Have you ever wondered about the meaning of your dreams? Well, Berlin-based pair Klartraum certainly has. Nadja Lind and Helmut Ebritsch joined forces in 2006 to explore techno in a deeper, more spiritual level. Naming tracks after psychological patterns, spiritual experiences and even layering spiritual teacher’s spoken words through their work, it’s a whole new level of artistry that we find totally spellbinding.
With releases on Soma Records, 100% Pure Rec, Darkroom Dubs, as well as their own Lucidflow staple which held the floor to their debut album, “Evolution” last year followed by the “Evolution Remixes" album with respected artists Steve Rachmad, Mark Henning, G-Man and Silicone Soul that they both truly admire.
Next up, the brilliantly multidimensional duo has announced there’s a second album on the horizon, along with a string of releases and remixes with the new “Kazandub” EP ready to drop next month. We wasted no time in catching up with Klartraum to get the full story so far, as well as a very special promo mix of Klartraum-only released and unreleased goodies, courtesy of Nadja Lind.
You can witness Klartraums live show of unmissable, absorbing techno on Saturday, 4th February for the Room Three Demo takeover with regulars Terry Francis, Eddie Richards and a solo set from Nadja Lind herself.
How has the New Year been treating you so far? Any new resolutions you have both been keeping too?
2012 has been treating us very well so far - we have completed a few tracks for our 2nd Klartraum album and Klartraum releases. It will be quite different from our last album "Evolution" and we’ve even produced some broken beat, hiphop and deep house.
What was it that first brought you both together and have you always shared similar music tastes?
Nadja:We met for the first time through an electronic platform on the internet where producers could upload their tracks to get/give feedback and chat with each other. I really liked Helmut's projects and since I wanted to know how to rewire Reason into Ableton Live I wrote him a private message.
Helmut: I was very astonished to get such a profound question and I recognized that Nadja had written all her tracks by herself so I suggested a cooperation/project. We’ve always shared a similar music taste but we have a different pre-Klartraum music history.
Can you tell us about how you got the name Klartraum?
Klartraum is the German expression for lucid dream, a dream state where you are aware that you are dreaming and are able to influence and manipulate your dreams reality. Helmut has been into this topic and I myself have had experiences in lucid dreaming.
Have you been working on your live act since you first came together and in what ways has it developed up until today?
Yes we’re constantly working on our live act. Last year Helmut was playing much more keyboard and Nadja concentrated on groove, voices and effects. The latest changes are that we left the free flow live act to a more organized structure. Now we have a tracklist for every gig and ask people in the forefront which tracks they love. We recognized certain people are lightning up if they hear their favourite song (for example Angelo). Another improvement is the use of 2 X Akai APC40 Controllers, so we both have the same equipment.
If you had describe your sound to those who haven’t heard of you before, what would it be?
Profound, deep chord layers with a crisp and driving beat and tiny little surprises here and there. Sometimes we layer messages on top of our set spoken by some of our friends who are spiritual teachers. Not easy to describe but our music is like floating on layered waves and a dive into deepness.
How are you connected to the underground scene in Berlin and where would you take us if we came to stay for the week?
To be honest we’re not connected to the Berlin scene much at all. Our studio is our scene where all the artists and friends who visit Berlin are around at some point and sit with us for a chat and music. Also the cigarette smoke in Berlin clubs puts us off. So we prefer staying in our studio and producing goosebumps.
Tell us about your studio set-up – what’s it like when you step in their together?
We have 2 synced computer systems so we produce in parallel with midi sync or network sync. We record micro live sets of about 20 minutes and then cut down the recording and do certain arrangement fixes. The mixing and even the mastering happen also on the fly while the producing process switching easily between master and unmastered version.
Our way of sychronized and mutual workflow is very unusual and extremely fast. Sometimes we have to battle a little bit, but if the vibe is getting to low we try to look what psychological patterns or thoughts need to be worked through in order to come in flow again.
Nadjas audio channels are linked through an RME Babyface via Adat Lightpipe into the SonicCore Scope Xite-1 DSP System. Here everything is routed and Helmut uses several synths, dynamics and then everything is connected to the soundcraft digital 328 mixer from where the signal is routed back into the Scope Xite 1 for mastering. Even when we are not in our studio in Berlin we are able to just sync via onboard audio wire connection to freely produce Klartraum together even at airports or during breakfast in hotels. What this sounds like you can check out in Feb/March when our Kazandub EP will be released on Lucidflow.
What projects are you most proud of in your career to date?
As Klartraum we are proud of many projects such as remixing H-Foundation's "Slayin' The Dragon" for Soma Record's 20th Anniversary (Slam Mix & Phase 16), releases on Silicone Soul's Darkroom Dubs and also our debut album "Evolution" followed by an amazing "Evolution Remixes" album with respected artists we really admire such as Steve Rachmad, Mark Henning, G-Man and Silicone Soul. We are also very proud of our constant flow of releases on our own label Lucidflow and have a constant flow of remixes on a label list that would be way too long to mention.
Can you tell us about the mix you have done for us only of Klartraum releases and remixes?
I've put together current releases e.g. Veryverywrongindeed Records remix for Paul Loraine's "Move Closer", Darkroom Dubs where we remixed my own release Nadja Lind "Shakes" and for Terje Saether and even unreleased Klartraum tracks that will appear on our own imprint Lucidflow, as well as on other labels such as 100% Pure Records. You will also find remixes for Klartraum by e.g. Paul Loraine and Steve Rachmad.
Who do you turn to in life and the music world for inspiration?
I (Nadja) recently got very inspired by Alpha&Omega Dub so I decided to make some serious dub sound which got signed the same day by Soma and will appear on Soma Coma in the summer. Personally I am still blown away by St. Germain! Hopefully I will find the time to do a mix for "The Lucid Podcast" of his amazing sounds soon. I (Helmut) am inspired by old electronic heros like Jean Michel Jarre, Art Of Noise, Yello, Rhythm & Sound. Meditation helps me to get fresh inspiration because I need a clear mind like a painter needs a clear sheet of paper to paint.
How are you looking forward to your live show in Room Three for the Demo takeover with Terry Francis and Eddie Richards? What can we expect you to bring to the floor?
We are all excited about our fabric live act since we know the sound system is stunning and absolutely perfect for our lucid Klartraum deepness with SUB BASS and butter chords.We will integrate some secret new tracks from our new album “Secret Moon” that will appear in mid of 2012.
What new projects are you working on for 2012?
At the moment we are in the finishing phase of our new album “Secret Moon“. This album will contain club music as well as some breakbeat, dub, deep techno groove and chill out for a deeper home listening expierence. We have many new releases and remixes that will be released on various labels e.g. Substract (L.A.), 100% Pure.
Finally, tell us a something that no one else knows about you both?
Nadja: When I convinced Helmut to come with me to his first yoga class at the gym he had sore muscles all over and tried not to laugh for weeks. Helmut: Nadja told me a story that she woke up one night in half sleep and wrote an answer to a famous label that had a remix request. The next day she woke up and hardly remembered the message. As she checked the mail she recognized she wrote something really strange or awkward (maybe influenced by the last dream), they never contacted her again. And Nadja didn't want to tell!