Kolja Trelle is not exactly what I would qualify as a ‘traditional’ electronic artist. His debut album “Sound Pressure” released in 2003 on Out Of Line revealed a real sonic challenge consisting of EBM and industrial music mixed with techno music. The next full lengths “Mask” (2007) and “Noistyle” (2010) both released on Infacted Recordings only confirmed this open-minded approach; dark electronic music without borders, but the most important thing about it all, is that dark-electronic fans liked it. After a hiatus of eight years Kolja Trelle went back into business and started composing new material. The digital EP’s “N”, “O” and “X” served as teasers to the new album “NOX” released on Trisol. This production sounds as the ultimate offspring between different influences and got an instant enthusiastic feedback. SOMAN is back!
(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)
Q: “Nox” is the first new Soman album since “Noistyle” (2010) although you remained active as DJ and did a few remixes, right? I can imagine such a break can be very prolific when it comes to creativity. How do you look back at this ‘break’ as composer and what has been the ‘click’ to compose a new full length?
Kolja: This break was in fact something like a writer´s blockade, due to a lot of changes going on at the same time. What got me back on track was both a call from my now-manager Guenther, and re-discovering the thrills of producing electronic music. Once that was settled, we just needed a plan -and a label;)
Q: Everything moves and evolves very fast in our society today and I think it’s not that different in the music business. What have been according to you and during this ‘break’ the main positive-/negative changes and evolutions?
Kolja: Hmm, impossible to name everything I can think of, so only in short:
Negative changes : decline of the ‚dark‘ electronic music scene, major improvements / evolutions happened somewhere else.
Positive changes: the impressive ability of the global electronic music scene to re-invent itself every once and a while, even when you think everything has already been said and done.
Q: Today it becomes clear that industrial, EBM, techno, trance are quite compatible with each other while when you released your debut work it was a challenge. So in a way you were a visionary artist who build a sonic bridge between all these styles! What did it really meant to you and how did it feel today after the release of “Nox”?
Kolja: I always had the feeling that all this separation of styles did not really make sense to me, but marketing-wise, it might be a different question. With ”Nox”, I definitely went into a direction that does not care about artificial borders any more. Might not be quite be what the ‘Zeitgeist’ is at the moment, but well… I am fond of ignoring rules.
Q: Compared to your previous albums, I get the feeling “Nox” even goes a step further; it all seems the DJ inside of you has been more present in the writing process of this album than ever before, but what is it really all about and what kind of album did you wanted to accomplish?
Kolja: Honestly, I had definitely lost touch with what was going on in the ‘dark’ scene at the moment, or I did just not like it. So I decided to take a risk and try out the new stuff, which I liked a lot because of DJ-workshops I held at the time, covering all aspects of electronic music, from dark to dubstep, techno to house… So it was really about trying to find a way out of that ‘dark’ dilemma, plus producing stuff that would make me dance, too 😉
Q: “Nox” is doing great and reached the first place of the famous ‘Deutsche Alternative Charts’. What does that mean for an artist and what’s the real impact of the DAC?
Kolja: The DAC give a good feedback on what DJs or club-visitors think of your music. It does not tell an awful lot about commercial success, sad enough;) So for me, this excellent feedback keeps pushing me quite a bit, looking at it both as a compliment and commitment.
Q: Soman is again performing and I think you’re again working with dancers. What might we expect from the new live performances and what do you need to speak about a successful show?
Kolja: I´ll try as hard as I can to transfer the positive vibes we have on stage to the audience in front of us. A SOMAN show is not a place to remain calm and looking cool, it´s rather an experience of how much fun you can have if you just let go;) So what do I need for this to happen? Sometimes no more than 5 people in the audience, but more often a decent crowd, a perfect sound system and a bit of a budget to add light and projection. Not too much, I would say…