LONG DISTANCE CALLING - Much more than just music

5. July 2020

Long Distance Calling

LONG DISTANCE CALLING - Viel mehr als nur Musik

Long Distance Calling remain curious. On their new album "How Do We Want To Live?" the German quartet conquers new sound territories and, in addition, treats a number of complex socio-political themes almost without words.

After two albums with different vocal pieces, the Münster post rockers have been mainly instrumental again since the rather hard "Boundless" (2018). Their latest work is an enormously dense sound journey with a high proportion of electronic elements. Furthermore, although it contains no lyrics except for one song and various speech samples, the group wants to draw the listeners' attention to socially highly topical issues such as the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence, global networking, social media, surveillance, ethics, humanism and cultural standards. We talked to bassist Jan Hoffmann about an album that is above all meant to make people think.

eclipsed: Jan, many bands and labels have postponed releases due to the Corona crisis. You on the other hand conjure "How Do We Want To Live?" out of a hat without much notice. Intention?

Jan Hoffmann: Yes! First we worked on it in secret and only when everything was ready did we open the door. (laughs)

eclipsed: A postponement was out of the question?

Hoffmann: No, because if all albums are postponed now and then everything comes out at once, say in August, September or October, many things will simply disappear in the masses. That's why we said to ourselves: "Come on, let's do it now." Because people still want music, Corona hasn't changed that, I think.

eclipsed: Will more physical records or albums in general be sold during this time, because the money can't be invested in concert tickets, for example?

Hoffmann: I do believe that people are buying more, but of course mainly online. Who still goes to Saturn or Media Markt specifically for CDs? That's just a by-catch when buying a mobile phone.

eclipsed: On the new album you use more electronic sounds. You could just leave it as it is, but this time you also connect a superior thematic concept with it.

Hoffmann: We simply find such an approach more exciting than simply making music. We see the album as a reflection and analysis of the current relationship between man and machine, between artificial intelligence and basic humanistic values, between technological progress and the regression of personal freedom. Important topics, and that's why we have worked out the concept in great detail. Of course, in the case of instrumental pieces you can write everything on it at first, but we have underpinned it in terms of content. And it also fits musically wonderfully to the man-versus-machine-theme or musician-versus-computer-theme, depending on how you want to see it. That's nothing new, of course, Kraftwerk did that, but we just wanted to push the limits for us.


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