Jonas and Marius, both in their mid-twenties, grew up near Hanover – yet it was only in 2018 that they crossed paths for the first time. Prior to that, Jonas had been developing his own work as a pianist, influenced by neo-classical artists such as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds as well as scoring pieces for film and advertisement. Marius on the other hand, who had been playing the drums since a young boy, started his musical path at sixteen deeply influenced by his interest in percussion and the urban electronic music scene of the time.
When both met at a Christmas market in Hanover, after one too many cups of glühwein, they set a studio date just for fun. From that first day it became immediately clear to both that Jonas’ melancholic piano melodies weaved themselves seamlessly to Marius buoyant beats, and that there was more than just “fun” happening in the alchemy of their sounds, “after a few hours only, the first draft of our track Firøye was born and we recognized that we worked pretty well together,” says pølaroit.
pølaroit’s debut EP, ‘expedition into’ (out via Stil vor Talent) defined the duo’s moody sound somewhere in between melancholic downtempo and uplifting melodies, and captivated audiences around Germany. Their current EP, ‘Pure’, released via Christian Löffler’s Ki Records, continues to draw on the dichotomy of these two emotions but this time around there’s a bigger sense of presence and liveliness. Through the use of field recordings and vocals, pølaroit wants to rescue the human and organic element of creativity in their music, “Sometimes it’s just a recording of rumbling leaves or organic textures that make the sound more tangible.
We talked with them to discuss the processes that help them in the studio.
1. Push your noisy recordings!
A rumbling noise or squeaky chair can really add an organic feeling to your track. Slightly detuned chords or not quantized drum loops as well. ‘Little accidents’ in the recording are the secret ingredient to add warmth and a human touch to your music.
2. Use a tape deck or dictaphone!
Tape can be magical to your drum groove or synth pattern. It adds so much warmth and liveness to your recordings and can even distort them beyond recognition. Also, you can widen your sound by recording it twice and pan the recordings hard left and right.
3. Keep your claps interesting!
If your clap (or even hat) sounds too moody and does not fit in the mix, just add a one-shot shaker twice, detune both slightly and pan one hard right and one hard left. Add it to the mix until your clap sounds more airy.
4. Tune your drums!
Most lower drums like kick and toms have a fundamental frequency. But even shakers and hats can be tuned to your song. Use your ears to determine the right spot for your drums and you will hear how the individual tracks glue together.
5. Make a stem mix before you create your final mixdown!
Before we create the final mixdown we bounce our tracks in six parts: Kick, Drums, Bass, Synths, Piano and Rest. First of all it’s much easier to work with less tracks and it keeps your focus on the mixing process.
pølaroit’s ‘Pure’ is now available via Ki Records. Stream and buy here.