Berlin based Norwegian duo Soft as Snow make music that blends the intimate atmospheres of Kelly Lee Owens and collides it with the off the wall sonics of Death Grips’ Fashion Week, the classic electro of Cabaret Voltaire and the leftfield pop of Fever Ray. ‘Deep Wave’ is the duo’s debut full length for Houndstooth and sees the duo taking their experimental improvisation and dance jams stratospheric and extended for the first time, leaving many of the cuts as they were first conceived for a much rawer, free form and realised expression of the duo’s creative collaboration. DMCWORLD gets stuck in…
Soft as Snow a huge welcome to DMCWORLD…where on planet earth are you today?
In Berlin, preparing for our tour starting next week.
Best piece of new music you have heard this week?
We’ve been listening to the new Rezzett album, and also the album from Love Theme.
You have your debut full length coming out on Houndstooth, could you talk us through the creation of it a little bit?
We had just moved from London to Berlin, got a studio close to Tempelhof. A huge, but poorly insulated place. We wrote most of the material during the summer. It was incredibly warm and we had a lot of sweaty sessions! Maybe that’s why lots of the tracks got quite slow… The initial ideas for the tracks came very quickly, but we used a lot of time taking them further in terms of arranging and editing. We work very jam-based and loose, and our outset was to be open for anything. For the album we decided to keep a lot of the recordings from the initial jams. Several of the tracks like ‘Pink Rushes’ are kept in their original form, vocals and all, just edited down a bit.
Could you talk to us about the formation of Soft as Snow and where the connection with Houndstooth came from?
We started Soft as Snow when Oda had a break from her art studies cause she wanted to make music instead. We began jamming in our living room with a synth and a loop pedal, then got a drum machine and moved into a music studio. Later we moved to London, lived in a run down house far east of the city where we wrote our first EP. A friend of a friend sent our music to Rob Booth without us knowing, and Rob got in touch!
You also had a track remixed by Liars recently, how did that come about?
We’ve been fans of Liars ever since Drum’s Not Dead came out over 10 years ago and seen them live countless of times. We were very excited when Houndstooth said they’d been in touch with Angus, the remix is very cool.
How did electronic music first enter your world?
Øystein was first introduced to electronic music through friends making music in old school 8-bit trackers. He also made some tracker music attempts, but didn’t get the hang of it, and became a drummer instead. Much easier! Oda wasn’t really into electronic music. But then she met Øystein who played ‘Heartbeats’ at a party and a seed was planted.
Early musical inspirations?
Øystein was a huge fan of a-ha, their debut album was the first music he ever bought. Oda grew up with MTV before dying her hair black only listening to grunge.
Was your dream always to make it in the world of music or was there ever anything else that interested you career wise?
Your music seems to incorporate so many different styles and yet feels so effortless and natural, is it a deliberate decision when creating to take inspiration from such a wide selection of genres?
We decided early on that we didn’t want to commit to any specific genre. We both listen to a huge variety of music and it was only natural for us to let this find its way through our music as well. What we seek is more on an unconscious level, connecting through the music and letting it take the form it wants.
What is next from you studio wise…?
We have lots of ideas floating around, excited to start working on these after our tour.
And finally, what is the one piece of advice you can offer to the thousands of budding producers out there reading this?
Turn it up to 11.
Soft as Snow
Vinyl / CD / download / stream