Interview with

Kiasmos

Kiasmos is made up of Iceland ic BAFTA-winning composer Ólafur Arnalds, known for his unique blend of minimal piano and string compositions with electronic sounds, and Janus Rasmussen from the Faroe Island s, known as the mastermind of the electro-pop outfit Bloodgroup. Based in Reykjavík, Arnalds used to work as a sound engineer, often for Rasmussen’s other projects, where the two musicians discovered their common love for minimal, experimental music. They eventually became best friends, often hanging out in their studio, exploring electronic sounds. After dropping several tracks and performing at select festivals throughout the years, Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen dedicated the year 2014 to explore the area in-between Ólafur’s more acoustic, piano-based solo work and Janus’s synth-heavy electro pop, with their collaborative electronic project Kiasmos.

Facts

Kiasmos is a misspelling of Chiasmus
Ólafur and Janus both have their own studios in the same building
When no one is looking, the boys like to dance like maniacs to Nicki Minaj

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Other music, consciously and subconsciously.

How and when did you get into making music?
Ólafur: I’ve never not been making music. It was in my home and in my family.
Janus: At around 11 I started to play guitar and program electronic music at the same time.

What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
Janus: Very hard question, but here we go.
Kate Bush – The Dreaming
Talking Heads – Speaking In Tongues
Leonard Cohen – The best of Leonard Cohen (1975)
Radiohead – Kid A
The Cure – Disintegration

What do you associate with Berlin?
Ólafur: Good friends, cheap food and techno.

What’s your favourite place in your town?
Ólafur: The old harbour
Janus: A thai restaurant above a grocery store on the main shopping road.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Ólafur: die.
Janus: Play a lot of very violent video games.

What was the last record you bought?
Ólafur: the whole Kimono back-catalogue on vinyl via a kickstarted funding thing.
Janus: I bought a couple of songs from Beatport. I think Aphex Twin’s Windowlicker has one of them. I couldn’t find it anywhere at home or on my computer. Think I’ve bought that track like five times by now.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Ólafur: Janus
Janus: aaaawwww that’s cute!

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Ólafur: Hard to say, played too many and been to too many. But I loved seeing The Knife play their last ever show last saturday.
Janus: Really loved seeing David Byrne and St.Vincent’s show last summer. Such creative minds!

How important is technology to your creative process?
Ólafur: Very, it all revolves around technology and is inspired by it.
Janus: Afraid I’d be nothing without technology, which makes me sad sometimes.

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
Ólafur: Yes. And they are the most supportive and lovely people in the world.
Janus: Me and Ólafur have very nice families. I’m not kidding. P.S I love my mom.

Our Favourites: Burnt | Looped
Links:
erasedtapes.com | Facebook | Interview with Kiasmos by Digital in Berlin