Sweden’s Carbon Based Lifeforms will release the album Derelicts on 6 October, but the stalwart ambient duo has offered up a taste of its fifth full-length via the video release of “Accede”. The track and the album as a whole find Johannes Hedberg and Daniel Segerstad considering their musical legacy while also moving forward into new ambient territories.
The pair dove straight into analogue synths this time, sampling dishwashers, escalators, teething toys and wrapping it all in a familiar but not overly familiar cloak of mysterious, thought-provoking and deeply emotive experience. While listeners will be reminded of Brian Eno (circa 1983’s Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks), the early work of Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada, this remains Carbon Based Lifeforms through and through.
“Accede” provides a fine introduction to what arrives over the course of the full album, quickly transporting the listener from their place on earth into the deepest reaches of space in a few simple measures. Though ambient music is sometimes synonymous with the staid and sterile, Carbon Based Lifeforms’ brand is the sound of momentum, continuous revelation, that keeps the listener engaged and taking notes on the various locales to which the music carries them.
Hedberg and Segerstad recently sat down to answer a few email questions about the upcoming release and their sustained passion for the music they first played together more than 20 years ago.
You released the Refuge soundtrack in 2013. How long was it before you began writing the material that appears on this new record?
We spent a weekend at a friend’s summer house in February 2015. We brought a bunch of gear and wrote like eight song ideas. Only one of those, “780 Days”, wound up on the album. But it was a good way to start out, so we’ll definitely do it again if there’s another album.
You’ve been known to re-write songs several times and throw out ideas completely. How do you determine when something isn’t quite working or probably isn’t going to measure up to your standards?
It’s a lot of back and forth, trying out ideas and when we both agree there’s something good going on we keep taking the track in that direction. It’s a slow process and can easily take half a year. Sometimes we simply hit a dead end and then it’s a question of starting over or simply scrapping the track completely (saving it for a later date). We still have stuff laying around that didn’t…