- Words Yazzi Gokcemen
Marking the release of their new track 'Afterglow', electronic duo Klangkarussell talk to us about collaborating with friends, their inspirations and what's coming up in 2024.
Despite existing outside the musical mainstream, Klangkarussell’s successes count millions. The electronic duo have accrued 3 million monthly listeners on Spotify, over 200 million streams for the music released under their own label, and, most famously, 1.3 billion plays for their global, chart-topping 2014 hit ‘Sonnentanz (Sun Don’t Shine)’.
Joining creative forces just over a decade ago, the Austrian-born DJ’s back catalogue is only the tip of the iceberg. Trademark synths and mood-changing rhythms have captivated listeners and led Klangkarussell’s celestial soundscapes around the world. Playing sets everywhere from London’s XOYO and Phonox to clubs in the US and Columbia, they’ve made energetic waves.
Adrian Held and Tobias Rieser are the school friends behind the ever-evolving Klangkarussell universe which now has a new track ‘Afterglow’ swirling within it. The single – out today – sonically explores the process of accepting and moving on from grief. Mystical production, ethereal vocals and interesting instrumentals are the harmonious result of Klangkarussell’s purposeful collaborations and conceptual approach.
It’s evident that launching their own label Bias Beach Records, has been game-changing for Klangkarussell – ‘Afterglow’ explores the depths of their artistry. With new music still on the horizon, we ask the DJ duo about their beginnings and what inspires them.
How’s January been for you both? Have you enjoyed your time in 2024 so far?
Yes it’s been pretty chill so far, we’ve picked up the work on our next album. Currently, we are in the studio in Vienna.
What’s the origin story of Klangkarussell? Where did you meet, why did you start working together and how did you land on the name?
Well, we went to school together about 25 years ago, then lost contact for a bit and met again in Summer 2012, where we reflected on our life thought about what we wanted to do. We both wanted to do music, so we tried that. Tobi started producing under the name Klangkarussell earlier and it just felt right.
Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Hard to say, but it comes from a lot of different genres. When it comes to electronic music, it was acts like Booka Shade, Stephan Bodzin, Deadmau5 and Paul Kalkbrenner.
Can you each name a favourite club track and explain what you like about it?
Adrian: For me it’s ‘All Aboard’ by Dillinja. It was the first tune that got me into contact with club music.
Tobias: ‘Upon Burning Skies’ by Sable Sheep. I like the vibe.
How would you define your sound for someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Warm, lush, spacious, mellow and a little melancholic.
You’ve just dropped your new track ‘Afterglow’ – which is a part two of your previous single, ‘Ghostkeeper’ – can you tell us the main inspirations behind it?
We were in the studio and came up with this progression, that’s when we had the idea to continue the story of ‘Ghostkeeper’ . Whilst ‘Ghostkeeper’ is a story of loss and grief, ‘Afterglow’ is more about acceptance.
Several other artists feature on ‘Afterglow’, how do collaborations generally come about and why are they important to you?
The pianist Johannes Winkler is someone we’d already worked with a lot in the past, then we felt the song needed some Orchestral-Climax and Rusanda Panfili is a violinist we know – it was just a perfect fit plus we’re all friends.
What has been the biggest achievement of your career so far?
Depends on how you define the biggest achievement, obviously ‘Sonnentanz’ was our biggest hit, but to us, having our own record label and being completely independent feels like the biggest achievement.
Where’s been the best place you’ve performed at and why?
We like Colombia and France.
What are you looking forward to in 2024 – any upcoming projects we should be keeping an eye out for?
We’re going to focus on finishing the next album and conceptualising a new live show.