Denmark-based Synthwave master Code Elektro is one of the most exciting voices in the scene right now. He manages to deliver consistently exciting music, with top-notch production, all the while exploring new corners of the genre and new sounds.
Code Elektro’s videos are cinematic masterpieces that perfectly complement his music. They are little slices of sci-fi heaven with cool visuals and driving music. If you haven’t seen his latest “Shinobi,” do yourself a favor and check it out here.
We were very excited to get a little time with him just before the release of his latest album, Never Mind the Solar Wind. He drops hints about new music videos, his influences and even a possible tour. Read on below:
Adam Barker: On your debut Superstrings, you seem to have come fully formed, from the design of your logo and the bold direction of the artwork, to the polish of your music. How important is design in your creative process?
Code Elektro: Thank you so much for the kind words. The artwork and music are super important to me, and I’m very involved in the process with the designer. A great cover can really do something for the music, especially when it’s instrumental music.
AB: The podcasts about the creation of Triads and Wolf were incredible deep dives into the recording process. Can we expect more about the latest album?
CE: Thank you. I was surprised to learn how many people listened to the process behind the albums, so yes I’m working on a new podcast for the Never Mind the Solar Wind album.
AB: On Triads you introduced a lot of traditionally Asian sounds into your music. What new sounds can we expect from Never Mind the Solar Wind?
CE: My inspiration for Never Mind the Solar Wind was founded in the golden age of Science Fiction literature. Writers like Asimov, Vonnegut and Heinlein were big inspirations for the music. There’s something fascinating about how people in the 40s and 50s thought the future looked like. Some of them have that: “You can take a space rocket to mars wearing tweed and smoking pipe…and you have to use the phone booth first.”
So, I had that in mind when I wrote the album. I hope I succeeded ☺
AB: You are part of a giant synth movement in both the UK and America. How influential are other artists on your work and do other artists in your genre effect your music?
CE: There are so many talented musicians out there. But I must confess that my main inspiration comes from the synthesizer pioneers like Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre and Kraftwerk. Other than that, it seems that my inspiration comes from all over the place…I like Iron Maiden, Rammstein and also classical composers like Tchaikovsky.
AB: Where do you see yourself within the synth community? How do you endeavor to stay relevant in a genre that is both retro (backward looking) and cutting edge in its reliance on technology (forward looking)?
CE: I’m not that concerned with staying relevant. I just make the music I like. Thankfully I’m so lucky that other people like it too.
Before I started Code Elektro I made music for TV, and in that business it’s super important to know how to sound like a specific genre and to reach a target audience. But it kind of comes with a price…I almost lost my creative spark and personal identity in that. So, when I started Code Elektro my only rule was that I have to like the music….and that’s why I’m not so concerned about genres.
AB: Your videos for “Shinobi” and “Cyber” were incredibly cinematic. Can we expect new videos for songs off the new album?
CE: Thank you so much! Yes, I’m starting work on some concepts soon…
AB: Your music is very atmospheric, and your videos are very movie-like. Do you see yourself transitioning into film scores in the future?
CE: That would be super fun!
AB: I have to ask this question, what are your musical influences and what is the single influence that fans would find most surprising?
CE: As I said before Tangerine Dream, Jean-Michel Jarre, Tchaikovsky but I also really like old blues music like John Lee Hooker and lounge music. In short, I like almost all music.
AB: What music is currently on your personal playlist? Is there a band or musician you are personally obsessed by right now?
CE: I really like Solar Fields at the moment. But other than that, I’m looking forward to the new Rammstein Release.
AB: You draw a lot of inspiration from sci-if films. What are your comfort films? The ones you return to over and over? Is there a movie that you are particularly obsessed with right now?
CE: Star Wars 4,5 and 6 but also Blade Runner and Alien.
AB: Have you met all of your musical heroes? If not, who would you most like to discuss music with in a bar over drinks? Live or dead?
CE: Edgar Froese from Tangerine Dream – or maybe Jimi Hendrix or Jim Morrison. They had a huge influence on modern music. Also, Synthesizer designer pioneers like Bob Moog or Don Buchla would be interesting to talk to.
AB: Is there any chance we will get to see you perform live? If not, what is keeping you from hitting the road with your act.
CE: Yes, I’m working on a concept right now…more soon 😉
Never Mind the Solar Wind is available now on digital and up for preorder on limited edition purple and white splatter vinyl here.
Listen to the latest single “Zer0 Gravity” below: