In Trance 95: Shapes in New Geometry
Maria Pappa

In Trance 95 is a Greek band of international fame, and recenctly they became part of record label Minimal Wave roster. We got them to share a couple of words with us just before their headlining in one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Europe and the release of their new record.

After their 2011 release “Cities of Steel and Neon” on US label Minimal Wave, In Trance 95 have completed their new album titled “Shapes in New Geometry” which will hit the shelves soon. At the same time, they are headlining in Drop Dead Festival, one of the biggest electronic music festivals in Germany held in Berlin. It has been only one and half year past after their reunion and nobody expected that they would have come such a long way. But they actually did and it seems that their best years lie ahead of them. While mustering their strength for the gig in Germany they will be presenting their new material live on July 27th at Six D.O.G.S.

How important was the release of “Cities of Steel and Neon” to the group?
Alex:
I could have never imagined a more relevant label to release our music than Minimal Wave. Firstly, we're a perfect match to the label’s concept, and secondly the ever growing publicity surrounding Minimal Wave is giving more people the opportunity to know about us. It wasn't long ago that we were known to no more than a handful of people, and luckilly one of those happened to be Veronica Vasicka. The timing was excellent for this release, because our reunion didn’t seem that it would ever happen some years ago. We got back together because of this record and it stands for our definitive release. After that, our track Presidente was included in the compilation “Minimal Wave Tapes Vol. 2”, which was the icing on the cake and then we came up with some new stuff that confirm that we’re not just part of the past but also part of the present and the future.
Nikos:This release came in the ideal time for us, since we haven’t saw each other for a long time and gotten together to play some music! So from this perspective, yes, it is important.

Do you think that one of the positive aspects of the crisis is that it has helped more Greek bands getting heard abroad?
N: I have no idea! The crisis definitely has brought about a sense of alertness that has shaken the country out of the slumber of the last years, resulting in more things happening in arts. I don’t know whether these things will make it across the borders of our country and whether this is the actual objective. I imagine that if someone wants to address a different kind of audience than the Greek, they will find a way to do it.
A: In our case, it’s hard to determine whether the crisis has had an impact on the way people from abroad perceive us. And I’m telling this because we were approached by members of the audience after some recent gigs we’ve had in Germany, and asked from which country we were coming from. They knew we were signed on Minimal Wave, but a lot of them hadn’t read our bio. But I don’t know whether more Greek bands are trying to get signed on labels from abroad because of the crisis. I have also to add that because our sound is based entirely on synthesizers and drum machines, it has a greater appeal in audiences abroad. We were a bit cut off in Greece, in a sense. Now we come to realize that there are people in cities like Berlin and New York that is very welcoming of our style. And I feel we’re still making our first steps.

When is the new album coming out?
A : Quite soon from the information we currently have. Most probably by the time this interview is published there will be already an announcement on the Minimal Waves website about it. 

 

Why did you give it the title “Shapes in New Memory”?
A: The initial idea was to have it released as an EP with four tracks towards the end of the year, after having released another album. But we were in a hyper-productive period at the time and we came up with more material, enough to justify the release of a whole album. The album was titled after the same-titled track that initially was intended as an instrumental, towards the end of 2010. We think it has a nice ring to it as an album title, and at the same time one can think the shapes as the new tracks and the new geometry our current sound. This is an interpretation that I conjured after we decided on the title, because initially it was meant to be an EP. And in the end we came up with a more elaborate body of work.
N: We’re talking about new shapes and geometries although sonically we’re lost in completely chaotic situations. This is the interpretation I would give to the title.

What direction does it follow sonic-wise? Does it only have brand new tracks?
A: Sonic-wise it’s rough cut and dark, but that was our aim and is also indicative of our mood at the time we were writing it. The whole album was recorded from early February to mid-March. The mixing process was a bit fragmented because in the meantime we had various gigs to do. It only includes new material, it’s just that some of the tracks go a longer way back than others. For instance the track “Post” was initially a demo but we elaborated on it. Another one, “Triangular Square” was written in 2010 and the initial version is much different. The particular song took its current form because we played it live a lot of times. We equally liked all its different versions, so we came up with this particular one which we actually recorded it live in our studio. The interesting bit is that almost all the songs included in the album have been presented live to audiences prior to the final mixing, with the exception of “Invisible Industry of Solitude” which was the only one that we hadn’t tried out live.
N: One thing that characterizes the new material is that the soundscape is motionless. That means that it is not evolving. I think it is a distinctive attribute of many of the songs in “Shapes” and this stillness brings into the foreground the shapes that we were talking about earlier. The only motion that’s allowed and encouraged is, of course, the one on the dance-floor. 

Do you have this sense of vindication now that you’re being rediscovered after so many years?
A
: Presidente was to be released as a single in February 1989, but eventually was shelved for many years. This is indeed a form of vindication!

N: The release of Presidente –and also Nile’s Swimmer- could be considered as a form of vindication for us since these are two of our favorite songs; we wrote them when we were young and we always wanted to have managed to release them on vinyl. This is how we see it. WE didn't really expect that we would ever get “discovered”. It just happened, so whatever the meaning of that is we will just go with the flow. We’ll just go where it takes us.

What are your plans for the not-too-distant future?
A: We have lots of things in mind, both studio and gig-wise. We have more brand new unreleased material, some tracks are in fact ready, we have just set them aside for the time being , because they were not quite fitting in the mood of Shapes. So another release will succeed this, but we can't give you any details on it before fall. Gig-wise there are things already announced like our taking part in Drop Dead Festival which will happen in Berlin at the end of October and also our first live in Belgium in September. The closest one however is the one we’re doing at Six D.O.G.S on July 27th together with Flesh United which is the new band of our much appreciated artist Hawk Haven.



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