We had a bit of a sit down with Trance legends Kyau & Albert, the masterminds behind the Euphonic imprint and much, much more. Here’s what they had to say.
TranceMag: I just want to start off with congratulating you both on such an amazing job on Matching Stories. I’m utterly in love with the album, and haven’t stopped listening to it since receiving the preview. I’ve always been such a big fan of the Kyau & Albert sound, through all your evolutionary phases, and with this album, you’ve just taken it a whole level higher! So let’s get into some questions. Matching Stories is such a diverse album, while still keeping the sound you guys so beautifully created. Can you tell us about the concept behind the album’s name?
Kyau & Albert: We both had a couple of ideas for the album name and did a list which we gave to friends over the world. Matching Stories was a fav and it also tells pretty much what we mean when choosing the final 14 tracks from so many demos we produced for the album in the last 1.5 years.
TM: Apart from the trademark Kyau & Albert vocal, provided by Steven himself, you guys have worked with some very unique vocalists on this project, including some names not a lot of people within the Trance scene are that familiar with. What was the selection process as far as choosing the right vocalist for the right track, and when do you decide to use an outside vocal compared to your own?
Ralph Kyau (RK): To make the album diverse while listening, we were planning to work with female vocalists. We wanted to have some who didn’t work on too many Trance releases before. Adaja Black was again on the list for the album as we worked with her on the last 2 albums before and like her a lot, also we were really interested to work with Jeza for the first time as we always loved her voice. The contact to Madeleine Wood came through Francesco Sambero, who both worked with us on one track of the album called Gamla Stan.
TM: We all know you for your melody focused Trance music, but this album shows off your talents in a variety of other styles, from Progressive House and Breaks to slightly funkier House sounds, which I absolutely love, especially What You’re About To Burn. Have you guys always been open to all forms of Electronic Dance Music?
Steven Albert (SA): We are mainly Trance artists but like to play around and an album is a perfect playground.
RK: I believe it is important to show some variety on an album. An album gives an artist the opportunity to show a wide range and the ultimate chance to full creativity. It is wonderful to experiment! Tracks like What You’re About To Burn would never be released as a single, but such tracks are perfect to be part of an album concept.
TM: Having been on the scene for over 20 years, what do you miss from the early days of ‘rave’, and is there anything you really hope never makes a comeback?
SA: Not sure if I miss something from the past, times are changing. That’s how it is. In the past things in the music business were slower. The internet has changed the whole music business a lot, but I think it also opened new possibilities to reach more people from all over the world.
RK: The early days of making music were great and I have so many memories, we had the dream to have success. It was not easy at all. For example, in the beginning, I only had an ATARI computer with 1MB of RAM, when I used the sequencer to make tracks I was limited with the time of the track. At 5min track length, the RAM was full. When I produced my first single in 1993 I was still a school kid with high hopes but no money, so my equipment was very limited, I had ideas to use sounds from synthesizers, which I couldn’t buy. For my first release I rented hardware for 2 weeks to record the 4 tracks. Nowadays there are no more technical limits for young producers, which is really great. You just need a computer and creativity.
TM: Trance has always found a specific home and sound in the different countries it emerges from. Would you say Germany is essential to the Trance that you guys make? And how do you see the “state of Trance” in Germany?
SA: I think Trance is a global music, of course, we know the whole German Trance family very well, our inspiration for our music comes from other things in our lives.
TM: You’ve recently been signing some really fresh new talent on Euphonic. What’s your selection process for the label, and how do you stay relevant both as artists and while running a label within the current state of EDM?
SA: Your so called selection process is really a process. We don’t have time to listen to all demos as there is so much low quality or not suitable to Euphonic. We want to release music which we would play at our radio show Euphonic Sessions. And the last signing were artists we played at Euphonic Sessions before and then asked if they would be interested to release on Euphonic.
TM: What’s playing on your car radio/ iPod/ smartphone right now?
RK: I listen to new music, demos and also other radio shows.
SA: Most times I listen to normal radio when I am in the car.
TM: I love that you decided to do a couple of German songs on the album. Was this a conscious decision to deliver these stories in your mother tongue, or did they simply not work in English?
SA: When we started work on the album we discussed what could be good for the album and we had the idea to do one German lyric song for fun. In the end there we’re two of the 14 tracks with German vocals.
RK: Response from the fans, especially for “Mein Herz” are massive, and this comes from all over the world. This track has English and German vocals, the verse is in German.
TM: What’s your fondest – and conversely, worst – memory behind the decks?
SA: Once a drunken fan spilled beer over the decks, which killed one player. We normally have good luck, also we never miss flights.
TM: What does the immediate and distant future look like for Kyau & Albert?
RK: Right now we’re updating our 10 year old remix for 6am by Cressida. This will be part of 20 years Euphonic E.P.’s in a few weeks. Also we’re doing a collab with our long term label mate Ronski Speed right now. This will be a big one. Out later this year.
Steven Albert. And we still tour under Matching Stories, releasing Changes with Hello Machines and also Mein Herz as a single including a Trance remix. For future dates check out our website or our socials.
Press images courtesy of Kyau & Albert