Sunday, April 21 2024

Today, we sit down with the electronic duo Thorax-Wach to explore the origins of their latest project, the album ‘Kafka in Berlin.’ Born from a four-decade hiatus, this reunion of musical minds is a deliberate exploration into the last year of Franz Kafka’s life in the vibrant city of Berlin. Join us as we peel back the layers of inspiration, creativity, and historical resonance that define this captivating project.

Thanks for joining us. How would you describe the music of ‘Kafka in Berlin,’ and what sets it apart?

TW: It’s a deliberate departure from the overproduced and algorithmic nature of much modern music. The intentional choice to create a sound somewhat reminiscent of a telegraph harkens back to a bygone era, adding a layer of historical resonance to the music. The minimalist analogue electronic sound of the album can be likened to the sounds of that era, evoking a sense of historical authenticity. We found that by incorporating these elements, the album evokes a unique emotional response. The listener is transported not only into Kafka’s world but also into a sonic landscape that mirrors the simplicity and rawness of the technological advancements of his time. The hope is to create an immersive experience that resonates with the themes of the album and connects the listener to both the past and the present in a thought-provoking way. We don’t look on any musical genre. We tried to find sounds and melodies that reminds us of Berlin at 1923 but in an electronic way.

Why did Thorax-Wach decide to reunite after a 40-year break, and what inspired them to create an album about Franz Kafka’s last year of life in Berlin?

TW: We had lost track of each other until the Japanese Label Suezan-Studio contacted us for a re-release of our records from the eighties. The influence of Kafka’s work, both as a writer and a human being in the last year of his life in Berlin played THE crucial role in sparking our creative collaboration. Coincidentally, I live only 500 meters from Kafka’s house at Grunewaldstrasse 13.

How do you believe the integration of excerpts from Kafka’s diaries enhances the authenticity of the work and creates a connection between the past and present?

TW: By incorporating samples from 1923 and drawing inspiration from Kafka’s own writings, the project began with a nod to the historical context in which Kafka lived. Using sentences from Kafka’s diaries not only pays homage to the source material but also provides a tangible link to the author’s personal thoughts and experiences. This inclusion adds a layer of authenticity to the project, offering listeners a glimpse into Kafka’s world through his own words. By incorporating musical historical elements, ‘Kafka in Berlin’ creates a bridge between the past and the present and brings his perspective into the contemporary context of the album. It’s a way of acknowledging the enduring relevance of Kafka’s themes and ideas, illustrating how they resonate in today’s world. We think Kafka would have liked it.


Exploring the darkwave genre of ‘Kafka in Berlin,’ how does the minimalist analogue electronic sound contribute to creating an atmospheric journey through Kafka’s literary world, and what emotions do you hope to evoke?

TW: The darkwave genre of ‘Kafka in Berlin’ is characterised by a minimalist analogue electronic sound that serves to immerse the listener in an atmospheric journey through Franz Kafka’s time in Berlin and industrialisation. The choice of a minimalist approach is not only an artistic decision but also a reflection of the technological landscape during Kafka’s days. During Kafka’s era, the electric age was just beginning, and he himself was fascinated by modern inventions. Notably, his girlfriend worked in a factory that manufactured Phonographs, demonstrating his connection to emerging technologies of the time. In the present day, ‘Kafka in Berlin’ draws parallels to technology and the contemporary landscape, including the influence of artificial intelligence.

Having delved into Kafka’s world, what can listeners anticipate from Thorax-Wach in their upcoming projects, and how might the recent album shape their creative direction moving forward?

TW: There are currently no further projects planned.

And, one final question for fun… If Franz Kafka were alive today and had a favourite genre of music, what do you think it would be, and which track from ‘Kafka in Berlin’ would he play on repeat?

TW: I think Kafka would prefer music that doesn’t disturb his writing process too much. Maybe he would like ‘Trauriger Kontrolleur.’

We extend our gratitude to Thorax-Wach for sharing their insights into the thematic richness and musical intricacies of this remarkable album. As we conclude this interview, we invite you to check out the haunting melodies and historical echoes of ‘Kafka in Berlin‘—an artistic journey that seamlessly bridges the past and the present. Until next time, stay tuned for more musical discoveries.

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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