July 10, 2024

Click Interview with Circumpolar: ‘Exploring Ancient Rites, Dreamlike Landscapes Of Horrors And Disasters’

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When I heard both debut EP’s “Until The End Of Time” and “We Will Remain” from the Swedish duo Circumpolar I instantly realized it was more than simply a promising new formation. Jonas Mattson and Patrik Wallin have that little extra, which most of the bands never found: genius! They deal with an intelligent and sophisticated Electronic format, which might remind bands like Haujobb, Clock Dva, Skinny Puppy ao. The band’s debut album “Awaiting The Dawn” released on Alfa Matrix only confirmed the skills of the duo. The songs are mixing elements of EBM together with Cinematic influences. EBM bass lines mixed with subtle bleeps and carried by bombastic drum patterns made from this debut full length one of the best Electronic productions I’ve heard the past year. I really wonder how this band will evolve…

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: Your debut album “Awaiting The Dawn” comes two years after your last EP “We Will Remain” and reveals an impressive evolution in different aspects of the production. How do you analyze and perceive this evolution by your own?

C: Thanks, we share the same feeling about the new album. We have spent so much more time mixing and mastering this time, really going through the sound image and all the details in the mix, making sure that everything sounded like we wanted it to sound. Further, we have experimented more with sampling, sounds, effects and song structures.

There is perhaps a more Ambient, Cinematic and Atmospheric mood on some of the tracks on the album compared two the last EP’s. But the thing is, some of those tracks were ‘leftovers’ from the “We Will Remain”-EP. So, we were already going in this direction on some of our tracks some two years ago. Moreover, we have bought a lot of new gear the last two years, which also has affected the soundscapes and harmonies.

Q: Was there any specific plan or concept when you started writing the songs for the album? What have been the different stages you’d to go through and what have been the main difficulties/challenges in the production of the album?

C:The first song we recorded was “Awaiting The Dawn”, and that song set the general mood and concept for the whole album.

Since almost every track on the album has a lot of sounds on very many different channels, the mixing and mastering process was very time consuming. It took much longer than we had planned for.

Q: I think there were nine songs planned for the album, but ten songs have been finally achieved. When do you consider a song as finished and were there songs/demos which finally didn’t make it to the tracklist?

C: A song is finished when it is completely mixed and mastered, and when we both are happy with the result. “Illusions Of Reality” was the last track that we finished on this album, so perhaps that is that tenth song… We usually don’t have a plan for a minimum or maximum number of songs for an album or EP. We generally finish as many songs as we can before it is time to release them.

We have a lot of ‘demos’ in forms of loops and uncompleted songs, which we maybe can use in the future. And as we said before, a few ‘demos’ made it onto this album. We felt that they were really great ideas, so we developed them further to make them fit the concept on the album. We still have lots of loops and unfinished stuff in the closet, and hopefully they will see the light of day when the time is right.

Q: What did you try to express and/or visualize by the title of the album “Awaiting The Dawn”? And what did you try to express by the lyrical themes?

C: It´s a journey through space and time, evoking memories from the past and the future, in a wasteland of twisted dreams. Exploring ancient rites, dreamlike landscapes of horrors and disasters. The album deals with conceptions of disintegration and regeneration, dreams and desires, hopes and fears, submission and suffering and everlasting dreams.

Sources of inspiration are for example: ancient religions, dreams, life, the universe, fiction, science fiction, poems, movies, the past and the future.

Q: I know you guys have been making music together since quite a long time. How did you see yourself evolving throughout the years and what do you especially like in each other’s approach and skills? 

C: It has always been very creative to make music together in different projects during all the years that we have known each other. However, in the Circumpolar project we have definitely found the concept and the sound that we have been looking for all these years. We have certainly evolved our studio skills and song writing abilities during the last couple of years.

Jonas is the master of synths, programming, sounds, mixing and mastering. Patrik is the master of lyrics, vocals and voices. Together we make the unique sound of Circumpolar.   

Q: All of your work has been released during the ongoing pandemic, which I guess must be very frustrating especially when it comes to plan live shows. How do you expect things evolving and do you have concrete live plans and experiences so far?  

C: Yes, and it has been really frustrating not to be able to meet up in the studio so often during these strange times. Due to the pandemic we have not yet been able to play live as Circumpolar. However, we are currently working on a live set up. Hopefully, we will be playing some live shows during 2022. That is something we are really looking forward to.

author avatar
Inferno Sound Diaries
I have been working for over 30 years with Side-line as the main reviewer. My taste is eclectic, uncoventional and I prefer to look for the pearls, even if the bands are completely unknown, thus staying loyal to the Side-Line philosophy of nurturing new talents.

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