Klive - Bound By FormExploring the boundaries of the spectrum, Klive is a solo project of concrete sounds and synthesis. The man behind the project is one Úlfur Hansson, a 21-year old who is studying music theory and new media and who plays electric bass in the band Swords of Chaos. He has also played jazz and has created a number of sound installations with his sister Elín Hansdóttir.
When did you first start out making music?I was twelve when i got my first bass, trying to rock out Marilyn Manson riffs while listening to Jaco Pastorius with awe.
What were or are your main musical inspirations?
I'd say I’m a sucker for very traditional things, bound by form, e.g death metal being a huge influence - as opposed to more experimental elements dealing with romanticism and the sublime. Lyrics seldom reach my attention but I enjoy soulful music. It definitely has to have soul!
Your work is described as “concrete sounds and synthesis”. Can you elaborate?
For Klive I like to use field recordings I've collected, in tune with heavy computational processes. Each recorded place and each patchwork or code can mix into infinite possible worlds of sounds and scapes. Sounds pretty dramatic, I know, but I love that idea as a frame of reference.
Are you influenced by those great musique concrete artists from France and Germany?
I was. Michel Chion, Pierre Schaeffer and all those dudes did some awesome stuff way back. Pierre Henry's Tibetan Book Of The Dead is a special favourite - this grotesque vocal narration of death without words mixed with a broken R2D2 unit, warping into an Eno-esque soundscape - awesome.
There seems to be a collision of digital and natural sounds in your music…
Yes, without a doubt. Geothermal burps and waterfall noises in harmony with warm, simple synthesizers.
The sound is quite esoteric - how did you arrive at such a style? And how do you describe it to people?
I have a compulsive tendency towards nerdy stuff. I think the sound comes from a certain work ethic you develop by mucking around for hours every night.
What kind of equipment do you use for your records?
I like to use the max/msp and puredata programming environments for sounds, portable field recorders for the concréte, and a steady workflow while sequencing. For sequencing and mixing I prefer Ableton live above anything else.
Can you describe a typical working process, maybe for one of your tunes?
Sometimes it's hard to imagine I actually did this track or that song. I can't always remember it's actually mine. A typical productive session is probably best described as a sleepless night, and some new music on my hard drive the next day.
Do you work alone or collaborate?
I love to work with singers. Vocals are my greatest fear to do myself, so collaborating with people on that is great to get some extra depth of perspective. That actually applies to any musician willing to participate. For live performances I have worked with great people. I have friends that are always up for playing gigs here, there and everywhere. Without them, concertgoers would be looking at awkward beer sips and screen tan sessions on stage.
Which other Icelandic artists do you see yourself closest to in spirit if not sound?
In spirit i don't know - and in sound I don't know either. I do have a few major inspirational musicians in mind though. Hildur Guðnadóttir being one of the biggest with her recent album “Without Sinking”. Kira Kira and her Kitchen Motors have a special place in my heart - and last but not least - Stilluppsteypa are the mystical champs of my early experimental musical interests.
When you imagine your audience, who do you see?
Naked people. Makes things a lot easier. In comparison to playing with my band Swords of Chaos, my solo music is much more stressful to perform. It's very personal to play your own music for people, even though you're not alone on stage.
How did the deal with Germany’s Mille Plateaux come about?
I sent promotional CD's to 20 record labels. I got one reply, namely from MillePlateaux!
They are a legendary label, were you a fan of them for a long time?
I first noticed the label on the back of Stilluppsteypa's “Stories Part Five” sleeve years back. Other artists of MP fame later became very important to me, notably Alva Noto, Pan Sonic, Rechenzentrum and Vladislav Delay.
Have you done any touring?
I had my first tour abroad this fall with Kira Kira in Germany. We had some high times, met some lowlifes, so I gained a lot of experience.
What can you tell us about your new record – how does it differ from the debut?
This album, “Wailing Corpuscles” is a 50/50 mix of the last year’s “Sweaty Psalms” and new stronger tracks. I am proud of my debut but I believe this album is much stronger. “Sweaty Psalms” perhaps lacked a little coherence. Still being far from grown up, I think this album forms a better whole, and possesses a more solid concept.
When will it be released and will you be doing some tour dates?
It was set to be released before the aforementioned tour in Germany, but was postponed until early 2010 because of artwork issues. It is now finally complete and will hit Europe early in the new year.
Klive @ MySpace