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Stream music from Croatian Amor's new album

January 2019

Copenhagen's Loke Rahbek shares three pop-leaning tracks from his forthcoming release

Posh Isolation co-founder and producer Loke Rahbek has returned to his Croatian Amor alias to release Isa, his sixth album under that name. A partially collaborative project, Isa features vocal contributions from Alto Aria, Soho Rezanejad, Jonnine Standish of HTRK, Frederikke Hoffmeier aka Puce Mary and Yves Tumor. Rahbek discussed his influences and processes over email:

This record is full of sounds and techniques we've not heard in your previous releases. How much has experimental club music influenced this new record? Which other artists are you interested in?
To me it doesn’t feel that different, I think it a natural continuation of what started with Love Means Taking Action. However with LMTA I was hesitant to finish the compositions, I was afraid it would kill them, so I let most of them stay really open, the potential of a song, rather than actual songs. I wanted Isa to be a pop record or at least a collection of actual real songs, I wanted to see if I tried to finish those potential songs whether they would survive the transition. They did, I think, but they sometimes changed a lot, some taking facial expressions I had not planned for, which I couldn’t have predicted.

I am not sure I know what the rise of experimental club music is exactly, But I listen to a lot of music, many kinds. Some of it could be played in clubs, and a lot of it could be called experimental. Sub sub categories and genre descriptions most often confuse or at least make little sense to me. But I am interested in hearing music and am inspired all the time, of course. I don't process super fast. I know people that can listen to entire discographies in a day and really get it all in, but I don’t function like that. The main influence I credit is Copenhagen and the Posh Isolation cabal. I feel lucky to have so many talented artists and heads around me, and of course all the artists that some way or another took part in making the record.

Talking about the direct musical reference for Isa – I told my father I was trying to make a record, and that it was musically inspired by him playing Massive Attack and Portishead in our living room when I was little. And I remember falling asleep to it as a kid, listening through the wall to my room. I played him Isa and he said it sounded nothing like it, ha! But those things were definitely inspiration. They make real songs but with so much space. I think OK Computer also somehow was inspirational now but much less consciously, I didn’t realise it till Isa was done and at that point I hadn’t listened to Radiohead for at least ten years. A lot of ambient Aphex Twin too. All music I listened to first when I was quite young.

Has the mood of Croatian Amor's sound changed over the years? If so, how?
I have learned a lot since I started. Some things have changed, I could never be or feel like I did then, would never want to. In the project, there are these characters in there, that have been there from the beginning, but they are growing as well. Maturing if you will, or maybe just changing. I do sometimes have a feeling of painting the same portrait over and over again, each time changing the colours and the brush slightly. Every time I finish a portrait, the face has grown a bit older and I have to start over again. I don't mind that feeling.

Can you explain your decision to include many various vocalists on the album? What was the process involved in writing the lyrics, and were there any major starting points?
The human voice offers endless possibilities and is by far the strongest instrument I have ever encountered. No plugin or machine can compare in my opinion, not yet. I didn’t write all the words for the record. Some were made in collaboration with who was singing, me describing a space to be in but having them articulate being in that space, and then a lot of editing. Michel Serres's Angels; A Modern Myth was an inspiration to me.

Finally, can you explain the title Isa?

Isa is released by Posh Isolationon 25 January


It supposed to sound strange and irrational, but somehow it doesn't work. Ambient background doesn't react to other music elements and is living its own life, so the whole construction is falling apart. Markus Popp of Oval did all this before in a more proper way. Early Oval records sound truly strange and irrational. This is just a badly constructed ambient, an average form of sound design. I prefer old Croatian Amor with more aggressive, young and refreshing sound. Latest Loke's records just doesn't work anymore.

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