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Antipole, dark melancholic coldwave - Interview with Karl Morten Dahl

 Antipole is coming from Norway and gives us a melodic dark coldwave sound.

Karl Morten Dahl is the man behind the project called Antipole. Perhaps Antipole is already known to coldwave music fans since there are two releases from Karl's project with great darkwave, coldwave sounds, deeply influenced by some of the greatest bands of this scene from the 80's. Antipole released their first full-length album "Northern Flux" back in 2017 while in November 2018 "Perspectives" album came out containing a number of great collaborations with artists and bands coming from the coldwave scene and creating a collection of Antipole's songs remixed and presented in a unique way and with a new sight then the originals. Karl is a songwriter, guitar player and his music focuses on guitar lines however many synth and electronic elements included.

Although Karl started his music trip with Antipole as a solo project, he, quickly, found his music companion in the faces of Paris Alexander and Eirene - which is also the live setup. Although Paris and Eirene are located in UK they can be considered as Antipole's members since their contribution and their mark in the band is obvious. Antipole was recently featured on the Kill Shelter debut album Damage and also IAMTHESHADOW's latest album Embracing the fall. Additionally Karl, along with Paris, are involved in several remixes for other coldwave bands with one of the latest that of Buzz Kull's "The Garden" (Buzz Kull - The Garden ft Modern Heaven [Antipole | Paris Alexander remix]).

ElektroSpank | FMA had the pleasure to speak with Karl who shared with us all the details of his music dream with Antipole, from the beginning until now. Read how Antipole was created, their music path until now and the next steps. I have the pleasure to present you Antipole from Norway.

ES: Hello Karl. Antipole is your music project. Can you tell us something for Antipole and introduce yourself to our readers and Greek fans?

Karl: I started Antipole as a solo project early 2014. Released an instrumental EP 'Panoply. Songs for AC' late 2014. AC is my girlfriend Anne-Christel. She was pretty much the reason I started the project. She introduced a lot of contemorary post-punk/wave bands to me. After a while I told her that "I can also do that". So, I had to prove that I could. Now about 5 years later I've written about 100 Antipole songs. In the beginning it was songs for AC, but luckily she isn't my only listener anymore. I live in Trondheim, Norway and have a day job and family.

ES: Antipole is a solo project actually. However we've seen a very good collaboration with two other artists. Can you tell us about Paris and Eirene? How did you meet and join Antipole?

Karl: They live in Brighton UK. Paris Alexander is a producer at Blue Door Studios. For Antipole he also does vocals, keyboards and percussion. His girlfriend Eirene joined a bit later and is a singer on quite many of the recent Antipole songs. They both write lyrics as well. I got in touch with Paris by accident via another Brighton musician on Twitter(!). I had been doing instrumentals for a while and wanted somebody to produce/remix/enhance my songs. I got in touch with Paris and the first song he did was Narcissus. It worked really well and we both wanted to do more. And obviously we still do! I also work with IAMTHESHADOW (Portugal), KILL SHELTER (UK) and more.

Photo by Jean-François Galler

ES: While listening to Antipole's music someone can listen to specific elements taken from some of the greatest post-punk, dark wave bands. Additionally, there are obvious some more electronic parts. Which are your influences?

Karl: Initially I had the idea that I wanted the songs to sound like they were written in 1983 heavily inspired by The Cure and Joy Division (at least that was my idea). Eventually I was more inspired by Clan of Xymox, Winter Severity Index, Lebanon Hanover, She Past Away, Geometric Vision and many other contemporary bands.

Working with Paris Alexander changed a lot. It got much more electronic. Partly by necessity and partly by intention (being inspired by other contemporary bands on the scene using drums machines).  Lately I feel we've found THE Antipole sound and it's hard to say what components came from what inspiration. I'm sure there are many.

ES: Antipole's first full length album "Northern Flux" was released back in 2017. How did the audience react? Which had been the feedback?

Karl: It was well received. Being a small band, it took some time to reach out. Northern Flux continues to find new listeners and that's very rewarding.

ES: Prior to "Northern Flux" you had released an EP. How was all this process until the first full-length album?

Karl: I was working on my own. Recording songs using the built-in drums on my mini studio. The songs were roughly mixed by me and put out digitally. I would label it “lofi instrumental postpunk”. The Antipole guitar melodies are there but the sound is very different. But it was an important part of the journey finding the Antipole sound.

