[Exclusive Interview] KIDSØ

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Munich duo and live act KIDSØ play music that you want to hear and feel at the same time. It is what could perhaps best be described as danceable melancholy. Or, as Moritz Graßinger (analogue synths, piano, percussions) and Martin Schneider (drums, e-percussions, video installation), sometimes say with a smile: “electronic music for people who otherwise don’t listen to electronic music that often”. Both somehow hit the mark. And somehow also not, or only insufficiently. Because what the two of them produce as KIDSØ can hardly be squeezed into style pigeonholes or pinned down by euphonious adjectives. It is electronic music at its core, that’s for sure. But not the finger-in-the-air-let-us-rub-against-each-other-in-the-Berghain electronic, but rather what Jon Hopkins produces when he has eaten the right mushrooms. With the difference that KIDSØ record this sound predominantly analogue and organic. We caught up with the duo from their hometown in to find out more.

Hey KIDSØ and welcome to We Own The Nite. How are you both doing?

Our thoughts are very much on the people of Ukraine at the moment. That shocks us a lot. Nevertheless, we are very happy that our debut album will been released this week.

First things first, please can you introduce yourselves to our readers?

We are a live act and producer duo from Munich Germany. We play live with analogue synthesizers, guitar, drums and drums.  Everything is connected with many cables and our laptops. Our live shows are partly characterised by improvisation and spontaneous changes.

For those that may not be familiar, how would you best describe your sound?

Our sound could be described as organic electronica. We use a wide variety of instruments, which are rather untypical in electronic music, for example cello and violins, piano, kalimba, found sounds, glockenspiel.
Noises that we collect in nature also play a special role. We then cut up and change these sounds until interesting rhythms emerge. We also work with vocal elements which we further process with special effect devices.

Where did you both grow up and what was the music scene like there in your early years?

Martin grew up near Cologne and Moritz in Munich. In our early years there was no real electronic music scene in Munich. Many have moved to Berlin as there are many connections to electronic music there. But right now you can find a few interesting electronic artists in Munich.

Huge congratulations on the release of your upcoming debut album ‘Fir’. Can you tell us about the concept behind the project and how it came about?

Some of the songs on the album were written when there was a strict lockdown in Germany. A time without performances and a lot of action. That certainly contributed to the fact that the songs turned out to be calmer and less electronic overall.The songs are partly influenced by the Nordic sound of Kiasmus or Ólafur Arnalds. The idea behind the album was to process the feelings that arise from the fact that from one day to the next nothing was the same. It was very good for us during the Corona period to have a task on which we could continue to work.

How long did it take to make the album from start to finish and was there anything in particular that influenced/inspired its creation?

I think we worked on it for about 1.5 years. We were partly influenced by new synthesizers that we worked with, for example the Moog Grandmother or the Subharmonicon. Regardless, our sound is influenced by the
magnificent scenery of the Bavarian Alps or the Norwegian fjords. To clear our heads, we like to drive our camper van into nature or watch landscape films in the studio. These impressions have certainly also influenced our music.

Is there a particular message or meaning behind the title ‘Fir’?

We wanted a really short title that also expresses our connection to nature. So we came up with “Fir” relatively quickly.

The album blends an eclectic array of sounds from across the spectrum of electronic music. Where do these influences come from?

The influences come from our musical background. We both played drums, synths and guitar in different bands for many years. Moritz learned classical guitar. We’ve always been in different musical directions.
But we had already started with electronic music in the nineties and have now come back to our beginnings. The music we are making now is what we always wanted to make. It feels like we’ve arrived where we always wanted to be. It’s like coming home.

What do you like to do when you’re not making music?

Martin takes a lot of photographs in his free time and also films and edits almost all of our music videos. On Instagram you could find a lot of his work, which he has created alongside working on the music.

Moritz likes going on tour with his camper van.

What else do you have coming up between now and the end of the year? Any exciting projects or touring you can talk to us about?

We are currently working on a remix for a London based singer songwriter which will be out soon. We are also currently working on new songs in cooperation with the Swiss singer and producer Natscha Polké. This will be a very exciting project.

Lastly, do you have any final words for our WOTN readers?

Music can help you in these tough times. Music knows no borders. We hope that there will be peace in Europe again soon.

KIDSØ – Fir will be released on Friday, March 18 via Esc / Ctrl (Embassy of Music).

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