Farao is the alter ego of Berlin-based artist Kari Jahnsen, whose dazzling synth-pop constructions defy all description.
New album 'Pure-O' is out now on Western Vinyl, perhaps the composer's most developed, fleshed out, and audacious achievement yet.
Album opener 'Marry Me' is practically a manifesto for the album itself, with the track closing with Farao pleading: “Overwhelming, undying, overpowering, unconditional, all-encompassing, heart-enriching, mind-expanding...”
A startling return that matches quiet contemplation against furious futurism, 'Pure-O' feels like a unique, highly distinct artwork, something occupying its own realm.
Clash sat down with Farao to discuss the sounds that fuelled her new album...
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Uku Kuut - 'Affinity'
This guy is a legend. An Estonian funk producer, recording and releasing music from his studio in LA, Sweden and Soviet Union in the 80s. It’s an unusual mix of American and Eastern European flavours.
PPU have been releasing his unreleased home recordings in the past couple of years, and it’s really great stuff!
Salt’n’Pepa - 'None Of Your Business'
I remember borrowing 'Very Necessary' on CD from a friend of my brother, and I never gave it back. I was rapping this album back to back way before I understood what they were saying. I remember sitting in my room pre-internet trying to write down the lyrics but most of it was just gibberish.
My favourite 90s female rap album, venturing into R&B at times. I still have the CD but it’s so worn out that I don’t think it works any more.
Laraaji - 'Unicorns In Paradise'
Laraaji showed me the beauty of the zither. I discovered him on this compilation called 'I Am The Center' a few years ago and have been listening to him every since. His music brings me peace and tranquility.
I actually received a personal voice message from him this summer through a friend that met him at a festival. Hearing him say my name was so cool, and he was talking about the beauty at my core, the light and love and my ability to transcend and thrive through all things. I’ve listened to that message so many times.
Jae Tyler - 'Life As A Wall'
One of my best friends and one of my favourite musicians. I am lucky enough to be allowed to hang around the studio when he records, and his philosophy in music inspires me a lot. I don’t think I know anyone as brave and relentless in their art as he is, which in turn has had a big effect on me, making me feel more courageous with my own stuff. He is very clever with his lyrics, chord progressions and melodies, and how it all interacts with each other. Look out for new music coming from him soon!
Altered Soul Experiment
Not at artist, but my favourite disco/boogie night in Berlin. I’ve discovered a lot of great stuff here, and these nights have inspired me both personally and in my own music. The vibe is so carefree and laid-back and I’ve felt myself pursuing and exploring the same features not only in my music but also in my personal life in the past years.
This track is one of my favourite pieces of music I’ve discovered there: a disco/gospel album by Enlightment, founded by a bishop in Washington DC in the 80s.
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'Pure-O' is out now on Western Vinyl.
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