When I was feeling depressed a friend of mine once told me that if I look up at the sky I will feel better. – Martin Schenker / vocalist
The sophomore record from Swiss synth-pop mavericks Alois is called «Azul», which means blue in Spanish. The sound is like an expansive, saturated summer sky with soothing and generous gradients of blues. Full of warm, life-affirming energies softly infused with a deep-seated melancholy. The songwriting combines what the band loosely call Caribbean disco – all manners of Caribbean and African music – with elements of contemporary electronica, 80s synth-wave, balearic, dub and hints of trap. It’s a hybridised pop with a heavy predilection for the dance floor.
The whole writing and production process took about a year. We set up in our studio in Lucerne and tried to create a sonic jungle – a tropical environment full of synths, drum machines and a ton of lo-fi gear. – Martin Schenker / vocalist
Alois are a proper band. They come from jazz and relish playing out. This makes the fact that «Azul» is a full-on studio record – as in the studio used as an instrument – quite intriguing. Most of these compositions started with programming and sequencing, the preliminary sketches were crafted in the same way that functional club tracks are made. Once these outlines were in place, the band went wild with over-dubs. Guitars, percussion, the mellotron, additional synths and, of course, the vocals were added at this stage. These recordings were then processed and reconstructed with something of a dub-like approach. Everything was passed through analog outboard equipment and the sound design sculpted with extreme care. The end result defends itself on headphones and club sound systems alike. It’s thick, punchy and full of detail.
«Azul» is a record about life, love, loss and healing. It’s full of existential musings, but feels like a shapeshifting cloud formation or a fleeting dream. Martin likens the music to Luc Besson’s cult-classic film Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue), which is set in the world of apnea diving. “Our new material is definitely body music. It’s supposed to make you dance, but it also deals with deep emotions. It’s very much like free-diving, but you’re diving into your own unconsciousness.”
Alois are a Swiss synth-pop quintet. The project consists of Martin Schenker (vocals, guitar), Pascal Eugster (bass), Florian Schneider (drums), Luzius Schuler (synth) and Lukas Weber (percussion).
All Tracks recorded and produced by Martin Schenker and Florian Schneider at Visco Sound Lucerne.
Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Synthesizer, Percussion: Martin Schenker.
Drums, Percussion: Florian Schneider.
Percussion: Lukas Weber.
Bass: Pascal Eugster.
Synthesizer on After Life: Luzius Schuler.
Additional Credits: Vox Joan Seiler on German Oak,
Belia Winewisser sampled on Silver Lining
Mixed by David Langhard at Dala Studios
Mastered by Dan Suter at Echochamber
Artwork by Dominik Meuter
Photo by Clemete Vergara
Layout by Dominik Meuter at Radar Grafik
Alois have created their own world of dance-oriented artpop. It reflects the band’s interest in synth-driven songwriting
blending electronic beats with tropical guitars and exploring the rhythms of various musical cultures. It’s a hybridised pop with a heavy predilection for the dance floor....more