….Picks gives the chance to an artist/collective to showcase sounds which have inspired a certain moment.
Euromantic picks: Towards a new future
“This is techno for our continental brothers and sisters caught up in the decadent lifestyle of the new millennium.” – Niki Istrefi-Red Armor [Euromantic001]
It doesn’t happen often that a brief EP description catches the attention of the author this much. Better said, that a description resonates in the same manner of an unspoken but often thought idea being repeated out loud by someone else. As it seemed more people were trying to identify the current cosmopolitan taste of techno, deconstructing the ritual rhythms belonging to the club temple, played by the dj priest(ess). Where techno reigns, the limits of decadence are pushed₁ and the edges of (inter)personal freedom are being redefined. In its best form this means that the correlation between space, sound, race, gender and personal belief is shuffled and tested in this closed laboratory. Though decadence in the current age is something different than in the Utopian age of the 90’s. We have all become more aware of the ethical failure of the generations before us. Religious wars, economic crises stand beside the information overload of the current age, which enables us to communicate with like minded people from around the globe. To satisfy our need for understanding and, like in this case, to see that question of why we are doing what we do being picked up by a collective overseas.
Euromantic consists of three artists, Alex, Adam and Niki, all equally active in the Copenhagen-based collaborative. Born out of the ashes of their former label and studio count 0, they forged a strong base to develop and curate their creative vision.
Euromantic is a promising young label, so we asked for a selection of media, be it art, music or even literature, that contributed to the break with count 0 and their current beliefs in contemporary music.
ALEX (REPRO, Funeral Future)
Tangerine Dream – Exit (1981)
I am not an intense music listener. I rarely dig deep in people’s catalogs or go on extensive hunts for new music, I don’t have the mindset of a collector or a DJ and i’m easily overwhelmed with impressions. Its rare for me to stumble on things that really stick and starts to mean something to me, Tangerine Dream’s Exit is one of those things. It’s a glimpse into what I interpret as the cold war era zeitgeist, suggestive of what was to come. It’s a textural and tonal cold breath down your neck. It’s a situation you want to get out of. It’s a worried but hopeful record that gets into the corners of a lot of emotions throughout its cinematic progression. Despite its dated themes, it’s still a futuristic vision to me. This record features some very exciting technology, for those interested that’s a Google search away.
I’ll have to be kinda vague here. This is a general obsession of mine and the subject is vast.
Few things are more interesting to me than technology and the ways it is utilized in the world in which we live tonight. It is chaotically changing the way we live, interact and gather information. It has opened attack vectors, that allows someone with a cheap second hand laptop to do some pretty extreme damage with very little effort. We have seen cyber weapons used to burn out nuclear centrifuges, black out skylines and cripple hospitals. It has enabled people to take a university degree for free in a hole in the ground on the other side of the planet. It has allowed for better scrutiny of information although the opposite could also be argued for many reasons. I like to embrace that it is chaotic and I enjoy spectating. Technology has enabled me to make the music that I make, which has given me the life I live for better or for worse.
[BONUS] DJ Shufflemaster – Tokyo Rose (2001)
ADAM (Funeral Future, SECOND HEART)
Merzbow – Metalvelodrome (Exposition Of Electro-Vivisection) (Alchemy Records 1993)
The first time I listened to Merzbow 4-disc magnum opus was while I was passing Through Copenhagen’s red light district late at night. I was already mesmerized by the neon signs reflecting off the rainy sidewalk when the beginning of “Armless” turned my world into a sensory maze of colours, bodies, and sound. Completely wired by the hyper-aggressive and confrontational attitude of the music, it spoke to me on a poetic level, I had never before associated with its genre and have never experienced since.
Dorian Yates (Mr. Olympia 1993)
Much like with Merzbow, I have always been drawn towards art that pushes the limits of physical endurance. Bodybuilding is generally defined as a sport, but in my mind, it is much closer to the craft of sculpture. In the golden age of bodybuilding the ideal was to look like a statue of a Greek god, but in 1993, the reigning Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, took his body to an absurdist extreme far beyond what anyone had thought humanly possible. His overwhelming muscularity, coupled with a dangerously low level of body fat, resulted in a granite look reminiscent of Le Corbusier’s brutalist architecture. Whenever I feel beaten and overworked, I look at his photograph, and I am immediately filled with a sense of excitement for the future.
NIKI (NIKI ISTREFI)
Quake, Half Life & Diablo
The atmosphere and soundscapes in the games from this era, has had a big influence on how I wanted my music to sound and feel like. A gritty textured and dark place you want to go to in search of lust and excitement.
Having used most of my time growing up playing drums, this guy was and still is an idol to me. Whenever I feel uninspired I think of this guy and remember to keep it simple, groovy and hard!