Austrian Electro Group HVOB In India This Week
Voted as one of the best live acts in the world the Austrian electronica duo
perform in New Delhi and Bengaluru this week
Vienna-based electronica-house duo HVOB has been making waves in the international scene for some time now. Voted as one of the best live acts across the world by Germany’s De:bug magazine in 2012, the band belongs to a rare list of artists who prefer to not use DJ consoles for their sets. The group, comprising Anna Muller and Paul Wallner, was formed in 2012 and has released four EPs and a debut album titled HVOB since. Now on a worldwide tour to promote their second album Trialog, HVOB make two stops in India. In an interview with ROLLING STONE India, they talk about their influences and their new album.
One of the most challenging aspects for electronic musicians is to keep the sets dynamic. What do you think sets your live shows apart from everyone else’s?
Wallner: For our live performances we create a song set, and we generally play concerts together with a drummer because we don’t want the computer to produce the beats. It was our goal from the beginning to play live on stage, always. It’s not always easy to play in clubs with a drummer, but the authenticity justifies the effort. And we are more like a band in the club context. We have a piano, a voice and a drummer. That’s not so common in the club scene.
To play so many layers live, how do you guys manage that on stage?
Wallner: The drums, the vocal and the piano come live through the sound card and I play and arrange the tracks with a bunch of backing loops.
Tell us about the making of Trialog and the influences on it.
Mueller: For us, HVOB is a unit of art and music. We thought to ourselves: How can we put these things even more together? So we started to work together with Clemens Wolf, who is a well known young Austrian artist, and VJ lichterloh, who are our VJs and video producers from the start. We wanted to create a little more than a common music album. We wanted to create something special, something new.
Wallner: It is based on 10 naturally occurring processes, each track on the album has its own process: tearing, mixing, bursting, melting, oxidising, breaking, imploding, etching, bending and burning. For example, our first single of the upcoming album, “Window” is the process, “mixing.” You can already watch it on YouTube. You see three colors getting mixed together on a glass pane.
Watch “Window” below
Anna Mueller: Clemens Wolf made the installation with the glass pane and the colors, lichterloh were shooting the video and will use the material to produce the visuals for our album release tour. Paul recorded the sounds of Clemens Wolfs installation when the colors were splashing on glass (you can hear it in the beginning of the track) and I integrated the theme “mixing” in my lyrics. So you can see, all three artistic levels (art, video, music) are woven in one single track.
Your sound is a unique blend of electronica, ambient and old-school house. While writing your music, what is your main focus?
Anna Mueller: I think the main focus is, not to focus on anything. Most of the time, the beats are the first thing that we start with. The voice and the lyrics are the last ones. To me, it’s important, that the music comes always first, and the music is the most important part. Not the voice.
When HVOB started out, who would you say were the artists that you looked upto?
Anna Mueller: We tried not to get influenced by any other artist when we started HVOB, or when we are in a composing process. That’s why we don’t listen to any other music when we are writing a new album. We always want to create our own world of sound. But I am sure that you get influenced by everything around you, like every artist. When I was 13, I started with the CDs from Radiohead from my brother. I think that was the most important musical education.
How did it all begin for the both of you? Did both of you have a musical background to start off? What’s the story?
Paul Wallner: We started the project at the beginning of 2012; Anna brought her many years of song writing experience to the table, I am an experienced producer. In April 2012 we uploaded a few snippets to Soundcloud, and just a few weeks later we had signed with “Stil vor Talent”. It all happened very quickly.
Tell us about your set for India.
Anna Mueller: We will play some old but also some new and unreleased tracks of our forthcoming album Trialog. And, of course, we brought our drummer.
And finally give us a playlist of songs that both of you go back to – your list of classics so to speak.
Anna Mueller: We just created an exclusive mix for Tate Modern London with some of our favorite songs, a very small selection of all-time favorites.
1. Gravenhurst – “Song from under the Arches”
2. Aphex Twin “With my Family”
3. Naked Lunch – “Town Full of Dogs”
4. 13 & God – “Soft Atlas”
5. The Cooper Temple Clause – “555-4823”
6. Mogwai – “I Know You Are But What Am I”
HVOB will performing at the following in Delhi and Bengaluru at the following venues: