Since their debut release in 2013, what used to be a two man band consisting of Max and Sebastian Basler is now a six piece ensemble. Joined by Simon Kohler, Charlotte von Fritschen, Stuart Ziegler and Daniela Puccini, CAVES released their second full length album by the name of sevacaves last week.
“The similarity in our approach is that the songs were being recorded and partially written in the process. We completed everything under our own steam and set up our own “studio” for recording,” Max says, explaining how the band has evolved since their initial output. “The difference is that there are six of us now, so there are more voices in the creating process of writing and mixing songs.” Punchy and intoxicating, the first single they dropped ahead of the release was ‘Goldx’. After this we tuned into the vibrant energy of ‘Mad’gas/car’, which now sits at number three of the album’s thirteen tracks.
The band began recording sevacaves in February last year and, nearly a year later, finished recording this January. While there is something of a pattern to the way their songs originate – normally Sebastian and Max come to the table with a guitar and vocal piece – a lot of CAVES’ recording process comes down to experimenting until it sounds “right”. As sticklers for sound, some of the tracks were fully recorded multiple times using different mics, in different rooms, with different amps, at different tempos and so on.
With Sebastian and Max each contributing guitar and vocals, Stuart plays spacebass, Charlotte sets the mood on the synth, Simon keeps things in check on the drums and Daniela does percussion and also sings. “In practise we switch around our roles and have jams. Our roles are quite fluid, and nothing is certain,” says Max.
To say that their sound is a fantastic concoction of garage-pop, folk, lo-fi and psychedelic punk goes some way, but it’s difficult to describe CAVES when what their songs evoke is so elusive. There’s something familiar, primitive even, beneath a cascade of strange and ecstatic noise. Initially, the vocals come across as more instrumental than they do lyrical, so we listen intently, and it becomes a layered experience. Considering that their primary inspiration is the process of creating, the way that CAVES resists neat categorisation makes total sense. “Things fall in and out of place,” Max explains. “You pick out the things you like and see where you end up.”
All artworks created by members of CAVES, with paintings by Sebastian Basler and drawings by Stuart Ziegler.