Haze – released via Ki Records – is Greek producer and composer, Hior Chronik’s latest creation. Aligning with his previous critically acclaimed album, Descent, Haze creates an electro-ambient world which accentuates modern classical mini- malism. It is an album which deeply embodies tranquility, fulfilment and meaningful connection, aspirations born out of Hior Chronik’s past in Athens, and realised by his relocation near to a forest in Berlin, where he can truly feel at-home, surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of nature.
Through 15 tracks, Hior Chronik guides his listeners in an immersive journey which features magical soundscapes built using DX7 and Roland synthesizers, beats from the Lofi drum machine and Volca samples. Inspired by the best of his previous work in moody electro soundscapes, alongside his own history as a listener and lover of early 90’s electronic music, artists like, Lali Puna, Solvent and Remote Viewer, this album demonstrates a new dimension to Hior Chronik’s artistry which exudes light optimism.
“Most of the times that I was recording, it was after midnight hour or early morning and I could watch the foggy atmosphere from the window of my studio. I felt somehow that it embraced the sound of this album” Track after track, this nocturnal atmosphere is forged and conveyed. The single, Make no Attempt, features beautifully smooth vocals from Singapore-based artist, Thistlemorse, who also collaborated with Hior Chronik on the lyrics. The track, like the rest of the album, perpetuates the comfort Hior Chronik finds in the natural world, a major source of inspiration throughout his career, with many of the track’s titles referencing things such as forests, clouds and escape. “I recently moved a bit outside the city to be closer to the forest. Living nearer to nature makes me feel complete – I feel inspired in this well-protected
place full of subtle sounds, where the trees smell like incense in a shrine”. Differing from most of his previous compositions however, the song holds a more up-beat, pop feel, which reflects Hior Chronik’s refusal to dwell on regrets, and his spontaneous, improvised approach to both life and music. His experimental and adventurous nature reveals itself through his desire to cross the usual borders laid out between genres, find new sounds and integrate unique styles, “Life becomes so much more interesting this way,” says the artist.
Created in the midst of isolation and loneliness, Haze harnesses these difficult feelings and transforms them into an exhibition of optimism and hope. Hior Chronik himself describes Haze as one of his most positive albums yet and, despite the general nocturnal mood, it reemphasizes what we can occasionally forget – there is always a dawn after the darkness. Haze’s fourth track, Trigger, offers a richly-textured, sophisticated composition which is augmented by melodic strings. On this track, Hior Chronik worked with vocalist and musician, Mohna. Despite the distance between them when making the track, Hior Chronik stated, “We always felt so close”.
Berlin-based, Lilla Clara, features on Sad Swan, a masterfully balanced track which embraces the listener in soft vocals, warm chord progressions and laidback beats. Again, despite the wistful vocal, there’s plenty of space for hopeful dreaming on the track, and even perhaps some gentle dancing.
Other esteemed artists featured on the album include the likes of fellow Berlin-based musicians Aparde, Christian Grothe and Teamforest. Collaboratively, they constructed Haze into a rich and eclectic journey, lavish in sounds, styles and feelings. Hior Chronik’s environment has always played a big role in his musical output. From his music-filled childhood in Athens, to stints as a radio producer for JazzFm, through to his new home in Berlin, the capital of techno, the producer’s sound has always been influenced by the emotional qualities of his settings. It seems that with Haze, an album brimming with a sense of tranquility and meaningful connection, Hior Chronik has finally found where he belongs. Happy Here exalts this feeling of fulfilment, which is so tangible throughout the entire album. “Since I have moved here, I feel more optimistic. After so many years, I’m finally able to say that to myself.”
