“Beyond Reason is about this melancholic state we felt at the time, the feeling of being depressed, overwhelmed, but still wanting to be hopeful.” tells us Cologne-based electronica duo Ameli Paul on their new track and our premiere song for today. Out of their stunning three-part EP the melodic tune expresses exactly what we feel right now and their sound just carries us into wonderful memories of us dancing the night away.
images by Rica Hellige
I read both of you wanted to make music from a very early age onwards. Ameli, you wrote your first songs at the age of 9, right? Do you still have them somewhere recorded and what they were about?
Ameli: In my family there was always something going on with music. My sister plays the violin, my brother the double bass and I remember that I always had so much fun playing around with the piano, evolving melodies and singing in a fantasy language. My first song with lyrics was of course a love song. Some weeks ago my father found some tapes with recordings of mine, so funny!
And what about you Paul, and your very first steps into music?
Paul: In elementary school I used to write my first lyrics and would design album covers for bands I made up. My father taught me the guitar and at the age of 14 I started producing hip hop tunes together with my cousin.
Both of you originally were into different genres – what influenced you to go into the electronic genre – or it just somehow happened?
Ameli: I was always amazed by lots of different kinds of music. Coming from classical and opera singing, jazz music, indie etc. I also felt really passionate listening and dancing to electronic music. I was about 18, when I started going to techno parties. This free and hilarious atmosphere on the dancefloor had a magnetic attraction to me. So I was always keen to do it myself. It was not until I met Paul, that I really got into the production of live electronic music.
Paul: My Cousin got me hooked with Trentemoller’s ‘the last resort’ and I learned that electronic music has so many diverse sounds to offer. I kept exploring and discovered artists like Nicolas Jaar, Roman Flügel, Hauschka or Robag Wruhme who inspired me to work with organic sounds within the framework of electronic music.
“Beyond Reason is about this melancholic state we felt at the time, the feeling of being depressed, overwhelmed, but still wanting to be hopeful.”
Your music is characterized through live instruments, vocals with analog effects and diverse electronic productions. Talk us a bit through your work process for your EP Beyond Reason.
Ameli: Beyond Reason is the result of a jam we did in November 2020 – the month Germany started the lockdown again. All concert venues had to close, so we were stuck in Cologne and put all our emotions into that session. I tend to sing fantasy lyrics at the beginning, so in order to finalize the track we had to find words that would fit the phrasing of the original recording and at the same represent our feelings. As for Open Fire, Paul sent me a first sketch of the instrumental. Instantly I had a vocal melody in my head, recorded it, sent it back and we took it from there.
Are the lyrics in your song personal stories?
Ameli: Yes, mostly our lyrics are about our feelings and longings. Beyond Reason is about this melancholic state we felt at the time, the feeling of being depressed, overwhelmed, but still wanting to be hopeful. Open fire is about our personal failings and the craving for an open minded world.
Do you always agree at the same time when a song is ready? And who of you is more of a perfectionist?
Paul: We have those moments, when we agree, but finding an end is one the most difficult things! I believe you have to accept that there is no actual end. Every state of a track is just a snapshot. So deadlines help a lot!
Ameli: I definitely have a little issue with finishing tracks. For me, there are always endless possibilities a tune could sound and I want to try them all. But that’s also what I like about playing live: We can always remix our own tracks over and over.
When I was looking at your press images showing your concerts and listening to your songs, besides really loving and feeling the vibe, I felt sadness too because things right now are so different. How do you deal with this situation right now, not being able to play live?
Ameli: I feel you! To be honest it’s one of the toughest times for me. Even though we can use our time to produce new tracks and shooting videos, we really miss this live energy a lot! Before, I used to play concerts every weekend, I also loved to try out new tracks live before releasing them. But we have to be optimistic and hope for the best. I can’t wait to go really wild after this time of abstinence.
“To be honest it’s one of the toughest times for me. Even though we can use our time to produce new tracks and shooting videos, we really miss this live energy a lot!”
What is one of your most wonderful live concert memories?
Paul: Oh. It’s so hard to pick one. Playing support for Stavroz at Festsaal Kreuzberg was certainly a highlight. Or playing Fusion Festival on a Sunday morning.
Ameli: I remember these little and wild parties at Bucht in Berlin. That was high energy to the fullest!
3 words to describe Ameli?
Paul: creative af, intense, empathetic, enigmatic
3 words to describe Paul?
Ameli: warm hearted chaotic genius
Your musical idols?
Paul: Nicolas Jaar, Nils Frahm, Thom Yorke
Ameli: Beth Gibbons, Billie Eilish, Nina Simone, Alice Phoebe Lou, Sophie Hunger
…when we hug each other at the end of a concert, exhausted and happy.
Beyond Reason EP will be released on February 26 via MEIOSIS.