Interview: Rangleklods “Berlin is central to us. It’s home away from home.”

Originally a one-man project by Esben Nørskov Andersen, Rangleklods is now a full blown duo after embracing Pernille Smith-Sivertsen and her skills as percussionist and, most recently, as main vocalist. The Danish duo seem to be coming into their own even moreso this year, after releasing their second album “Straitjacket”, where Pernille put her 12-year experience as a choir singer into practice. Naming influences as diverse as David Bowie, Portishead, Gorillaz, as well as the more electronic Burial, Caribou and Blawan, their songs carry the weight as full fledged indie pop, while retaining a highly experimental and electronic side. Far from anything resembling mainstream melodies though, Rangleklods are one of those bands that render genre-labeling irrelevant. Their productions sound melancholic and euphoric at the same time, with a penchant for atmospheric aesthetics. Their videos are always exciting and eye-catching, whether they are slow paced and lit, like their 2012 “Clouds” or the more recent, social and urban Berliner exploration “Lost you”.  LSD caught up with them on tour, just before their Berlin show.

LSD: The“Straitjacket” album tour started at SXSW a while ago, how’s it coming along?

Rangleklods:  Pretty good we must say. We had a really nice summer of festivals and now we’re well into the autumn/winter leg of the tour.

We’ve changed quite a few things in the songs, both Straitjacket tunes and older ones, in order to keep them interesting to us and to fuck a bit with the crowds expectations. And we do some jammed out instrumental things as well. We feel like we’re playing our best gigs ever right now.

LSD: So this is the first album Pernille does vocals, how did this change come about?
Rangleklods: It was an easy transition to make. We both knew it would fit our sound. There was never a pivotal moment where we looked at each other and said: we’re a band now! It just progressed towards that and started happening without us having to put it into words. And it’s definitely something we’ll continue.

LSD: Let’s talk about the first single, ‘Lost you’. You mentioned you first had the chorus and wanted to make the right song for it. Does that happen often?
Rangleklods: No, that’s one of the only tunes we’ve written where the chorus preceded the verse. It was an interesting route and one we’ve explored more since then. Our creative process is completely arbitrary. Sometimes we begin a track just by liking a certain synth we’ve programmed, or a drum pattern, or a sample, or a melody, or a more holistic idea about something we wanna do. That’s the beauty of working with electronic music – you never know exactly where you end up.

LSD: You also mentioned it was inspired by mid 90s hip hop and early 90s UK rave, is that a scene you were active in or fond of back in the days?
Rangleklods: It’s a scene we’ve both found way after it died. We weren’t old enough to really know about that scene at the time. Both of us grew up in pretty small towns and the music scenes were not diverse at all. Honestly, we didn’t really listen to good music until we were in our mid teens. But we so would have wanted to be a part of it. The naiveté of the very first years of raving – for a while all we did was watch documentaries and home videos about it on youtube.

still from "lost you"
still from “lost you”

LSD: Can you tell us some behind the scenes secrets from the video and what Berlin means to you in general?
Rangleklods: Berlin is central to us. It’s home away from home. We lived there a couple of years from 2010 onwards. It was essential for us in finding our sound and aesthetics. We still have many great friends who live there and playing in Berlin is always a high point of touring.

There’s a sadness and euphoria in Berlin that coexists.

Every single person in that video is a good friend of ours and it became sort of a document of our days living there. Just talking about it makes us long for that place.

LSD: Can you tell us some of your Berlin favourites?
Rangleklods: They might be super outdated but we’ll give it a try. We love Indian and Vietnamese food in Berlin. It’s super cheap and almost all places are good. Walking around the Maybachufer and Weserstrasse. The Trödels around Boddingstrasse. When it comes to good clubs and venues we’re out of the loop, but we’re sure there’s plenty.

LSD: Regarding your live performance, I know you aim to have a show as live as possible and also do your homework regarding the venue you play in, so can you tell us what your Berlin setup is going to be like?

Rangleklods: We’ve been perfecting our set for a while now and we’ve really found the right mix of the prepared and the instantaneous. Light is as always important to us. But really we don’t wanna give too much away. We just feel like we’re in very good shape right now.

LSD: As always, the final question refers to upcoming plans: are you planning on anything new soon?
Rangleklods: We’re planning on a shitload of new things. And we’re planning for them to happen soon. This has been a year of work and contemplation. So a lot of things will be happening next year.

Rangleklods are bringing their specially planned show to Berlin this Tuesday, November 24th at Bi:Nuu. Safe to say it’s a good idea not  to miss out.


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