- Strange days
- Sad swan (feat. Lilla Clara)
- Don’t speak so I can hear you
- Once again I felt I wanna escape
- Mind fog (feat. Aparde)
- What’s wrong with you
- Forest (feat. Lilla Clara)
- Bench and cats
- Happy here (feat. Lilla Clara)
- Make no attempt (feat. Thistlemorse)
- Take your jacket with you
- Cloud peels (feat. Lilla Clara)
Buy the Album ‘Haze’ : https://hiorchronik.bandcamp.com/album/haze
Space and time both play a role in pølaroit’s music. A felt connection to Jonas and Marius’ hometowns in Northern Germany, their geography, as well as a sense of pertaining to a specific instant in time, a generation, are both expressed in the duo’s strain of melodic deep house, “We see our music as a snapshot of time and music,” they say. The chosen name for the duo, pølaroit, is a reference to this idea of capturing a moment and it tributes both their northern roots (Polar) as well as the birthplace of techno (Detroit).
Jonas and Marius, both in their mid-twenties, grew up near Hanover – yet it was only in 2018 that they crossed paths for the first time. Prior to that, Jonas had been developing his own work as a pianist, influenced by neo-classical artists such as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds as well as scoring pieces for film and advertisement. Marius on the other hand, who had been playing the drums since a young boy, started his musical path at sixteen deeply influenced by his interest in percussion and the urban electronic music scene of the time. When both met at a Christmas market in Hanover, after one too many cups of glühwein, they set a studio date just for fun. From that first day it became immediately clear to both that Jonas’ melancholic piano melodies weaved themselves seamlessly to Marius buoyant beats, and that there was more than just “fun” happening in the alchemy of their sounds, “after a few hours only, the first draft of our track Firøye was born and we recognized that we worked pretty well together,” says pølaroit.
pølaroit’s debut EP, ‘expedition into’ (out via Stil vor Talent) defined the duo’s moody sound somewhere in between melancholic downtempo and uplifting melodies, and captivated audiences around Germany. Their current EP, Pure, released via Christian Löffler’s Ki Records, continues to draw on the dichotomy of these two emotions but this time around there’s a bigger sense of presence and liveliness. Through the use of field recordings and vocals, pølaroit wants to rescue the human and organic element of creativity in their music, “Sometimes it’s just a recording of rumbling leaves or organic textures that make the sound more tangible.”
The idea of restoring the tangible in Pure stemmed from a desire to stand in contrast to the highly- produced and perfected aesthetics of the generation pølaroit belongs to. It also explains the duo’s adoption by Ki Records, a label focused on electronic acts such as Janus Rasmussen and Löffler himself who are known for incorporating an organic finish into otherwise hard-electro, “We love the imperfect, human touch and want to transport this feeling into electronic music,” says Jonas, “We recognised that everything gets faster and faster in our society, and that there is a certain perfectionism floating in our generation. That is not the way we see our music, we want to be more and more in the moment when creating,” adds Marius.
The EP’s track Underwater encompasses the desire for honesty by the use of a detuned piano, while the sound of waves that is heard throughout Cala calls forth a natural and earthly force. The title track, Pure features field recordings of a brick smashing against a wall – with it the veneer of perfection is also shattered. Their interest in “keeping things real” also informs the gear the duo chooses to work with – mainly analog synths and tape machines – as well as, of course, their collaboration with singers Luna Morgenstern on Perfect Strangers and Margret on Underwater who add warmth and intimacy to tracks through their voices. Their quest for an authentic, unreproducible sound is also the reason why playing live is an important part of pølaroit’s act.
Through five incredibly catchy tracks, Pure is an EP which evokes nostalgia. The longing expressed through whimsical melodies and a full-bodied bass calls forth a time when things weren’t always polished or airbrushed. Such an approach has uncovered the magic at the heart of pølaroit’s music and what makes this enigmatic, astute duo so very special; their ability to create a mature and contemporary sound that retains purity.
Released October 23, 2020 on Ki Records.
German multi-instrumentalist and producer, The Micronaut has made a name for himself through his richly textured and enthusiastic compositions. His 2016 album, “Forms” has been described as a true melting pot of sounds and it caught the attention of the electronic music scene with its very playful and original amalgamation of rhythms and samples. This summer, The Micronaut releases Olympia (Summer Games) – an album which continues to draw on his elaborate production style as well as on the values of camaraderie and solidarity of the Olympic Games, despite this year’s postponement of the event.
