‘A Cave In The Inside‘ is the fifth album of Present Paradox, Dortmund-based songwriter and producer David Kleinekottmann. It continues an distinctly adventurous catalogue from the sample-splicing debut Institutions (2013) over the very personal Acute (2015) through to the art-rock influenced expressions of his last album, Space for Wishes (2016).
“To me, the new album asks how to deal with difficult feelings and circumstances. I mean, the others did that as well, but this time it’s more from a outside point. It’s more like when you recognize, oh look, what I‘m doing feels right now to me, to keep it going and not to get stuck. Thats always some sort of uplifting.”
In this interview spotlight, I chat with Present Paradox about the latest release, challenges, and more.
Full Q&A along with links and music below.
Welcome back. This is the second time we have you here. Where are you from and what style of music do you create?
Hi there, I’m still living in Dortmund, Germany and at the moment there are no plans the move away from there. Well, umm, the last time we talked about my album “My Map” which feels kind of far away to me. It’s because the music I create keeps evolving with every release. Always some new elements and different ideas. So, umm, this time it’s really a Art-Rock album.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
Well, you know, it started very small. It was this idea of a bedroom-producer. I recorded samples, percussion stuff, a shaker and some coffee cups and so on. The rest has been done in the software. Later some friend came in and played guitar over a synthline, which has been muted in the final songs. Nowadays I’m starting with a guitar riff, a piano-melody. I’m recording demos and replace many of the sounds with real instruments. So the way I create a album has changed a lot. Thats the fun part of it. On the opposite the marketing part has become a lot more difficult. I mean I learned a lot about it over the time, but, you know, it can be frustrating too sometimes. On the other hand, there are these moments when you hear the full album when all the work is done, that’s really great.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
It feels a bit darker then the previous one “Space for Wishes”. But, umm different, yeah, when I started to work on it I had the idea to create a mixture of “My Map” and “Space for Wishes”. The opening track “Nightwalk” has been written on guitar and if you could hear the guitar chords from the demo you would hear the similarities to “Space for Wishes”. The chord-shape is very close to “Symmetric Ostinato”. But then I wrote this string-part send it to a professional string-player and was blown away after I heard the results. And, you know, like Jonny Greenwood said in a recent interview. Strings and piano just sound so good together, so I locked into the room I got in Essen – a city which is 20 minutes away from Dortmund – and played the guitar part on the piano. Then I found a real tape machine on Ebay, recorded some virtual fender rhodes sounds with lots of delay on tape send it back to the computer, I know thats not my idea but it was really fun playing around with it. Thats how “Nightwalk” come to light. And a different thing was the vocal recording. I mean, I really, really wanted to do a sort of intimate album. The previous one was more like, umm sort of a wall of sound and me sining over it. This time I wanted the vocals to stand out a bit more.
This has to with place where I‘ve been to while recording or writing the lyrics. Lots of reflecting stuff going on. So I decided to rent a vintage microphone which records a voice very precise and keeps every imperfection. And that allowed me to use my voice in different kind. It‘s hard to replicated that live. I recorded a session of of the title song “A Cave In The Inside” but I‘m not that happy with the vocals. But it was live, so that’s okay. Beside from that, I hope that work on the vocals and the more improved drum sound will translate that I feel wanted to create. It’s not dark at all, not like “Acute”. It’s very, umm sort of hopeful, powerful and, well, hard to describe to be
Can you name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you?
Yeah, the marketing stuff has become very complicated. I got the feel it becomes more difficult to get discovered because the algorithms prefer artist who got a lot of clicks because they seem to be more relevant. On the other hand its still amazing when people from all around the world order my cd‘s or I got the chance to a interview like this one here. That’s pretty cool. And the technology thing, yes. I mean without the software I‘m still using I might have never been started doing music.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
Well, I have a distribution contract so you can find my in your favorite shop. If you like to comment or tell me what you think about any sound or lyric-line you can do that on soundcloud and I will reply as fast as I can.
Anything else before we sign off? Any signs of new work coming up?
Umm. Maybe I‘m doing a dance album, maybe I‘m taking a break. No, to be honest, I‘m working on some musical sketches for a film at the moment. And also I got to figure out how the songs could work in a live setting.
Thank you very much for the interview.