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August 23 , 2019
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Interview with CBL

There is a strong feeling that Interloper is the last part of a CBL trilogy.
I feel that there is a strong connection between your three albums, like they are tied to each other. Did you intended to release a sort of a trilogy already from the beginning or is it something that just happened by itself? Tell us the story behind those albums.

J: Well we did not set out to make a trilogy, but it felt natural for us to make it a continuous flow rather than isolated albums.

D: To be honest, no. Hydroponic Garden was a dream come true, to actually release a full length album on a real record label. It contained all sorts of tracks we made in a ten year time span. World of Sleepers was easier to make because we had some sort of sound to relate to and there were tracks on Hydrophonic Garden we thought could be better, on the other hand it was really scary to release it because by that time Hydrophonic Garden had become some sort of milestone. Interloper was a struggle, firstly intended to be a pure ambient album, but was delayed for many reasons. So we got to rethink it all and make an even better album, this time not inhibited by previous albums. But it was at the same time very hard to finalize almost the same album twice.

I know that you guys love your Roland TB-303 synth. Where in your albums we can hear the presence of this synth?

D: We use it more or less in every track actually :)
J: Yeah, even if it's not in your face on every track we usually sneak it in somewhere in the textures...

You developed a very unique sound and style, how would you describe it?

D & J: Our inspiration is nature and technology and the possible interactions between the two. So one way to describe it could be potions of sap extracted from cyberneticly enhanced plants. Others call it psybient :-)

Among other things, music provides a window to the outside of reality, where our imagination can blossom freely and our souls can find some peace, excitement or whatever they need. CBL's music definitely provides that magical window. Tell us how does it make you feel, knowing that you give this beautiful thing to people all around the world?

D: It's very rewarding. Sometimes it's very hard to actually accept the impact our music has on some people. At the same time, I've been deeply moved by music so I can relate to the feeling. I write the music I want to listen to and I get very warm inside every time someone other than me really appreciates my music.
J: For me it's a bit unreal, but it makes me very happy that other people, not just me and Daniel, gets it.

What are your musical influences? Name a few bands, artists that inspired you.

D: With CBL, it's Johannes that is my inspiration, and the world of sounds we create together.
J: aaww :) Well of course we inspire each other, for me that's the beauty of not doing stuff solo.
As to bands that have inspired us, well a lot of stuff... to name a few: Solar Quest's Orgship album, especially in the beginning, was a huge pointer in the right direction for us. Future Sound of London's Lifeforms, of course. Some of Ralph Lundsten's earlier work, Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings album, Kraftwerk, M83, etc. There's a lot....

Tell us about your relationship with Ultimae. How much they are involved in the making process of your albums, and in what ways?

D & J: Ultimae is family, so they are involved in our personal life, even. When it comes to the process of making an album we wait until we feel ready to present the whole peace. They give feedback and if they feel something should sound better. Sometimes we change, sometimes we stay firm with our idea. We let them do the track list as they are accomplished DJ's and have more experienced in setting up moods. Also we're not objective enough, after a couple of months producing to see an actual pattern. But of course it's a dialog even there. We are involved in the making of the cover art even though Ultimae does the main part.

Tell us a bit about the relationship between you two. How is it to create music as a duo?

D: We work very exceptionally well together. Johannes strives for unique and interesting sounds, whereas I want to produce as soon as I hear something I like. This means that I make Johannes let go of a sound before it becomes something totally different, in which case I tell him to save both and he stops me from going too mainstream in my strive to finish a track.
We have worked together for over 15 years and have very similar taste in almost everything, which means that we almost finish each others sentences and work with two brains as one.
J: I love synthesizing, Daniel loves beats and we both love making melodies, harmonies and soundscapes... So it's a pretty good match actually :) And it's really good to have someone take over when the other gets stuck...

Sometimes your music contains that morning twilights atmosphere. Did you ever think about making a morning trance album?

D: I don't really feel for trance music in general and it's not really in our sound so I doubt that. Sometimes tracks end up in that direction but it's more a coincidence.
J: We've talked about it, but since neither of us really is into trance it will probably never happen.

What are your plans for the near future? Any gigs planned?

D: Yes, we're playing in London, Lithuania, Hungary and Ukraine. Got some more planned but not confirmed.
J: And we still have a drone album to produce as well. .We'll see what becomes of it...

Let's play a little game, I'll throw a few words and you'll say the first thing that comes to your minds.

Electronic music?

D: Arpeggio
J: Machines and possibilities

Hardware synthesizers?

D: Knobs
J: Cords, knobs, basslines and joy :)


D: Done!
J: What?


D: Obsolete
J: Yay, collectibles!

Carbon Based Lifeforms?

D: Nature
J: Water

Thanks for your time guys.
 Interview by Bodhisattva (Gad K.)
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