Quiet Love Records
20th March 2020
vinyl & digital
[feat. Rosa Anschütz]
Jan Wagner makes acutely emotional, autobiographical music. What makes his approach different from other artists in his lane is that he willingly strips his work of context. Hence, the generic album and song titles. His debut was entitled Nummern (Numbers), the forthcoming record is called Kapitel (Chapters). The reason for this is simple and pragmatic: to leave space for the listeners to interpret the music freely and allow them to place their own experiences at its emotional centre.
«Kapitel is the second half of a book, it begins where Nummern ends. The tension and the pressure that I was dealing with back then had mostly dissolved along the way. You can still feel the reverberation of the “explosion” in the new material, but you are now floating through this strangely calming emptiness. This music is the moment of silence that follows a huge bang. It’s this millisecond of “nothingness” that Kapitel is about.» — Jan Wagner
Like with his earlier material, the songs on Kapitel started at the piano as a series of informal improvisations. The outcome is significantly different. First of all, the piano is no longer the lead voice and, not only that, but there are a few songs on here where it was completely extracted from the arrangement. What this means is that the emotional impact of the music is no longer coming from the piano – amplified by the synthetic soundscape supporting it – but that it’s the combination of the arrangement, the instrumentation and the song structure where the real magic happens. It’s safe to say that Kapitel marks the artist’s shift from piano player/electronica auteur to fully fledged producer/composer.
«I did not consciously deal with the music, it just came out of me. I can not really put the creative process into words. It just happens. I feel a constant pull towards the piano, to press record and just start playing.» — Jan Wagner
The record is a wild storm of subtlety. Shadow and light play. It’s full of colors (synthetic and organic) and pulsating, tactile textures. There is something mildly orchestral about it, too. Dramatic reversals happen unexpectedly, and there is a new found ease with which the tension and emotional weight are manipulated and distributed at the macro and micro levels. Noise is an omnipresent element, appearing in different shades and densities. Although still understated, drums are more prominent and, for the first time ever, vocals appear (courtesy of Rosa Anschütz on Kapitel 30)!
«Producing other artists is the best thing that could have happened to me. Every musician has a certain energy about them and a very specific approach to music. This energy, all the talks that we had while working together and the music that these artists brought to the table have had a huge influence on me. Producing other people broadens my own spectrum enormously and brings me to places that I would never be able to reach on my own.» — Jan Wagner
The record was produced in its entirety by Jan Wagner. James Varghese, who produced Nummern, stepped in towards the end of the process, acting as a second pair of ears. Kev Koko helped with Kapitel 27. Most of the songs on the album were recorded in parallel to Jan’s production work for Rosa Anschütz’s Rigid EP and Tobias Preisig’s Diver LP. Kapitel will be available as a limited edition vinyl.
Full Track Streaming:
single “Kapitel 30” w/ Rosa Anschütz on Quiet Love Records
Jan Wagner @ Bandcamp
© Photo By Benjamin Schäfer