Berlin based electronic producer and songwriter Arnold Kasar, also known as a member of the groups Atomhockey (Sonar Kollektiv), Nylon, Liechtenstein & Kasar with his debut album "The Piano Has Been Smoking".
"If I go crazy, you understand, if I go mad, you become
When a confirmed electronics man like Arnold Kasar returns with renewed passion to his first instrument, in his case the piano, you can be fairly certain of one thing: it will be doctored and muted, sampled and synthetically reworked; you almost get the feeling that Kasar's piano has been dabbling in the use of illicit herbs! At least that's one way to explain the title of the album "The Piano has been smoking"; complete with a Tom Waits reference music from where electronica and classical meet.
But who is he then, the man at the piano? Berlin pianist and electro producer Arnold Kasar is probably already sufficiently well-known to those who know the scene: as a solo artist and with his Atomhockey project he was associated for many years with the renowned Sonar Kollektiv. In addition, Kasar has for a long time been a musician with Micatone, a member of the band Nylon and has collaborated with artists such as the cult Berlin entertainer Friedrich Liechtenstein as a producer and songwriter.
At the start of producing this album, Kasar's wish to give freer rein to his improvisations again was understandable. Particularly after the comparatively more laborious, though more independent creative process of using computers and other gadgetry. Kasar is less influenced by short-lived musical trends than by hypnotic, dark arrangements, romantic Schubertian chords and, not least, by the repetitive power of early rave tracks and later minimalist techno.
"Certainly eclectic and completely open stylistically", is how Kasar himself describes his approach. He lists the Japanese film music composer, Joe Hisaishi, among his inspirations but also Ennio Morricone, Arthur Russel and Brian Eno: "I would describe my music as film music, or to put it better, music for films that have not yet been made."
Alongside the piano which gives the album its name, the Japanese artist Mami Konishi, aka Minguss, also plays a role, lending her delicate voice to the song "Solo Sunny". A long-awaited debut performance has also found its way onto the album: On Put A Light On Me Arnold Kasar sings himself for the first time and that would never have happened if the situation had not pushed him into it: "That was certainly a major step for me, but I'm really pleased with it. Now I have to sing live, though, that's the next big challenge..."