Better known to millions of EDM fans around the world as one half of pioneering Swedish electronic act Dada Life, Olle Cornéer today embarks on a separate, very different voyage of musical discovery as his darker alter ego, Night Gestalt.
A far cry from the thundering beeps and bleeps of traditional Dada Life production work, Night Gestalt long player 'One' is instead a highly personal journey that plunges deep into the experimental depths of sound.
Unapologetically conceptual, Cornéer’s lyrics outline the story of a doomed spaceship called ‘One’, sent out from earth with 7000 souls on board to find an alternative planet to our dying one.
Losing control of the central computer and plummeting straight into the void, the album deals with the desperate rise of religious sects, the split between those who invest their energy in the hope of salvation and those who accept that there is none, and finally the overriding decision of ‘SHE’, the ship’s computer, that this is the end.
“I wrote these songs in a small country house on an island in Sweden in the summer a few years ago,” Cornéer explains. “It was a really creative period; all of them were finished in the span of a few days. Then I basically left them on the computer for a year or two – not really knowing what to do with them.”
Lying relatively untouched, it wasn’t until last year when Cornéer received the news he had been diagnosed with cancer that ‘One’ once again saw the light of day. “(That was when) I really felt the urge to start to release other music than Dada Life. Music has mattered my whole life, but being sick was really a wake up call on how much it still matters. Somehow the darkness of the Night Gestalt songs resonated with how I felt. Without sounding too dramatic, it was like I was staring at the end, and then realizing I’ve written a whole album about the same thing.”
Working solely within the realms of arpeggios and vocals, ‘One’ is heavily influenced by contemporary composers like Arvo Pärt, John Luther Adams and Steve Reich. “I wanted to do something really clear and simple,” Cornéer goes on. “A lot of music is trying to do everything. It’s loud, it’s soft, it’s fast, it’s slow. With this music I just wanted to do one thing. Arvo Pärt’s music is all about clarity and union and that’s what I wanted to do too. I love the arpeggio because it’s so simple – it’s only one note at a time, but the resulting pattern of notes creates melodies, rhythm and structure, all from those simple notes. The sum is bigger than the parts.”
Also prevalent in Cornéer’s soundscape are works by electronic artists such as Aphex Twin and Black Dog. “Making this music was a way for me to go back to that music,” said Cornéer, “not creating 90’s music but rather try to get the same feelings I got when I was young and lying in my dark room listening to Black Dog in my headphones.”
Certainly a return to his earlier influences but without a doubt pushing the future boundaries of his own sound, ‘One’ is out now for worldwide release, including a limited edition press of only 100 vinyl albums and an extremely exclusive run of ten numbered hardback books including an MP3/WAV version of the album.