Review and Interview: Losoul – Island Time (Hypercolour)

Review and Interview: Losoul – Island Time (Hypercolour)
Ages and ages (which means about nine years) ago Losoul released his excellent album “Care” and if we’d have known that it would be his last album for so long we would have been quite sad, cause it was and still is an outstanding record. Since then, Losoul aka Peter Kremeier did some very good EPs, mainly on his own Another Picture imprint, now it’s album time again: “Island Time” just saw its release via English label Hypercolour and it was worth the waiting as it is an astonishing record. Over the years Losoul seems to have found his very own access to music, not just to House or Techno but to an electronic music based on an open-minded approach. At first listen his tracks may appear as not highly spectacular or the edgiest thing but then you get into this carefully elaborated work in search of the perfect sound. “Island Time” starts with “Echo Walk” which beatless whispers, echoing echos and clandestine messages serve as what you’d call a classic intro. First highlight is “Boppin Lower”, amazing House stripped down to the core, no obvious hooks but slick driving rhythms plus some ingredients intensifying the groove. As perfect for peak time at Robert Johnson as for listening at home with headphones on and discover the details. Musically different but qualitywise the same level is “Gold Tooth”, less straightforward but of a twisting winding breakbeat funkiness, also reduced to the necessary, showing Losouls skills to just built a groove and let it go. Absolutely fascinating all the way, masterclass stuff such as, say, Theo Parrish or DJ Sprinkles can do (who obviously have different attitudes (and different grooves) but similar abilities when it comes to play with the traditions of Dance Music). And so the “Island Time” tracks keep coming: elegant effortless House in best Losoul tradition, warm and absorbing (“There We Were” or “Square Down Smoother”) and the slowly creeping and bucking Electronica (or whatever it is) of “Mean Time” with warped sounds made in Frankfurt. One of the albums best tracks is the epic “Lava In You”, minimal grooves and chords expanding over about 10 minutes, a tune that without any problems can be labeled as “hypnotic”. In a way there’s an almost ambient quality to it, the ethereal groove lighter than air, but there’s also these fiery high notes generating a feeling of unease and discomfort. And there is nothing obtrusive or platitudinous in “Lava In You” so you’ll need to listen carefully to decode its full ambivalent beauty. Losoul shows again that he’s one of a kind, seeing a bigger picture and creating a music that on “Island Time” forms an almost perfect album. It is complex and diverse, uplifting and deep, sometimes darker and abstract and there’s a magic touch about it that resists analysis. It’s been said that Giacometti sculpted “by taking the fat off space”, on “Island Time” Losoul does something similar, with the sounds that are absent as important as the sounds you actually hear. Listening to “Island Time” is both pleasure and expedition. Written by João Geck Losoul about his new album, lonely islands and open spaces. Questions by João Geck. losoul2018_W122277-22x33 (credit: klaus waeldele) Q: Your new album "Island Time" is a quite in-depth (and amazing) voyage through House, Techno and some other sounds. Did you have some kind of concept for the album, something you wanted to express through the albums entity beyond the single tracks? A: Well, it is always hard to describe what one is doing anyway... As I am djing frequently, aside from my other musical tendencies and backgrounds this experience shapes quite an important part of what I do in the studio. I was carrying the idea of a lush but spicy vibe, a deep but driving groove and various shades of mood - as well as the overall aim to meet the idea of emotional affection all through the album - and not just in a single track. The picture of the 'lonely island' situation came to mind in which you have to decide for what you finally take with you. Here I am talking about spirit, or how one might want to feel like eventually. This comes with a warm and juicy vibe but also with occasional moments of darkness, grotesque as well as humour... Generally I see my music as an independent statement of style and technique and I think the album is of the same breed that wouldn't want to compare with others to rise attention.  "Island Time" is your first album since 2009. Why the long (album-)break and what made you decide that now’s the time? There are several reasons for this I'd say. I was busy with touring quite a lot and I also regularly released 12"s and remixes. This indeed kept me from just working on an album but actually brought inspiration and let me improve my skills - which I think is a goal to go for. Also I founded my label 'Another Picture' in 2014 which also took some time to get it running. I am very happy with the allover results - especially looking at the said individual spirit and also some refined technical ideas coming with it. I am doing all the studio production by myself - so I do not hire a service to get my ideas recorded and produced. I am pretty much into studio techniques as well as classic but also less usual studio technology to find rare ways of sound design and expression. This takes some extra time and effort but I think it's worth it to come up with something that stands out - especially as I've developed my styles as a producer over many years. All in all the album marks a new chapter for me as an artist as well as a studio producer. I think it shows a different side of Losoul - it is also my first album that isn't produced and released in association with my old homebase label Playhouse. What where your (musical and non-musical) influences and inspirations for creating "Island Time"? It has always been difficult for me to give information on direct influences or inspiration. I usually do not work with straight concepts nor really refer to other musical works or artists. Of course, I am listening to various genres and I find a lot of music that I feel. But I never tried to match these styles really even though some impressed me very much. For sure you find House and Breakbeat, jazzy and dubby elements in it and as said I've heard quite much music of these styles and also know about their historical or also technical backgrounds. But finally it comes down to the feeling that the music gives back today - and well, I think the biggest amount of that comes from what you actually experienced and found out by yourself. I am not King Tubby, Miles Davis, Mayfield, Ayers, Cowley, Mantronik, Prince, Mills or Kerri Chandler. So why should I really need to sound or play alike? I have a culturally open-minded and also a bit internationally spread out family - so I had the chance to learn about different ways of culture and everyday-life and also travelled from quite an early age on. So over time a lot of real impressions came together - especially because I was starting to develop a related musical sense at the time. The later touring for music kind of continued this. When it comes to my production it usually stays a bit more on the abstract side. This again is a sensitive way of keeping an open space for the listeners' and dancers' ideas and offer a groove and atmosphere to join. I didn't want to do just a pure House, Minimal, Techno or Retro Euro Disco album and sample or assimilate images from those styles or fashionable sources but preferred to cultivate a deeper atmospheric vision. I think this is what music and art is about. Real experiences allow passing on ideas and impressions and leave the space for interaction. Your new album is released on Hypercolour. Apart from the fact that it's obviously a very good label, why there (and why not on your own Another Picture imprint)? This has various reasons as well. Hypercolour is a label with a wider range of musical styles that they are used to handle. They are around for quite long already and have seen changing eras and so are prepared to work with artists of a similar background. Another Picture started with 12"s of my own productions, then with reissues of some of my classic jams from the nineties and meanwhile brings other artists that fit the label's idea. For a full-blown album release it might not be the right platform now - maybe we look at this in the future. For my previous album releases I was used to work with Playhouse and they took care of organisation and promotion back then while I rather spent my time on touring or production. With Another Picture I am looking for a specified vision regarding the music and appearance while for the album I chose to collaborate with people to share ideas, skill and energy on various levels. And as I had very good experiences with Hypercolours work in the past and I also find myself well among their versatile roster of experienced artists this feels like a good choice to me. Thanks a lot! You can BUY Losoul - Island Time, released on Hypercolour HERE from whatpeopleplay.com.

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Category: Album, Deephouse, House