Much to our excitement, Berlin multi-instrumentalist and producer Farao has just announced her new album, Pure-O, coming out later this month. We caught up with her to find out about a few tracks that have influenced her sound.
Pure-O, Farao’s sophomore album, is a prog-pop exposition on the curious dichotomy between beauty and destructiveness in sex and relationships, observing “How so often the thing that sparks our passions is the constant need to hide from one to find the other.” The musician notes, “I’ve felt like that. Like an addict seeking a fix.”Throughout 10 original tracks, Soviet-made synth tones ripple out from an undefined center like a Frank Stella painting, with sharply angled lines of color buzzing with concentric, hand-painted ecstasy. Album-opener “Marry Me” leads with the lyric “The heart is the organ of desire,” setting the stage for the warm-blooded essence of Pure-O.Lyrics about the possessiveness inherent in marriage unravel over a tenacious yet patient bassline, and by the time the song reaches its rapturous three-minute mark, Jahnsen is breathlessly rattling off descriptions of romantic obsession, while perhaps hinting at the upcoming listening experience: “overwhelming, undying, overpowering, unconditional, all-encompassing, heart-enriching, mind-expanding.”
We caught up with Farao to find out about a few tracks that have influenced the album and her sound.
Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda – Om Rama
This is a really good compilation of Alice’s fourth world ashram music and I’ve never heard chanting and synthesizers combined in this way – it’s from the 80s and 90s but yet so futuristic. Her mastery of the Oberheim OB-8 makes me feel larger than life when I listen to it.
ORM & Kamelie – Tropic
A Czechoslovakian masterpiece from the Eastern Bloc era. Great Polivoks samle and hold intro! The interchanging major9 and minor9 chords and synth flute solo make my knees weak. I stole this sample and hold idea and used it in “The Ghost Ship” – there’s something about it that reminds me of the sound of the traditional Norwegian mouth harp and it makes me feel safe.
Robyn – Call Your Girlfriend
I have listened to Robyn ever since she released “Do You Really Want Me” in 1995. “Call Your Girlfriend” doesn’t really have a clear verse or chorus, but instead this continuously flowing melody line going around in circles. It’s really clever. She’s good at combining melancholy lyrics with enthusiastic and confident arrangements, inspiring me to do the same.
Joël Fajerman – Ma forêt
This was another big inspiration for “The Ghost Ship”. The way the bass line stays the same while the chords change, the synth sound scape, the simplicity in the arrangement. This is actually music made for plants, so I also play it to make my plants happy.
TLC – Fanmail
The jagged beats, velvet smooth vocals, transcendental robotic voices… Imagine me singing this in front of the mirror every day in 1999 and you have a pretty good idea of what this album means to me. RIP Left Eye.
Puro-o is out October 19th. Catch Farao live at the Sebright Arms on 17th October.