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Subheim: sensitivity and cupcakes.

May 23, 2011

Subheim is the deeply personal project of electronic music composer and visual artist Kostas K., a downtempo, experimental venture fusing IDM elements with rich ambiance and female vocals by Katja. Complex and uncompromising, Subheim’s debut album on Tympanik Audio is full of intricate rhythms, deep reverbs, and bitcrushed sounds, combined with pianos, cellos, and beautiful synthwork. Haunting melodies and distant voices meet complex beats and luring atmospheres to create a unique blend of dynamics and emotion. ‘Approach’ flirts with post-rock and atmospheric downtempo styles, while still maintaining an original sound that is both captivating and inspirational.

Kostas is also the co-founder of Spectraliquid, an independent label, promoting innovative art & music and hosting events with important artists from the experimental scene around the globe, hoping to achieve a better luck for people creating original, fascinating and non-compromising art.

  • How did you get in touch with music?
    >I bought a guitar at the age of thirteen because I wanted to play death metal.<
  • What would you do if there wouldn’t be music, starting with tomorrow?
    >I’d probably revert to painting and visual arts. Or kill myself.<
  • What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    >Tiny fragments of everyday life: sad faces, open fields, the sea, street musicians – especially sax players.<
  • What kind of equipment do you work with, how does your studio setup look like?
    >I’m on a quadcore PC with an RME Fireface 800 audio interface, a good pair of cans and loads of plugins/synths and sound libraries. I have a couple hardware racks such as a preamp and a few effects processors and, of course, my guitars and string instruments. I’m lucky to be studying in a music university, so I can use some high-end equipment and stage instrumentation for recording sessions. Other than that, my studio looks like a wardrobe, I barely fit in there so not much of a studio, more like a dog’s house!<
  • Seraphic female and male vocals, classical and experimental ambiences, cello, violin and lots of other instruments. Where does all the inspiration came from to combine all these various musical types in your project?
    >Just trying to keep an open mind for all sorts of music. It’s very easy for me to become fascinated – even obsessed – with artists of largely different backgrounds. All those influences have their place in my own music.<
  • What does your artist name Subheim mean?
    >Nothing really.<
  • You are the co-founder of Spectraliquid, a label which was focusing on different kind of experimental genres, you also released Blackfilm’s first album for example. It was a great success but ceased in 2009. What happened?
    >Poor sales which made us unable to run the label efficiently. Plus we all moved away to other countries.<
  • What’s your next plan music-wise?
    >I’m working through some new ideas with Pete Scott, an amazing English pianist. Some of this material will hopefully end up on a new album.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with the most and why?
    >Max Richter because I’m in love with his music.<
  • Who would you like to collaborate with from Greece?
    >Dimitra Galani.<
  • What kind of music does Kostas Katsikas listen to at home?
    >Latest artists in my playlist are Danny Saul, Poordream, Mobthrow, Brian McBride and the Fugata Quintet.<
  • What is your opinion about music piracy?
    >It helps spread music through the internet but makes indie labels and artists suffer financially. It’s sad because the industry will always find a way to squeeze money out of listeners, while the independent will always struggle.<
  • Is there a band/music genre you can’t stand listening to?
    >Indie rock.<
  • Is there some music you like – but ashamed to admit it?
    >Synthpop, although not too ashamed to admit it.<
  • The beauty of silence or the chaos of noises?
    >My vote goes to the chaos of noises since a complete lack of sound would be terrifying.<
  • What’s your favourite album ever?
    >Earth Inferno, a 1990 live album by The Fields of the Nephilim.<
  • …and your favourite album cover? (click on the image for larger size)
    >Tool – Lateralus.<

  • If you could be a rock star, who would you be?
    >Warrel Dane.<
  • Do you have a role model?
    >Simon Posford. The man is a genius.<
  • Where do you see yourself 30 years from now?
    >Hopefully in a big, cosy studio with a monstrous sound setup and many happy dogs.<
  • Who would you like to meet the most?
    >Darth Vader.<
  • What are your favourite movies?
    >The Shawshank Redemption, Blade Runner, The Truman Show.<
  • If you had to direct your own movie, how would it look like?
    >Somewhere between Philip K. Dick and Tarkovsky, with music by Bohren & Der Club of Gore and Murcof.<
  • Which language would you like to speak most and why?
    >German. I’ve been thinking of moving to Germany over a long time now but language has always been an issue.<
  • How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
    >Friendly, warm-hearted, stressed, unsure, sensitive like a girl.<
  • What are your vices?
    >Cigarettes, cupcakes and good food.<
  • What is the most unusual comment anyone has ever made about you?
    >A guy at a gig said he expected me to look a lot more impressive and taller than what I actually am.<
  • What does beauty mean to you?
    >It means a lot and it comes in small moments. We did a piano recording session a couple of days ago and there was such a great chemistry, an amazing vibe. This is pure beauty. Nature is beautiful too.<
  • What would you do today if the world would end tomorrow?
    >Stay at home with the people I love, listening to music that speaks to my heart.<
  • What’s your favourite flavor?
    >Ultra-sweet chocolate brownie.<
  • Three things you could never get rid of?
    >The internet, my guitar and a hairspray cause my hair is awful.<
  • Your three favourite websites?
    >Imdb, Al Jazeera, Youtube.<
  • What’s your favourite picture about yourself? (click on the image for larger size)

  • What’s your most favourite picture you made? (click on the image for larger size)
    >The cover artwork for Stendeck’s ‘Sonnambula’.<

  • What is the question you always would have liked to be asked but nobody ever did?
    >Can’t think of something. Perhaps cause I talk too much and usually answer a lot more than asked.<

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