A Conversation with Klangkarussell [TMN Exclusive Interview]

Klangkarussell
Sonnentanz

One of the most epic things about cruising Soundcloud is the possibility of stumbling across something completely unknown that has not yet found its way into the viral loop. It’s a sense of achievement as a music fan, but also proves extremely empowering to artists. Roughly 2 years ago, we were introduced to Austrian production duo, Klangkarussell (translation: ‘Sound Carousel’), who had a single track on their Soundcloud page titled “Sonnentanz.”  The six-minute, house-leaning jam features a perfectly subtle mix of horns, xylophone and synth, making it the type of relaxing song you can keep on repeat without losing any of its power. During 2012, “Sonnentanz” gained millions of plays reaching the Top 10 in 6 countries and helping earn them a record deal with Universal Music.

Although certainly excited about their success, old friends, Tobias Rieser and Adrian Held, are true to their sound–chilled out and not too concerned with conformity. Raised in Salzburg, Austria, the birthplace of Mozart, the two share a unique and diverse musical background from an early age, which makes us particularly excited about what’s to come. Check out our exclusive interview below and keep an eye out for their upcoming Netzwerk EP due out in a week, on July 29th. Make sure to follow Adrian and Tobias for more updates: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

TMN: First things first, where does the name Klangkarussell come from?

Tobias: There’s not really a back story—it just sounded good, and that’s why we took it. We liked the name, and so we took it.

TMN: So, you two hung out back in school and reunited relatively recently after over a decade apart. Can you tell us a bit about where you both were in life on the day that you met up?

Adrian: I had just quit my job at a private TV station, and then I went to work in Salzburg at the Festpiele. I worked there during the summer, and that’s when we met.

Tobias: I was starting to do my exams. Really late, but I started to do my exams at that time.

TMN: We’d love to hear the story behind “Sonnentanz”—both on a musical level and just what your expectations were when you uploaded it?

Adrian: There was never an intention of becoming famous or being able to live like a musician or something like that. It was never the intention. It was more like, “I’m dealing with different, like daily, shit all the time.” Just sitting down making music and forgetting the other stuff around there. It was coming over us, so that was the spirit of the track.

TMN: You guys are really at the front lines of the Internet revolution in music. From your perspective, describe your journey from releasing a single song on Soundcloud to touring the world, making a splash in the fashion industry and signing a record deal. What are your thoughts more broadly on the Internet’s advantages/disadvantages for up and coming artists such as yourselves?

Adrian: I think that the whole internet thing has changed everything. Basically, people are deciding what comes out on record labels these days. It’s like record labels going around and A&Rs going round, and being like, “Okay, this is going to be the new thing.” They’re looking on the internet for what people want to hear and then approach the people to put it out. I think that’s like a nice way of people having the power to decide what they want to hear and what they want to make big and make successful.

Tobias: A lot of stuff has gone through Hype Machine especially.

Adrian: I think that’s the number one thing that A&Rs look at right now. In the morning, they go to the office, and they check Hype Machine rather than listen to demos anymore.

TMN: Your first video was a model-filled fantasy that fit Sonnentanz amazingly well but the second, for “Netzwerk,” was a bit more extreme. What role did you play in those videos and how did you choose that direction for the second one?

Adrian: For “Netzwerk,” we reached out to some directors. They sent their ideas, and we chose this idea because it just felt like it worked with the song. For us, the song was about freedom. It also comes together with the African sample. It was all the time about freedom, so this just really was a nice picture of, “do what you want to do.” Go out and hang around bridges or wherever you want.

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