For Danish native and multi-talented producer/performer Rune Reilly KÖLSCH, Kompakt has proven the perfect home curating his music: with two critically acclaimed albums and a now classic run of solo installments in the "Speicher 12" series, he took his techno craftsmanship to a whole new level, setting it on a melodic, emotive and even autobiographical course - without losing any of its punch and quirkiness. With new full-length 1989, Kölsch presents the final chapter of an elegant, anthemic album trilogy that started with an exploration of early childhood memories and influences on "1977" - the year of his birth – and continued on "1983", a vibrant and picturesque journey soundtracking the year he traveled through Europe aged six.
"With 1989, we have arrived in my early teens", Kölsch explains, "a difficult time in my life, where I mostly just remember the grayness of it all — gray feelings, gray weather, and my own gray face." Coinciding with the already challenging need to squeeze past the bottleneck of puberty, it was a time of seething family crisis – his parents were divorcing: "I would escape that gray world on my skateboard, listen to my Walkman as I explored the city around me. Music became my savior – the only way to overcome my family's hard times. I found a soundtrack to my gray life, and suddenly there was color." It's why you'll find several tracks on the album being named "grey" in different languages, and they all share this distinctly "Kölsch-esque" moment of epic melodies breaking through propulsive techno beats like the sun through stormy clouds – a musical twist that's particularly impressive on album hit single PUSH, first heard on "Speicher 97". - Kölsch
The album '1989' also marks Kölsch's deployment of real-life orchestral sounds and the continuation of his extremely fruitful collaboration with Gregor Schwellenbach: after contributing to predecessor album "1983", the Kompakt affiliate, composer and multi- instrumentalist now conducts the Heritage Orchestra for tracks KHAIRO, LIATH (featuring a violin solo by Kate Robinson) and SERJI, the latter of which Schwellenbach co-wrote and co-produced. The 24-person Heritage Orchestra consists of violins, violas, cellos and double basses, adding the sweeping drama and organic, richly layered textures that only real strings can produce – a deeply humane tone that is set with the album's opening recording of the orchestra tuning its instruments (which incidentally also incorporates a voice recording from 1989 of Rune Reilly's grandfather Ludwig). The new album is moving and impacts with fine arts in all musical elements, with every track telling its own story of Kölsch's past. Seeing Kölsch's propensity for vocalist cameos on his albums (Trœls Abrahamsen on "1977", Tomas Høffding and Waa Industry on "1983"), one shouldn't be surprised to find beautiful cut IN BOTTLES, which features vocals written and performed by Aurora Aksnes.
After having produced such timeless tracks as "Loreley", "Der Alte", "DerDieDas" or "Cassiopeia", expectations for new Kölsch material are expectably high. ‘1989’ certainly delivers on all of these fronts, engulfing the listener from the outset with its sonic coupling of classical composition and contemporary production – without sacrificing the impact on the dance floor. It's how the Danish artist was able to initiate a head-turning run of global domination with his touring around the globe, remixes of Sven Väth, Flume and Coldplay, Ibiza commitments and his own BBC Radio 1 Residency radio show. Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac maybe put it simplest, noting "that man is sort of king when it comes to pianos and house music. He's got a way of wrenching your emotions."
Tracklisting CD, Vinyl, Digital:
01. A1. 1989
02. A2. Serij feat. Gregor Schwellenbach
03. A3. Grå
04. A4. In Bottles feat. Aurora
05. B1. Grey
06. B2. Grau
07. B3. PUSH (Album Version)
08. C1. Gris
09. C2. 14
10. C3. Khairo
11. D1. YKPI
12. D2. Liath
13. D3. Goodbye
Limited Edition 10":
A1. Serij feat. Gregor Schwellenbach (Balearic Mix)
B1. Serij feat. Gregor Schwellenbach (Strings)