A Less Chaotic Clara Moto

Techno, as a genre, is currently becoming a major player in the world of youth musical tastes, but it is, unfortunately, largely still a boys’ club (although that might...

Techno, as a genre, is currently becoming a major player in the world of youth musical tastes, but it is, unfortunately, largely still a boys’ club (although that might not be reflected by the electronic musicians Philthy, personally, tends to cover), but Berlin-based, Austrian Clara Moto has been a stand-out player in the genre since her 2010 debut, Polyamour.  And Clara’s sophomore LP, Blue Distance, was released this Tuesday, November 5th, and reflects what she considers to be a relatively profound evolution in her sound.  The album, named after a line by Sylvia Plath, is the most carefully considered and boldly and darkly introspective release of Clara’s career.  It reflects a hyper-personal aesthetic, relating to Clara’s travels and the technically strained relationship she feels with her listeners.  Clara Moto has a handful of upcoming European dates, but there’s currently nothing confirmed for the US.  However, I recently got a chance to chat with Clara about her sophomore effort and what we might, possibly, be able to expect of her future endeavors.

Izzy Cihak: It’s been three years since your debut and you just released your sophomore LP. How would you characterize the evolution in your sound?

Clara Moto: First, I think I developed a better routine and order. I was sometimes very lost making my first album. For example, I did not save synth presets under the same name as the track project, so I very often lost a nice sound, sample, etc. I tried to be less chaotic and have a real plan, I made a mind map of all my tracks, to check what is still missing on each track, and what can be improved. Second, I became better in mixing, even though I wanted my friend Renoa helping me to improve the sound, as I have the feeling I am still not there. But it is a really interesting process, and I tried to learn more about sound engineering. Besides, I was having piano lessons again from time to time to find out more about harmonies and chords.

IC: What were the biggest influences and inspirations behind Blue Distance?

CM: My musical influences are ranging from Holy Other, whom I saw playing live at the Elevate Festival, in Graz, Austria, and completely amazed me, to various hip-hop artists, e.g. Kendrick Lamarr and Angel Haze even, if it is not noticeable. It is always difficult to identify the respective influences and inspirations; sometimes it can be a nice encounter with somebody, the setting ( my room), where I was mostly working or an early morning run in a park. Additionally, I could quote some literature influencing me, as I was reading a lot to balance the process of music making, e.g. Thomas Bernhard, Max Frisch, etc.

IC: Are there any other contemporary artists with whom you feel you can identify with to a significant degree, or whom you simply feel are doing really cool things?

CM: I really would love to work with a rapper. It is a wish I have been having for a long time. The reason I never worked with one is that I still think I think I have to work on my music more before I give a track to a rapper. My secret dream is to be able to have somebody like Angel Haze rapping on my track, because I just adore her groove. But I know this is quite unrealistic.

IC: You have a handful of upcoming European dates. What can be expected of the live experience and is there a chance that US audiences might be able to experience the show in the near future?

CM: I want to develop my live show, which means I will use more instruments and even my voice on stage. This is a big step and challenge for me, and at the moment I started to rehearse in my studio.The live show is going to be different from my DJ sets, that are dancefloor sets. I would like to have it more concert-like, which makes it more unpredictable. Sadly, I do not have anything planned yet in the US, but I would really love to come over!

IC: What are your most significant hopes and plans for 2014?

CM: Vague plans: more touring, studying next to music, lots of travelling without losing touch with friends, and family, and to have enough time for myself.

Band Interviews

During the day Izzy Cihak teaches transgression, subversion, and revolution at Temple University. At night he haunts Philthy's best venues to cover worthwhile acts for Philthy Mag. Morrissey is everything to him and, in their own heads, all of his friends see themselves as Zooey Deschanel.