INTERVIEW Âme

When Kristian Rädle and Frank Wiedemann announced their debut album ‘Dream House’ last year  on Innervisions critiques, music enthusiasts as well as artists collectively jumped for joy eagerly awaiting the eleven-track-comprising musical ‘earthquake’ emphasizing the gentle side of electronic music’s prolific duo. With ‘Dream House’ Âme created that album or that piece people can return to at any time or at any stage of their personal being to find shelter in a warm organically produced and sounding musical surrounding as it hints at Frank and Kristian’s extra-musical influences like the Fluxus movement or 80s cult trilogy Back 2 the Future. Almost one year later Âme’s Dream House-experience is revisted by some of the scene’s most iconic producers with all of them adding their distinguished trademark sound to it still honoring the original installments. With the release of the remixes Âme provide their audience not only with further musical bits but foremost and at the same time with additional information how their ‘Dream House’ album came about as one can read on the newly launched Âme website, on which Frank and Kristian deliver insights on the visual concept, various background information to musical pieces and basically portray the genesis of the entire ‘Dream House’ project. And if you read in-between the lines, you’ll discover that despite all the information ‘Dream House’ contains unlighted secrets as it’s a major part of the both’s lives and as complex as one would assume in terms of its multi-layered nature at every kind of level. However, it’s not on the duo to bring some light into the dark on how ‘Dream House’ should be perceived as – just like the eponymous former exhibition in New York – it supports each visitor to discover or experience the features it provides on their own and in one own’s way. Anyways, Kristian and Frank reveal selected information, their fears and view as well as the liberty they enjoyed having when working on the album and giving involved artists the same prospect to create musical eternalness – or something to return to whether it’s thirty years from now or not. 

Torture the Artist: Hello guys, tell us something about your day.

Frank Wiedemann: After waking up early with the two kids at home, I spent the day in the studio with Henrik (Schwarz) today. I wish I could have more of this – working and at the same time having fun playing around.

Kristian Rädle: Having an off-day during my heavy summer-schedule, I try to relax – sleep, read a little bit and listen to some promos.

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Torture the Artist: It’s been almost a year since ‘Dream House’ was released on Innervisions, your debut album which draws reference to La Monte Young’s ‘Dream House’ experience, described as ‘a unique life experience that you will remember for years, and one that you will probably return to time and again.’ Firstly, what was it that fascinated you about La Monte Young let his ‘Dream House’ inspire your album, musically and in terms of design, in the first place and secondly, now that somewhat 14 months after the release have passed, when and in what ways have you returned to ‘Dream House’ yourself?

Kristian Rädle: We invited my friend and artist Florian Auer to create a concept for the artwork of the album. While looking for ideas, we shared our common love for the Fluxus movement. La Monte Young was part of that movement and we both have visited the original Dream House installation in New York a couple of times. So, we thought about the concept of using just blue and red light to create this LSD effect. While talking about that Florian asked why not name the album ‘Dream House’ as it would perfectly fit on a disturbing kind of level. So, that’s how the album got its name. It sounds esoteric but I will always have the ‘Dream House’ experiences in my heart and I will always draw inspirations from it.

Frank Wiedemann: From there, Florian had total freedom to develop the artwork further. We are really happy how he evolved more references to the original Dream House and connected it to the 21st century and our music. We’re also very happy to have the finished version of the final layout designed by our friend Pierre from Ta-Trung.

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You feel what you feel.

Torture the Artist: ‘Dream House’ now comes in with remixes from Solomun, Marcel Dettmann, RY X, Rampa, Mano Le Tough, Roman Flügel and Fango. To what extent does ‘Dream House’ now get the club coat you intentionally did not come up with in the first album or with reference to La Monte Young, are the remixes an approach on how to maximize the ‘Dream House’ experience?

Kristian Rädle: I don’t know about that. The remixes are the remixes, we were sometimes surprised by the choices, which artist chose what track and what he eventually did with it, but we’re very happy with the results. A Blind Eye take would have been interesting, but although some really liked the song, it seems nobody dared to touch it.

Frank Wiedemann: I believe a ‘Dream House’ experience is different for everybody. You feel what you feel. If we’ve managed to evoke feelings, with the album or the remixes, then we’ve achieved our mission.

This liberty we’ve had and enjoyed, we now feel in the remixes as well.

Torture the Artist: With the aforementioned A-list of producers taking on remix duties, what did you personally and musically want to be covered with the choice of remixers for ‘Dream House’ ?

Âme: We’ve received positive and even more so interesting feedback from our friends in the scene. Interesting in terms of which track they liked best, and how they’ve perceived the rather non-club approach of ours. That made us curious about which directions and approaches the different musicians would choose. We gave them freedom, which track they are inspired by and what they want to do with it. This liberty we’ve had and enjoyed, we now feel in the remixes as well. That makes it exciting for us, and luckily we can share this, and the team of Innervisions makes it possible.

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Torture the Artist: ‘Dream House’ is a junction, an interaction of music and visuals with both fields working distinctively but complementing each other. Moreover both but foremost the music offer infinite opportunities of an analysis, at least in your case and for a simple reason, an exhibition for your ‘Dream House’-album does not exist, yet. How did you overcome the difficulties to come up with an album that matches the demands of working as a stand-alone musical piece, to come up with 11 tracks that can be continuously played and music that is so complex you find something new to analyse each time you listen to them and additionally, how often did a track lose its soul because of too complex requirements?

Frank Wiedemann: Hmm, while working on multiple tracks with Kristian, with constant layering and de-layering as we call it, it kind of developed super-organically. Without a masterplan or real concept. We only wanted to make an album. Once we’ve lost the feeling or soul touch to the track, we either managed to save it or gain it back or had to let it go.

Kristian Rädle: Eventually we’ve had the songs together that we’ve felt happy and confident with. That made the album.

You never know behind which tiny door a huge universe is opening up.

Torture the Artist: The album text consists of combined excerpts from dialogues between Dr. Emmet Brown and Marty Mc Fly from ‘Back 2 the Future’ , among other things with reference to traveling through time and being thankful for making this experience . Basically the movie or rather the movie series were ahead of its time, the same goes for La Monte Young and his ‘Dream House’-installation or as he pointed out in an interview: ‘I was surprised that anybody ever understood my work in my lifetime because it was so far ahead of its time and so unrelated to what the conventional man thinks and cares about.’

Have you ever had the fear that the listeners of your album might not be able to understand its complexity or the entirety of it at the time it came out? Do you feel that by coming back to it and providing reinterpretations by way of remixes exposes different or new approaches that enhance the experience of the ‘Dream House’-effect?

Kristian Rädle: I wouldn’t call it afraid. But yes, we were concerned, that potentially, many of our listeners from our releases before and dancers from Frank’s live shows or my DJ-sets might get a little bit irritated. Or have to go a long way to find the connection to us. But at the same time, this challenge for us and them, also made it more exciting for us. And hopefully for some listeners too.

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It doesn’t matter how you find an access to music, or art in general. This feeling and joy is what drives us. You never know behind which tiny door a huge universe is opening up. If a certain remix does that to you. Whether it’s a connection to our album, other Âme releases, those of the remixer, Marian Zazeela & La Monte Young, doesn’t matter. We’re just grateful that we can be creative and are able to sometimes reach people.

Torture the Artist: What year would you like to travel to in order to play your ‘Dream House’ album to an audience, and why?

Âme: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away. Or maybe in the romantic period. Or in Futuro Antico…

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Âme‘s album ‘Dream House Deluxe‘ was released on Innervisions on August 23rd, 2019.

Interview by Holger Breuer