Door Xavier Kruth

15 juni 2024
We mix everything and make a cocktail of everything that was done best 40 years ago, humbly and for our pleasure.

On Saturday, June 15, we will again organize a Dark Entries Night in the Kinky Star. There will be a concert of Partikul, a Brussels group that has already caused quite a stir with just two albums. The group consists of Aly (synth and vocals) and Stef (guitar and vocals), and they also appear to be a couple in real life. We asked them some questions about their history and their music.

Hello Aly and Stef. If I understand correctly, Partikul was born in 2019. I know you are a couple in real life too. Did the group arise from your meeting, or did it come about later?

Hello Xavier, thank you and Mattias for inviting us to this interview and to the Dark Entries evening this Saturday. We are indeed a couple and we were together for four years before we founded Partikul. We started this project shortly before the covid blackout. We first started with an EP with the prescient title ‘Venus-Virus’ (laughs), so much so that due to the lockdown we couldn’t perform a concert one month after its release to give.

You called your project ‘Partikul’, with this very specific spelling that we sometimes encounter in Brussels, the city where you operate. What is the history of this name?

The name of the group has nothing to do with Brusseleir. We had not made the link, thanks for the reference.

We were with friends on the parvis Sint-Gilles, at 'Verschu'. We were discussing pollution and our way of consuming in general, and the words ‘particul’ came up ('particules' in French). Besides the meaning, the sound also appealed to us and visually we preferred to put a K instead of a C. Then we realized that ‘PARTIKUL’ was also a Turkish word. (laughs)

Indeed, a first EP with four songs was released in 2019: ‘Venus Virus’. Were you immediately full of inspiration?

The fact that we composed together allowed us to move forward quickly. We talk about our joys and our sorrows, linked to what is happening to us in life. We have a very minimalist approach, we don’t intellectualize too much what we create, it's quite spontaneous.

Critics immediately spoke of a resolutely eighties sound. How do you try to recreate the sound and atmosphere of the 1980s while staying rooted in today’s world?

We are more of a hybrid group, we mix everything and make a cocktail of everything that was done best 40 years ago, humbly and for our pleasure.

Regarding the production of the two albums, Thomas Stadnicki, the sound engineer, is not so focused on the eighties, but has a modern approach to sound, which we love. We have a lot of influences: punk, no/new wave, noise, industrial, etc. but we also really like current groups like Boy Harsher, Moon Duo and The Soft Moon.

The next album ‘Related Memories’ was largely written during the lockdown and was released in 2021. Was the lockdown a painful period for you, or a period of inspiration?

It was a bit difficult, especially for the social side and the outings, since 99% of our activities are related to music... On the other hand, we were lucky enough to be able to rehearse in the studio in underwater mode, and rehearse and compose this album.

The last album to date was released in 2023: ‘Having Gone’. If we compare the three albums, we can say that the sound has become increasingly dynamic. The rhythms and bass are more pronounced on your latest opus. Was it a natural evolution or an explicit choice?

Yes, we wanted to write more danceable songs. We want to make people dance!

You have founded your own label: ‘Exit does not exist Records’. Is that only for your own productions, or do you plan to release other bands on this label?

No, not right away, we founded this label for our music. All groups should do the same!

The latest album ‘Having Gone’ was also released on Wagonmaniac Music. So you look beyond your own label. Why do you do that?

If we are offered a collaboration and it seems cool to us, why not? This is the case with Wagonmaniac. They offered to release us digitally. These are people who are passionate about music, just like us.

We don't want to be closed in on ourselves. Producing our own albums is also a pragmatic approach. But the freedom to decide for yourself is also cool.

I see you have a lot of shows. You're even playing at Castle Fest in Poland this summer. What are the plans for the coming period?

That show at Castle Fest was a nice surprise. We can’t wait to be there! Obviously we've had a chance to play a lot over the last three years. We never thought we would ever play with bands that we listen to and respect musically. At our level everything is just a bonus, so when we were contacted to play at Castle Fest...

We're working on new songs, so we'll see if we like them enough to record a third album... We'll see!

Partikul: bandcamp / facebook

Dark Entries Night with Partikul and Tantrum Zentrum, Saturday June 15, Kinky Star, Ghent

Review of the Partikul album Having Gone

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Over Xavier Kruth

Xavier Kruth bekeerde zich al op jonge leeftijd tot het gothicdom. Toen hij begon te puberen, moest hij lang zagen om een zwarte broek te mogen hebben. Toen hij tegenover zijn moeder argumenteerde dat hij gewoon om een zwarte broek vroeg, niet om zijn haar omhoog te doen in alle richtingen, repliceerde ze dat als hij nu een zwarte broek zou krijgen, hij daarna toch zijn haar torenhoog omhoog zou doen. Xavier was versteld over de telepathische vermogens van zijn moeder. Hij leerde destijds ook gitaar spelen, en sinds 2006 speelt hij in donkere kroegen met zijn melancholische kleinkunstliedjes in verschillende talen. In 2011 vervoegde Xavier het team van Dark Entries. In Dark Entries las hij ook dat The Marchesa Casati (gothic rock) een gitarist zocht, en zo kon hij een paar keer met de groep optreden. Later speelde hij bij Kinderen van Moeder Aarde (sjamanische folk) en werkte samen met Gert (kleinpunk). En het belangrijkste van al: in 2020 bracht hij samen met Dark Entries-collega Gerry Croon de plaat ‘Puin van dromen’ uit onder de naam Winterstille.

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