„These sounds are a wonderfull living breath of darkness“
Grand things always cast a shadow. The sky is slowly wrapping itself into a promising ebony eclipse and seem to whisper: there is something brewing up out there. Something is approaching us steadily: it is Sepalot´s new album.
On this album the former „Chasing Clouds“ have accumilated into the eponymous „Black Sky“; these drifting soundclouds have swallowed a bulk of Sepalot´s sunny nature; his trademark relaxed attitude gave way to instrumental melancholy and pugnacity. A state of mind one wouldn´t expect from this ever pleasant guy from lovely Munich. Sepalot surprised himself a little bit with it. „The current tracks reflect a dark side of mine that even I didn´t know existed“ he admits.
The title song itself breathes this dark side, as guest vocalist Fab plants his pain riddled voice – a melange of experience and melancholy - over the driftig beat: „Where the sun and the beauty of the sky-blue disperse/That´s where I fall in, causing others pain, causing others hurts“ The track epitomizes a general theme on Black Sky: the attempt to create an album of instrumentalized opposites.
Obviously the tracks are not only wrapped into the deepest black. Time and time again bright light breaks trough the darkness on „Black Sky“, flooding this sound collage with bright rays of hope. These songs all bear a slight elegiac undertone, but never dampen the mood, but elevate melancholy to the rank of most-beautiful-feeling-in-the-world.
„Before I started recording I listened to lots of The Doors songs. I found the suicidal aspect in their music very exciting. I totally inhaled it.“ Sepalot reports. „The breakage, the grid, the dirt – that was my inspiration. I was thirsty for the energy of pureness.“
In order to capture this roughness Sepalots first production steps were drafting soundsketches – often more than 100 in a row. This is then is followed by a sorting procees with many drafts going immediately into the trashcan. The survivors create the first basic draft. Then, every single detail is edited meticolously. „My main premise is not to sway from the initial idea and that first feeling over the course of production. The first impulse is always the most important one to me; it's necessary to preserve it“, he explains his strategy to compose and arrange his songs. „The exciting part in music is it's momentum, more important then in any other art form. By not editing too much or ironing out the creases I always try to preserve this live experience and work up this courage to just leave things as imperfect as they are. This is my main philisophy.“
Take „Feel“ for instance, those out of tune vocals immediately create a strange feeling but at the same time it's tinny beat appeal as downright hypnotising. This selective conjunction of two diametral aspects holds the listeners attention mercilessly.
In contrast to his former longplayers, Sepalot´s Black Sky features more instrumentals and far less guest vocalists than „Fraud“ (2005), „Red Handed“ (2008) oder „Chasing Clouds“ (2011). One thing that didn´t change during the last two productions is the companionship of Ladi6 from New Zealand. This time adorning the piece ´March on´with her amazing voice. „At first, I had concerns about always having the same artists featured on my songs but what can I do? We are just such an amaing blend.“ So as on the albums before the 30 year old singer adds yet another facette to the song and fills up each single syllable with heartfelt feeling.
Sepalot´s tendency to create almost cinematic arrangements and full-bodied compositions with understated opulence transform "Black Sky" into the soundtrack for a movie that has yet to be shot. „I imagine a headhunter riding his horse into a small town, shooting everyone down with no regre and then disappearing into the sunset“, Sepalot says. „To me, the new album could as well be the soundtrack to a modern western; the soundtrack of my own personal 'Django Unchained`.“
Grand things always cast a shadow. Dark shadows, slowly wrap the promising sky into a pitch black eclipse and whisper: here is something brewing up out there. Something is approaching us steadily. There is something waiting in the wings. Don´t fear the storm, come outside with us... „Black Sky“ is finally here.