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The Circular Atmospheric Trip with Lasă Copilu

Lasă Copilu is a Berlin-based band, with an atmospheric trip sound and multilingual song artistry, captured organically through the lens of visual graphics. Together for almost two years, they intertwine psychedelic, Balkan, and electronic creative influences in a live performance worth experiencing.

Lasă Copilu: Angi (voice & bass), Viktor (voice & guitar), Jacob (drums), Dmitry (voice & electronic).

The name of your band is quite unusual. What’s the story behind it? Is there a connection between the music you make and the name?

Jacob: It’s about this dreamy way of thinking you have when you’re a child, to explore. It is reflecting the music that we make as we were jamming in a natural way, not thinking about it so strict.

Angi: Seeing music from a more naïve perspective, free of rules.

Viktor: The name means in Romanian ‘let the child be’. It’s an expression my grand-grandmother used to say to my grand-grandfather, as a funny scolding. And it fits our style. Letting the natural be like you’re a child you enjoy things and don’t overthink. Maybe you can find this connection in our music. The sound is improvisations. Lyrics are oriented towards natural phenomena [drops, light]. Then we work our way up. Probably we also switch our mindset as well.

Listening to your music, you have an interesting combination of elements that distinguishes you from other bands. On one side the psychedelic, electronic, and Balkan. How did you combine your previous activity in making the sound of Lasă Copilu?

Jacob: Like the crazy Balkan stuff Angi and Viktor came with this, that makes you want to dance. I am not used to this, because I’m German, not used to these things. I used to play music for headbangers, this rock beat that was really fast. I always wanted to go for the music that you can dance to, and now the sound is more open. At times is soft, while other times is really vivid.

Angi: It’s really curious how the first time we jammed with Jacob, we ended up playing something Balkan. It was funny how he [Jacob] adapted so quickly, and it came so naturally for him too.

How does the electronic part blend with all those elements?

In today’s music, it becomes so mixed anyway. We don’t have any borders, so it’s very free. Music shouldn’t be stuffed with unnecessary sounds.

Angie: I think when you create music live, as Dmitry said, we don’t overdue things, because we play with what we have. Whereas in the studio, you have the ability to put ten guitars and so on. At the same time, these are limitations one unconsciously imposes on oneself. All our sounds work pretty interestingly, as Dmitry does his electronic sound also live, adapting that organically, which is unlike most people who play over samples.

In your creative process, how do you decide what elements you want to keep and which don’t fit?

Jacob: The process is something like architecture, because you never finish something. We also have other commitments like work, study, so the time that we can spend on it is limited. For me, it fits the jamming, open end style. We can change small things when we play or when we discuss afterwards what to keep or leave.

Angi: We just learned a new word in German yesterday—verschlimmbessern. When you try to improve something so much that you end up fucking it up. It happens to us. All jokes aside, our creative process is to improvise together, without having anything prepared. For example, when somebody plays a note, the other picks up on that. There are times when we are jamming and we edit the songs afterwards. Lately, it happens we keep everything as it was initially intended. In the end, you can find a justification for everything

Dmitry: We generally try to keep the feeling and put some sense into it after.

You also have static songs, such as Lasa or Cheep Speed. They show a different side to your style. 

Cheep speed is a song about disappointment with mankind. From my perspective, it fits well to the world today. When something goes wrong in life, for example, it is a dogma that you are to blame for it.

Angi: That’s true. These songs are not products of the jamming, another facet of the band. With Lasa, the song was first written by Viktor and then I put the lyrics on top and that’s how it was born.

The band sings in three languages: English, Bulgarian, and Romanian. It seems like a lot of artists are trying to get exposure in signing in English. Is it something characteristic to Berlin, the multinational component?

Jacob: For most people it sounds very interesting, because it is not usual to come in contact with Eastern European languages and accents. Also, some people don’t necessarily listen to the lyrics. There is much more accent on the melody.

Viktor: It also happens to big bands, when you go to a concert and sometimes you don’t get much from the overall lyrics. If the music is touching people, then it is easy to search for the meaning behind the lyrics.

Angi: Personally, I think lyrics are really important. There are situations when you can’t distinguish what people are saying, the first reaction is to try to understand what’s going on. In our case, it is a dangerous thing to go for a sound that people don’t understand. But at the same time, each song makes a better sense in a certain language. And we decided to put authenticity of the song above everything else. If people are used to something, that doesn’t mean it cannot change. But then again, we make music for a specific audience. Bands like Sigur Rós, they are big with a huge audience, and Icelandic fits so well to what they do. That is why they kept doing it, because it’s special and worth exploring. Otherwise, you’ll end up falling into the same pattern.

The live performances you make are quite unique as well. Lately, you experiment with visual graphics, that’s where Cat comes in and it fits perfectly to your mood. How does that fit the entire concept?

Jacob: Our music is dreamy and allows the listener to go to other dimensions. The visual effects somehow shorten the path for that. And it’s not really about showing our faces, but transmitting a natural feeling to our audience.

Viktor: For some people, our music is vitally instrumental. The visuals describe the music and add up to our entire concept of the atmospheric trip. Because everything is original, unlike most newcomer bands, we come up with the entire thing ourselves.

Angi: The idea is to come up with the whole package. The images, and not necessarily cinematic or rich in content, they are there to set the mood, complementing the sound, and we were lucky enough to find Cat, who is very spontaneous and is jamming with us.

Next concert of Lasă Copilu with the Cosmic Jester is this Friday.

When: 29 July 2016
Where: Garage Pankow
Visual performance: Katherine Sultan Erminy
Photos: Jasmin Wolff, Lucifer Sam, Katherine Sultan Erminy
Interview: Eliza Marin

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