We are truly excited to bring you an exclusive first look at the powerful video for the title track Energie from Neosignal’s celebratory concept 10th release, ENERGY EP.
With Phace and Misanthrop directing, editing and filming the video, it is best described in their own words as “an abstract outlook on human exploitation and abuse of our planet’s ecosystems, natural energies and beauty.” It perfectly ties together the imagery of the striking arctic artwork, the pair’s environmental concerns, and the ferocity of the track itself.
Misanthrop: “We wanted to express our deep respect to these immense natural, geological, thermal and chemical energies on this planet and especially to the ones existing in such arctic areas. Humans try to control these energies but at the end we just destroy what we should have taken care of and the arctic frontier seems to be the perfect example that we will lose this fight!”
Check out our full EP review and in-depth interview after the jump.
ENERGY EP showcases Phace & Misanthrop’s state-of-the-art sonic dexterity alongside collaborators Spor, Noisia and Rockwell for a diverse collection of fresh, forward-thinking music. With most of the 6 tracks (released across 3 singles) crafted specifically for the EP, this represents a true concept release to further cement Neosignal’s status as one of the premier underground labels for discerning d&b fans.
ENERGY EP PART 1: NSGNLEP001N
E. Phace & Misanthrop – Energie
N. Phace & Noisia – Micro Organism
Out now: Listen & Download
When asked about the intricacy and complexity of their music, Misanthrop says he expects “music to be something interesting, that can change within a second into a totally different direction”. He describes the importance of the listener’s attention span: “I really spend ages listening to the track again and again just to realise which parts need more work to attract the listener. That’s probably the main reason why our/my music sounds that complex, because we actually do pay a lot of attention to details.” This is evident on title track Energie, with the pair constantly morphing and evolving the soundscape, contrasting synthetic, technologic basslines with organic sounds and switching up the beats to keep the listener on their toes.
Phace explains that “personally, I love detail and I think that detail makes music more interesting and worthwhile to listen to”, expressing frustration with current formulaic commercial music: “It sometimes feels to me a big part of the music industry is just cooking the same meal every day because they know it works and they don’t end up being hungry anymore afterwards. That is a really functional approach to me…. I just enjoy doing things a little different, and try to add something different to my music. I honestly can’t really tell you why the sound of Neosignal seems that complex, I guess it’s just that I or we need to have it sounding exactly that way to get that click in the head giving you the feeling of happiness, fulfilment and satisfaction.”
Energie is combined with minimalist Micro Organism on the first single, built around an intriguing beat that draws you in with the detail and intricacies of the percussion. This track sees Phace pair up with Noisa and as he explains, follows on from where their last collaboration, Program, left off: “[Progam] is quite a powerful and energetic dancefloor track. It conveys the theme of a machine controlled by a program on a mission to destroy the planet. When we finalised the track we both thought what would be next after such a radical event. Randomly there were ultra tiny fruit flies flying around in the studio and I instantly thought the whole evolution would all start again to develop itself from scratch through one surviving micro organism. And that is the story the track Micro Organism reflects :] This all might sound a bit weird or like we have mental issues, but it should just show it indeed is a great thing to move along a story to develop ideas or themes.”
ENERGY EP PART 2: NSGNLEP001R
E. Misanthrop – Amboss
R. Phace & Rockwell – NO!
Misanthrop comes with a cinematic, ominous intro on Amboss, that builds into a full-scale assault of jagged growling bass and metallic percussive hits yet incorporating a shuffle and clap to retain that funk edge. “I wanted to build a tune that should reflect the power of nature when it hits the earth. ‘Amboss’ is German and means anvil, the first thing that came into my mind when I made the bass patches and the drums. Normally I work like 2-3 weeks on a tune, but for Amboss it was different. Sometimes it happens that every step you’re taking, heads into the right direction, into the direction you want it to sound like. So after like 4 days the track was finished and I had no idea how to improve the arrangement or the mixdown. A pretty obvious sign that you’re finished :)”
Amboss is joined on Part 2 of the EP by Phace & Rockwell – NO! a truly futuristic joint, with a robotic ripple and an incredible array of human sounds layered over tough but precise beats. Phace reveals that all of the collabs were created together with realtime studio sessions. “I love to have real human communication/interaction while writing music, especially for collaborations I think it is essential to write them together in one room the same time. Writing music with other people is very entertaining and just a lovely thing to do.”
