In december 2017 Karl Morten Dahl from Antipole released the debute-cd Northern Flux (Unknown Pleasure Records). For this album he collaborated with Paris Alexander and Eirene from the UK and they are playing on Sunday the 19th of august in the Wave Cave at W-Festival (Amougies, Belgium). On the album there are 13 original songs and a cover of the song Insight by Joy Division!
You are making postpunk / coldwave sound, which is great. At the same time the songs are very varied so the album isn’t boring for a second. We hear typical Cure-guitars, New Order, the melancholy of Clan Of Xymox. Agree?
Thanks for the kind words! It’s a bit of all that. When I started Antipole as an instrumental project early 2014 the idea was to create songs and a sound that could be from 1983. The melancholy – the sad beauty of seeing time pass. That said I’ve been very inspired by all the excellent contemporary post-punk/coldwave acts releasing albums and playing live. Like The KVB, Agent Side Grinder, Actors, Ash Code, Double Echo, The Foreign Resort, Hante., The Lebanon Hanover, Geometric Vision and many many more. Paris Alexander and later Eirene (also Brighton, UK) have contributed a lot the sound on the Northern Flux album. They wrote all the lyrics and also the vocal melody lines. Very happy with their contribution. They’re lovely people too, which is always important. One of the songs on Northern Flux was written with a “let’s try to write a New Order song”-approach.
Are you pleased to share the stage with Clan of Xymox and Trisomie 21 at W-festival and you are playing covers from Joy Division and She Pleasures Herself?
Absolutely. We’re really excited sharing stage with legends in the genre. Xymox’ self-titled debut from 1985 is a classic, but Loneliness and Vixen In Disguise from the recent album are really good so they’re keeping it up. Inspiring! We stick to original songs live. We’ve got 7 new songs recorded for the next album so we’ll do some of those instead.
Are we right when stating these groups all had an important influence in what you do?
The Cure, New Order and Clan of Xymox are all favourite bands. So yes, definitely. Honestly, I should listen more to Trisomnie 21. Love ‘The Last Song’.
Sometimes the songs sound ice cold, and on the other hand they can grab you emotional by the throat. Why this contradiction?
I guess listeners hear different things. The ice cold and warmer side. For me the best music can be both cold/sad and uplifting/beautiful/warm at the same time. The Chameleons album Script of The Bridge or The Cure Disintegration are good templates of what I’m trying to achieve with Antipole, although I pick up different things all the time. So many excellent contemporary bands that inspire me.
What does the bandname means for you? The co-operation of three very different artists? The diverse feelings your songs can cause? Or does it refer to the intersection of the lightest light and the darkest dark, we both hear in your work?
Yes, diverse feelings, light/dark, the antipoles in life, nature and also music. In the Unknown Pleasures Records press sheet for Norhtern Flux they wrote “…inspired by the beauty of nature as well as the everlasting presence of mixed feelings while living our lives.” I think it’s well put. For the next album I’m working with Paris Alexander, Eirene and Marc Lewis (of the excellent The Snake Corps). I do songwriting, guitars and bass and are no vocalist. Releasing multiple instrumental albums would be boring over time. Working with different musicians is rewarding and they all add a lot to Antipole – not only vocals and production, but also songwriting and arrangements. It’s not as much a solo project anymore.
You will be probably playing lots of songs of your latest album on W-festival, but what can we expect at W-festival?
Paris Alexander, Eirene, Simon and Martin (all Brighton, UK) will join me on stage. We’ll do songs from Northern Flux and new songs including Part Deux recently contributed to the Portuguese compilation Intoxication (Zone22).
Are there bands you want to go see yourself at W-festival?
For sure. Really looking forward to Chameleons Vox. Long time favorites of me and my girlfriend Anne-Christel (she does all artwork for Antipole). I hope they do the Script of The Bridge performance they’ve done lately. Also very much looking forward to see She Past Away and Ash Code and of course Clan of Xymox. And also new bands I haven’t heard before.
Who would you buy a beer or would you like to chat with?
Mark Burgess or Volkan Caner if I meet them. I will most definately buy Andreas of Cold Transmission and Pedro of Unknown Pleasures Records a beer.
What do you know about Belgium?
What first comes to mind are Annik Honoré, cycling and excellent beer. And you’ve got many skilled footballers.
Do you know our Belgian bands which play at W-festival?
Yes, been listening to A Slice of Life and Roza Parks. “Panic Attack”, “Sound of A City” – great songs. Looking forward to seeing them both live.
What do you prefer: ice cream, French fries or beer at a festival?
Beer. See you in Amougies!
Interview by Nel Mertens - Luminous Dash