Guests of Honour: Aril Brikha & Chymera's live b2b Amsterdam debut

Guests of Honour: Aril Brikha & Chymera’s live b2b Amsterdam debut

Mar 11, 2014 |  by  |  Event, Music
About the author
Ridz, advertises, produces indie/electronic music, performs throughout the Netherlands but ultimately always ends up at an Amsterdam based ensemble... then he blogs about all these things.

Swedish rock star Aril Brikha has been an ambassador of deep techno soul for the last 15 years, ever since his Groove La Chord crossed all generic boundaries. Irishman Chymera (Brendan Gregoriy) has carefully honed his melodic brand of techno and house over the years and found support from a wide range of DJs and fans in the process. This Saturday, these friends of the show will début their b2b live set at Next Monday’s Hangover’s three year anniversary. We asked them some questions in advance.

How would you describe your new b2b/live project? Who are Aril Brikha & Chymera together and what do they sound like?
Aril: “They are two separate beings making melodic electronic music but in different ways. We’re trying to fuse our passion within this genre instead of trying to complement two different musical backgrounds.”
Bren: “A bald guy, a hairy guy and a whole lotta arpeggios.”

Last summer in Berlin you guys performed together for T Room Sessions, you didn’t rehearse and said that if it’d happen again you would. So, are you preparing for your forthcoming gig together, or will it be another freestyle jam?
Aril: “We’ll rehearse it and try to come up with an idea of how we want to do it but we both perform in similar ways were we freestyle or separate live-sets. Since we possibly have too much melodies and layers we need to structure it a little bit, and I hope that we can fuse the songs together instead of playing one song of our own at a time.”
Bren: “Last time was literally us just working out the keys of some of our tracks, hooking up a midi cable and playing essentially back to back. This time it’ll be more involved, we already had a really promising jam session with a lot of improvisation. I’ll be bringing a little keyboard for Aril so he can get all ‘jazz hands’ on it.”

You’ve been to Amsterdam a bunch of times in the past (you actually both played at a Next Monday’s Hangover party before), but next week is the first as a duo in Amsterdam. What do you think of the Dutch crowd, and are you looking forward to it?
Aril: “I always enjoy playing in Holland, there is an open mind for playing this kind of music and doing it differently. Not many other places you can go so deep or bang it out as in Holland.”
Bren: “Exactly. You can bang the shit out of it if you want and you can go quite deep too, but it’s always good. Plus, the Dutch dance really funny.”

Who’s Aril Brikha?

What do each of you find interesting about each other’s music?
Aril: “I love the emotional and melancholic sound of Chymera, everything from the slower jams to the banging arpeggiated stuff!”
Bren: “Who’s Aril Brikha? No seriously, I love the way that Aril can make a whole track from the simplest arrangement. Just a great melodic hook and some drums and that’s it.. I always have trouble arranging my stuff, trying to keep a track moving forward without continually bringing in or dropping out elements. And he’s got a way with chords.”

Any particular connection with Amsterdam besides performing now and then?
Aril: “As I mentioned before it’s a place I visit quite often and it was one of the first places ever performed. It was at Dance Valley in 2000, so yeah, me and the maDaam go way back.”
Bren: “Hah.. I was at Dance Valley the year after, just attending. Had a great time until the end of the day when it started pissing rain and there weren’t enough buses to bring everyone to the train station. There were riots as people fought each other to get onto the buses. I had to walk for four hours in the rain, and just when I thought I was getting to the end of the longest road in history, I would turn the corner and it would go for all eternity once again. I ended up sleeping, soaking wet, on the concrete floor of the train station. Despite that I’ve always loved Amsterdam. It’s in my top three cities of all time and I’ve always wanted to live here. Oh, and once I had the idea to open a coffee shop on a houseboat.”

I heard this Irish guy living in Berlin makes some amazing stuff… Chymera I believe is his name.

How does an Irish man from Cork end up in the electronic music scene? Same goes for a Swedish/Assyrian man…
Aril: “Because I was obsessed about electronic pop music and eventually what made those sounds. So from listening to Depeche Mode to then purchasing synths and keyboards at the age of 15 and then trying to make your own stuff.”
Bren: “In Ireland in those days, you were either a mosher (into heavy metal) or a raver (into dance music… duh). I was the former. Even though a bunch of my friends were ravers, I never really got into it until I went to University. But then I was hooked.”

Any colleague DJ/producers in the electronic field you can specifically appreciate or relate to at the moment?
Aril: “I heard this Irish guy living in Berlin makes some amazing stuff… Chymera I believe is his name. I don’t listen to electronic music and I don’t DJ so I don’t know what is going on apart from the obvious big names one sees around. I keep discovering other types of music that I prefer listening to like Nils Frahm and London Grammar or Rhye and so on..”
Bren: “I love the music of Steve Moore and anyone who makes non-trendy shit with a lot of emotion, just like Aril.”

Nils Frahm – Toilet Brushes – More (Live in London) from Erased Tapes on Vimeo.

Finally, are you taking this project to the next level? Do you have further plans together?
Aril: “I hope we can make some music together actually. At this point we are basically trying to merge our songs into a new thing but I’m sure once we get more time in the studio, which we discovered last time, improvisation led to new stuff as we were just playing around… and drinking beer.”
Bren: “Beer.”

Next Monday’s Hangover – 3 YEARS OF WASTED MONDAYS @ Het Sieraad

When: Saturday March 15th, 18:00 – 05:00
Where: Het Sieraad, Postjesweg 1
Tickets: Final release – here
More info: Facebook event

timetable nmh 3 years

Featured image by Ronny Theeuwes

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