FRANCE — LIVE / DJ SET
Kai Hugo’s (1988, The Netherlands) project Palmbomen has been a mixture of band versus electronics. Influenced by Italo Disco, New Wave and Krautrock, the music for this project always contained drummachines and sequenced synthesizers on one side, and drums, bass guitar and singing on the other. While trying to bring this live with a band, Hugo struggled to have these two sides under one name, and decided to split the project in two. One side stays Palmbomen, as which he will continue to play as a band, and only a band, without sequenced parts, drummachines or computers, only people playing instruments. The other side will be Palmbomen II, which is completely based on drummachine and sequenced synthesizer.
Between moving from Berlin to Los Angeles, Hugo spent the summer of 2013 in Holland, and made an album (self titled) for his project Palmbomen II. His focus slowly shifted more towards early eighties house and other ‘homemade’ electronic music from that time and he decided that he wanted to have the same work ethics as the artists he was listening to.
Hugo concluded that the spontaneity and roughness of these songs are a results of the nonexistence of ‘total recall’ in the way people were forced to work in those times. Make your rhythms and harmonies, arrange these and play them live, record to tape, and that’s it. This is very different from today's production methods. When sculpting something for weeks or months, tracks often tend to get sterile, and lose their initial spontaneity.
Hugo experimented with creating a new song every day. Starting in the afternoon, making a melody, harmony or rhythm, create enough material around that to have something of a song by the evening, and in the night, late, he would record a jam of this direct to tape. With no way back. He locked himself up in his mom’s attic, and
produced around 30 songs in four weeks. Some were unusable because of bad mixing or other minor flaws (or just boring), some songs that made it to the album would have been changed if he could, but he can not. This is it.
Influences are early Chicago records from artists like Jamal Moss, Steve Poindexter, Larry Heard and Virgo Four combined with European electronic artists from the same time such as Alexander Robotnick, Das Ding, Philippe Laurent among others. Hugo re-watched X-Files heavily around that same time, which atmospheres he tried to capture on this record. Together with his collection of eighties and nineties relaxation cassette’s with theme’s like ‘Tropical Paradise’, ‘Babling Brook’ and ‘Hidden Lake’, no artists are mentioned on these tapes. Another influence on this record is the limited setup used, an Oberheim DX, Roland TR909, TR808, Korg M1, Korg Wavestation and some other synthesizers from around that same time.
His album Memories of Cindy was released on Beats In Space in January 2018 to huge critical acclaim. He has been touring the US ever since, but also finds time to direct his own videos, build and modify his live set-up.
MEMORIES OF CINDY
BEATS IN SPACE, 2018