Wareika have hit the racks with their fourth studio album, Wternal. Having already seen releases on respected labels such as Perlon, Tartelet, Liebe*Detail, BAR25 and Connaisseur Records, their latest home is in the warm and welcoming arms of Michigan’s Visionquest.
We’ve already had a taster for Wternal in the form of Madame Scorpion, which has already been well received by I Voice for its fluid original and masterful Henrik Schwarz remix, and the trio of Florian Schirmacher, Henrik Raabe and Jakob Seidensticker, take this form to the full release, showcasing their diversity in musical inspiration with effortless ease.
Cramming a few moments into the quirky collective’s schedule, we managed to catch up to chat about how the album was created and translating that live Wareika sound to a recorded format.
You’ve already had releases on a plethora of respected and impressive labels, how did the tie in with Visionquest come about?
We’re quite in touch with the whole crew; some of the artists tracked us down a long time ago, before any of these tracks were made. We're always about exploring music, and widening our own horizons. That is why Wareika suits the Visionquest label perfectly.
According to the accompanying text, the album itself was recorded in one take, how did you go about preparing for this? Was there a lot of work, a lot of takes involved in this process?
"Recorded in one take" is maybe a bit misleading because it’s not a live album. However, the inspiration came from all the amazing experiences we’ve had when playing live in so many different clubs from all over the world.
We always try to play what’s in our hearts, all in a moment in front of the audience. We improvise so much on stage, often we don't know what’s going to happen next. Sometimes whole new ideas or songs manifest in these moments, and that's what we take into the studio.
The process was something like this; first we recorded a number of jam sessions with a diverse set of instrumentation, we then cut these into samples, and arranged them as tracks.
Next, we mixed some of these tracks together like a DJ-Set, and created interludes, and then we then recorded vocal and instrumental overdub tracks over the whole thing, to get more of a live feeling. Afterwards, we dub-mixed everything to glue it together, mixing everything to perfection. That took us three years.
Did it remind you of that early pivotal moment where you all decided to have a basement jam, creating that first 46 minute epic that kicked off Wareika?
For sure, the vibe is very similar. Wareika is all about interaction and playing together. Also, working in the studio, for us, often feels like performing at a concert. We couldn’t do it alone, and that’s what makes it so special for us. The album feels like a session even if it is a studio album, and that's exactly what we wanted to achieve.
What is your musical background? Obviously it is inspired by the house and techno scene, but your proficiency as musicians imply a broader schooling.
All of us have played different instruments for many years now. Jakob and Henrik played guitar and bass together in psychedelic rock bands throughout school, and, if you ask him kindly, Florian can even play the organ in church.
We’ve also collectively spent years in music conservatories, but most important is maybe all the many different kinds of music we’ve listened to; be it electronic, classical, free jazz, nyabinghi, gamelan or whatever. These inspirations do lead back to the house scene, and moving on this sonic circle is the wonderful wheel Wareika is turning on.
Do you feel the album manages to capture the live Wareika experience?
Yes totally! As we explained, the album was born out of our live experiences, we really feel this album as a concert performance. It doesn't just happen at one place at a certain moment, but it is a concert beyond space and time, like Wternal.
Some live acts can be little more than DJ’s triggering emotionless sequences of loops, what do you feel that you bring to the performance?
Every evening needs a kind of dramaturgy; leading in, building the whole mood, bringing the people to their own climax. It is great if a live act is able to handle each situation, then the follow up DJ can take over the mood easily. I think we’ve learned to listen to the audience. Nowadays both sides, live or DJ performance, are starting to merge together, which is a good thing for us.
If you were to be performing a traditional DJ set, which Wareika records would be the first in the box?
The new Madame Scorpion single, for sure. Each track has its moment and sometimes we rediscover some tracks, which are a blast; our Remix for Mathias Kaden "State Of Stasis", or the new Wareika remix for Karocel, Harmonie Park Movement 4, the vinyl version, are examples of such records.
Barring the release of the album, what does the immediate future hold for you?
We shall talk about upcoming projects in a few months. This will definitely fill up a whole new interview! And i think you are going to be as excited about it as we were with this Wternal album. Keeping the excitement!
Wternal is out on Visionquest Records now.