new empire interview

klangstabil making sound with a game boy

klangstabil is a phenomenon. some people hate them, some love them and their ideas are always unique, a little bit crazy and astonishing. we interviewed them already almost 2 years ago in one of our first issues. time has passed and the two-man-project surprised us with a lot of new releases. now they discovered the game boy as a source of music and created maybe their best work ever. the questions asked here are about the used technology and the origin of this idea.

ne: as far as i know gioco bambino is your first release on cd. why did you choose this form now after all your lp-releases? or am
i mis-informed about this fact?

ks: there was already a release on cd: "straftat gegen das leben" with 8 tracks while the lp only contains 6 tracks. a cd is better for the concept of "gioco bambino". it´s nice to work with vinyl but it´s only one form amongst many.

ne: you really used a game boy and an additional camera cartridge only to record the album?

ks: yes, in the gameboy - camera, which you have to buy additionally, a softwaresynthesizer with a sequenzer is integrated. with
this tool it´s possible to get hearable results fast and still to be individual. i think we created something unique.

ne: what is a camera-cartridge for the game boy and why did you use it?

ks: normally you can - like the name already says - take digital pictures in a very low resolution with it, but that´s ok. the integrated synthesizer was interesting to us because it was a new challenge.

ne: how can you make such sounds with a game-boy? did you record the sounds from gameboy-games? which games ? ;-)

ks: you get the answer from questions 2 and 3

ne: what "simple effect-appliances" were used exactly?

ks: simple guitar effects.

ne: ok, enough about the technical details, now the major question: what was the idea behind this? other musicians try to get the
best equipment there is and you use a gameboy?

ks: one of our mottos is: you can make everything with everything. also on our record "böhm, gott der elektrik" you can hear an organ that was a gift which was completely reconstructed by us. the record is a musical masterpiece to many. you don´t really need the most expensive equipment. we think this thought just limits you.

ne: is there also a reason why you used italian titles for the album and the tracks?

ks: maurizio is italian an loves to play a lot, so we thought it fits into the concept: away from the strict german to more melodiy.

ne: already sprite storage format was recorded by using this gameboy. will you continue with this "equipment"?

ks: no,we will concentrate on new things. we have new ideas already. you have to stay up-to-date.

ne: why did you release spirit storage format on ant-zen?
ks: because we like to work with ant-zen. stefan alt is the best graphic-designer we know. his works are masterpieces.

ne: why two releases with gameboy-sounds? did you just record enough material for two releases or is there a difference in meaning between the two releases?

ks: we did two records with the gameboy which are very different. gioco bambino was created after half a year, spirit storage format was created in a single night. it would have been a pity to release only one concept.