Premiere: Simon12345 & The Lazer Twins – Sp(2n,R)

Simon12345 & The Lazer Twins are… unorthodox, for lack of a better word. The mysterious group’s music oscillates somewhere between schizophrenic dance music and confrontational ambience, teetering very close to edge of krautrock, without embracing anything as concrete as that genre. There music encourages the kind of description the music media can’t even begin to imagine with it’s neatly organised categories. It’s no coincidence that they’ve found a home on Holger, a label that thrives in that blurry area between the familiar and the experimental. Their sophomore EP, Cheveux Propres, Cheveux Gras finds the group in a playful, yet sober mood, throwing caution to the wind when it comes to convention, but never letting anything get too far away from them either. Their electronic music has a very human element ingrained in the foundation of the music. Theirs is a raw punk aesthetic, one in which it sounds like a band playing their instruments, similar to Factory Floor or LCD Soundsystem.

Simon12345 and the Lazer Twins are not quite as cohesive as those other bands, putting their music together from remote locations, like a sonic collage – unpredictable, but completely conceivable at any given moment. This can go from the sweet melodic bells and soothing pads of Atomic Bomb Dome, to the desultory aggressive Norborn Sjinjowkriaw with its distorting, persistent percussion and noisy synths. Sp(2n,R) is a track that finds the perfect balance between these two elements and the band have given us the honour of premiering the track before the EP’s out on March 4th. We also catch up with Simon12345 and The Lazer Twins via email in the hope of finding out who they are and how this EP came together.

 

First off can we have some introductions? Who are Simon12345 and the Lazer Twins?

We are a project of three people, now living in 3 different cities. Initially, we met somewhere in the Hamburg string net. It’s been a long ride and our first attempts date back to the days when 56k modems and ISDN were still a thing.

The name is quite interesting. What are its origins?

Simon12345 refers to anonymous participation in mass media, twins to an unreal sense of family, whereas lazer refers to laser, a device that emits sharp photon beams and is commonly used in many physics applications.

Cheveux Propres, Cheveux Gras is your second release. What were some of the initial ideas or this release and how did you set about to capture those ideas?

Two of the rougher tracks are based on sketches made on a train that goes from Amsterdam to Berlin after relatively tough weekends. Whereas the main samples of the calm pieces have been recorded in a small house by the ocean and in a monastery in the Himalayan Mountains while being extremely relaxed. Both aspects combined achieve something very beautiful. However, this was not intended, it just happened and we embraced it as a topic.

My first impressions when listening to it, was that it was quite frantic, almost schizophrenic. Was that not your intention either, and how did you realise it?

Exactly, the main point is already mentioned above. Our earlier record was much more of an engineering effort, it was way more polished, and a lot of time went into the mixdown, combination of tracks, additional recordings and so on. The new one was supposed to expose the search we were facing while making it, by being much more undecided and rough. It is about uncertainty.

How does the EP title relate to the music?

That’s a secret. But here is a hint: Think about for whom you shower, while you take your next shower.

Although electronic, it appears that much of the arrangement relies on the human element. Is that correct and can you give us a little insight into your creative working processes?

Every one of us originally learned to play an instrument. So there’s a personal reference to human elements in music that comes along with the belief that you can’t get as much intimacy like in “Flöte in N-dur” or “Atomic Bomb Dome” without the human element. So intimacy on the one hand and high energy on the other are both very important for us. Both of them cause strong feelings. It depends on your mood from which direction your journey begins. Sometimes you pick a piano to start with, sometimes you need a beefy kickdrum, but in both cases the end result can be the complete opposite of what you have started with. It’s a bit difficult to explain in detail how we do it, but basically, there are a lot of parts on the record that are actually played instruments, drums, synthesizers, samples etc. and from there on we bounce ideas back and forth between us while sitting in the same room and all having our own computers with us.

It’s hard to classify the EP as anything as simple as a genre, but if you could, what would you like it to be referred to?

We like to call our genre Binsenmusic, because a lot goes into the Binsen when we work together.

Is there one particular element to the EP that was the point of focus for you?

Uncertainty.

I notice a lot of emphasis on full-frontal percussive parts. Was that a fundamental starting point for you guys, and how were the percussion pieces brought into a bigger picture?

Things often start with a small sketch. This can be a melody or rhythm or both. Sp(2n,R) for example started with a bass synth which was already quite percussive. One of the first elements tends to create a feeling for a track, which we try to preserve during the rest of the work on it. When it comes to the percussive parts we all prefer direct and extreme things. Interestingly, a very loud and repetitive cowbell like in the song “∆” has something extremely calm and peaceful to it. This might be another reason why the ambient pieces fit so well with the more extreme ones. Well, and furthermore you could say the strong percussion focus is a result of being tired of thinking in melodies or harmonies.

Were there any musical influences that you channeled for the EP?

Many things have been influential, but nothing in particular.

I also detect various references to electronic dance music. How do you hope to see this EP received on the dance floor?

People dancing to your music are one of the most rewarding things. We hope that a lot of people will enjoy the tracks on the dance floor. However, the more danceable tracks are quite difficult in a sense that you almost have to adjust your whole DJ set towards fitting them in without breaking the whole atmosphere. So in many cases, it will more likely be an intense journey undergone on headphones with references and reminders about club music among many other things.

What did you get out of the experience of making the EP and where do you see it taking you next?

To be honest, it was quite challenging. This EP reflects what kind of music we actually want to hear; want to make; for what reasons; where it comes from and why we’re doing it. There was a point where we discussed whether we want to go on or just quit. Making a new record is always difficult because only afterwards you can see what you really had to say. Luckily, we went through it and learned more about why we’re doing what we do. For now our musical future is quite undetermined, but we are searching for a new date for our next recording sessions right now, hopefully early in the summer.