Artist: Arjuna Schiks
Title: Hua Hun
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If one talks about melodic techno and electronica, Arjuna Schiks should instantly pop to mind as one of the more influential producers in the Netherlands. He personifies the niche of danceable, ambientic electronica, full of feeling and emotion. Or, as DJ Isis eloquently described it before, he ‘makes machines sound human’.
In his newly started project in cooperation with the Amsterdam creative platform KROOKS, some of these machines have made way for live instruments. Arjuna brought together a pool of classical musicians to arrange a set of new tracks with, and to do rearrangements of his most iconic works for classical composition. How? By adding live vocalists, cello, harp and violin to Mahesvari and Hua Hun and turning them into tracks for listening purposes rather than to hear in a club. “Music For Your Ears” is meant to be ‘both primitive as well as futuristic’, referring to the Johannes Heil album Future Primitive; primitive in its sound, futuristic in its approach.
Especially the latter of the two -Hua Hun- put a smile upon our face, as it is a big favourite. The original is a beautiful, energetic, vibrant track and was accompanied by two fantastic remixes by Aril Brikha and Applescal on the Wolfskuil release back in 2012. For the new live version of Hua Hun, Arjuna turns parts of that wonderful synth progression into a string section, while generally sticking to the signature electronic synths to be heard in the original. Also, the little plucks, stabs and even the vocals have been given an acoustic upgrade. It is exactly this approach that makes it a blend of classical ‘primitive’ instruments and futuristic elements.
As for why, Arjuna explained that he wanted to show a different side of him. A side that is not often seen in the club culture of today. Minimalistic, classical and dreamy. In a way, the ‘Music for your Ears’ project is the calmer side to Arjuna’s uplifting clubside. It is no wonder this change of style creates a new way of experiencing his music, where the focus is actually more on listening to it rather than moving to it. With this in mind, two fully seated shows have been done with KROOKS by Day at the Tobacco Theater in Amsterdam, both completely sold out. In the near future, we’ve been told more shows and a second release are being planned.
We’ve highlighted Hua Hun, but all six tracks are beautiful and have a unique approach on the modern day fusion of classical instruments with electronics. The full EP has been released at KROOKS. Make sure to check it out using the links below, it is definitely worth your while. GdB.