ENERGY EP PART 3: NSGNLEP001G
G. Phace & Misanthrop – What’s Wrong
Y. Phace & Spor – Out of Focus
Misanthrop agrees, “I like direct interaction with people when I’m working on collaborations. Though you might recognise that I’m solely working with Phace, because I never felt like forcing to do any other collabs in my career yet. I really enjoy working with Florian (Phace) because we work very similar on how we build a track. We both focus our skills on different areas in music production which flows perfectly into each other.” The force of the duo is shown again on What’s Wrong, with a towering string-laced intro and colossal breakdown which unleash a break at warp speed for devastating dancefloor impact.
Describing their creative process, Phace tells us “I love to write tracks that transport a story or concept. For me it is essential to add an individual soul and feeling to my music. Developing a concept for my tracks gives me a big playground to develop creativity and to decide on things quicker.” For Misanthrop, “the initial idea just needs to be a fragment, whether it is an audio sample or just a picture. During the process the conceptual idea evolves with any single step towards the final product.”
“The point of taking decisions while writing music must be one of the most critical ones in my opinion” continues Phace. “It is essential to decide when something is done so you create new space to move on rather than getting stuck turning knobs endlessly. Personally I think music will lose its feeling when you work on it for too long. Surely you have to be careful not to be too complicated while writing music, as in the end music is still art and emotion and not just science.”
The final track on the EP sees a welcome return to d&b for Spor, collaborating with Phace who describes him as a “great character with great musical vision”. The rolling opening of Out of Focus belies the razor sharp bassline that follows, and as Phace says of the tune, it “conveys this oldschool Konflict kind of vibe put in to new clothes”.
The arctic artwork seems fitting then, as this is ice cold musical precision backed with the weight of a glacier in bass and depth. ENERGY EP is as rewarding listened to carefully on headphones as it is tearing up dancefloors.
Looking back to the start of Neosignal, we wondered what the pair hoped to achieve when starting the imprint. Phace explains that as well as setting up a home for music that solely represents their musical beliefs, “we tried to create a label that delivers even more than just quality and soulful music. We wanted to create an imprint that stands for its own category of music and also has a strong visual identity and ideology giving the music listener a whole lot of aesthetics and triggers to gain inspiration and pleasure from. In the beginning we knew that the label would sell only smaller numbers of its releases and were well aware of being placed in the underground. Neosignal is built on dedication and love for the music and it actually works out quite well these days.”
Misanthrop shares these values of musical independence. “The main goal for me was to fulfil my own ideas or visions with total freedom. In life you’ve got to take responsibility for something and I was sick of not being in the decision-making position to fulfil my vision of a creative outlet. To have met somebody like Florian made the decision to establish a label even easier. We share the same interests and if we are not of the same opinion, we always find a consensus. Like Florian said it, the name says it all – Neosignal!”
“Sometimes I regret we didn’t establish Neosignal a bit earlier. It still is a constant learning process, and I really enjoy working with my best mate on something creative. It feels great to look back at such a satisfying alternative back catalogue!”
Phace is similarly proud and hopeful for the future. “It feels like both the scene and our network appreciate and respect the way the label sounds, works, looks and feels. All of the feedback and support we are receiving is great and really positive. Of course there is always space for improvement, but it’s been a great journey for the label so far and it hopefully will carry on!”
The strength of this accomplished EP, as with the Neosignal back catalogue, is testament to the pair’s shared vision, their drive for quality & attention to detail and, as set out on their website, the desire to “push sonic limits”.
Preview the EP at http://energy.viinyl.com/
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