Raised in a small town in the south of Germany by a family of musicians, Ludwig Wandinger’s creativity and affinity for music stem from his childhood and led him to study the drums at the Jazzinstitute Berlin. Inspired by artists like Iglooghost and Kai Whiston and their experimental approach, he started to play around with various instruments when he was a teenager and eventually got caught on the drums. “I got really hooked on Ableton when I was fourteen, since modern technologies, secret production techniques, and an insatiable interest in unusual sound design have always been a huge part of my creative process,” Ludwig tells us.
Today, he works as a drummer and producer and found his passion for visual art and graphic design along the way. “Up to the present day, I was really lucky to get the chance to work on various kinds of musical projects and with different people,” Ludwig remembers, “I enjoyed learning from all of these experiences, whether it was playing concerts, organizing my own concert series, producing music for other people, doing drum overdubs for other producers, or creating artworks for different projects. I love trying out new things.” Yesterday, the music video for his song ‘Suffer’ has been released by the record label Orange Milk Records, created in collaboration with his friend and artist Donnie Fredericks.
One day, Donnie reached out to buy a record of Ludwig via Bandcamp, and after thanking him for this purchase, the duo stayed in touch, sharing their music and giving feedback. It was the start of a beautiful friendship and collaboration between the two artists, who live in completely different parts of the world, with Donnie based in Indiana and Ludwig based in Germany. “Good things can be so simple,” Ludwig states, “I really respect Donnie’s output both visually and musically, and we are pretty much on the same wavelength when it comes to design and aesthetics. I can send Donnie every draft, demo, or silly tryout without worrying about getting deconstructive or unsolicited feedback and that’s worth a mint!”
Even if they have never met before in real life, Ludwig and Donnie have worked on a couple of projects together, among them their new music video ‘Suffer’. The song features some vocals of Donnie which were initially meant to be used in a completely different track. “Donnie and I just sent each other demos, ideas, and unfinished tracks, and at some point also stems, like isolated parts of instruments, vocals and so on,” Ludwig explains, “I had this folder with Donnie’s vocals sitting on my laptop which he planned using in one of his own songs, but I couldn’t resist to lay them over a song that I was currently working on. They just worked really well together. It gave me the feeling that you get when a DJ blends two very different tracks and it sounds just beautiful.”
The music video takes viewers to an equally beautiful world by layering and merging incredibly detailed CGI images and liquid, metallic, and plastic textures. Moving from one visual room to the other symbolizes the fluidity of emotional states, as Ludwig explains: “For me, the song is about having that dissonant, weird feeling when the sun is shining and your surroundings are all positive, but you still feel quite bad, but I think the visuals give you a lot of different associations and I like it to leave it open to interpretations.” Inspired by artists, like Salvador Dalí, Francis Bacon, and Christian Rex van Minnen, and the “uncountable mass of amazing 3D-artists on Instagram”, Ludwig usually starts by creating a bunch of textures, assets, 3D-objects, and color combinations, and creating collages out of the collected material later on. “I really like how an artwork evolves when you work on it all night long and I love going with the flow and not knowing where this process will lead me,” he states.
For this project, Ludwig worked simultaneously as a musician, producer, and visual artist. Switching between those very different roles is not always easy, especially when it comes to making decisions. “Getting into visual art, mixing, and mastering, as well as creating videos, definitely came out of a necessity, because I couldn’t afford to pay anyone for those jobs back then. Now, I’m super happy to be able to keep the complete creative control over the project, ” Ludwig explains, referring to other artists, like JPEGMAFIA, Arca, Kai Whiston, and BABii, with similar stories. “Not being dependent on someone else’s decisions or your budget pays off in the end. I learned pretty much everything on YouTube and there’s been a ton of learning-by-doing. It can be difficult at times, because no one supports you in your decisions, but on the other hand I enjoy doing things on my own and learned to have trust in my own decisions. It also made me enjoy the benefits of collaborations even more.”
With his hard drives packed with unreleased music, ‘Suffer’ might not be the only track that Ludwig drops in the next couple of months, not to mention his constant flow of visual output.