The album’s first single, Swimming is out today. The track moves from broken bass rhythms to catchy melodies to vocal samples in just a few bars, giving birth to a sort of collage-based genre of music.
Summer Games’ tracks are named after Olympic sports – pole vault, archery and swimming are just some examples of the 12 modalities chosen by the artist. “For this album I chose Olympia as theme, because apart from competition, it’s also about a movement of peace, where the focus is on people, no matter what nation. The Summer Games are coming now, the Winter Games will follow,” says the producer. In the spirit of games, the music is generally high-spirited and upbeat, with many tracks being perfectly fitted for the dance floor. The compositions move from broken bass rhythms to catchy melodies to vocal samples and guitars in just a few bars, making the overall listening experience seem like a fantastic rollercoaster ride, “I would always describe my music as very lively, expressive, dramatic, sometimes calm, sometimes powerful,” says The Micronaut, “I think it is music that fires the imagination.”
The ride is eclectic, but far from chaotic; transitions are fluid, the momentum uninterrupted and the direction cohesive. Behind the music’s energetic flow are sophisticated arrangements and quasiscientific constructions which crush stylistic boundaries and give birth to a new collage-based genre of music. The music is all the more impressive considering that every sound contained therein is crafted by The Micronaut himself, who has been called a one-man-orchestra for exactly that reason. At times, Summer Games veers towards electro-pop, at other times it is inspired by old-school hip-hop, and at other times still, it climaxes and explodes in IDM, but through all the commotion what is clear is that The Micronaut is an avid music lover, collecting ideas and inspirations far and wide, and translating them through his own prism of emotions, “Music must always be a journey, with ups and downs, with fears and with happiness. Making music is always an expression and somehow also a processing of experiences.”
01. Uneven Bars
02. Table Tennis
03. Discus Throw
07. Fencing (feat. Saskia Streck)
08. Pole Vault
09. Swimming (feat. Bernhardt.)
Release Date: 03.07.2020
Christian Löffler will be releasing his new album, Lys, in March 2020!
“Lys” serves as a sequel and contrast to Graal , its predecessor. Whereas the latter is the result of a six-month period spent largely on the road in between live shows, the former is a studio release in the truest sense, recorded and compiled in the serenity of Löffler’s home studio. While produced within four walls, Lys ’ grounding comes from what lies beyond them—Graal, Müritz.
“I realised that the light is different in the north of Germany, and this became an overall theme for the album,” Löffler explains. “Before I had Mare , and Forest , and now it’s become light,” hence the album’s title, meaning “light” in Danish.
Rather than capturing a specific moment in time or emotion, Lys is a selection of Löffler’s favorite productions from the past three years, compiled into one enchanting and deeply moving listening experience.
Whereas on previous album Löffler used his voice as a tool or instrument, heavily altered and unrecognizable most of the time, for Lys he puts them front and centre in order to capture his innermost feelings with actual words rather than only moods. The album also features the vocals of Menke, a young Swedish singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and Mohna, a staple on his recent tours. “She’s part of my musical world and so I wanted to have her on the album,” Löffler explains.
Lys is coming out via Ki Records, Löffler’s own label, launched in 2009 as a platform for the music that inspires him.
Christian will also be playing around Europe for the next few months:
A veteran in the world of minimal techno, Dominik Eulberg offers this upbeat and heady retake of Loffler’s track Refu.
Refu is a track from Löffler’s recently released and much anticipated album, Graal (Prologue). Both Löffler and Eulberg come from similar environments; two nature lovers who work secluded in the forests of Germany and who draw inspiration for their productions from the natural world.
Buy/Stream here: https://33r.pm/Gert
Fejká Announces New Album REUNION. The first single, Svanur, is out today, July 26th. Watch the beautiful accompanying video below, shot in Iceland. Fejká will also be joining German deep house producer Christian Löffler on an European tour in November.
