Manfred Thomaser (Arsine Tibé, !distain, The Independent Seasons) and James Knights (KNIGHT$, Scarlet Soho, Boytronic) have joined forces. The result is DEMOKRATIE, a widescreen, cinematic sonic experience fusing the individual talents of both into an entirely unique and cohesive whole, emerging from the twin cities of Munich in Germany, and Winchester, England.
Following a first meeting backstage at Berlin’s ORWOhaus venue in 2019, it seemed to be destiny that the two artists would collaborate at some point, and discussions began several months later with a view to adding James’ vocals to one of Manfred’s instrumental pieces -this resulted in ‘Ice Fall’, and DEMOKRATIE, as a project, began to grow from there. Aiming to experiment freely outside of their parent projects, both new and unfamiliar sounds and textures were explored, each artist bringing their vision and experience to something completely outside of their usual working parameters. Manfred is the driving force behind the project, creating the platforms and soundscapes and touchstones over which James’ soaring vocals can flourish, and the chemistry of this arrangement is clear throughout, the vulnerability and diversity in the singing simply stunning.
The tracks themselves are expansive, patient, and broad in scope, scale and diversity. ‘Ice Fall’ is stately and glacial, towering and ethereal, plaintive vocals over a swoosh of keyboards and increasingly dominant percussion. ‘Speed Fight Date’ is urgent and futuristic, a sci -fi soundtrack, dramatic and intriguing, ‘Persistence’, in contrast, is sparsely beautiful and calmly positive. And then there is the more pointed pop of ‘The Wall Behind The Door’, the dark twists and turns of ‘Where Are You?’, or the gentle nostalgia of ‘The Lookout (Seyhan III)’,
which soars and glides gracefully off into some wonderful, imagined future. This is an album for the soul. It is not enough to simply hear these songs, to fully experience the richness on offer here, they must be experienced, on every level of the senses.
At a time when the world became such a small and frightening place, creativity, like so much in our lives, became a challenge most of us have never faced before. The collaboration that has led to DEMOKRATIE transcends not only physical borders and boundaries, but also the
immense hardships and pessimism that threatened to squeeze all life and hope from the creative arts, and there is a genuine relief and palpable joyfulness extending throughout this extraordinary album.
||Speed Fight Date
||The Wall Behind The Door
||Where Are You? (The Family Tree)
||The Lookout (Seyhan III)
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