Pixeltruppen consists of three established "Web" musicians: Anis (composition, vocals), Javolenus (composition, guitar, vocals), Karstenholymoly (arrangements, composition, production, synths). Inspired by early European music, and influenced by electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, Pixeltruppen create their sound via Analog synths augmented by dance beats, guitar improvization, and vocals.
Pixeltruppen really began as a collaboration between Myself (Javolenus)
and Karsten (Keyboards). The early tracks (for example “Orfeo”, “A Secret Love”, and “Debt Is For Life”) were experiments with a Renaissance-music vibe -- basically, seeing what could be done
with analog synths, guitar & vocals. Later we were joined by Ralf (Wired Ant) and dropped the Renaissance stuff in favour of Ralf’s grooves. This productive period saw songs such as
“Pixeltruppen”, “Schiller’s Clock”, “Mnemosyne”, “Parting From A Friend”, “You Are So Beautiful”, and “1972” take shape. Ralf then decided to take a backseat and so we recruited female vocalist
Anis, who also contributed some lyrical additions. Thus we produced the songs “Très Gentil Cœur”, “Love Is Not Blind” and “Semiotics”.
The thing about Pixeltruppen is that we’re a “virtual band” who only
“meet” in hyperspace. I’m in the UK and the others are scattered across Germany. We build songs by sharing files on Dropbox. Karsten perfects the final arrangements and does the mastering. In
fact the name “Pixeltruppen” is appropriate because it suggests a team or squad that only exists on a computer screen.
The other thing about the band is that each member has experience of
composition and song-writing. This is great because it means there is no shortage of ideas! It also means that we have a mature approach to composition -- we put the song-concept first and
let that guide the instrumentation and arrangement. A couple of other important points to note are our devotion to analog sounds and our interest in old European music/literature as a source of
As far as vocals are concerned, we like to mix both male and female
voices, and we like to use German and French as well as English. Karsten frequently processes vocals through a vintage Sennheiser vocoder, or applies Moog filters. In fact, some of the “female”
vocals (for example on the song “You Are So Beautiful”) are actually male vocals put through a Moog formant filter.
As a guitarist working with an “Electro” band I’ve dropped all the usual Rock/Blues/Jazz clichés. It’s forced me to be more creative and subtle -- for example, utilizing different tunings to create unusual arpeggios and/or harmonics.
Finally, I’d just like to thank everyone who’s supported us and left comments. This is very important to us because -- unlike bands that do live gigs -- this is the only way we can get feedback. And so thanks again and do keep the comments coming!
Eboracum, November 2013