Antwerp-based SeizoensKlanken – Gilles Helsen on keys and electronics and Freek Vreys on electric guitar – make the kind of textured and layered electronic music that is sorely missing on the local scene. Soft and subtle, their sound, steeped in jazz and psychedelic rock, is surprisingly mature for a band that only released a debut EP a few months ago (Metropol, out since September 2015). Think The Cinematic Orchestra, but with a tad more beat and bass to it.
Can you talk to us about your name?
SeizoensKlanken is Dutch and means “season sounds.” Perhaps a bit tricky to pronounce for an English or French-speaking person, but the choice for a Dutch name feels very natural to us.
How would you describe your music?
We make jazz- and psychedelic rock-inspired electronic music. It has elements of urban, lounge or UK bass on the one hand, and influences of jazz and psychedelic rock on the other. Our songs often balance different poles: improvisation and fixed composition, dreamy sounds and tights rhythms, experimental and groovy. There are some references to minimal music and soundscaping too. And it’s purely instrumental music. Freek plays the guitar and I do electronic and keys. The rare vocal lines, like in our songs Modern Desire or Placebo, are samples taken from interviews, movies or real life-conversations.
Can you talk to us about your recording process?
The shaping process of our songs is a long-term and organic creative struggle. Initial ideas are constantly modified due to new experiments, improvisation sessions and real life. The roots of a musical piece is mostly a tiny but characteristic musical
Element – an interesting harmony, a field recording or just a voice – which forms the basis of an electronic backing track. In a second phase I try to make a musical structure out of it, and finally we create the instrumental lines we play live, so guitar and keys.
Can you describe your recording space for us and the neighbourhood around it?
We rehearse in a small room in the back of an old diamond factory in Geel. It’s a cosy place filled with instruments, cables and posters.
What do you find the most challenging when recording music?
The most difficult thing about recording is being forced to make a definitive version of something that has been evolving up to that point.
Where do you feel the most comfortable? In the studio or on stage?
A concert on stage asks for an energetic performance and a natural interaction between performer and audience whilst recording in studio is more about the process of creating music and fine-tuning the details. It demands a different mindset. Obviously, playing live is a fun and more intense experience, but creating music from scratch has something magical too.
What’s your favourite debut album by another band? !
Psychic by Darkside. Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll probably pick another one.
Can you recommend a Belgian band we should be following?
For me personally, there are three Belgian bands that really are outstanding in how they sound and how they build up original song structures: BRNS, STUFF and Vuurwerk. They’re all great live bands too. Regarding upcoming acts, Woodie Smalls, Avondlicht and lohaus are extraordinary.
What’s next for you in terms of releases, concerts, etc…
After a busy summer playing concerts and recording a first EP, we will now focus on new material. We recently finished a brand new song, and there’s more to come soon.
What would you say to the budding musicians with dreams of “making it”?
First thing: be creative and love what you do. Second thing: take the business-side of your music seriously.seizoensklanken.bandcamp.com