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“It’s hard to differentiate between what’s human and what’s not, but there’s a lot of humanity in contrasts.”
Nikolaj Vonsild, from synth quartet When Saints Go Machine and acoustic duo Cancer, producer Simon Formann, aka Yen Towers and formerly of Lower (RIP), and Villads Klint make up Khalil, a new musical project spearheaded by Vonsild.
‘The Water We Drink’ is the debut album from Khalil.
We discuss the new record and the elemental forces that created it.
The aesthetic on the record sleeve is really interesting, what’s the concept behind it?
Water as a controlled object, bottled, priced, natural and processed textures and daily personal interests in balancing it all.
The vocals in this project are described as angelic and alien, what made you explore this dissociative route with the vocals?
That’s just the way melodies sound in my head maybe. I don’t see it as a study, just meditations I guess. I do think angelic and alien would be the same thing today, due to general spiritual detachment. We probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, we would round them all up for interrogation and testing. Perfect scapegoats and perfect irony.
It’s so intriguing the way the vocals are so distorted, yet you’re drawn in so much. Were you confident that this experimentation would pay off?
They were just recorded like they were supposed to sound so I wouldn’t describe it as an experiment anyway. It’s hard to differentiate between what’s human and what’s not, but there’s a lot of humanity in contrasts. We didn’t think about it, so maybe that counts as confidence?
The Khalil project is described as a close confidant of Posh Isolation, how did the relationship with the imprint come about?
Loke Rahbek and I lived together up until recently and I basically know Christian through him, but I really think we became close after a night in a Danish business mogul’s weird apartment, having drinks from the bar. At some point we got scared and escaped.
There’s an almost obsession with water in the description of the record, why is it such a powerful thing for you?
I have been surrounded by water all of my life and it resonates with almost all thoughts and images of life, loss, continuity, control and strange human behaviour. It’s a constant that takes on any colour of material it runs over, it feeds and eats. Maybe I am just simple minded, being so infatuated with one thing? I recently had a conversation with a friend about circles. It’s interesting how they touch other material at such a small point, then again if they roll they might get stuck somewhere, like eyes rolling back etc..
What other influences were used on this record? I’d imagine they’re massively eclectic and wide ranging…
Silence doesn’t work that well for me so there are a lot of hours that need sound. I think all influences become a tool for intuition to tap into at some point, so I don’t know where it ends or begins and I don’t really know what I am listening to when I’m sleeping, that’s just shuffle mode.
Musically Equiknoxx Gavsborg and Time Cow was for sure an inspiration and Yves Tumor’s ‘Limerence‘ from ‘When Man Fails You’ was a huge track for me, other than that just listening to people we know like Anyines, Petrola 80, Croation Amor, Empire Line, Astrid Sonne and of course family and Soundcloud is very inspiring.
The record has received widespread positivity, how have you found the initial reaction?
We’re happy about it, of course, it doesn’t compare to the energy between us though, that’s Tesla S model, intense, but comfortable, but of course it feeds back and it’s nice to know that it’s out there.
I am also glad that not every one is positive. We need a little hate as well, if we didn’t get that, it wouldn’t reflect anything real. Truly, I don’t feel a need to say anything, but we want people to listen and if answering a couple of questions does that, we are very happy for the interest.
Click here to listen and download ‘The Water We Drink’.