Welcome to another installment of our exclusive series, The Director's Cut. In this series, we invite a new artist to provide context and cliff notes on the creation of their latest album, giving a never before seen look into their creative process and mind. This time, we are joined by RIOTVAN co-founder Panthera Krause, who's just released his debut album on the label. It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You is a lush, funky, and highly infectious groove ridden piece of work, and below, he breaks it all down.
How to listen: There are a couple of ways to proceed. First, you can listen to the whole album, which you will find below, and then read the notes. Or, read the notes as you listen to each track. This will completely change your perspective on the whole release itself and bring you closer to the artist and their work.
Words by Panthera Krause
To understand the variety of the album you have to understand the way I work. I use all the music I ever made as a big archive which depends one side on my feelings for values and on my laziness on the other. This archive gives me the freedom to find new ideas by combining, the surprise of rediscovering ideas and the possibility to work quite quickly (sometimes). So the album shows different moods from different times over the last 10 years which I selected and melted together during the last year in my own studio and at Behind The Plane studio in Leipzig. I’m in the lucky situation to do the artwork for my music by myself. It gives me the possibility to present the music and the look as a whole.
2. Birthday Club
"Birthday Club" is one of these tracks that happened in a very short time and it is my ode to love and joy. I started the track by recording some plastic child-sound-tubes my sister gave to me for my birthday some years ago. The tubes are not a part of this track anymore but I kept the title cause I started to like the ironic idea of a club for everybody. The hook line I made with a synth sound and "16 level" function of my MPC 1000 – the best thing ever been invented.
3. J’ean Envie De Toi
"J’ean Envie De Toi" is based on the guitar line by Alexander Binder we recorded 10 years ago for a song I made for my band Marbert Rocel. Very early in the production process, the song reminded me of my childhood, sitting at my grandparent's home and listening to the music of Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill movies, and I tried to keep this vision for the track. The vocals are from a jam session with my niece Monah Potter and later I recorded my voice. It was so much fun to arrange this track that the first version had more than 12 minutes and it took me days to bring it to this 05:34 min.
4. Road To Arcadia
This is one of the newest tracks of this album. I recorded it at the Behind The Plane studio, where we also recorded the tracks for my band projects Marbert Rocel and Karocel. And it is one of these songs, that happen in one evening which was not surprising because after I found this Donna-Summer-Georgio-Moroder-bass-sound everything came easily. For me, it was important to give this track a kind of “loose” character so I decided to make it not to pumping and I didn't quantize the bass line. Fun fact: The console I used for recording the album is from Gorgio Moroder's Musicland Studios.
5. Das Schöne Meer Lied feat. Martina Rother
This is a very special one for me. For her fashion studies, my close friend Therese Heller designed clothes together with handicapped people from Weimar, the place I grew up. Together we thought that it would be a great idea to record a song with these people for the final presentation. So we did a session with Martina Rother. Martina is a blind woman from Weimar and in the lyrics for this song she is talking about how she is imagining a day at the beach. For all of you non-German speaking people - it’s sooooooo sweet. With her flute, she played some German folk songs and I cut these to get a better vibe for the lyrics. I’m so happy that this song finally is out!
6. Redo Rdid
"Redo Rdid" is a track I had stored in my library for many years. It's the product of playing around with my voice and the pitch correction tool of Logic Pro. Because of the dark vocals, I was thinking all the time that it had to be a dark house track, but it never felt right doing it that way. It was around springtime when I rediscovered it and it was the right moment to see it from another perspective so I decided to go the other way and break it with some melancholic and dreamy synth sounds.
7. Sledge Hammer
The way "Sledge Hammer" was born is a very typical way for a Panthera Krause production. I opened an old project from my archive and started to record a lot of layers on it. The beat was rolling and I could not stop until I had so much stuff that it took me a long time to remove things and to find the main theme. Besides using my songs as a big archive another way I work is to play as much as possible to find different perspectives on the material. As you can hear the track is from the same time I made "Genki Girl" and that's the time where I fell in love with these, for me, ironic synth choirs. The title "Sledge Hammer" is the name of one of my favorite TV series from my childhood.
8. Keep On feat. Spunk
Spunk is the singer of my band Marbert Rocel. When I decided to make an album it was important for me to have a track with her on it. So we met in the studio and jammed around until we found a hook line. When I went home later this day I could not stop working on it. I added these pitched voices, did the arrangement and it sounded so beautiful to me. After some days we met again, listened to the track and were like - hmm.. the track sounds a bit empty. At this moment it felt more like a sketch than a song. So we recorded some more lyrics just to figured out that it is not so charming as without. For me, it’s always hard to remove recordings from a song but I save them in my archive and I look forward to using them one day.
It’s not that often, but from time to time I'm in the right mood for my saxophone. It was a very nice summer evening, I was in love and I had nothing to do. That's it!
"Sunset" is based on a midnight jam on a piano which I recorded with my mobile. It sounds a bit hilarious, but I confused the names for sunset and sunrise at the moment I named the track and I was never thinking about the title again. What I want to say is that the story of this song is the sunrise which makes much more sense when you listen to it.
11. It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You
This is one of my favorite tracks on the album and it always feels like a good old friend to me. I started the project 4 years ago and over time it changed a lot - from a deep, percussive atmosphere over a vocal sample-based, broken UK beat into this warm and optimistic song. I don't want to end the album with a typical and-now-it’s-over-track. That's why I put "It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You" at the end.
12. Ai Ai Ai Ai Ai Ai EY (Digital Bonus)
This track keeps me caught between the chairs. I made it last summer by jamming around with a Prophet synthesizer at Behind The Plane studio. It was so much fun when I found this vocal sound. I played around and it felt like making jokes about the music itself. Back home I've listened to it and I began to feel a bit guilty for creating such a "stupid" mood.
It’s A Business Doing Pleasure With You is available now via Riotvan. Grab it here.