Another interesting conversation takes place in our blog .The Greek minimal synth duo Paradox Obscur (Kriistal Ann + Toxic Razor) hosted in our page a few days before their first live performance in Athens with the Italian duo Schonwald. Ann,Toxic welcome to DieSeele!
Entering the process to create this project, we wanted to give a name that is catchy and fit the style of the songs and on the other hand we wanted to match in our view of the music industry today.
So the name " Paradox " was the most prevalent and more topical than ever.
*Have you two been in previous bands in the past?
Kriistal Ann: Yes, Toxic Razor deals many years making his own music, have being involved in various projects in the past from metal, industrial, techno etc..
Until we meet, I had not thought that I could make my own music.. I always liked to sing and having had studied classical music had a completely different direction from him. When he suggested me to do something together, that time he started the multifaceted project of " Resistance of Independent Music" . I was charmed with the idea , so I joined this..
*As I know you participate in several projects and Anna has many collaborations. Could you tell us some things about it?
Starting something which has a direct relationship with the audience, by definition it leads you to compounds or cross your path with others. Moreover, it is selfish to produce for yourself, without wanting to listen or to try something different from what you do. Collaborations leads you to other levels of consciousness and improvement of your work, opens the horizons. To manage to achieve a successful collaboration, is also art..
*You live in
Rhodes island too
far from ..
How does it affect on your musical career? Athens
The truth, this is a problem, especially in the part of the promotion of our work. When you are cut out from the outside world and live in a peaceful place, you can have great performance at work and inspiration, but the part of the interaction with the public is lacking..
Fortunately nowadays there is the internet where you have the opportunity to spread your music out.. But even that, often does not have the same power with direct contact that a concert can give etc. Surely we do not have the same opportunities as a band based in
, let alone in a central European
*If you had to choose one album that is your main influence, what would it be?
Toxic Razor: its hard to pick up just one, so to mention some of my main influences would be the whole discography from W.A.S.P., Slayer, Megadeth, Darkthrone, Death, Ulver & Celtic Frost.
Also acts like FSOL, FRONT 242, Depeche Mode, Dead Can Dance, Orbital had a great impact on me.
Kriistal Ann: With time, come in my way new things that excite me and I enjoy listening. An album which remains timeless in my preferences is from the Greek band Διάφανα Κρίνα «Κάτι Σαράβαλες Καρδιές».
*Who are your favorite musicians and poets? Would you consider putting someone else's words into music?
Kriistal Ann: Many times I have set to music, poems by major poets whom I love. Being productive in music sometimes you reach a point where your words dry up. I have saved many situations alike. The music has a broader horizon which can act.. Its hard to create some beautifully crafted phrases, which need to be a real master, and to possess beautiful words, is a privilege of the few..
Toxic Razor: we usually write most of the lyrics for Paradox Obscur , except the track ‘Words Without Voices’ which is a poem by Noel Heart.
*I think that synth cold wave is in rising. Why does it happen?
All are fads that come and go. Yes, the times we live in, there is an upward trend in what some started in the 80s. In its most simplified form.. but is not the cold wave that has actually rise, but digestible music that many present it as masterpieces by taking already made loops and placing them into different versions.
*What are your inspirations for your lyrics, music and artworks?
As you realize, being a member of an independent band is not an easy task. Besides a talent you must possess in music, you should be also good lyricist, photographer, designer, or just have a thick wallet to spend on such issues..
Fortunately, some talent that I have in photography, took us from the difficult position of the cover a few times, as well as the contribution from some of our good friends like Jan Vinoelst who edited the cover for "Anacrusis" .
But still it is always a matter of the right choice of creating a cover or lyrics.
*How do you create your compositions? Which is Anna's role and Toxic Razor's role in the compositions? How do you collaborate?
Tocix Razor: In this coexistence, as you rightly put it, everyone has his own role. Anna is good at inventing melodies and sounds that could fit in each song. While I mostly handle the rythmic parts, various synth fx and the final mixdown.
In a new song, we usually start with the bassline and the drums and after build upon that, the melody and add the extra sounds that will fill the track. Then comes the lyrical approach.
When there is chemistry and same point of view, things are easier in collaboration.
*Are there any other kind of art-except music- that you are interested in or participate in?
Kristal Ann: Art is a vehicle for the development of the spirit. From little i started dealing with music while I did some courses in painting, a talent that I inherited from my father. Much later I was captivated by photography. So initially I started used an old analog camera that belonged to my father. I have been a member of a photography team for a time and through some books and seminars, I learned to escape the narrow conservatism..
At times I get the need to write a poem or short story. All this is more for personal pleasure and to fill gaps in the modern way of living..
Toxic Razor: I also like poetry a lot, but due to the lack of time and the overload of work with my other projects and the label I run, i can hardly find time to enjoy some reading.
Some of fav poets/authors is Andreas Empeirikos, Charles Bukowski, William Blake, Arthur Rimbaud, Andre Breton, Guillaume Apollinaire etc...
*What are your musical tastes? Do you listen different styles ( I know that Toxic Razor likes metal music ; ) ?
Kriistal Ann: I can listen to some songs from the dark scene, but I can not say I do often.. Many times I need a different breath and so I look to other genres such as contemporary jazz, rock, and even classical music.
Toxic Razor: I like listening to all the genres but metal and electronic music is what I prefer most.
Also I ‘m into the 80s influenced retrowave/synthwave scene which many great artists have emerged the last years like Lazerhawk, Powerglove, Gost, Sellorekt/LA Dreams, Evanton, Megahammer, Protector 101, Danger Mode and many more…
*Tell us a few words about your last album 'Anacrusis’. Is there a kind of evolution after the first album?
We feel that our second album is kinda underprivileged in contrast with our debut as we dedicated a lot of time and much effort to create 'Anacrusis' and truly believe that its a step forward than its predecessor, the tracks are more coherent with more variety in sounds and with a more powerful production as well.
So yes we do think it has evolved since our previous releases.
*You are about to give a concert in
for first time in 23rd April. How do
you feel about it and about playing with Schonwald for a second time? What the
audience has to expect from Paradox Obscur on stage? Athens
We feel quite anxious about the Greek public. As people have a tendency to scoff everything that is greek and overestimate everything from abroad . Moreover it is not a fear that springs from nowhere, since we did not have any support by compatriots except from some specific people. The Greeks will hardly get in trouble to tell you a good chat or to congratulate for something they liked.. There is conservatism, and even hatred to be expressed more quickly and easily than a kindly word.
We are really happy to have the opportunity to play again with Schonwald !
They are loveable people, and there is a mutual friendliness that we have developed. The audience that will come to see us, will hear songs from throughout the discography that we've released so far. As well as a few songs from the solo project Kriistal Ann.
If all goes well, there may be an opportunity to be heard on stage the collaboration song with Schonwald " Fail Of Misery ".
For us it is so important that the Die Seele radio and you personally supported our work and we really appreciate your contribution to this. Thank you so much Niko!