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Interview with Diaspora Unit

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In todays artist interview we delve into the remarkable fusion of musical styles showcased in Diaspora Unit’s upcoming album, «Hiraeth.» From furious house to industrial and raw techno, the album navigates diverse genres into a cohesive sound.

The Melding of Musical Genres and Influences:

Your upcoming album, «Hiraeth,» showcases a remarkable fusion of styles, from furious house to industrial and raw techno. Can you delve into how you navigated blending these diverse genres into a cohesive sound? Specifically, how did inspirations from artists like Drexciya, Aphex Twin, and Carl Craig influence this eclectic mix? Moreover, in what ways do these variances in style reflect your personal journeys and experiences in music?

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: Our premise has always been energy and esprit and we have never felt bound to a specific style. This has resulted in a coherent conglomerate of sounds that draw from Detroit techno, Chicago house, Kraftwerk electro and raw industrial. We see Carl Craig as well as Aphex Twin and Drexciya as independent innovators who have sought out new directions in sound and expression. In this respect, they have inspired us to strive for novelties in our productions. This is similar to our personal experiences in relation to our music: The more music you discover and the deeper you immerse yourself in it, the more sophisticated and refined your own taste becomes and, as a consequence, the more productive your output.

Josef Fischer: To be honest, it is due to years of experience that we have produced so many variations and depth in our production. We have heard, felt and danced to many different sounds, and so it was a pleasure for us to unite the time and space of these voluminous soundscapes.

The Creative Process Behind «Hiraeth»:

The title track, «Hiraeth,» is described as a hypnotic, enchanting meeting of Drexciya and Aphex Twin. Can you walk us through the creative process of developing this track? What were the challenges and highlights of creating a sound that captures both the essence of dreamy techno and the energy of electro-industrial?

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: The track «Hiraeth» was created in a rapid, very creative process: first there was the complex rhythmic section, which was irresistible in its dynamics and conciseness. Then came the melodic, dreamy elements and finally the noble, elegant pads. When we heard the track completed for the first time, we were both mesmerized.

Josef Fischer: That’s the special thing about it, that we constantly complement each other, be it with sounds, arrangement or mix. Pushing each other’s ideas is what made «Hiraeth» happen.

The Album’s Narrative and Evolution:

With «Hiraeth» being your second album, how does it build upon or diverge from your debut? Can you talk about the narrative or thematic journey across tracks like «Zephyr,» «Olbia,» and «La Spiaggia di Pluto»? How do these tracks represent the evolution of Diaspora Unit’s sound and vision?

Josef Fischer: I think every artist wants to improve, so we left the debut album behind us and tried something new, of course you can’t reinvent the wheel and a kick is a kick, but the development of Diaspora Unit goes on and on. There was also a lot of good stuff on the first album, as you can see from the number of compilations we are on.

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: It’s definitely more complex and enriched with more details than the debut album, while maintaining a similar trademark style. «Zephyr», for example, is a brute and concise work that describes the rapturous feeling of being absorbed in the music in a club or rave and becoming the music itself, where all physical coordinates are determined by the sound and nothing else matters. «Olbia» is a sister track to the track «Calgiari» released on the debut «MMXX», the original theme has been developed further here and also serves as a kind of longitudinal bridge to the new shore. And «La Spiaggia di Pluto» is our uncompromising idea of what Kraftwerk would sound like if they were to relaunch their art today.

The Punky Rawness of EBM Influence:

The album is noted for its punky rawness reminiscent of EBM. Could you explore how the raw energy and attitude of punk and EBM have influenced your work, especially in tracks like «Zephyr»? How do you balance this rawness with the more melodic and hypnotic aspects of your music?

Josef Fischer: I’m responsible for that (laughs). The rawness, the bearding of the speakers and the rattling of the hi hat. I grew up with punk and EBM, Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb shaped my youth. My inspiration from techno reveals that potpourri of sounds that I heard in clubs.

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: For us, techno is nothing more than a further development of punk: It has the same raw energy, rebellious attitude and do it yourself spirit. This bubbling verve and heart is clearly audible in the track «Zephyr». And of course, as people interested in innovation, it’s interesting for us to combine this powerful verve with melodic segments and see what can come of it.

 

The Philosophy Behind the Music:

In your own words, «Early raves, acid dreams, love techno,» paints a vivid picture. How do these elements manifest in «Hiraeth»? Could you share how early rave culture, the psychedelic experience of acid dreams, and your love for techno have shaped this album, both musically and conceptually?

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: For us, early raves were a time of new beginnings where everything seemed possible and there were no limits, only possibilities. It was like a continuation of the 60s hippie idea combined with the physicality and snottiness of 70s punk. It gave us all a sense of purpose and a community reference point, we were together and far away from conformity and stultifying stuffiness. Capturing this free vigor in our music today is, by logical conclusion, one of our crucial goals.

 

The Artistic and Technical Challenges:

Producing an album with such a wide range of styles must present unique challenges and learning experiences. Could you share some of the technical and artistic hurdles you faced during the production of «Hiraeth» and how you overcame them? What aspects of this project are you most proud of?

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: As an eternal optimist, the production only brought me learning experiences. From a technical point of view, I found it interesting to be able to build something that works from every sound, noise and sample without getting lost in the machine parameters, presets and clich s. And I am always amazed at how much you can learn when you engage with your musical partner without prejudice, dimensions and worlds open up that would not be possible in a normal exchange and everyday conversation. I am personally very proud that you can listen to our album again and again and constantly discover new elements: the music is truly alive.

 

The Future Soundscape of Diaspora Unit:

Looking towards the future, how do you envision the evolution of Diaspora Unit’s sound? Are there any particular genres, technologies, or conceptual themes you’re eager to explore in your upcoming projects? Also, how does Filigran, as a label, support and influence your artistic direction?

Josef Fischer: As I’ve already mentioned, we are constantly evolving. The production of the second album has of course already brought forth new things which, without wanting to exaggerate, go up another level in terms of quality. We deliberately chose the second album so that we would have room for the third album. Our constant world of ideas means that we are constantly trying out new things. And that’s how our unique sound is created. Filigran Records is fully behind us and is moving a lot on the music market in Germany. We are very happy to work with Filigran and also to have the freedom to produce away from the commerce.

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: I’m sure that our sound will continue to gain new subtleties, we already set the route with our debut. And with the label we have all the freedom we need to consistently strive for the artistic development we prefer.

 

Connecting with the Audience:

Lastly, what message or experience do you hope listeners will take away from «Hiraeth»? How do you want this album to resonate with your audience, and what do you hope they’ll feel or think about when they listen to it?

Josef Fischer: It should make the audience happy to dance, that is my ultimate goal. The joy of listening to the music and dancing to it. For me, music, or rather music in a club or at a festival, is still a meeting of different people, genders and music lovers who only want one thing: peaceful and friendly interaction. There is so much happening in the world and we want to give something good back with this album.

Adnan Duric-Steinmann: It’s up to the listener how they interpret our art – everyone will take something different from it. I hope they get a similar supreme experience and fresh, inspiring feeling from it as we did when we received our aforementioned musical heroes.

 

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