German group Long Distance Calling are a universe unto themselves.
Leaning towards post-rock while charting their own passage, the band's instrumental compositions are bold, vivid, and surging with emotion.
A genuine force in their home country, Long Distance Calling's remarkable new album ‘How Do We Want To Live?’ smashed into the Top 10 earlier this month.
It's a moment of transition, with the collective welcoming more electronic ideas, utilising digital tropes amid their colossal soundscapes.
Clash invited Long Distance Calling to unpick some of their electronic inspirations...
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Daft Punk (Janosch)
They are very special. I think this band is the embodiment of art. All the albums sound different and they always had an big impact on the pop music in general.
I got in touch with them when I heard 'Around The World' for the first time. I really liked it but it was kind of a guilty pleasure during that time because I was way more into heavy music during that time than nowadays. 'Discovery' was also an album with great tracks and a very unique sound.
But they really got me with the TRON Soundtrack in 2010. That was so much better than the music and still has an big impact on Long Distance Calling. 'Random Access Memories' is also just amazing. It’s one of the best sounding records ever and they have so many great players on that record. For me it’s also kind of progressive, in a way.
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I got into Bonobo in 2013 when 'The North Borders' came out. I was really impressed by all the little details and the great sound design. It also contains 'Cirrus' one of the biggest hits of Bonobo. Simon Green is a really great musician but I like it even more live, when he is playing with a whole band. Then the songs get some great depth and they breath even more.
My favourite record is 'Black Sands' from 2010. I really like the mixture of some jazzy vibes with electronic beats and some trip-hop. It sounds very alive and natural. It’s also a kind of crossover and that is very inspiring.
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Boards of Canada (Janosch)
This duo also has a very unique sound. The way they combine hip-hop, electronica and atmospheric stuff is very special. The heavy use of alienated guitar samples and melodies is also very unique. I really like the fact that they include some great melodies to their music because most of the instrumental hip hop bands are just focus on beats and grooves.
'The Campfire Headphase' is my favorite record. The last record is from 2013 so I hope they will come up with some new stuff very soon.
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Jon Hopkins (Jan)
I am not sure when I came across the British producer and DJ Jon Hopkins, but when I did, I was flashed by the depth and atmosphere of his electronic music.
Normally electronic music is often pretty 'flat' but that´s not the case with Jon Hopkins. I guess I was introduced to him in 2014 with his album 'Late Night Tales', which is a floating album, it carries you far away and it´s very diverse. There are uptempo tracks with a nice mood even though his music is always a bit melancholic and there's a track called 'More' featuring Nils Frahm, which is more like a soundtrack score for a movie. That´s what I really like about Jon Hopkins, you know what you get in a way which is nice and well thought electronic music but it´s very different and diverse.
His latest album 'Immunity' is much more beat driven and the track 'Singularity' has a really interesting beat which sounds a bit weird in the beginning but it develops a certain groove and it just pulls you away. He just released his new single 'Meditations' in late May which doesn´t even have a beat, it's - well - meditative and sounds much more like ambient music than a regular track.
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Sascha Ring from Berlin is Apparat, an electronic musician who was also member of the Berlin techno act Moderat but Apparat is much more atmospheric and unique. What I love about his music is the darkness it holds. It´s very deep and the sounds are really special. It often sounds a bit 'broken' or 'out of tune' which hurts a little but that´s part of the fun. It makes you listen more carefully, it demands the listeners full attention.
For me, his best work is the album 'The Devil´s Walk' from 2011 which contains the track 'Goodbye' which was (among others) used in 'Breaking Bad' or the internationally successful German Netflix series 'Dark' as an intro. This songs features the Austrian singer Soap & Skin and it starts very fragile and then it becomes so intense that it´s almost hard to listen to it, but in a positive way.
Overall the work of Apparat is really unique and special in the German music scene. There's a lot a electonic music coming from Germany but this is really special.
Apparat just released two compilations called 'Soundtracks: Dämonen', 'Soundtracks: Stay Still' and 'Soundtracks: Capri-Revolution' which are a perfect mix of beauty and darkness. You really should give it a try!
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Long Distance Calling's new album ‘How Do We Want To Live?’ is out now on InsideOutMusic - buy it HERE.
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