ALBUM PREMIERE: Aerosol :: Leave (n5MD) + five questions with the man behind the sounds

After six years and many colorful adventures in the far-flung districts of psychedelic rock, Danish dream weaver Rasmus Rasmussen (a.k.a. Aerosol) returns to Oakland-based influential cult label n5MD to release his third album, Leave, an effervescent sonic concoction full of retro analog sorcery and ethereal guitar work. Scroll down for an exclusive album stream and read what Rasmussen had to say about the Aerosol project, the new album and his other work during the last six years.

ALBUM PREMIERE: Aerosol :: Leave (n5MD)

Igloo logo It’s been six years since your previous album, what have you been doing all this time musicwise?

Rasmus :: Most of that time has been spent playing keys in Causa Sui. Besides that I’ve been involved in a bunch of other projects, playing live or recording with different bands and constellations within the Danish scene and also with some foreign acts like Ron Schneiderman from Sunburned Hand and Faust, with whom I did a gig last year. A lot of it psychedelic rock, but also some electronic stuff, usually very improvised.

Igloo logo Have these collaborations affected your solo work as Aerosol, and if so in what ways?

Rasmus :: Yes, they definitely have. Working in different constellations has challenged me in a cool way and pushed me into territories that I probably wouldn’t have reached just by myself. The creative process of improvising, throwing ideas back and forth, constantly reimagining the tracks and seeing them as a continuously evolving thing, I’ve taken into the work flow of Aerosol. As a keyboard player the collaborations have developed my abilities, not just technically but sonically too, exploring sounds and techniques that I’ve brought back to my solo work. In the live situation Aerosol is now also more of an open thing, with other musicians participating.

Igloo logo Leave heavily features seventies-style space ambient/kosmische/krautrock characteristics. From where does your love for that sound and style come from?

Rasmus :: I think I got into that sound around the time I started playing in Limp. We were very much digging the Chicago based post rock and that led us back to some of the kraut stuff. From then on it’s been a continuous thing, getting back to it on a regular basis, digging further and further into the scene. There’s an openness and sort of naive curiosity in their way of exploring electronic instruments that I really love. Often the music has an optimism and earnestness I find very appealing.

Igloo logo How do you feel about Leave, and what were you trying to achieve with it musically?

Rasmus :: I feel very comfortable with the album. With previous releases I’ve sometimes felt that I had already moved on from some of the material when it came out – either because the records were made up of tracks produced over several years, and some of them got a bit old, or because it took a while to get it out. That doesn’t apply to Leave. Most of the stuff was made pretty recently and I feel it still represents where I am musically. I enjoy putting it on and listen to it, from start to finish.

With the album I sought to get back to something more basic. I had been working with a laptop for many years, and the possibilities of what you could do with that just got bigger and bigger. For me that made it hard to focus. I needed to set some boundaries that I could push up against, so I decided to make an album based around my collection of analog synths and drum machines.

Initially the idea was to do a pretty clean take on the seventies cosmic synth music. Soon I realized though, that making a straight genre album wasn’t very fruitful for me. Trying to nail that one style set some limitations that in the end were just going to make the album weaker. So I quickly shifted back to what I guess has been the aim of the Aerosol project from the beginning – to create some nice tunes that hopefully have some emotional value, just this time carried out with a bunch of old synths, guitars and drum machines.

Igloo logo Have you had any formal musical training or are you a self-­taught guitarist/keyboardist?

Rasmus :: I am mostly self-taught, but I’ve had some formal training both on the guitar and the keyboard and also a fair amount of musical theory. I started out on the keyboard when I was about nine years old, then the guitar inevitably took over in my teens, hitting the apex of alternative rock and grunge. Later, with Aerosol and especially Causa Sui, I got back to the keys. I haven’t always used the theoretical stuff much, but I find I use it more and more these days. It can be a useful tool. Some see it as sort of repressive to creativity, but often it helps you reach your goals faster than you would just fiddling around.

Leave will be released on n5MD on May 5. [Bandcamp]

Listen to an exclusive stream below:

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