Combining elements of Krautrock, Disco and New Wave is a new group out of Oslo called Rudolf’s Kontainer. A soundcloud sensation that also caught the attention of Olle Abstract’s Lyd podcast in January, Rudolf’s Kontainer is the brainchild of Mikal Lillo and consists of Ulf Moen Denneche, Pablo Guerrero and Eivind A. Haugen.
The band dwell in the icy digital world of 80’s pop-rock where vacuous reverbs and delays echo forth from a meleé of guitars and synthesisers while tight percussive arrangements bounce of the dance floor. Toe-tapping beats and ear-worm melodies stay with you long after the fact, and late last year the group put forward some of their best tracks as the debut album, Eclectic Rudolfland.
Eclectic Rudolfland finds its way out into the world through the Oslo-based eclectic label/collective MarsMelons, containing some of the most impressive moments from the band’s already burgeoning catalogue. The album’s debut also marks a new phase in the group’s biography as it takes them out of the studio and onto the stage for the first time.
Rudolfs Kontainer officially release their album via Olle Abstract’s LYD showcase this week at Jæger, and as they prepare for the show we aim to find out a little more about this new group and send over a few questions to frontman and guitarist Mikal Lillo.
Who exactly is Rudolf and what’s in his Kontainer?
Rudolfs Kontainer is the result of making a bunch of demo-recordings in my home in Oslo over a short period, releasing probably the best of them in December 2017 on the Oslo-label MarsMelons. I don’t know who Rudolf is, but I went too the Rudolf Steiner school and the kontainer is where all the songs go….
There’s four of you in the band, I believe. How did you all come together and what was the sole inspiration for starting a band?
There are five in the band now. Rudolfs Kontainers’ bass player Ulf (electronic musician known as Boblebad) and I grew up in Bærum and went to school (Rudolf Steinerskolen) together for a short time in the early 2000s. We exchanged some music last year, and he was so impressed by the quality he decided to contact his friends at MarsMelons.com to release Rudolfs Kontainer there. Me and the drummer Pablo had been jamming on the songs for a while and decided to play with Ulf on bass and try to play the music live, and gathered some people to make that happen (Eivind on synth and Henrik on percussion). Then Olle asked us if we wanted to play at this event.
Your soundcloud account describes the music as Dance-punk, Cold-wave, House, Electro-pop, Disco, Krautrock and Lo-Fi, but how would you describe it in non-musical terms?
Maybe as happy-go-lucky? My sister thinks its good music for cleaning the house.
What are some of the band’s influences?
Rudolfs Kontainer is influenced by a lot of different music made in the 1980s, such as disco, but also krautrock and electronic club music. Bands like Talking Heads, Kraftwerk and New Order are bands I want to mention.
Olle Abstract tells me that Rudolf’s Kontainer part of an collective out of Gamlebyen. Can you tell us a bit more about that and how it affects your music?
I don’t know anything about the collective out of Gamlebyen…
I must have misunderstood Olle. What could he possibly be talking about?
Olle must have mixed up the music collective Euforisk with MarsMelons. The only connection is that Rudolf’s bass player releases his own music on both labels.
What is MarsMelons and how do Rudolf’s Kontainer figure in there?
MarsMelons Is a label for experimental music from Oslo fornebu. Myself and Ulf sent Eclectic Rudolfland to Morten who runs MarsMelons and he really liked the album, so that’s what happened.
Your upcoming gig at Jæger for Olle Abstract’s LYD is also the official release party for your debut album, Eclectic Rudolfland. Eclectic is certainly an apt description, but what makes it distinct in your opinion?
I want people to have a good time when they listen to Rudolf. I think the music is kind of feel good and the process of making it makes me relax. I myself love a groove beat and a funky guitar.
Why an album and why now?
Because I had about 200 unreleased demos and about time too make an album for fun.
You said “I” there. Can we assume you are the creative force behind the band and how do the rest of the band figure into the writing process?
That’s right. The rest of the band are my favourite robots, making Rudolf come alive through playing the tunes live for an audience. They are perfect for the jobb! All of us are a bit out of tune; losing shoes all the time.
Out of the 200 tracks, what was it about this selection that works particularly well in the album format?
It’s a mix of the songs that got the most love on soundcloud and me and the guys in the band liked the most! It’s a bit random.
What will the album sound/feel like from the stage?
The music will sound more alive from the stage, more like a “rock” band, arranged differently, but very recognisable. We try to keep the groove and the beat.
* Rudolfs Kontainer join Olle Abstract and KSMISK for the inaugural LYD showcase at Jæger this Saturday.