Digital synths, crystals and cyberpunk: we speak to Danny Wolfers about his next album.
The LP was teased last year with a sampler 12-inch for Crème Organization, though just one track from that record features on the final product. The album's title references the Roland JV2080, a digital synth that Legowelt, real name Danny Wolfers, picked up secondhand in Japan and used prominently in the record's production. The "Crystal" part, meanwhile, refers to a "DIY germanium crystal compressor" Wolfers also (apparently) used in making the album.
It arrives two years on from his last full-length, The Paranormal Soul, which came out on Clone. Though Crystal Cult 2080 contains a similar ferns-and-synth combo sleeve as it predecessor, Crème say this new record sounds "deeper and darker" and is tied together by a sense of "ancient alchemy." The album will arrive on digital, cassette, CD and double-vinyl formats. The C90 cassette version, which is limited to 100 copies, features some album tracks on the A-side, while the B-side contains a Crystal Cult mix by Crème founder DJ TLR.
We caught up with Wolfers via email last week to discuss the album and his new foray into the world of e-zines, Shadow Wolf:
Tell us a bit about your fascination with the Roland JV2080, and why you decided to name the album after it?Tracklist
Well it's not really a fascination, it's a cool synthesizer that goes pretty deep. It's a digital synth from the '90s that's really cheap nowadays 'cause all the kids want analogue stuff. But with machines like these you can make more mysterious, interesting sounds. It's not bound by the usual analogue "pwioooo bloop bleep" sounds. I use a lot of analogue synths, too—I am not anti that at all, I love those things—but sonically analogue synthesizers can become quite boring quickly.
How did your travels to LA, Tokyo and Tejada Gran Canaria feed into the recording of this LP?
There wasn't much feed from a conceptual point of view. There really wasn't a concept. I am just recording tracks all the time, and a few were made when I was at these places. It's nothing special, but the press loves that kind of stuff I guess, 'cause it sounds more exotic. The "Crystal Cult 2080" track itself was made in a hotel room in Shibuya, right on that big famous square where William Gibson got his whole Cyberpunk thing from. I had just bought the Roland JV2080 at some synth store there, and was playing around with the JV and XOSAR did some vocals over it.
The "Ancient Rites Demoni Mundi" track was recorded in Gran Canaria. I was in the middle of that island, it's really eerie there with lots of fog, dark forests, witchcraft and castle ruins; like walking in medieval times, not at all like the Benidorm holiday vibes on the south of the island. I think you can definitely hear that dark, foggy, mysterious vibe on that track. "How I Live" was made in Detroit when me and XOSAR were there two years ago. We stayed with Erika from Interdimensional Transmissions. It was in the middle of the winter, lots of snow, walking around in Greek Town and a completely desolated renaissance centre. I think you can hear that vibe in that track, too.
You also started a zine that taps into the "mystique of hacker romanticism." What can expect from Shadow Wolf in the future?
More issues with more freaky subjects, occult DIY projects, hot producer tips, stories interviews etc. I got a Japanese reporter now—he will interview a bunch of cult electronic Japanese artists from back in the day. The next issue will be in February.
01. Experiential Awakening
02. Ancient Rites Demoni Mundi
03. Excalibure R8MK2
04. Psychotic Endurance
05. How I Live
06. The Future Of Myself
07. Fundamental Superstition
08. Crystal Cult 2080
09. When The Spring Comes Again
10. Cyberspace Is Still Happenin' For Real
11. Lighthouses & Fried Fish Disks
12. Distant Meadow In Your Soul
Crème Organization will release Crystal Cult 2080 in late March 2014.