As we wrap up another premiere week, we are teaming up with Alex Stolze for the release of his etheral, haunting new single “Stoned Values.”
About the song, Alex comments:
“The track is based on violin-material, that I recorded on a loopstation during soundchecks on tour with my band. I later produced the whole track out of the fragments and sound experiments and it became the first song that I worked out being in the studio just on my own—means, this was the point, where it all started to happen”
Having received critical acclaim for his work with electronica acts Bodi Bill and Unmap, and having toured the world with experimental avant jazz trio Dictaphone, last year’s mini-album ‘Mankind Animal’ caused a stir on the underground and with the release of his first full-length album imminent, he is ready to further establish his reputation as a truly groundbreaking instrumentalist and producer.
Co-founder of the now legendary techno label Krakatau Records, Alex moves effortlessly between the modern classical and electronic worlds with new album ‘Outermost Edge’. Performing with his unique, custom-made five-string electro-acoustic violin, Alex works in musical distinctions, merging violin-based-textures with electronic beat-and-noise production.
Tracks like the subtle ‘Serve All Loss’ featuring Berlin-based Israeli artist Ofrin and the contained sophisticated beats of new single ‘Alkorhythmus’ offer electro-acoustic simplicity.
The sparsely plucked nature of Stolze’s violin playing are typified in the cinematic soundscapes of ‘Andalusia’ and ‘Wasser’ while ‘Stoned Values’ is an intricate bed of low synth which bridges classicism and contemporary electronic music.
Across ‘Outermost Edge’, Stolze is not afraid to explore sonic experimentation and refinement with the violin as his centrepiece. Ever since John Cale’s viola distortions with The Velvet Underground, and German master of modernism Karlheinz Stockhausen’s 1950s experiments with the electronic processing of orchestral instruments, there has been much experimentation and dialogue between the violin and the exploration of finding new ways to work with such instruments and Stolze is the latest proponent of such methods.
His music has often been compared to the laconic surrealism of post blues strings man Andrew Bird and the minimal post-pop musings of Canadian solo artist and collaborator Hannah Epperson, with pop culture experimentalists such as Owen Pallett and Patrick Wolf also inspiring Stolze. Alex explains, “it is a very interesting time to use an instrument steeped in so much history and to try to keep it alive and relevant to the modern world”.
Recently relocating from his beloved Berlin to the German/Polish borders to develop a new vision for his solo music, Alex is fast becoming a pioneering figure within his field with a taste for the avant-garde.
Last year, he performed at Berlin’s legendary venue Radialsystem V, performing radical deconstructions of Bach’s Kunst der Fuge as well as quartet arrangements of his own compositions.
Along with Krakatau Records, he is also the co-founder of Ritual Union, which produces film music with Alex himself contributing scores to films and theatre productions, including the animated film ‘Der Mondmann’.
Alex recently released music under the title Solo Collective, a new ensemble comprised of Anne Müller (cello), British pianist and producer Sebastian Reynolds and Alex on violin. Conceptually, the trio present themselves as a rotating cast of three soloists who take turns in the spotlight, with the other two providing supporting roles. The three then made their debut performances at sold out concerts in Berlin and Hannover in February 2017, and released ‘Solo Collective Part One’ on Nonostar Records in November.
With further solo shows planned across Europe (including the UK) in 2018, it seems like now is a good time for such a virtuosic talent to share the fruit of his years of experimenting with the wider world.
06.05. UK – London, Old Church
07.05. Paris, L’Antipode
09.05. GER- Berlin, Arcaoda
27.09. GER- Hannover, Feinkostlampe
29.09. GER- Berlin, Elisabethsaal
30.09. GER- Hamburg, Elbphilharmonie
08.10. GER- Bochum, Rotunde