Track By Track: Perel – Hermetica
German producer Perel's debut LP for DFA is easily one of the best records of the year so far, traversing a striking amalgamation of house, new wave and krautrock. Having developed her craft in the East German city of Halle, as a formally trained singer and multi-instrumentalist in several bands, Perel was inspired to start recording solo productions after her move to Berlin.
Hermetica is many steps removed from the dancefloor, but retains a bold sense of sonic exploration. Let Perel guide you through the album below, and listen to a brand new remix of 'Alles' courtesy of Red Axes…
It’s a very intuitive track, which I made within a few hours during a recording session in my home studio. This intuition lead to an outcome that felt like the ideal kick-off to my overall quite intuitive album. So there’s no elaborate story behind it, which might also explain my choice of the rather technical title.
PASTARELLA AL LIMONCELLO
This track is an homage to all Italian cakes.
Musically, I played around, recorded lots of percussions, cut and filtered them. I remember I wanted something that feels light and easy but still complex. Sounds contradictory, but probably you’ll understand what I mean when listening. There’s also an extended version with a virtuose percussion part which I really like.
At the time when I was working on 'Si', I temporarily had to move due to construction works in my apartment. There was a pipe broken in my bathroom which caused enormous damage. Coincidentally there was a free flat available in the same building – super lucky. So I moved to the 5th floor and built up my home studio in a small room with a window to the backyard. Every morning I woke up with oriental sounds from my neighbours, sometimes they even sang to it. By noon I could hear Italian guys talking to each other and by night my whole neighbourhood from all over the world seemed to be at home having conversations or listening to music. It was overwhelming and inspiring. That’s why 'Si' is such a mash of so many different musical styles as you can hear – my multicultural neighbourhood in Kreuzberg, Berlin had a direct impact on my production. And still has I think.
To me 'Alles' is the most personal track of the LP. I remember it was a tough time for me in my musical career and also in my life in general. Things weren’t going well on many levels. I considered stopping making music actually because I didn’t know where to belong in this electronic music scene. Also, I didn’t know why I was making music at all. Yes, proper life crisis. For some reason there was a stiff idea about how Perel is supposed to sound like. And it was killing me because I didn’t follow my heart or my natural flow as I do now. Without knowing what’s actually happening during that time I took the decision to not care about every single concept of the electronic club music. Because I had to work out something personally and the only way to get out of my crisis was to be honest to myself. So 'Alles' was the result. For the first time I recorded live drums with guitars and added German vocals. Together with 'Myalgia', 'Alles' is a game changer in my life and a big relief.
PMS = premenstrual syndrome. No more words to say 🙂
This track goes out to my extraterrestrial brothers and sisters in the universe. They support me a lot and I’m glad they’re around – for everyone to turn this planet into a better place. I’m aware you might smile while reading this, but if Jesus came down to planet Earth again then he would be technically be an alien too, so what’s the problem 🙂
It’s a one take recording, super spontaneous with a natural flow. While producing this track, I pretty much suffered from muscle pain (= Myalgia). It’s a weird chronic disease. Making music helps me a lot to calm down, balancing my life and forget and overcome health problems.
The color of my aura is exactly the same as of Crocus Vernus. And the funny thing is – I didn’t know, but found out after I made and named that track. Cool, right?
The lyrics are about a vision of a world without constructed boundaries/borders. Sometimes I feel like we can’t see what really matters, and so we give away lots of opportunities. 'Die Dimension' (‘the dimension’ in English) paraphrases an escape from physical and psychological limits, as well as linear and one dimensional models.
Hermetica is out now via DFA Records, order it here.