ES: Your latest release is the album called "Perspectives" which came out in November 2018. It is an album with a number of great remixes from great coldwave, post-punk bands. Can you tell us something about this release? We can listen to a different approach on your tracks.

Karl: Thanks for your kind words. I tried to pick and ask bands that I thought could do an interesting remix of Antipole songs. Some of them I already knew - for others I just reached out asking. I have to say I was very pleased with how it turned out. Some people prefer some of the remixes over the originals. Then I'm happy. No point having remixes of tracks if they're bleach copies. We're big fans of most of the bands as well so that was another great aspect of it. I think we managed to put all the 13 individual remixes into an album more than 13 individual remixes.

ES: In those releases, along with the Cure influences in music, there seems to be some reference to Joy Division. Closer, Insight. Is this a coincidence or something else?

Karl: It was by intention. Joy Division has been and is a huge inspiration for us as well. The way the songs are structured and the simple yet very effective guitar lines. Also, the way Peter Hook plays the bass has been a huge inspiration.

ES: There is a new release scheduled for Antipole this year. Would you like to share with us some information on this? Is there a release date? What will be the name? Any "appetizer" for the fans? What do we expect?

Karl: Yeah, I'm working with Paris Alexander and Eirene to finish the recordings and mixing right now (middle of March). About 9 of the 11 songs are done. It has taken a bit longer than planned. The plan is still May 2019 on Unknown Pleasures Records. The initial plan for 2019 was to slow down remixing other artists, but me and Paris Alexander got some great opportunities for remixing we couldn't turn down so that's why we're a bit behind on the recording of the album. The album is untitled for now. In addition to Paris Alexander and Eirene the album also features Marc Lewis of The Snake Corps (great band!) on two songs. I wrote guitar/bass melody and he wrote lyrics and great vocal melodies. I'm very excited about the album. One of the 11 songs was released last summer (Part Deux ft Eirene) and there will be a single/video soon for the song Decade Apart ft Paris Alexander. Paris Alexander produces the album.

ES: Apart from the new release, are there any other plans for Antipole? What will the future bring to the band?

Karl: We did 3 shows as Antipole ft Paris Alexander and Eirene in 2018. We haven't been able to land more live gigs in 2019. We're still a small band and living in the outskirts of Europe (at least me in Norway, Paris and Eirene are closer to central Europe living in Brighton UK) it has been challenging doing live gigs. It's more expensive travelling for us than all the bands living in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany etc. We'll see what happens. As I said earlier me, and Paris Alexander had planned to slow down doing remixing but we have at least 2 remix surprises at least I am very excited about. I haven't told Paris yet, haha. I’ll do two shows with IAMTHESHADOW this year. One in Leicester UK in March (Darker Days Festival) and one in Cologne, Germany (Cold Transmission festival). I play guitar on about 5 of the songs in their set. Looking forward to that!

ES: How did you end up with the name Antipole? What does it stand for?

Karl: My girlfriend Anne-Christel suggested the name, and we both loved it. There are antipoles in life and also in our music. The warmth vs the cold. Nature vs machines. Struggle vs harmony.

ES: We know that Norway has a great black metal scene. What about coldwave and post-punk bands? How is this scene and bands in your country?

Karl: I don't think there are any coldwave or post-punk band scene in Norway. There are some gothy post-punk bands, but none very close to what we're doing with Antipole. Our neighbors Sweden has a scene for this kind of music. The scene with Klubb Död in Stockholm is alive. Lots of great gigs. I don't know for sure but I don't think Clan of Xymox, Lebanon Hanover or She Past Away have done any gigs in Norway. Which I guess says a lot.

ES: Would you like to say anything else to our readers? Would you like to share something else with us?

Karl: I hope we'll be able to come to Greece to do a show some day. There seems to be a scene in Athens (Death Disco) and my impression is that Greek people relate more to our type of music than Norwegians. Thank you for listening!

ES: Thank you very much Karl. That was a really interesting interview. Looking forward to listening to your music and new release. Wish you the best.


Antipole - Perspectives (Bandcamp)

Antipole - Part Deux (feat. Eirene)


Antipole - Shadow Lover (feat. Paris Alexander)










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