The Playful Experimentation of Pinkunoizu

Pinkunoizu are a band from Copenhagen.  According to their Facebook, “ play cocktail music for you.”  Earlier this month they released their sophomore EP (and follow-up to their debut...

Pinkunoizu are a band from Copenhagen.  According to their Facebook, “[They] play cocktail music for you.”  Earlier this month they released their sophomore EP (and follow-up to their debut LP), Second Amendment, on Full Time Hobby.  It does sound a bit like cocktail music… but for cocktails at the end of the world.  It could also be described as ambient music being fucked with by well-versed punks and hippies.  They plan to spend the latter-half of 2013 on the road, making appearances at both Glastonbury and Roskilde, in addition to September and October dates throughout Europe.  I recently got a chance to catch up with drummer, Jaleh Negari.  This is what we said.

Pinkunoizu photo 2

Izzy Cihak: So how would you characterize Second Amendment, your sophomore EP, possibly in comparison to previous releases?

Jaleh Negari: There hasn’t been that much of a conceptual framework for this EP, as it generally could be characterized as more of a small collection of pieces that have gone through playful experiments. What we quite like about it is that there is an equal amount of us playing as a band together and us splitting that whole vibe apart again, adding layers that take the music out of the recording studio and into the great open.  Some of the sounds are a bit more raw and dirty than previously. And we have been exploring new ways of mixing the music. In a way, the material has been less holy to us, which might have caused us to make some decisions we wouldn’t have done, if all the songs were thoroughly arranged and composed up front.  In the same vein, the lyrics might be more reflective of associative manoeuvres, which gives them a more open feel as well.

IC: I understand that you managed to record the album in a single day.  How was that experience?  Would you recommend that to other bands, or be willing to do that again?

JN: We didn´t really record the entire album as it sounds in a single day. We were invited by producer Sonny Simpson to visit the Livingston Studios in London at the end of one of our tours, and we thought that it could be fun to record an entire live set as a kind of documentation of our live set at that time. But when we got the recordings half a year later or so, we kind of got the urge to play with the recordings and see what we could model out of them. So we started cutting some of them up, making new melodies and structures, just for the fun of it, and out of that came the EP. So, for an example “The Abyss,” from Free Time!, became “The Abyss Part II.” The rest of the songs you can´t find on any old recordings, but they have also changed quite a lot from the way we play them live. At least used to play them live, that may change again, as it tends to do… So the process of having a lot of semi-spontaneous material from a single day and turning it into something entirely else was quite interesting, and inspiring to dissect something and build something new out of it.  It´s just one way in a billion ways to make and explore music, and we definitely recommend it to others – together with the other billion ways.

IC: What were the album’s biggest influences, whether musical or otherwise?JN: Musically, countless artists have snuck their way into out unconscious depots. So I think it’s difficult to point out exactly which ones are the big influences, as we listen to a lot of really diverse music. That said, I guess artists such as Kevin Ayers, Terry Riley, Caetano Veloso, Cluster/Harmonia, and Flower Travellin’ Band have been present for us, one way or the other. We also had a period with Moroccan Gnawa trance music, which might have given a flavour to a track like “Gospel of John.” And Balinese gamelan music, which is audible in the intro of “The Abyss Part II.”  


IC: You’re playing Glastonbury this year, which is hosting an abundance of brilliant acts.  Is there anyone you’re especially excited to see?

JN: Rokia Traoré, Public Image Ltd., Sergio Mendes, Public Enemy, Goat, Dinosaur Jr., The Child of Lov, Fuck Buttons, and Nas.

IC: What are your most significant hopes and goals for the rest of 2013?  Any chance of a US tour?  If so, what can be expected of the live experience?

JN: The last few months we have been working quite a lot on producing our next full length album, so during the rest of the year we will be focusing on our live music a bit more. Many of our songs are written in the recording process (with great use of all the crazy possibilities of computerized editing and sculpturing), so we have to transfer these into music we actually can play, the four of us – a common challenge nowadays, I guess. We experiment with the songs and explore the possibilities they have, try different ways of playing them and, in that process, new songs and pieces always arise. So if you get the chance to see us live this coming year, you can expect a good mixture of new and old songs, old and new songs in a whole new disguise, improvised pieces, and maybe tunes none of us know yet.  We hope to be able to play the US at some point, yes. There should be a good chance, just don’t know when yet.

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.