Ancient Light ist eine Darkwave-Band aus Polen, die sich 2016 gegründet hat. Das Duo besteht aus Klaudia K. und Philip Pace. Mit ihrem 80er Sound, der durch Klaudias faszinierenden Gesang begleitet wird, erschaffen sie mysteriöse und dunkle Klanglandschaften mit stimmungsvoller Elektronik und hypnotische Rhythmen. Gerade haben sie ihre brandneue Single „Mundus patet“ veröffentlicht und werkeln am Debütalbum, das 2022 erscheinen soll – wir sind gespannt!
How did the project come into being? What made you decide to start Ancient Light?
Klaudia: We started Ancient Light without any particular goal in mind. We both enjoy making music and wanted to put our complementary skills to good use.
Philip: Ancient Light came into being a year or two before we officially released our debut single „Somewhere“ in 2018, an Aesthetic Force cover. Klaudia had shared a handful of demos beforehand, and it just so happened that this track instantly drew me in and awoke my creative spirit. That was probably the moment when we decided to take things further.
How did your band name come about, and what does it mean to you?
Klaudia: Ancient Light is a publication by David Malin – a collection of photographs of star clusters, galaxies, nebulae, and other spectacular phenomena caught on film. We thought the name was a perfect representation of our project – sounds from the past seen in a new light.
Philip: I’d received the book as a gift from Klaudia a few years back. What struck me upon my first encounter with it was the humble yet striking beauty of the stark images therein, a dualistic interplay of just light and darkness captured on celluloid of things far too distant for us to ever reach or touch, perhaps even comprehend. The book features one of my favourite quotes of Galileo Galilei: ‚I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.’ The minute we started deliberating on a band name, „Ancient Light“ was the first thing that came to our minds.
Can you tell us few things about the connection between you two and your journey into the music?
Klaudia: We met through the best music platform there ever was – Myspace, and have been friends ever since.
Philip: In the past I’d experimented with a crossover between darkwave and dark ambient tonalities, the product of which was the solo DIY project Dangerous Days. Ultimately, after self-releasing three EPs, I’d decided to put the project on hold and try out something new, maybe seek a collaborator for the endeavor. Klaudia wasn’t making music herself at the time, and so things serendipitously fell into place and we decided to give it a try.
If you had to describe your music in terms of not music… what would you say?
Philip: An iridescent thick black brew.
What are your first musical memories?
Klaudia: Probably around the age of six when I started playing violin, so I used to listen to a lot of classical music on tapes. There was no internet at the time I was growing up, so all my musical discoveries came from physical shops or a friend’s collection. When I was about 15 I bought First and last and always [by The Sisters of Mercy] and Dead Can Dance CDs from a local second-hand music store, because I liked their cover designs. I became so obsessed with those albums I went back to the store. I asked to buy the whole collection of CDs that particular person had deposited (including Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order, Ministry). It’s a real shame I never met them to just say thanks.
Philip: Me feverishly blaring random gibberish into a cheap microphone on my father’s stereo. I must have been three or four years old, involuntarily skipping nursery. I would spend endless hours by myself recording my voice on found MC cassettes, fixated on the distorted sound the overdriven signal was creating. An early adept of modern-day noise/power electronics one might say, although my parents understandably did not share my enthusiasm. Another quirky thing I’d do is obsessively admire the album cover and artwork whilst listening to it. My father had a modest yet decent collection of vinyl records, spanning releases by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits. At one point I’d even turned this into a daily ritual, with my mom preparing hot cocoa for the occasion. To this day I am partial to consuming albums in their entirety, from start to finish.
What are you looking for in music?
Klaudia: I use music as a tool to feel better, to get inspired and to relax. I have not found the same level of escapism in any other experience or substance.
Philip: A means to travel in time and space.
Which person, artist or incident inspired you when you first started making music?
Klaudia: I just wanted to do my own thing.
Philip: I’d spent my formative years abroad in South Africa. Back in the 80s my only sources of music were either my parents‘ record collection, Hollywood blockbusters or whatever they happened to play on the radio. Western music imports were unavailable or bluntly censored due to government mechanisms of the Apartheid regime. It was not until the early 1990s that a gradual transition started to happen. The turning point was when MTV became a household name. Music videos opened a whole new dimension to what had – until then – been limited to a static photograph or album cover. I specifically recall „True faith“ and „Smells like teen spirit“ being compulsively played day in, day out. It was also around that time that I, along with two of my classmates, formed our first band, Electronic Impulse. Equipped with just three affordable Casio keyboards (mine was an SA-7), our hopes for greatness far exceeded our compositions. We even made a demo tape. Sadly it got lost along the way. It wasn’t until much later during my high school years that I got into the underground and alternative subculture and had picked up the guitar.
Recently your new single „Mundus patet“ came out. How did the writing happen?
Klaudia: I wrote the composition after learning that one of my relatives passed away from Covid-19. It’s a blend of melancholic strings and punchy arpeggios to reflect the grieving state where you feel upset but also angry and helpless at the same time. In Ancient Rome “Mundus patet” was the name given to a pit dug to give access to the underworld. In the centre of Rome there was a pit known the mundus (world) of Ceres, which was usually sealed with a stone. The pit was said to contain the entrance to the underworld and on August 24th, October 5th and November 8th, the stone would be removed and an announcement made: “Mundus patet” (the pit is open). Then offerings of the first fruits of the harvest would be made to the gods of agriculture and of the underworld. The song is our „offering“, a way to honour and remember those who passed away.
Where does your inspiration for music come from? Which sort of mood produces the best song?
Klaudia: Anger, frustration and unfairness from reading the news or real life events.
Philip: My sources of inspiration are many and seem impossible to pinpoint. With moods it’s easier – nostalgia, melancholy, bleakness, alienation, tension. Happiness & content don’t work music-wise, at least to my ears.
Which instrument will surely NEVER be heard on an Ancient Light track?
Klaudia: We can’t really imagine making music with a list of no-go instrument names. If the sound is right and it fits the song, we wouldn’t hesitate to use it.
No alcohol is no solution either. What booze combination will definitely dissolve all your troubles and issues?
Klaudia: If alcohol could make all troubles and issues go away, I’m pretty sure we would be making hippie music right now! That being said, I very much enjoy frozen mead served at festivals.
Philip: I’d opt for something timeless, but also not too fancy. Nothing beats the classic blend of a Jack & Coke – simple, sweet and efficient in times of angst (albeit only for a short while).
What is the most surprising record on your CD/Vinyl-shelf?
Klaudia: Probably „Lip up fatty“ by Bad Manners.
Philip: Nothing too surprising on my shelves, although you will find quite a variety of genres. However, if you forced me to pick one, I think I’d choose Scatterlings by Juluka. Huge admiration and respect for the late Johnny Clegg until this day.
What are your plans for the near future? What are your hopes, dreams and what do you wish for?
Klaudia: We’re currently working on our first full album which we want to release in 2022. The next step for us would be to look into ways of getting our material out so that it reaches a wider audience.