Dark Drone Landscapes
Esmark is the latest musical vehicle of sound architect Nikolai von Sallwitz and experimental artist Alsen Rau. They’ve worked together on a variety of experimental and performative projects since 2001. Their latest project was recorded in late 2016, in Scandinavia, where they beautiful surroundings and solitude inspired them to record enough music for two albums. Rather than save some of the music for a followup album, a decision was made to release two albums simultaneously.
Both Nikolai von Sallwitz and Alsen Rau are experienced musicians, who have enjoyed lengthy and successful careers. They’ve both previously worked together, and have also worked with a variety of different artists in a variety of roles.
In the case of sound architect Nikolai von Sallwitz he was mastered Scheich In China first two albums and has written for the Karachi Files’ 2016 debut eponymous album and Scheich In China. However, Nikolai von Sallwitz is best known as known as Taprikk Sweezee, which is the moniker he has been using since 2006.
Since then, Taprikk Sweezee has worked in a variety of capacities, ranging from singer and songwriter, to recordist remixer and producer. His career as Taprikk Sweezee started in 2006 as a vocalist and since then, he has served what is akin to a musical apprentice. That is only part of the Taprikk Sweezee story.
Taprikk Sweezee has written music and has been involved with sound design for film, theatre and a variety of art and pop projects. Somehow, Taprikk Sweezee has found time to collaborate with a number of visual artists, including Chris Hoffmann, Andreas Nicholas Fischer and Robert Seidel. There are it seems, many strings to Taprikk Sweezee’s bow.
In 2010, Taprikk Sweezee released his debut EP Conversea. A year later, and Taprikk Sweezee returned with his sophomore EP Poly. Taprikk Sweezee also finds time to work on projects with his friend Alsen Rau, including on the Barabass, Scheich in China and their most recent project Esmark.
Just like Nikolai von Sallwitz, Alsen Rau has a wealth of musical experience. Over the years, he has been a member of various groups including Barabass, who released an EP in 2006. On + Brr followed in 2010, who released their debut album Peace and Love in 2010. This was followed by a quartet of singles. Alsen Rau’s next project was Scheich in China, who have released five albums between 2014 and 2016. However, this is just part of the story of Alsen Rau.
He’s also one of the founders and curators of Kraniche, a Hamburg-based club, that is renowned for exhibitions of experimental art. They’ve received praise and plaudits from critics and cultural commentators. There’s also been performances of experimental music at Kraniche, which has gained a reputation as a place that is
unafraid to showcase ambitious and inventive music. Away from Kraniche, Alsen Rau has also curated a number of exhibitions, performances and readings, and is heavily involved with city’s art scene. However, much of Alsen Rau’s time is spent making music.