For all the playfully plunked pop beats and quirky crunching textures synonymous with Cologne's Areal Records, Kobol, the debut full-length from label honcho Metope (a.k.a. Michael Schwanen), plays it big and twisted; booming, chugging and hissing along as if destined to rock the haunting expanses of pre-dawn warehouse parties. But despite its forward-charging determination, Kobol is equal parts melodious and melancholic. Cologne-based cronies Kompakt have long said that Schwanen's digital sound yearns to be made flesh, and it's this Pinocchio syndrome that seems to drive his music–ndeed, Schwanen imbues his tracks with enough warmth to get even the darkest of embers glowing. XLR8R recently caught up with the happy-go-lucky German to talk about his obsession with a certain clear liquid.
Metope on Vodka:
"I'm a vodka drinker. Not on any basis that's going to lead me toward a 12-step recovery program, but before big performances, I like to loosen up with a few tumblers. I'm pretty discerning with what I sip, and my current obsession is Grey Goose. Playing live can feel a bit strange sometimes: you can't always remain anonymous in a dark DJ booth, so it's nice to discard your inhibitions before taking the stage. My tastes have even made a convert out of my friend and neighbor, (Canadian expat and Ladomat 'rockno' purveyor) Pan/Tone. I recently convinced him to abandon the fiery burn of his preferred whiskey for the smooth pleasure of vodka. Though I like to consider myself a novice connoisseur, things have sometimes gotten slightly out of hand. Once at [Berlin boîte] WMF, my thirst got the better of me, resulting in some unintentional spotlight hogging that encroached on the late-night DJ's deck time–details remain foggy, but I was told I played a super set!"