Q&A with the multi-modal musician Calcou

We had a conversation with Calcou, a talented musician skilled in multiple instruments, production, and composition. His latest single ‘Time’, which debuted on June 14th, 2024 through MfRD+C. This track, featured on RTÉ 2FM, provides a preview of his upcoming album, Murmuration, scheduled to launch on July 5th, 2024. The Berlin-based artist’s latest singles were picked by worldwide Spotify editorials for playlists like Fresh Finds, Late Night Vibes, metropolis or by Apple US for focus playlists like Today’s Chill. He has received support from numerous blogs and magazines such as CLASH Magazine, Stereofox, Son Of Marketing, House Music With Love, Majestic Casual and ElectroPosé to name a few. Calcou has worked with a wide range of well-known brands including Universal Music and BMW, who have just featured his latest release ‘Anthophyllite’ in a global ad campaign. Calcou finds inspiration in the works of Kiasmos, Bonobo, and Caribou while his latest release calls to mind the likes of Four Tet, Maribou State and George FitzGerald.

What inspires you?

On a specific level, a lot of new ideas come to me when I’m listening to music. On a more abstract level, I find traveling really inspiring, diving into new cities and cultures.

At what point in your life did you have that moment where you said to yourself “This is it. This is the type of music I want to create”?

I’m trying to say that to myself every day. I’m extremely happy that I can spend so much time doing what I love.

This is the type of music I want to create?”

Music that stays timeless in a good sense. I try to avoid the fast hype, music that you consume and forget immediately.

Most underrated piece of equipment / software?

The piano roll.

Tell us about the inspiration and process of creating your new track, ‘Time’.

‘Time’ started with a little break-beat I recorded on the acoustic drum kit in my studio. I really suck at playing drums so it involved quite a bit of chopping and layering afterwards until it felt right. After that I moved over to the synth section and somehow a quiet driving and dense piece of music evolved. Things felt hectic for me the last months and when I had Thea Alien in the studio we decided to write and record some vocals about the feeling of being chased constantly, by deadlines, communication, constant availability etc. I processed those vocals pretty heavily until they almost felt like samples and emphasized that ambivalent feeling I have towards AI and new technologies.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, what do you prefer?

I’d say for electronic music I prefer studio work where I can get totally lost in the sonic world. For Jazz I prefer the live-setting and audience interaction.

What’s the weirdest or most amazing reaction you’ve had to your music?

I find it absolutely amazing that so many people from all over the world are listening to my music. For example last month, about 15.000 people from Japan listened to my songs. Sometimes I try to imagine how a boy or girl from Tokyo puts my song on and wanders through the city. Incredible. 

Where do you think dance music is going?

Nowhere really. To me it feels more like moving in circles. Getting harder and faster at one time, then slowing down and getting more emotional other times. 

All-time favourite album?

Uff, that’s a hard one. I’ll give you my most recent favourite album, because it constantly changes. Right now I’d say Mother by Logic1000.

What have you got in the pipeline for the near future?

My album! It will be out on July 5th and I can’t wait to share this with everyone.

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