Music & clubs

A chat with… Liima

INTERVIEW. Last year, the Danes of Efterklang joined up with their friend, Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö, to form new supergroup LIIMA. Debut record ii came out last month, and the foursome hits Berghain on Thu, Apr 21.

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Photo by Thomas M. Jauk

Last year, the Danes of Efterklang joined up with their friend, Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö, to form new supergroup LIIMA, coming to Berghain this month.

Efterklang went on hiatus in January 2014 to “explore new musical territories”; judging from their collaborations with everyone from Vincent Moon to the South Denmark Philharmonic and their current project, which combines guitars with looping electronics and Rönkkö’s inventive percussion, they’ve been doing just that. Debut record ii came out last month, and the foursome hits Berghain on Thursday, April 21.

What inspired the new project?

TATU RÖNKKÖ: We have a “residency” concept behind this band – we wanted to compose all the music from scratch in a new place. The first residency was in summer 2014 in Finland, then Berlin in autumn 2014, Istanbul in January 2015 and Madeira in May 2015. Four different environments; four different seasons. We did a lot of field recording and sampling: a traditional Finnish instrument, the sound of a grilling steak or some ice cream bells in Istanbul. It felt like a natural way of making music. All the songs on this debut album are from these four residencies.

What’s the meaning of ‘Liima’?

TR: It means ‘glue’ in Finnish. Liima started at a chamber music festival in South Finland. They invited Efterklang to do a collaboration with me, so we called ourselves Efterklang + Tatu Rönkkö but after half a year it sounded silly. So then we were rehearsing here and we found the name after a lot of suggestions.

MADS BRAUER: It’s a hard task. The music comes naturally to us, but everything with names and titles is difficult. All good band names are taken! 

Do you take any influence from Berlin techno?

CASPER CLAUSEN: Yeah. I go occasionally to Berghain. In order to really understand Berlin you have to go to these places. You could hang out at the Brandenburger Tor if that’s your thing, but these places are what’s really happening. Obviously, this electronic element which we’ve always had in our music gets coloured by where you are. A lot of the songs on our album have a lot of this Berlin techno-ish vibe to them; in the vein of Apparat or someone like that.

Would you say the band fits into the Berlin electronic music scene?

TR: We don’t think about categories or trying to fit into a particular scene. Whatever you do here, there are a bunch of geeks that will come and see you. Some venues have a very clear stamp of the scene around them – like Berghain, for example.

CC: What we realised here in Berlin is that we wanted to make more physical music – music you listen to with other people, not just by yourself with headphones in the U-Bahn. That’s what we want with our live concerts – to get people to gather around and move their bodies!

TR: In Berlin, we figured out that we might want to explore this danceable, rhythmic music. Not like, “Let’s make EDM”, but music with a danceable quality. Maybe it’s the techno influence at the back of our minds. Being at a place like Berghain, it’s a kind of ritual where all these people dance together or dance on their own but together in one space. It’s really inspiring to see them react to your music.

LIIMA Thu, April 21, 20:00 | Berghain, Am Wriezener Bahnhof, Friedrichshain, S-Bhf Ostbahnhof