Interview for Side-Line Magazine 2021

Paradox Obscur is a Greek duo driven by ‘Toxic Razor’ and ‘Kriistal Ann’. They’re composing a kind of Electro/Wave-Pop characterized by the use of only hardware equipment. After four noticeable albums they signed to Metropolis unleashing the album “Singles & Rarities’. The work sounds as a new exploration of Minimal-Electronics and will appeal for all lovers of vintage electro.

(Courtesy by Inferno Sound Diaries)

Q: How did you guys meet and what incited you to set up Paradox Obscur?

Paradox Obscur: We first met quite a few years ago at a student event. It was the period when we were looking to expand our horizons through concerts and contacts with like-minded people. Somewhere there, situations connected us and we discovered many commonalities in matters of interest in art. A few years later, life brought it like this, in a second meeting of ours, being now settled in our directions in life, we decided to follow a common project for our own personal pleasure and experimentation. Then things developed without any backward disposition on our part. It was what we call the right place, at the right time.

Q: You clearly have a very personal and retro-like approach in the composition and recording of your music; only hardware equipment while the songs are recorded in real time with a good-old multi-track recorder. Tell us a bit more about this way of working and in, which way do we have to see it as an antithesis to ‘modern technology’?

Toxic Razor: We are really into recording in real time, it enables us to give a live feeling to the compositions. We never use software synths, somemething that sounds too sterile and clinic.

Kriistal Ann: I do not believe that technology can work wonders on its own if I do not have the flame that feeds inspiration as well the perseverance to work on my idea. Okay, in many cases it loosens your hands, but what is the point if I do not identify, I do not become familiar with the theme I am composing. To play my theme so many times until I perfect it, to search for appropriate sounds, this time consuming process that merges me with my idea and makes me genuinely creative.

Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the equipment you’re using and in, which way does a lack of equipment affect your creative process (pros and cons)?

Paradox Obscur: Depending on the occasion it’s something that changes from time to time, but gear like the Virus TI Polar, the Korg MS2000 or the Roland JD-Xi are great to work with.

Q: You recently signed to Metropolis Records, which I can imagine must be a kind of consecration. How did you get in touch and what do you expect from a ‘bigger’ label?

Toxic Razor: Of course, our connection to Metropolis was something that brought us great joy and satisfaction. It’s the moment when more opportunities come your way; larger audiences can listen to your music and there is more interest from media.

Kriistal Ann: Our first contacts started with Metropolis was somewhere in 2018 where I was asked to participate with my personal project Kriistal Ann on a compilation called “Why Kill Time (When You Can Cover Cabaret Voltaire)” which was original idea by Mr. Chris Halstead, with the help of Mr. Athan Maroulis, who recommended me to Chris to participate in this.

A second contact was made in 2019 when Paradox Obscur was proposed to participate in an equally wonderful Metropolis compilation called “Dark Nouveau,” which was also compiled by Athan Maroulis.

All of these small steps contributed to the big leap. It is this well-known pattern of life that demands from us stoicism and patience, work and passion to eventually lead us further.

Q: Your new album is entitled “Singles & Rarities” so what are the singles and rarities all about? How did you achieve this work?

Paradox Obscur: Just to clarify that “Singles & Rarities” is not a best of compilation. “Singles & Rarities” is a collection of individual songs that we had written throughout the journey, with the aim to support some small exclusive compilations that had been released by independent blogs, labels and online magazines, with the exception of song “Tranquil” which is an unreleased track. There were fans that were asking where they can find these songs so it was about time to have them all gathered in one release. All of this was synchronized with the moment of the proposal from Metropolis and we decided to make this our initial release until we complete our next album.

Q: You’ve been involved together with Resistance Of Independent Music and are still active with other projects as well. What makes the difference with Paradox Obscur? And what are the further plans?

Toxic Razor: Side-projects are always a nice escape where I can try other things. For example, Deathfiend Baphomet is a project where I work in more blackened Industrial soundscapes under Metal influences that are both brooding and menacing.

Kriistal Ann: I believe that through our solo projects we have a greater freedom to express ourselves depending on the moment and the mood. I do not expect to get it somewhere or follow a line. I place all my influences; I experiment with sounds or instruments. My own work as Kriistal Ann is based on a variety of forms, filtered through my personal prism and a more internal vision.

Paradox Obscur: As for Paradox Obscur, we are already working on the next studio album and looking forward to doing some live shows once the Covid restrictions end.

 

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