Paradox Obscur, the artistic pairing of Toxic Razor and Kriistal Ann, recently released Morphogenesis, an album that perfectly defines their particular way of creating stories and sound concepts. In addition to their most recent recordings, we also want to know in their own words how this project was conceived and how they are currently doing.
To talk about Paradox Obscur, we must first place ourselves in several scenarios that happened before you created this project in 2014. What was your artistic life like before you met and how did you connect afterwards?
Paradox Obscur: We already knew each other before P.O. since we played together in our previous band Resistance Of Independent Music. This band functioned more as a collective of like-minded people who love art and wanted to experience the deeper meaning of creativity. Through these paths, the contribution of time and experience, we were led to another version of this project which embodied Paradox Obscur, with more abstract concepts and electronic sound as well as the form of a practical duo.
What makes Resistance Of Independent Music different from Paradox Obscur?
Paradox Obscur moves in a more electronic direction with more beats and an uplifting mood in contrast to ROIM where things there were gloomier using also guitars in some tracks and generally having a more gothic approach.
It’s curious that all the music of Resistance Of Independent Music is released on Werkstatt Recordings, label managed by Toxic Razor, on the other hand, Paradox Obscur hasn’t published any release on this label, don’t you plan to release any album on this label?
Toxic Razor: No, there are no plans for releasing something under Werkstatt Recordings, there are already too much things to handle when you’re in a band like P.O. and we prefer to let other labels work on releasing our albums so we can stay focused in the musical part.
Regarding “Morphogenesis”, conceptually, how is this album conceived?
Kriistal Ann: Morphogenesis terminologically refers to the generation of form and its root comes from the Greek words ‘morphê’ shape and ‘genesis’ creation.
As a concept here it was used more metaphysically, referring to the Morphogenetic Fields which are invisible blueprints for the forms embodied in the material world and are part of a system that interacts as a single entity.
So in this album you can feel that each song brings to its core a uniqueness which is connected successively with the other, in an emotional upward sequence; maintaining its original character.
Sonically, “Morphogenesis” has an evolved and different sound with respect to other recent releases, was this intention?
Paradox Obscur: Already from the ‘SYNΘESIS’ album we wanted to do something more uplifting and danceable which is also present on the new album with an updated electronic sound. We always love to explore new sounds, moods and aesthetics and don’t want to stick in the usual boring practices.
You always record your albums in real time, does this mean that you can give a sense or another to your music depending on the mood you are in at that moment?
Paradox Obscur: The mood we are in reflects via our work in depth.
A twist of a knob, a hit of a chord or a synth solo takes form based in our inner feelings and emotions at the time we record and perform a musical part.
We never have used the ‘cut/copy/paste’ technique which is widely used now days in most of today’s productions, as we prefer to express our musical ventures via the live interaction with our instruments.
You have released “Morphogenesis” on Metropolis Records, a label based in Philadelphia; do you think your music is conceived differently in Europe and in the USA?
Paradox Obscur: We feel that the American audience is positive about mixing different kinds of music. In other words, it does not stick so much to music protocols and strict rules of the old school. On the contrary, in the European audience there is a large enough separation of musical genres and less tolerance for experimentation. The concept of post-punk and dark wave is more easily digested when it comes to the standards provided.
Besides working with Paradox Obscur, you also have other solo works and different collaborations with great artists, what do you think are the highlights of your work outside of Paradox Obscur?
Toxic Razor: Working with other artists is always a challenge and especially for the Metal Disco project I had the pleasure to work with various artists either for a remix or having them as guests on the vocal part.
Artists like Cat Rapes Dog, Marta Raya, Keren Batok, Schonwald, Cyborgs On Crack, Chroma Carbon etc took part in some MD releases and gave another perspective to the songs.
Also in one of my latest EPs I had the chance to work extensively with Irini Tini from the Greek darkwave band Incirrina where she contributed with her vocals.
Kriistal Ann: In my case I can develop a long list of scene names I have worked with. Artists like GosT, Equinoxious, Stockhaussen, Factice Factory, Spiritual Front, Martin Bowes, Aidan Casserly, Hjördis-Britt Åström, Mode in Gliany, Electric Dragon, Vestron Vulture, Zoltan Freitag etc, were acts who mutually determined our musical course and recognition in the genre. Do not forget to mention my recent collaboration with the band Grey Gallows where the song ‘Spirit’ is expected to appear on their upcoming album.