Stephan Spreer set up Llovespell in 2002. Nearly twenty years later the project has released an impressive number of productions, mainly released by Sonderübertragung! The past few years Llovespell signed to Polish label Wrotycz Records. Stephan Spreer and singer Mandie K this year released their new opus “That Summer There Was No Honey”. The album is a pure sonic voyage mixing different influences from Minimal-Electro to Trip-Pop to Experimental; space-like atmospheres carried by low, resonating bass lines with half-spoken-like vocals by Mandie K on top. I got in touch with Stephan Spreer.
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: Llovespell has been set up nearly twenty years ago now. What have been the main points of satisfaction thus far and how do you analyze the evolution of the band over the years?
Stephan: Basically, it is always special to me/to us if Llovespell manages to gain public attention. Every record perceived by someone and every concert attendees enjoying the music is a highlight to me. It does not matter where the concert takes place: Leipzig, Moscow… wherever… it just touches me if people really listen to Llovespell.
Q: I’ve always experienced Llovespell as a very eclectic music project; it’s hard to define your music as one specific genre while I more get the impression the sound is a mix of different influences. Do you recognize this eclecticism and tell us a bit more about your ‘sound’?
Stephan: Llovespell is not versatile on purpose. It is much more a flow of enjoying dealing with different influences. Our music does not need to meet expectations of a certain genre. I’ve always been interested in music and different styles and I enjoy experimenting with different genres. It’s challenging to create an ‘out of the box’ sound and not just a generic product. Even though all our records sound slightly different, it seems that a specific ‘Llovespell sound’ can be detected in every single record since my preference for producing a certain synthetic sound hasn’t changed much over the years. And by the way, I still use most of the equipment I used right at the beginning of Llovespell.
Q: Tell us a bit more about the writing and production of the new opus “That Summer There Was No Honey”? What inspired you to write these songs and how did the collaboration happened –especially during the pandemic?
Stephan: Working on “That Summer There Was No Honey” started in 2018. Most of the songs on the album were already finished when the pandemic hit. I could take advantage of little distraction at that time to complete the album during Corona crisis. The process of writing went throughout the years 2018 and 2019. As most of the Llovespell songs, the album contains everyday observations and sensations; sounds, lightings and impressions of the city colored by my own feelings, which I consider worth sharing with someone.
Q: When do you know a song/album is finished? Do you’ve specific criteria and/or references in the production of your music?
Stephan: An album or song is finished if I feel pleased and comfortable with the outcome. I mostly bother about the timbres and the arrangement. This works because I completely trust Andreas Wahnmann to create a musical sensation by mastering my mix.
Q: The title of the album is pretty intriguing, but what does it reflect? And can you tell us a bit more about the lyrical content of the work?
Stephan: Basically, I really like the ambiguity of the title which the listener may interpret individually. To me it’s about something missing. In good times, and summer is a good time to me, the heart yearns for something special. Something special, which isn’t necessary or vital or even crucial, but nevertheless yearned for. For the very first time, the words are not written by us, but poems from Ingeborg Bachmann, Mascha Kaleko and Rainer Maria Rilke. It is a range of words, which created a certain soundscape in my head. The words underline the mood of the album perfectly for me.
Q: I noticed you already released another album entitled “A Constant Murmur” featuring a selection of remixes and collaborations with other artists. How did you get the idea to release this work and what did you try to accomplish? What are the further plans?
Stephan: “A Constant Murmur” is a collection of already released songs. Some of the remixes can be found on the B-side of the tape version of the album “Logic Lust” and some derive from albums of e.g. antlers mulm, fjernlys and Architrav. My favorite remix is a collaboration with Jack Or Jive from an already sold out tape sampler. To me the remixes are a great overview over the first 10 years of Llovespell.
Of course, the need for that album could be questioned, but I just enjoyed sampling the songs. The audience shared my joy to have all the collaborations of the band history united on one album. At the moment, we are (as usual) working on a new album and are already excited to get it out there. For now, we would love to perform “That Summer There Was No Honey” live on stage and we are currently looking for the right location.