While it is winter time everywhere in Europe, there seems to be an area in Sweden a bit colder than usual. This may belongs on the Cryodome, home of the Dark Electro/EBM act Cryo a.k.a. Martin Rudefelt. Since this fine artist got signed to the uprising Progress Productions, Martin has always stood on the bright and sunny side of being an artist, the victory at the last years’ Swedish SAMA festival as the ”newcomer of the year” marks surely the crown of his evolution. And since his debut ”Cryogenic” as well as his new EP ”Mixed Emotions” acclaimed extremely positive reactions of both press and audience, it was about time to warmth the cold brain of Martin and to interrupt his cryo-sleep for a few interview questions…
Chain D.L.K.: Hey Martin, it seems to be cold in your Cryodome, but I guess the win of the Swedish SAMA contest and the unexpected success which especially ”Does It Hurt”, available on ”Cryogenic” could earn, has warmed also your icy heart. How does it feel to stay on top of one of Sweden’s most recognized underground label?
Cryo: Yes, it’s surely cold in my Cryodome studio, actually the weather sucks in all of Sweden this time of year. It was fun to win a prize at SAMA. ”Cryogenic” has been well accepted as well, and it varies a lot which song people think is best so not only “Does It Hurt” gets some credit, which is nice. Nothing can melt my black, cold heart though. I really like being a part of Progress Productions, it feels like the right place to be for me, we all get equal treatment and we’re all in it for the fun of it, nothing else (to be honest some are in it for the beer, but that’s another story).
Chain D.L.K.: Could you generally explain us your interest in the cryogenic theory of your side? I think you haven’t chosen your band name because it ”sounds cool”, have you?
Cryo: It’s basically a reference to the static, monotone sound that most of the time is heard in the background of my songs. The foundation is hard and cold while other sounds gives life and space to the music. That’s basically it, not more not less.
Chain D.L.K.: Now on returning with a new EP entitled ”Mixed Emotions”. Is this title only related to the constructed different mixes by you on ”My Wall” and ”Inhale/Exhale” and the remix contributions of TPS and Trakktor?
Cryo: The title refers to the mix of strong emotions that are in focus of most of the songs on the EP. For example “My Wall” is about the mind storing all your emotions and to just wait for the right moment to release them. Both “Inhale/Exhale” and the “Body to Body” remix was done for a private club gig. I leave it to the readers to figure out the theme of that club. The remixes by TPS and Trakktor carry on the main theme of the EP well, while adding new emotions to the mix.
Chain D.L.K.: It seems a bit that you feel a bit uncomfortable to produce your tracks mainly for some dancefloor purposes since the original version on ”My Wall” offers more details and effects in the textures. Can we say that generally rather mid-tempo-based tracks more concentrating to create a cold atmosphere is a preference of you?
Cryo: Well, it all depends on the mood that I’m in when making the music. Sometimes I create slow and soft music, sometimes hard and fast beats. Sometimes I have to stop myself before I actually create happy, positive music – we don’t want that, do we? My strong influence from Jean Michel Jarre always makes sure that there’s a soft and melodic side to my music. But no, I don’t try to make music targeted for the dancefloor, I make music that I can sit down and listen to with an (evil) smile on my face.
Chain D.L.K.: Your sound outfit generally surprises with a typical-early-90ies-attitude. Hasn’t the current Trance-driven Hellectro-rush any interesting aspects for you to pick up? Would you say that electronic-based music has offered any better quality 15 years before?
Cryo: I haven’t been that inspired by today’s music and I have very poor knowledge of many of the synth bands of today. I’m not that excited by Trance, Techno or whatever you call the different variants that seem to be so common today. I’m not sure that older synth music is any better, I just feel a stronger connection to it and therefore it inspires me more.
Chain D.L.K.: Some content still related to ”Cryogenic”, please. I would like to ask for the sense to point out the ”human-machine-dialogue” presented in both ”Waiting for the Machine” and ”Machine”. Since this theme has been often reflected by some pioneers like Kraftwerk, what do you like to figure out with this?
Cryo: Anything for you, Marc. 🙂 Well, technology is all around us and is a natural extension of the younger generations’ lives. We’re on the border of creating artificial life using synthetic DNA. We have access to all information in the world through devices we carry around. We have unmanned vehicles armed with weapons attacking humans. I would say that the man-machine connection is more real than ever. We need to continuously ask ourselves where this all will lead us, who is leading who – maybe we don’t know the answer to that question in a few years.
Chain D.L.K.: Some of your chosen voice samples integrated in tracks like ”Utopia” or on ”Go To War” offer the impression, that world politics and all of its failures takes influence on you. Please explain us the meaning of both tracks and your interest generally…
Cryo: I try to have some kind of message with each song I write. Aggressive music calls for strong and vivid lyrics. Politics is a grateful target, something that most of us have a strong opinion on. I also take the opportunity with my music to tell people what my opinions are. In “Utopia” it’s about our leaders and them disillusioning the masses, painting pretty pictures while hiding darker motives. Leaders areunfortunately only humans, with self-preservation high on their agenda, whether it’s having a financial interest in the war industry and promoting going to war using various excuses or being controlled by the very companies sponsoring your election campaign. Is this so much better than other dictators around the world, I’m not so sure. “Go To War” is more a still picture of a soldier in full combat armor, full of hate for the enemy that his leaders has pointed out to him. Seeing the enemy in the horizon and feeling the rush of energy that will be needed on the battlefield. Facing the soldier on the other side not knowing if he will make it back in one piece. So more of strong emotions than storytelling inthis song I believe.
Chain D.L.K.: Often asked, I guess, but what’s that special dedication from your side for Front 242’s ”Body To Body”, that you needed to do a cover on this classic tune?
Cryo: You have the answer earlier in the interview, it was the natural choice for the occasion. It was a fun experience and I’m sure that I will make more covers on my sources of inspiration. Thinking of possible songs to work on – It’s hard when you feel that you cannot contribute anything to an alreadyperfect song (for example I would consider it suicide to do a Cryo version of Kraftwerk’s “The Model”). On “Body to Body” I saw some opportunities to add a Cryo-flavor and I gave the song a more straight forward, continuous beat. I think this version is well suited for live performances.
Chain D.L.K.: How is it with live gigs? I guess it’s difficult for a one-man act to work out a satisfying live performance, if you couldn’t count on the availability of Torny Gottberg providing some drum action? Any plans to storm some stages of middle-Europe soon?
Cryo: We’re not a one-man act live. The setup is not me in focus with someone backing me up – Me and Torny are Cryo live, that’s the way it is. We both contribute equally much on stage and we give the audience every ounce of our energy to make the shows an emotional overload! It works out really well and we have loads of fun! I would really like to perform in middle-Europe, just book us and we’ll showup! Satisfaction guaranteed! Next month it’s Cryo’s first gig in Germany, that will be a lot of fun.
Chain D.L.K.: What about the daily life in the Cryodome?. Please fill in details, relations, hobbies, and further things of interests…
Cryo: The Cryodome is like any other small studio I would guess. Me sitting there trying out new cool sounds and arrangements. Unfortunately I need to pay the rent as well so I only have a little energy left over from work each day to do some creative stuff. I throw away a lot of ideas to songs, I only keepwhat I believe 100% in. More musicians should adopt that habit, perhaps that would reduce the amount of pointless filler-tracks from many artists that I come across today? No further things from me of any interest I’m afraid.
Chain D.L.K.: Your last words to conclude this interview?
Cryo: See you all in hell! Frozen over!! 🙂
Visit Cryo on the web at:
[interviewed by Marc Tater] [proofreading by Tommy T. Rapisardi]