Parra for Cuva reveals the story of his album, Paspatou, and the secrets behind his sound samples
The DJ chats with us before his India tour about the novel Around the World in 80 Days and the temples of Hampi serving as inspirations
Nicolas Demuth, aka Parra for Cuva, started out on his musical journey by playing classical Debussy pieces on the piano. At an early age the German producer mixed his piano compositions with hip hop elements. The artiste’s sound may be very different now, but the fascination for new and interesting samples is what makes his music intriguing. We speak to Nicolas before his Indian tour about his third and newest album, Paspatou, and his experiences in India:
1. Your recent album, Paspatou, has been described as swinging between melancholy and euphoria. Can you tell us about emotions and themes in the album?
Well 'melancholy' and 'euphoria' is pretty good when you want to describe my music. It's very hard for me to put my music into verbal adjectives. When making the music I don't normally sit down and say to myself, “Oh lets make an melancholic track today or I am in a more happy mood so something uplifting may come out.” It's always unpredictable, what comes out when making music. If I would have to narrow it down though, I would like to say it is an emotional journey. What people feel while listening is up to them.
2. What is the story behind the name of album?
I like to choose short names for my albums. Or just one word names. Also I mostly go for names I made up. Paspatou is a name I came across in Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. The butler accompanying the main character is called Passepartout. In general, it has no deeper meaning why this name appealed to me. It just did. While making the title song this name echoed in my head and I decided to call it Paspatou.
3. Tell us about some of the interesting samples you have used in the songs.
Oh there are many. I have a secret website where sound nerds from all around the world upload ethnic samples so I spend a lot of time going through old African and Indian sample library. I also did a lot of recording myself with a portable device which I take everywhere.
4. We heard there are some samples from India.
Yes the song Seven Temples was partly recorded in Hampi while I was staying there two years ago. We were just taking walks and driving around the area and I spend some time in the temples recording and singing. These temples produce a unique reverb effect with a long and special decay.
5. Who are some artistes/bands you are listening to nowadays?
I mostly listen to more acoustic music nowadays. Floating Points’ Late Night Tales for example is on repeat right now. When it comes to electronic music I fell in love with the new Tourist album, Everyday. Check it out if you can.
6. What are your plans in Bengaluru and Hyderabad?
I guess it will be very busy with all the travelling. But I will be definitely walk around for a bit. Most of the time when I visit Indian cities I like to go to parks or just take a tuk-tuk and tell the driver to drive around for 30 minutes. You will always get a good view of the city like that.
7. What is the future of electronic music, are there any limits?
Well, there are limits and also aren't. I studied sound design in Berlin and when working with some of these sound guys you realise that there are no limits. Maybe just some technical limits. Our machines can just process a certain amount of information. Back in the days it was already a miracle to have a player piano that could play twice as fast as the best piano player. Now we have laptops and computers. What will we have in 20 years?
8.What are you working on after this?
I am working together with a good friend of mine called Trashlagoon on two new EPs. Right now we are in the finishing process so that will drop next September or so.
April 7, 8 pm. At Fandom, Koramangala, Bengaluru