Level Pi is the one-man-project of Uwe Cremer from Cologne. The man is a Krautrock and Pink Floyd fan through and through. So it's no surprise that the new album "Electronic Philosophy" also tries to combine the stylistic means of the Berlin electronic school and the British art rock icon.
Even though the 1965 born Cologne high school teacher for mathematics and physics started making music at an early age and was active in various hobby bands, it was only in 2006 with the Level Pi debut "Entrance" that he left his first lasting traces: electronics in the sense of Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze, combined with art-rock guitar solos. In 2009 followed the purely electronic "Electronic Sheep", another three years later "Dunkelstunde". With the good-half-hour 7-track EP "This Burning Part Of Me" he ventured a stylistic detour in 2015 and integrated gothic and post-punk elements. Now Uwe Cremer is back on his favorite playground with "Elektronische Philosophie". Talking about his career as Level Pi so far, he brings up some amusing memories from his Sturm und Drang days.
eclipsed: Uwe, even though there are some guitars on the new album, the focus is now more on the electronics. Do you agree with that?
Uwe Cremer: It just happened that way. There is no intention behind it. I played around a lot on the modular Moog and tried it out. On all my albums the guitars were always in the focus. Except on "Electronic Sheep". I deliberately didn't use guitars on that one.
eclipsed: Nevertheless, there are some successful guitar passages on "Elektronische Philosophie", for example in "Don Quichote's Brain" and "Durch die Jahrzehnte". Especially on your debut "Entrance" there are remarkable guitar solos. How do these fly to you?
Cremer: That's real work. I jam a lot with myself, do quite a few rounds. At some point there comes a moment when I think, "That's great." Then I build on those passages. I play them over and over again until it sounds right to me. So that's not the famous take 1 with the very special feeling for me. I used to listen to an incredible amount of Pink Floyd. It was fascinating for me to see how David Gilmour developed the solo in "Time", for example. If you listen to the live recordings from the bootlegs in 1972 and then compare it to the studio version in 1973, you hear the progression of the solo. So it's not just purely improvised.
eclipsed: There are some beautiful organs in "The Long Journey" as well. Do you have a favourite among the instruments? Do you like old equipment?
Cremer: I like the old moog sounds. But the guitar is still my favorite. But except for the guitar and the bass, I really create all the sounds on the computer with the midi keyboard. The organ, the string sounds and the Mellotron, that's all created on the computer. So I don't use any old equipment. I know some people see it as a seal of approval if no computer or no midi is used. But I think in the overall context it's lost whether it's a real instrument or computer generated.
eclipsed: You also sporadically use some alienated voices now. But rather only as a timbre.
Cremer: Yes, in "The Long Journey" I used samples from old films. These are sci-fi films from the 50s and 60s. I deliberately chose that.
eclipsed: You recorded the album back in 2018 and 2019, before Corona. Why did it take so long until the album came out?
Cremer: Quite simple: I first had to find someone who also wants to publish the album. Something like that takes time. If it had been up to me, then of course it could have gone faster ...
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