Creating an album is a journey of self-knowledge through hindsight; putting together the tracks that will compose the oeuvre much like putting together a photo album. It involves looking back and undoubtedly reflecting over the memorable times that inspired each composition. That is definitely the case for Fejká, who released this year his album, Reunion. “The tracks on this album started to emerge from all different moments, feelings and mental states of my life during the last two years. They all have the same origin and purpose, to be fragments of my journey to find myself. Each song is a part of me,” says the German electronic music producer and visual artist.
Like with everything that involves hindsight, there is a great deal of nostalgia in the album – and it is the nature of nostalgia to be fluid. It can be at once sweet or melancholic, agitated or mellow, airy or heavy, but it nonetheless invokes in all its forms a sentimental longing for something. In Reunion, nostalgia is primarily given shape in dreamlike soundscapes, soft atmospheres that nonetheless evoke strong contemplative feelings. This longing is carefully unfolded in the album’s track Youth where a simple melody plays out over the sound of seagulls and develops effortlessly into a joyful tune. The track, informed by its title, invokes the candor and naivety of childhood, “The song is not trying to be cool, dreamy, dancy or anything, it’s just this carefree and lighthearted atmosphere.”
But to describe Fejká’s music only by its more delicate side would only be painting a part of the picture. Since his EP Twilight, the producer has been exploring sounds that are at once ethereal and dynamic, celestial but also very much grounded on the dancefloor. In a seamless way, Fejká crafts music that is equally suitable for introspective moods and wonders as it is for a club. But while ‘Twilight’ explored this duality between dreamlike atmospheres and dance music, Reunion seems to delve into a much vaster range of emotions and approaches, cementing the young producer’s eclecticism, “I think that I realized that life is too diverse to be only portrayed by one sound style,” explains Fejká,“It’s a collection of my life and the sum of all the ups and downs.”
Take the track Untold for instance, perhaps the most fast-tempo title of the album with it’s punctuated beats and repetitive melodies. Rather than it being just a dance tune, it is also a highly emotive and contemplative song which plays out like a riddle, provoking feelings of quest and curiosity, “It catches a mysterious atmosphere and plays with the power of the unknown. I really love music causing emotions which seem too complex to understand,” says Fejká. The track couldn’t be more different than the album’s opening title, Reunion, which moves slowly and carries an ethereal melody of melancholy and insight. Both songs nonetheless are equally compelling in conveying a feeling instantly and potently.
Another tool used on Reunion that hits hard on an emotional level, is the use of the voice, “It conveys a certain authenticity and truth, and builds a bridge in terms of emotionality for the listener. Experiencing an emotional medium through human voice triggers some deeply rooted evolutionary feelings,” explains Fejká. The strongest example of this sentimentality comes in the track Reunion for which friend and musician Marie Angerer contributed with haunting vocals, “For me, a female fragile voice is very special and outstanding in the universe of musical elements,” he says.
Putting together the album might have been a journey of self-knowledge, but creating its ten tracks was purely intuitive for Fejká, “While doing a song, I think you should just do it and not think about anything else,” he explains. “After finishing, you will start to realize what you have just created and try to find personal meaning.” Having a visceral creative process means that inspiration could hit at any time, anywhere. Drafting sketches became an important way in which Fejká would capture those revelations, “Sometimes I have ideas for melodies and lyrics, so I end up humming the melody awkwardly into my phone.” From then, Fejká would develop these sketches in his laptop – a basic setup which nonetheless permitted him to take his ideas far, “I only expand my set up when I really feel that I can’t produce what I want with my current equipment, otherwise, it will just overstress my mind and wallet.”
It is fair to say that Reunion is much more about feelings than it is about any technical element or craft. The strength of the album’s tracks is deeply tied to their ability to capture a mood, and convey it to the listener. Fejká has successfully been honing this ability since his last EP. In Reunion, the young producer moves the listener through his own personal emotive journey, through his own experiences, and at every track the listener feels closer and more at home with Fejká himself.
Pre-order Reunion here. Releases September 20, 2019 via Christian Loffler’s Ki Records.
2. Reunion (feat. Marie Angerer)
4. Svanur (feat. Rökurró)
8. Skye (feat. Marie Angerer)