Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist Tristan de Liège announces the release of his latest downtempo album, “Kosame,” due on Emancipator’s imprint, Loci records, April 13. Titled after the Japanese word for “light rain”, “Kosame ” is inspired by the feelings of nostalgia, peacefulness, and transience that accompany rain. The LP’s second single “Jioni” released today, can be defined as electro-acoustic although it eludes a transient sense of peace and simplicity.
There’s a clear Asian influence in Tristan’s compostions that are built with layers of stings and woodwinds that focus on textures and mood more abstractly than Western culture music. “
I just love different sounds and timbres, and especially exploring mixtures of those sounds and timbres across cultures. For example I love the mallet and gong sounds found in gamelan music from Indonesia, and that’s sort of a constant reference in all my music. The Japanese koto is another beautiful instrument that’s appearing in several places on this album; I think what I like especially about it is that it feels so serene and meditative to me, and I think that’s in part due to the cultural context in which that instrument is used.”
As opposed to most albums that feature 8-12 tracks, “Kosame “features 18 songs that cover a wide range of human emotions and different energies in a way that feels natural over the course of the album; accomplishing this took adding some extra tracks in this case. Tristan comments, “For instance ‘Blossom’ is a super high energy kind of clubby track and ‘Ca Va de Soi’ is basically an acoustic ballad.” On “Kosame,” these influences, experiences, and inspirations come together and infuse romantic melodies with head-nodding beats and organic timbres.
Tristan continues, “While I was writing these songs LA was getting the gentle rainstin the late evening and early morning which would quickly subside, leaving these beautiful mists and making all the hills green. I loved those moments and I wanted to capture how I felt during those moments. I really want to make albums that cover a wide range of human emotions and different energy, but in a way that feels natural over the course of the album.” “Kosame” is largely instrumental but there are a couple of vocal tracks featuring the soulful voice of Carly Barnette and Selina Carrera.
Given his ambitious creativity, it’s easy to see how Tristan found his way to Loci. “I sent Emancipator a Soundcloud link with some music I was making back in 2013, he was a huge inspiration for me at that time.”When Emancipator and his ensemble made their way to Milwaukee where Tristan was living, the two met up and ever since, Tristan has been releasing his music through Loci, where he feels right at home. “All the music on Loci is focused on showcasing little musical moments, whether it be melodic samples or a particular rhythm.”
Such attention to detail sets Tristan apart as an artist. “One thing is that in any music it’s often very powerful to have small and simple melodies that catch the listener and make the track memorable. A related point is that music doesn’t need to be complicated to be emotionally powerful.”
As a teen, Tristan de Liège started out in an indie band before experimenting with loop-based music and gradually evolving his sound to its present textured state. “I’m always looking to create textures and ambiences in my tracks to give them lots of depth, whether it be with synths, strange samples, or field recordings,” he explains. He also tips his hat to artists as diverse as Steve Reich, Nils Frahm, Johann Johannson, J Dilla, DJ Krush, Nujabes, Madlib, Darkchild, DJ Shadow, as well as the LA beat scene, Brainfeeder, and Stones Throw. Of his love for Asian music in particular, he says, “When I’m thinking of western music I’m thinking of chord progressions and scales and typical arrangement patterns and so on. But when I’m listening to for example traditional Japanese music a lot of that goes out the window and I’m focused instead on textures and mood more abstractly.”
小雨 (“Kosame” Track Listing)
Sunfall (feat. Carly Barnette)
Natural Bridges, Pt. I
Natural Bridges, Pt. II
These Broken Places (feat. Selina Carrera)
Ca Va de Soi