Masih dengan personil yang sama, dengan otak utamanya: Kurt Feldman (adalah juga drummer dari The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), Ice Choir asal Brooklyn - New york ini menawarkan konsep pop yang menurut mereka unfavorable. Tidak untuk semua orang dan belum bisa dikatakan cukup komersil. Kental dengan bunyi synthesizer, machine drum, dan effects manipulasi suara yang kembali menimbulkan nuansa dreamy namun dengan rasa yang berbeda. Referensi musik mereka mundur satu dekade, jika The Depreciation Guild sangat 90-an maka Ice Choir adalah sangat 80-an. Lirik dan melodi yang manis, bahkan terlalu manis (kalau orang sunda bilang, giung) menjadi karakter kuat dari Ice Choir. Semacam penganut Romantisisme kontemporer. Bagi beberapa orang era 80-an adalah masa yang "ajaib". Ekspresi dan karya seni populer pada jaman ini sering dianggap norak nan berlebihan. Namun bagi beberapa orang lainnya, ada estetika khas dari 80-an yang sebegitu kuatnya hingga masih berpengaruh pada karya mereka hingga saat ini. Dan itu yang dipeluk oleh Ice Choir. Cukup esoteris?
Sensibilitas Kurt Feldman sebagai penulis lagu-lagu yang mampu memindahkan pendengarnya ke alam mimpi dan angan-angan masih terasa konsisten pada lagu-lagu Ice Choir. Lima lagu demo yang sempat dibagikan di halaman bandcamp mereka membuktikan itu. Bulan November 2011 ini single perdana yang berjudul "Two Rings" dirilis dalam format 7 inch. Di-mixing oleh Jorge Elbrecht, frontman dari Violens dan Lansing-Dreiden yang juga banyak dipengaruhi musik 80-an dalam musiknya, semakin memperkuat faktor produksi dan kualitas single ini. Layak untuk diapresiasi, terutama oleh anda yang berselera terhadap karya-karya The Depreciation Guild, Sophie & Peter Johnston, Scritti Politti, The Lotus Eaters, Gangway, dll.
How did you come up with the name Ice Choir? I know it's a cliche thing to ask, but since it's your debut single I think it's pretty relevant.
I actually wrote the song "The Ice Choir" before arriving at the band name, so it's based on one's interpretation of those lyrics, i suppose.
It's kinda sad when you announced that the DG had split, but now Ice Choir is here and certainly bringing a new whole excitement for the fans. So did DG split because of this new music direction you guys wanted to pursuit? Or did the idea come up after the DG split?
After we recorded our last album, Spirit Youth, I started writing music that didn't sound like the Depreciation Guild anymore so I started recording it with the intent of doing something else with it. With the two albums that I wrote for Depreciation Guild, I felt like I said what needed to be said, musically, and anything else would be at risk of repeating myself. I also wasn't really interested in the creative limitations of having to program an NES anymore and the expectations that people had of hearing that in the music I made. Ice Choir, as a project, formed out of all those reasons and the live band out of my desire to play my own music live again.
Obviously you have a great interest towards 80s music, who are your top five 80s favorites?
Narrowing it down to five is really hard...Ok, probably Gangway, Kissing The Pink, Scritti Politti, Yukihiro Takahashi/YMO and Bill Nelson
I noticed that you have also been specifically fascinated by releases from 1983, why is that? Any recommendation for us?
It was a good year! I'm a sucker for those tight, "woody"-sounding analog synth basses and the Linn LM-1 (which was introduced one year prior, in 1982)... probably has something to do with those elements which were used in abundance in '83. Here are some great ones:
Cube - Can Can In The Garden
White Door - Windows
Lio - Amour Toujours
The Whispers - Love For Love
Naked Eyes - Naked Eyes
Ministry - With Sympathy
Taeko Ohnuki - Signifie
YMO - Naughty Boys
Yukihiro Takahashi - Tomorrow's Just Another Day
Yello - You Gotta Say Yes To Another Excess
You have a different guitar sounds with Ice Choir, could you tell us about it?
I live with my very good friend Patrick who also play fretless bass and synths in Ice Choir and he's got a really nice Strat copy which i've been using on all the recordings / live... the sound you're talking about is a lot of chorus, compression and aggressive EQs...not too dissimilar to my guitar sounds from bands before this, i think...
The songs on your demo; Two Rings, A Vision of Hell 1996, Peacock in The Tall Grass, what are they about?
Whatever you think they're about.
Any interesting story about having Jorge from Violens to mix your single?
It was a great experience from start to finish, but also pretty brief, so no interesting "studio" stories. He's mixing our album too, though, so check back in a few months ;) In all seriousness, Jorge has an incredible ear and a great ability to compartmentalize sound in all the right ways that emphasize our harshly digital, brittle and isolated sound which is why i approached him about mixing the single. I'm also a huge fan of his work in Lansing-Dreiden and Violens.
You have such a sensibility of creating dreamy & catchy tunes, who are your influences?
The top 5 above are a good start... wouldn't want to leave out Cocteau Twins or Pale Saints either.
When can the Ice Choir album be expected?
It's being recorded/mixed now -- Spring 2012, most likely.
Indonesia has been quite a hot spot for international gigs for the last few years. We wish someday you'll play here too.
Thanks! The Pains are coming to Indonesia in early 2012, actually. not sure when Ice Choir will make it there, though...
Semoga kabar terakhir di atas jadi kenyataan bagi penggemar The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, terutama yang tidak dapat melihat mereka di Laneway Fest SG 2012.
Sementara itu single "Two Rings" dari Ice Choir dapat di-order di sini atau di sini, dan dapat didengarkan terlebih dahulu sebagai free download di bawah ini.