Passenger of the Month in September: Sultans Court
recordJet Passenger of the Month Sultans Court in interview
Dockville Festival 2014 – was for Konstantin Hennecke and Julius Klaus, the founders of Sultans Court, space for musical identification and fateful decisions. Because still on the way to the festival, the two get to know each other. One has a rickety Renault Modus from grandpa at his disposal, the other is urgently looking for a ride from Berlin to Hamburg. A stroke of luck. During the whole trip they talk shop and exchange information about their own music collection. And the band foundation was probably already at this time – unspoken – a decided thing. “At the latest when I saw more concerts together with Konstantin than with my friends, it became clear to me that it would not remain with a mere festival visit,” Julius sums up.
Sultans Court is connected by a story that can’t be told often enough. The journey began as a ride to the legendary Dockville Festival, which soon led to a band project and soon to their first EP. A band that accompanies the theme of travel from the beginning: From the first sympathy to the concrete musical project, a development took place that not only brought the four musicians together, but also created a basis for tracks with driving energy.
For as soon as the two producers had Berlin soil under their feet again, they locked themselves into their home studio. Sultans Court needed over a year to find themselves musically and define their sound for the first EP. Julius and Konstantin remember: “New ideas were constantly coming into the studio. “Mount Kimbie” was followed by “Flume” and they were replaced by “Alt-J.” We drifted together from idea to idea and infected each other with ever new inspiration. With the first finished track, we felt there was more; that created the drive from which the From Afar EP would emerge.”
The Berlin band has found itself and its sound in the meantime, the search has come to an end. After the last EP From Afar looked at current issues with a sympathetic distance, the new EP Up Close becomes the opposite: positive aloofness, intimacy, the questioning of themselves and everything.
Up Close forms the counterpart to the previous EP not only with the title. The band remains true to itself and its dreamy, but purposeful, energetic sound. However, offers in the current tracks even more intimate insights into their thoughts, feelings and the processes behind the music. A closeness that captivates from the first listen. An intensity that can almost make for a bit of discomfort. The good kind of discomfort. A deep look into one’s own inner self.
You’ve been running in circles knowing too much seeing the damage has already been done.- Good Enough
The counterparts in the form of the two EPs form a contrast, but not a contradiction. The development from outside to inside feels thematically logical and the new musical ideas accompany this process appropriately. Also nice: the vinyl pressing will depict From Afar on one side, Up Close on the other: A physical approach to the content, a gimmick for lovers:inside. And for everyone else, at least practical.
This closeness and intimacy of the five songs can be logically traced in the process of creation of the music: All tracks took their beginning in rural isolation – possibility for introspection away from all the hustle and bustle; the fine-tuning, however, took place in the joint lockdown of Julius and Konstantin, which makes a distance to the tracks almost impossible. Tight space, personal thoughts and hardly any distractions – it doesn’t get much more intense than that.
Despite this closeness, the tracks of the EP leave enough space for the listener to find him/herself in it. You can hear that they all already have live experience, also through this a dynamic develops in the sound, which is not always predictable, but gripping. Again, the focus is on the balance between closeness and distance: spherical and catchy, thoughtful and energetic. An explosive mixture.
The sequence of the songs maps the band’s mantra, so to speak: “We want the listener:in to be taken on a journey that doesn’t necessarily have a concrete beginning or end. One is inwardly moved by the sound and gently maneuvered through different worlds. Thereby the tracks form a unity, as well as a collection of own, strongly differing moments.
One might think that if a band is based in the center of pop Germany, the music would also be much about it; instead, the exact opposite is the case: most of the music was written in a cow village near Kassel and is about deceleration and what the unconditional availability of things does to us. The band decided to retreat and reflect instead of throwing themselves into the urban hustle and bustle – to be able to take a close look at what’s going on inside them. Loud and close. A close-up. Up Close.
Each month the recordJet Crew and a handful of music editors will award the recordJet artist with the best release. As a reward, each Passenger of the Month will receive basic store promotion for free during the respective month. Apply here.