For Danish native and much-revered producer/performer Rune Reilly KÖLSCH, Kompakt has proven the perfect home curating his music: with two critically acclaimed albums and a now classic run of solo instalments in the Speicher 12” series, he took his techno craftsmanship to new levels, setting it on a melodic, emotive and even autobiographical course – without losing any of its punch and quirkiness. With new full-length 1989, Kölsch presents the final chapter of an elegant, anthemic album trilogy that started with an exploration of early childhood memories and influences on “1977” – the year of his birth – and continued on “1983”, a vibrant and picturesque journey sound-tracking the year he travelled through Europe aged six.
“With 1989, we have arrived in my early teens”, Kölsch explains, “a difficult time in my life, where I mostly just remember the greyness of it all – grey feelings, grey weather and my own grey face.” Coinciding with the already challenging need to squeeze past the bottleneck of puberty, it was a time of seething family crisis – his parents were divorcing: “I would escape that grey world on my skateboard, listen to my Walkman as I explored the city around me. Music became my savior – the only way to overcome my family’s hard times. I found a soundtrack to my grey life, and suddenly there was color.” It’s why you’ll find several tracks on the album being named “grey” in different languages, and they all share this distinctly “Kölsch-esque” moment of epic melodies breaking through propulsive techno beats like the sun through stormy clouds – a musical twist that’s particularly impressive on album hit single PUSH, first heard on “Speicher 97” (KOM EX 97).
1989 also marks Kölsch’s intensified deployment of real-life orchestral sounds and the continuation of his extremely fruitful collab with Gregor Schwellenbach: after contributing to predecessor album “1983”, the Kompakt affiliate, composer and multi- instrumentalist now conducts the Heritage Orchestra for tracks KHAIRO, LIATH (featuring a violin solo by Kate Robinson) and SERJI, the latter of which Schwellenbach co-wrote and co-produced. The 24-person Heritage Orchestra consists of violins, violas, cellos and double basses, adding the sweeping drama and organic, richly layered textures that only real strings can produce – a deeply humane tone that is set with the album’s opening recording of the orchestra tuning its instruments (which incidentally also incorporates a voice recording from 1989 of Rune Reilly’s grandfather Ludwig). Seeing Kölsch’s propensity for vocalist cameos on his albums (Trœls Abrahamsen on “1977”, Tomas Høffding and Waa Industry on “1983”), one shouldn’t be surprised to find beautiful cut IN BOTTLES, which features vocals written and performed by Aurora Aksnes.