During a gig at the Modular club in Cape Town Austrian Apparel dropped the track “Whimper” for the first time and played it for about 20 minutes straight. The crowd went nuts. And the new album version was born.
We had a talk with the duo Austrian Apparel about their new video and upcoming debut album, life of an artist in Covid-19 pandemic times and how to support the artist scene.
The video for Whimper has been recorded at your favourite club Grelle Forelle and I really love the minimal yet energetic vibe of it. How did you come up with the idea?
Laughs. To be honest, it was a super spontaneous thing. We actually had a (sound) recording session going on at the club for 4 days to record the second half of the material that will be released on our album AAplus. We finished the sound recording part earlier than expected and we had this idea “Why not record a video too while we’re at it”. So we called up Liana Saria and our friend Lukas Dundler (THX DUDE!) to shoot that video. All the directing of the video and it´s visual style was his doing. We just knew we wanted to perform ‘Whimper’ together with Liana dancing and this is the outcome.
Who is the girl in the video?
We met Liana Saria aka ‘Xi’ through her music. She’s a 20 year old student from the Ukraine who is living in Vienna. We saw her dancing at the Grelle Forelle in this kind of shuffle style once before. You usually do not see that in combination with techno or house music. We were always fascinated by this kind of dance style and so we thought this track would be the perfect fit to try out this combination. Check her out on soundcloud and instgram – she is a dope singer and does her own music and beats.
Your debut album AAplus will be released at June 19,2020. Can you tell us a bit about the creation of the album and what you learnt in the experience of working on a debut album?
Sebastian: Since we were always more like a live electronic band, we rarely finish tracks and so we had quite a couple ideas hanging around. As I stepped back from live gigging for a while I had the time to compile all the live recordings and do a status quo of everything. We then met up regularly and produced everything to the point were we said: That´s it! This is a true album now! So there are some tracks on it that we started 7 years ago and also some that originated this year.
Dominik: There was no recipe in creating or writing the tracks on this album. Really, every track has a different origin story. Some started from us jamming with the gear that we usually use on stage, others started from an idea that one of us made on his own time on a laptop or some melody that we hummed into our phones and that we sent back and forth. Sometimes we work simultaneously on one track, sometimes we send material to each other and work on it in our own studio spaces. So you see, it is really quite versatile the way the tracks where written. As to the recording part of the actual songs, the first four we recorded and mixed at Sebastian´s studio and last four were recorded at Grelle Forelle like mentioned before. I learnt that it’s challenging to translate the feeling of live performed electronic music into a produced album, it took a while, but I’m super happy about the outcome. Can’t wait to actually put the needle on that record for the first time (laughs)
“I learnt that it’s challenging to translate the feeling of live performed electronic music into a produced album.”
What is your favorite track on the album and why?
Seb: For me it’s “Hi Vis 5” (single release on May 29th). It’s like this magical “Boards of Canada” style track with a bassline that just gave us constant goose bumps all over. Really dig this one.
Dom: I guess I would go for “Alternate Beginnings”. It has this kind of feeling that you never know when the track actually kicks in. You think, ‘Wait, have I missed something?’ Cause you’re already sucked in and creeps up from behind you, but in a really nice and comforting way. This is why I think the track title is really fitting and it is also a perfect way to start the journey with our album AAplus.
With Covid-19 pandemic no community is untouched, budgets are being rolled back and the outbreak significantly impacted the music and event community. How has this all transformed your daily live?
Seb: It’s tough because I also lost my day job as a sound engineer in a theater. So I feel the impact from two sides. But I also feel like the community is holding together and also the Austrian government supports artists financially in this crisis. Let´s see what the autumn brings and if events start again..
Dom: Apart from the financial impact it has become super clear to me that now it is the time to create, to prepare and to show our musical output to the people. This is also the reason why we actually released ‘Whimper’ earlier than planned. It was doubly fitting because we had this video footage of us performing it in an empty club with Liana. We also wanted to show some support for the club scene in general but for Grelle Forelle in particular in these tough times..
photo screenshot video
How someone can help support their favorite artists during this unsure time?
Seb: Buy their music, merchandise and donate money to their paypal address if they have one (check our soundcloud page for this super cool feature). Don’t ask for refunds of your booked concerts, this is no helping the music and event scene at all. These events will happen eventually and nobody looses.
Dom: You can pre order our album already, no problem. (laughs) Also we will give out a freebee unreleased track to all preorders, so you have something that you can get right away.
“Damn, I do miss hugs. And raves!”
So how will you celebrate your album release?
Seb: If the social distancing is still on I will drink a Makava wodka or 10 and pass out on my couch and play Red Dead Redemption 2.
Dom: The original plan was to have a release party at Grelle Forelle, but now it looks like we have to improvise with some kind of online gathering so we can enjoy it with our community. So we can all listen and drink together via the internet. Maybe also dance on the couch a little (laughs) Another nice idea would be to just randomly – and anonymously – put up some speakers at random spots in different cities that play our album to show the love to some strangers walking past, in safe physical distancing of course.
What is the first thing you guys are going to do after the COVID-19 quarantine?
Seb: I will visit my family and friends and deliver love and hugs to everybody. Hopefully that´s allowed soon. I really miss having a Burger in a restaurant and then walk around town. I am so ready for this, now that it’s the first warm days.
Dom: Best case scenario: I will visit my family and friends at an outdoor rave and perform the album for them and give them hugs before and after. Damn, I do miss hugs. And raves!
We too! Thanks for your time and stay safe!
Preorder ‘AAplus’: austrianapparel.fanlink.to/AAplus