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Unitcode:Machine, an electro theme for losses in life | Interview

Unitcode:Machine returned with the "Themes For A Collapsing Empire" and Eric Kristoffer talks about the themes in it!

Unitcode:Machine is the solo project of Eric Kristoffer, based in Dallas, Texas. 2021 sees the return of the "machine" with a beautiful new 9-track album, where we meet Eric in person through his songs and lyrics. Having started in 2000 with 4 full length albums already out, Unitcode:Machine released, perhaps, the most mature and compact work.

Blending elements from his previous works, Eric created an album that has its strong, dance parts, while there are moments that emotions are stronger and expressing the themes of the life. Influenced by his own experiences, "Themes For A Collapsing Empire" is an album written more from the perspective of Eric as a person and less of Unitcode:Machine. 

In "Themes For A Collapsing Empire" one can find the synthpop melodies turning into grindy electro sounds with the addition of guitar riffs, while there are strong EBM ingredients, turning some of the tracks int catchy club hits.

We have asked Eric Kristoffer to give some insights about Unitcode:Machine and "Themes For A Collapsing Empire"!

ES: Hello and thanks for the interview with ElektroSpank. Where did you come up with the name "Unitcode:Machine" and how long has the project been in existence?

UM: When I was in High School/Secondary school, a friend of mine knew too many people named ‘Eric’ so I said to start calling me ‘Machine’ as a way to differentiate from other Erics. The unitcode portion of the name came around with the same friend, we were kind of joking around with band naming, and I said unitcode and I liked it, and it felt like it made sense with my nickname. It stuck and I’ve kept it ever since.

ES: The latest album is "Themes For A Collapsing Empire". Speaking of “themes”.. is there a central theme to the record?

UM: I’d say that the central theme for the album is loss. The loss of opportunity, the loss of loved ones, the loss of everything I worked towards.

ES: The album and preceding singles seemed to be received quite well. What do you attribute this to?

UM: I’m really surprised with the reception myself. I think that my writing became more personal to myself, and exposing more of myself in my work. Some of the friends I let hear it before release, they felt that the songs resonate with them. With everything (pandemic, et al) going on, people can attribute and take their own meanings from songs.

ES: The last album was from 2019, right? How do you think the project has progressed since then?

UM: The last release I did prior to this was Tyranny at the tail end of 2019. I think within that time, I’ve grown as an artist and producer. In 2020, I put a lot of work into understanding the engineering and mixing side of the process.

ES: Did the pandemic affect you significantly both personally and professionally?

UM: Personally, I lost my grandfather in 2020 among other things, and professionally, as a performing artist it really derailed my plans for doing a tour to support Tyranny. Like a lot of other artists, I had a regular job, based in the travel industry, and well… that didn’t last.

ES: How much of your work is analog and how much is digital?

UM: On this album I’d say it floats around, some tracks are 50/50 others are 60/40. Before I found out I was losing my job, I got a Sequential Pro3 and Prophet Rev2, and they are all over the album.

ES: Were there any other contributors to the new record?

UM: I worked with Emileigh Rohn of CHIASM on the track “Drift Away”. I reached out to her and asked if she would be willing to supply vocals for it, and she knocked it out of the park. I did a remix for her that was released on COP International, and I reached out to her first, and she enthusiastically agreed. I was actually surprised she said yes so fast.

ES: Has there ever been any tracks that you’ve written where you feel that came from such a traumatic place that you decided in the end not to release them?

UM: Oh, I have a handful of tracks where I was very upset and ended up shelving them because they just didn’t work. More often than not, I won’t release something they aren’t good to me, not because they are overly emotional. For the most part, my music is used to help me work out emotions.

ES: What plans do you have for the forthcoming months and into 2022?

UM: I’d like to get a remix EP together with some shelved stuff close to the end of this year beginning of 2022, and in 2022 there are plans to do a tour in the US, but nothing concrete yet.

ES: Thank you very much for this chat, Eric. I wish you all the best for the future!





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ElektroSpank FMA is an online music magazine about the darkest side of our lives.

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