All About The Micronaut
German multi-instrumentalist and producer, The Micronaut has made a name for himself through his richly textured and enthusiastic compositions. His 2016 album, “Forms” has been described as a true melting pot of sounds and it caught the attention of the electronic music scene with its very playful and original amalgamation of rhythms and samples. Last year, The Micronaut released Olympia (Summer Games) – an album that continued to draw on his elaborate production style as well as on the values of camaraderie and solidarity of the Olympic Games. Continuing on this Olympic journey, the German producer now releases the second part to the project, Winter Games, containing a fresh twelve tracks that capture the essence of winter sports.
Like with his previous release, Winter Games’ tracks are named after Olympic sports - Figure Skating, Ice Hockey and Bobsleigh are just some examples of the 12 modalities chosen by the artist. “For this album, I chose Olympia as the theme, because apart from competition, it's also about a movement of peace, where the focus is on people, no matter what nation,” says the producer. In the spirit of games, the music is generally high-spirited and upbeat, but this time around it’s enveloped by fresher, crisper airs. The compositions move from broken bass rhythms to catchy melodies to vocal samples and guitars in just a few bars, but the mix remains focused throughout. The album’s opener, Skiing, is an increasingly intense piece that channels several elements – from highly digital sounds to emotional strings – in a one-way-track. It draws on the rush of excitement and nervousness that athletes must tame at the start line, “It’s the calm before the storm,” says the producer of the track.
Winter Games is an eclectic ride, but far from chaotic; transitions are fluid, the momentum uninterrupted and the direction cohesive. Behind the music’s energetic flow are sophisticated arrangements and quasi-scientific constructions which crush stylistic boundaries and give birth to a new collage-based genre of music. The music is all the more impressive considering that every sound contained therein is crafted by The Micronaut himself, who has been called a one-man-orchestra for exactly that reason. In the EDM-influenced track Bobsleigh, which contains samples from a DJ describing the state of his own profession, The Micronaut seems to be drawing a line between what he’s doing, a true Olympic feat in some regards, to a lot of the lazy productions around today. ‘He thinks it's cool to just play with an iPod or a USB stick,’ we hear a voice say over a hyper-synthetic beat. It’s The Micronaut’s critical statement on the superficialness that much of dance music has come down to, “Of course there are exceptions, but unfortunately there are only a few,” he notes.
At times, Summer Games veers towards techno and at others it seems to be inspired by electro-pop. Towards the end of the album, ‘Curling’ is a refreshing vocal piece filled with warm chord progressions. “Bernhardt's vocals are really touching, they give warmth to the minimalistic structure of the song," says the Micronaut. The track offers a comforting counterpoint to the high-energy feelings of competitiveness present in the rest of the album with lush pulsating synths and a laid-back groove. “Every time, when I wanted to continue working on "Curling" I was afraid of destroying its very fragile initial structure, but in the end, I think it worked," adds the producer.
Through all the sloping ups and downs of Winter Games, what becomes clear is that The Micronaut is an avid music lover, collecting ideas and inspirations far and wide, and translating them through experimentation and his own prism of emotions, “Music must always be a journey, with ups and downs, with fears and with happiness. Making music is always an expression and somehow also processing of experiences.”