Premiere: C1 – Alexander Skancke – The Magnificent Tree Hut [QRK007]

During one of the recent premieres of his tracks, Alexander Skancke warned me, that he’s working on a debut album. And that was really great news since all his latest works are rarely out of my bag when I’m playing somewhere. The double 12” release on his Quirk label will be released very soon and we obviously couldn’t miss a piece from it. Also, one more good thing – Alexander decided to tell Trommel exclusively a bit more about every track from the album. What could be better, right?

When announcing this to me, he also told me about a little shift in the sound, which was a bit scary for me since I honestly think, that his recent releases are almost perfect for playing (if you still didn’t try – why?). But, the shift was not THAT big. For example, in “The Magnificent Tree Hut” today we’re having his signature murmuring/whispering along with some spooky cinematic atmosphere (with those unexpected thriller strings) and the percussion which is mild but still can put you in some trance. Not speaking about the genre right now. Alexander has some more to say: “[The track is] inspired by Norwegian folklore and its mythology. Vocal experimentation and clear references to my inspiration Arthur Russell. Henriku joined this track for his incredible synth effects work”. But, must say, we picked the most signature track from the bunch – you can really feel the shift of his sounds later.

Now it’s time for you to open the background tab with the previews of the album. You can see already four “Therapy Session” tracks here. A little hint is hiding inside the press release, which tells us, that the album is a “cohesive body of work between 2020 and 2023, parallel to when he began attending sessions with a therapist”. These ones are more for home listening, or some epic intros/outros, in general. As Alexander told me, the first one is “the first track I made for this album project. I wanted to capture the feeling of falling into a dream-like state. Kinda like traveling somewhere into a new world or unknown territory Kinda like a first therapy session”. The second one is the “free-handed improvisation recorded with mostly Fender Rhodes, SH-101, Korg Minilogue, and my own field recordings. This track was written during lonely times in 2020 to escape into a different reality”. The third one is the “third escape into a different world/therapy. The poem is written by Frida Alice Lindstrom” (you should know that name from QRK005). And the last one – but as you can see, definitely not least is “improvisational jam with live piano, rhodes, and synthesizers. My personal favorite track of the album”.

What is left here has more or fewer beats inside, but still could be considered as the tracks designed for the club use. “Lost In Time” at the A2 was “written and recorded during lockdown when time stood still. Nothing was moving. I was missing my friends and family. Missing going out and living a “normal life”. “Dumbo Move”, the next one is called like this, because “Dumbo Move = Making poor life choices”, as Alexander said. The B-side opener, “Purple Lucy” reaches some memories, since is “written and dedicated to my cat Lucy who I miss deeply”. “Extravagance”, also from the B-side, is “the last track I recorded for the album after spending most of the pandemic listening to a lot of Nordic Jazz and Folk music. Kinda captures the sound I really love and feel that is close to my heart.” And, finally, “New Dawn”. “This track was recorded with the intention to inspire hope and meant to be a light in all the darkness.”

Huge work, nothing more to say here. If you’re a fan of the sounds like this – you know, Juno, Deejay or wherever you’re buying your wax. The release day is near.

More information about Alexander Skancke
Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Instagram | Discogs

More information about Quirk
Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Instagram | Discogs

This article was written in Ukraine. Ukraine is in the middle of the war with Russia right now. Would be great if you could donate to the biggest Ukrainian volunteer fund here. Also, you can pick any music initiative, that is also trying to help from our list here. We’ll be stronger together.

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