Hypertonus is a promising instrumental, psychedelic funk trio from Bremen, Germany. They recently released their debut album ‘Tidal Wave’ and we grabbed the chance to have a little live chat on Facebook with Patrick Büch. Hope the following interview clarifies why you should definitely check out Hypertonus and catch them live if you can.
Hi Patrick! Welcome to Last Day Deaf! Would you like to introduce Hypertonus to us? How did the band emerge? And why the name?
Hey Christos! Thanks for asking for an interview.
We are an instrumental space rock band from Bremen, Germany founded in 2011. Our debut record came out on March 3rd, it’s called ‘Tidal Wave’.
In early 2011, I’ve set up a small ad where I was looking for people to make music with – our bass player replied, some days later we’ve met with small amps in his living room. It went well and some more days went by, then we started searching for a drummer. Another ad later, we found him and met with small amps, a djembe – this went on for quite some time. We found a rehearsal room, then the amps got bigger and we brought a drumkit. So these were our early days. Now we’ve finally released our debut record!
Our drummer came up with the name. He’s a male nurse –Hypertonus means high blood pressure, and it fits our music really well… at least that’s what we think!
Great! On March 3rd you released your debut ‘Tidal Wave‘. Reading its credits on your Bandcamp page, I noticed that it was the result of a 2-day live recording! Would you like to discuss about it? How long had you been practicing before ending up with such a good result?
Yeah sure! Nice to hear that you think it’s good, thanks for that! It all came up very spontaneously – a friend of us who studies music asked us if we would like to record with him, we said yes – so we didn’t have that much time to practice ‘recording’. But we were quite in shape of playing our songs – that helped a lot. While recording, a lot of things just happened spontaneously, too – for example, the mid-part in ‘Fake Tale Of Modern Hysteria‘ wasn’t there at all – it just happened while playing, we thought it was quite nice and in the end it has found its way on the album. We were planning to record an EP only, but after these two days we had enough material to make it an album, which we are very happy with.
What about ‘Breaking Kadabra’? My favorite one with the distinctive crescendo near the end?
That’s one of our favorite live tracks as well. It’s a song which is in live-set since quite some time. There is no fixed definition of the mid-part, we always jam and see where we go with it. On the album, it’s a quite funk-driven version. It’s always nice when the wah-part kicks in, and with the crescendo afterwards we kind of go nuts every time we play that tune. Nice that this one is your favorite, it’s the favorite track of our bass-player Arne as well!
Since I play the bass too. I can understand.
The track came up from an idea he brought to the rehearsal room, so I’d say it’s a very bass-driven song!
‘Aeropause’ is another one I love. Nostalgic and melancholic in a way…
Yeah, I love that one, too – I thought about playing some kind of ‘Interlude’ to the following track ‘Expect The Sky Below‘ – I started strumming the chords and asked Arne to join me. Then the track just developed by itself. It’s just the one take we did with that one, and we’re very happy how well it went; It definitely brings another aspect to the record, being such a calm track.
A question that springs to my mind all this time talking to you Patrick, is why instrumental? Why funk?
We’ve thought about getting vocals into the band in the beginning. No one of us is blessed with an angel’s voice. But we never intensified our search, instead of that we became more and more comfortable with being an instrumental band. And at some point, we stopped thinking about vocals. We just love to play with each other and try to let the music speak for itself.
Arne and I are big Funkadelic lovers – Eddie Hazel is kind of a god to me. We always like to jam with funkier tunes. So our love for the funk just naturally found the way into our sound as a band.
And what about space rock & post-rock? Especially, the closing opus contains strong post-rock elements along with the experimental “ping-pong” percussion during its initial minutes…
Post-rock and space rock with bands like And So I Watch You From Afar or Tatran have had a big influence on us and are some of our favourite bands.
‘Phantasmagoria‘ is a completely improvised track. We’ve just started with that reggae-offbeat and within the 8 minutes it completely changes. The moment we’ve heard that track after finishing the recording sessions, we wanted that one to be our closing track on the album.
Living and creating in Bremen then. To be honest, apart from the football team, I am not aware of any bands from there. Would you like to tell us a few names of the local scene?
We have some great bands here in our town – Nordic Ashtrays for example. They’ve just released their second album a few weeks ago. It’s a cool ska-blues-funk-rock album, really worth checking out. And there is a post-metal band called To Those Who Exist. Our bass player is in there, too. They have released an EP in 2012 and are releasing their first full-length hopefully later this year. I’m definitely thrilled for that one, it’s gonna be a great one!
Keep me informed. Back to Hypertonus again. Your debut EP ‘HPRTNS EP‘ contained a few tracks of your debut full-length. In what way do you believe that your sound has evolved through the years?
The EP was recorded in our rehearsal room some years ago. It was the first try of recording some of our tunes. Soundwise, we just were not sure which way we wanted to go at all.
This changed a lot with this record. We wanted to have a record which expresses the same energy we have when playing a live record – which is why we did not record all the instruments individually. And with the help of John Simm, who mixed this record and used to play drums in the UK-Turbo-Prog-Combo Cleft, and Alexander Lausch, who mastered our record and did that for artists like Mother’s Cake and has an incredible band called Lausch, I think we really have a record that represents us as a band extraordinarily well!
Talking about energy, you have booked some live shows in the following days, including one in Amsterdam!
Yeah, we’re touring to promote our record. Amsterdam and Bremen will be with Flies Are Spies From Hell, a post-rock-group from London. We’ve played a show in Bremen together two years ago and we’re really looking forward to see these guys again, they’re really awesome – you should definitely check them out! Furthermore, we will play a show with 1000mods from Greece at Hafenklang, Hamburg – this is going to be a blast!
Hope all the best for you and the tour. Thank you for this one! Would you like to send a message to our readers? Why should they invest on Hypertonus, since the plethora of digital (and physical) releases is enormous….
Thanks! It was fun!
Sure! We’re a little group of three brothers that takes the funk on a highly energetic hellride to space – that’s a combination which is not that common these days. We don’t have any lyrics that show you where the song has to go – everybody can decide about his own ride, what vibe he or she sees in our tunes. It’s music for open minds! Take your time and check out our album Tidal Wave, it’s worth a listen!
Photo credits: Toni Prommnitz