finally the last piece MYCOrrhizosphere is an attempt to realise the mycelium score I made using my voice. I layered about 20 tracks of me singing along the lines of the graphical score or as hyphen grows endlessly, I used tons of FX and digital manipulation – to be continued SOLIDICITY is no word, when I first time typed it into @duckduckgo “Solidarity” showed up – I liked that – a toast on new words and visions – thanks for reading this and hopefully listening my music – I am aware what a privilege it is to be listened too – love & powers to y’all


sound & curation

AGF: @poemproducer