Industrial Technoid Electronics from Berlin

SARIN is a Berlin-based artist whose highly stylized flavor of industrial-EBM instantly distinguishes him from the herd.
His sound can be described as a blend of abrasive drum programming and brutally minimal bass lines paired with dystopian cut-up style sampling of media detritus, invoking spirits of militant body techno fetishists of before.
As a producer and the owner of the label and A/V platform X-IMG, he continues to challenge himself and push the boundaries of a familiar sound.

We are honored to have you onboard with us on our interview space.
Your love of industrial and even power electronics is well documented.
Let’s start from your musical roots: when were you first drawn to the possibilities of electronic music production?

Hi thanks for having me. The first experience I can recall would be messing around with “Rebirth” in high school. Around the same time I was getting heavily into industrial music & culture working my way backwards by researching everything online or digging through shops in downtown Toronto and going to what few gigs might pop up. I spent the next few years focusing more on video/installation & a/v performances thru university and afterwards. It wasn’t until 2013 that I got my first synth and fleshed out full length tracks. I moved to Berlin in late 2014 and had my first 12″ out on Aufnahme + Wiedergabe in 2016.

Does your cultural identity work against or alongside you. 

Do your roots influence your music and in what way?

If you mean my heritage and ethnic background it influences me, Yes. I’m curious about the connections between where I was born, where I grew up, where I am now and why all that happened & how that was affected by certain things like politics, economics, conflicts, etc… In that sense it works for me as I love to research and explore history anyway and my own history falls into that. I often wonder and think about the great sacrifices my parents made giving up their own comfortable lives “back home” to find a secure place for their children to thrive instead.

You’re based in Berlin since few years. What makes Berlin so attractive and special for artists & do you feel some impact from this artistic life and music trends on your work as musician/producer?

I think the appeal of Berlin for artists came from the robust ecosystem of venues, spaces, labels, cheap rent and its centrality in Europe in regards to affordable and quick flights to the other cities for gigs. There’s also a rich electronic music culture and history here. Let’s see what happens after covid…


One of the main characteristics and strengths of your work for sure remain the sound treatments and impressive manipulations. Can you reveal the secret formula behind this aspect of your work and do you have some influences and standards for this topic?
I don’t think there is any secret formula. All those sonic discoveries can be made through experimenting and playing around; manipulating everything to fit your needs and surprising yourself with the outcome. I don’t think there’s any single answer. The bands that influenced me a lot early on in my musical journey could make something beautiful out of a pile of scrap metal, contact mics, pedals etc… “$cumtronic$” as my friend HUREN says, the motto for making do with little and that can be applied if you don’t have a bunch of expensive synths. Though there is nothing wrong with that either.
When did you start with your own label ‘’X-IMG’ – and what or who were your early passions and influences.
Which are the perspectives you want to explore through this?

I started X-IMG in 2015 to put out my first cassette album and from there I met likeminded individuals who were making interesting music so I offered them a small outlet . I also try to incorporate some of my interests in video art and experimental montage to support the project & add to the overall concept. My main interests with it are to showcase raw underground & unknown artists alongside some more established artists to help feed off each other and keep things fresh. I also use it now to release my own side projects and material when working with a label isn’t possible or doesn’t make sense.

I guess as far as labels I’m inspired by there’s a few from the 80s and 90s labels such as WaxTrax! Antler Subway, Nettwerk and so on, not just for the great music but how in that time the visual approach and videos were really pushed as part of the overall work of art. Music videos from that scene & era are a huge influence for me. They helped encapsulate the cyberpunk vibe of the times just as much as the music did.



What were your main label-related challenges in the beginning and how have they changed over time?
Exposure was the first issue but over time and subsequent releases of fresh artists and compilations a very small cult like following emerged online. I’m very grateful to anyone who has released on or supported the X-IMG project by purchasing something. I still see it in its infancy & run it entirely out of my flat by myself which sometimes feels overwhelming. On occasion I sometimes collaborate with graphic designers, such as Jesse Box who is a friend and talented designer that collaborated with me on the first vinyl “Dystopia in Action” v/a. Sometimes the release artists also like to take control of certain aspects such as shooting or cutting up their own videos or submitting material for the graphics. The first vinyl I mentioned came out about a month ago and was a huge learning experience coming from simple runs of 50 cassettes. If it’s financially possible with covid and everything else I’d like to continue with select vinyl releases for X-IMG.
Collaborations can take on many forms.
What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives, including the artists on your label?
Collaborations are important for me. It’s a great way to learn off one another and feed off each other’s energy. It’s just more fun sometimes. With the artists I sometimes offer to remix a track to help push the release a bit more, and when it’s feasible. The entire process of a release on X-IMG is collaboration from ideas for the art work to the video cuts.
In the latest years or so, you have been moving on to larger audiences and bigger clubs and much more techno environments, so how has that experience been on your side?
It was great. I had a cool job and semi-stable income that I could rely on. Just before covid I had the pleasure to play live at Berghain & Kablys with the BITE crew. Precious moments like that seem like distant memories now but it was just earlier this year. Hopefully we can get back to it before every club is forced to shut down permanently.
What’s your perspective on the relationship between music and other forms of art – painting, video art and cinema, for example – and for you and your work, how does music relate to other senses than hearing alone?
I think they’re totally interconnected. I get a lot of inspiration and ideas from cinema and have always been interested in video art since my first experiences in High School and later in University with my major and minor studies. I sample films, documentaries, the news and any other formats I can get my hands on. I see those fragments as frozen slices of time, history and culture that can be rearranged and used for many purposes. I find it more enjoyable to combine them than keep them apart.
What changes or improvements would you like to see happen in your lifetime, either technologically, biologically, or socially?
That’s a broad question. Socially I’d like to see less nationalistic fervour, fewer conflicts, less arms sales by wealthy nations, less greed, less hatred towards refugees etc… Broader & easier access to education could help alleviate a lot of those issues. It would also be great if we learned to take better care of our planet. I’m also against capital punishment and pro-euthanasia for those in long term agony that want to get off this boat.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us, we greatly appreciate your courtesy.
You’re welcome.

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