Pablo Nouvelle released his second mini-album OBSOLETE today. The Swiss artist released an album called Atlas Internet Café in December 2019. Now, just a few short months later, we are given another mini album. This is a great album from start to finish, no breaks, no skipping, just let it flow. It touches on some of the basic fundamentals, loops, chord progression... but in its own unique way. Another notable thing to mention, his live shows are outstanding. I first heard of Pablo a few years ago, and has without a doubt evolved gaining the support from DJ's like Gorgon City & Aurora.
Every track on OBSOLETE feels as if you are on a musical journey, which I totally love. You never really know what to expect with Pablo, but you just know he will provide.
“I originally wanted to do a two-sided album and thought for a long time that it would turn into a day-and-night kind of thing. In the end, the concepts turned out very different from each other, but the idea of having a downtempo chill-out album and an up-tempo dance record remained. I’m glad to have gotten them into this world, and I hope they touch as many people as possible," says Pablo Nouvelle talking about the link between Atlas Internet Café and Obsolete.
This album could not have come at any better of a time. Downtempo, melodic, relaxing.... yet upbeat. I was curious to get his mindset, mood, and feelings towards each of his songs from his new album OBSOLETE. We got the chance to have Pablo speak on each song from his new album. In his own words, here is what each song means to him.
1. "The Atmospheric Halo Fades Into The Blackness Of Space"
Usually, if I pass V7 of a song, I’ll end up never releasing it. Now, this is probably version 27. The changed key varied the structure, added this crazy retro-space intro, asked my guitarist to contribute weird sounds. The only thing that stayed the same throughout all those different versions is the main synthesizer pattern that keeps on wobbling detuned throughout the song. This song really set the thematic scenery of where the whole album takes place. An auricular Stanley Kubrick, out of Space Odyssey vibe.
2. "Oh Would You Be There"
This song is very much inspired by the early Caribou records. I had an amazing time writing together with James Yuill. Two grown-up men hiding away in his little garden house studio, playing around with vintage (and not so vintage) synthesizers. The vocal sample is James singing. He improvised over several takes and I pitched and chopped it together to the name-giving tag line "Oh would you be there."
Whenever possible I try to take the train instead of a plane to travel between London & Zürich. A window seat, my laptop and a pair of headphones equal a lovely studio day. I prepared all the drums for "Saltburn" on a journey like this. Threw them the direction of Bondax, spent one day with Adam & George in a studio in Seven Sisters and came out with that banger. It’s hard to imagine how much fun it is to work with those two guys!
A sunny afternoon at the Bondax house, I brought a few drum loop ideas as a starting point and George & Adam came up with this crazy TB-303 loop. They sent it through a bunch of effects and the party went through the roof. There is also a version with some proper vocals on it, but in the end, I decided to use my own gibberish vocals on it.
5. "The Karman Line"
A classic home office studio day. My session got canceled and I spent the whole day in my windowless warehouse bedroom, dreaming about space. I didn’t like the tune at all at first and was in a super bad mood. I can get very emotional when I spend hours on a song and I feel like it leads nowhere.
It was my girlfriend who convinced me to keep on working on that track, and now it’s one of my favorites.
6. "Fossil Fuel"
My first session with Bondax at the Zero 7 studio. We could use their old Roland synthesizers (a Juno-106, a Jupiter, a Korg Ms-20) and a lovely upright piano. The piano outro was the original idea we started with. From there we worked in the opposite direction and got more and more dancey. Ending up with that very driven tune. I met Bondax for the first time that day, we made Fossil Fuel in a day and didn’t change one single detail afterward.
7. "A Peek Inside"
Inspired by the one and only Bonobo, I wanted to create a cinematic yet energetic song, with an instrumental interesting enough to work without any vocals. The organic Moroccan qarqabas and string samples flow nicely together with the harsh synthesizer arpeggios ant the synthetic drum patterns.