Digital in Berlin are happy to host the premiere of the first episode of “Synasthesie Festival Introducing”, a series replacing the Synasthesie Festival during the pandemic. Shot on location at the Kesselhaus in Berlin, the series showcases the best new talent from Germany. This first episode is features Plaisir, the dark wave trio from here in Berlin.
Plaisir is the “coldgaze” Berlin trio that beckons with layers of noisy guitar, steady throbbing basslines, chilly minimal drum machine beats, and waves of warm, shimmering synth. Blended from the dreamy fuzz of shoegaze and the stripped down, lo-fi aesthetic of coldwave, Plaisir seeks to create darkly seductive soundscapes infused with gentle spoken word, and surrealist melodies in English and French.
The members met in the throes of a sweaty concert in a Berlin basement in 2019. Camille Haimet (FR/USA), Carla Cixi (IT) and KC Dahlehan (SE) shared their varied influences (MBV, The Cure, Deux) and began writing songs together, resulting in two singles, before the debut EP ‘Sap’ (released November 2020). All material is DIY; written and recorded by the members together in their Berlin studio, produced and mixed by KC Dahlehan.
The new single ‘Maslo z Sola’ is being released in February 2021, as a part of the upcoming album. The trio have answered our 11+3 interview below.
1: KC is the Daddy.
2: If given a pop quiz about the titles of Plaisir songs, every member in the band would fail.
3: Butter and salt.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
The DIY and low-fi aesthetics of no wave, cold wave and post-punk generally, mixed with the delicate balance between melody and disharmony, beauty and brutality of shoegaze/dreampop. And lots of synth. And that unique feeling of being simultaneously turned on and disgusted.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
None of us are music pros by any means though we have different levels of experience with performing and playing instruments (from basically none to some). The most pronounced connection we have to music is simply our deep appreciation of it. We started the band in spring 2019.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Source, Tags & Codes – …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (KC)
Relationship of Command – At the Drive-in (KC)
Isn’t Anything – My Bloody Valentine (CX)
Sound of Confusion – Spacemen 3 (CX)
Deep Throat Soundtrack – Various Artists (CH)
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Long nights – dim lights.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
KC’s home studio. (Sorry, favorite place or only place that exists these days?)
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
CH: Rock back and forth in fetal position.
CX: I would build things that sound.
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
CH: Space Escapade – Les Baxter
CX: Tales of Faith and Lunacy – Nero Kane (tape)
KC: Sadly, I spend the little I have on gear.
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
CX: Kevin Shields.
KC: Maybe an obvious choice, but Rick Rubin, mostly since I love his vibe. And his beard.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
OBVIOUSLY the gig where we met and decided to be a band out of the blue.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Even if our taste is very analogue, our music is made with technology as a fundament. The smallest seed of a song is directly given life through it. That’s also why our creative process – from rough idea to mixed and finished song – is extremely fast.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
CH: I ran off with one of my brothers’ instruments to form Plaisir, so…
CX: I don’t think my brother even knows that I play bass… I’m the black sheep of the family.
KC: My two brothers grew up the same way as me, with a dad hiding bulky instruments under the tree every christmas, once with a thread leading to a drumkit in the garage.. So I think they are happy at least one of us followed the hint.
Photo © Sara Arnald