How long did it take you to produce the album?
Florian Rietze: The creation of the album was a longer process. Some of the pieces are some years old already, but somehow I never felt that it was time to show them to the world. Fifty percent of the tracks were written during the last year.
How did you choose the title of the LP? Is there a special meaning behind it?
Since the album is a very personal journey and reflects my personal way of life and struggles during the last years, I decided to choose the title ‚Traces.‘ The album tells a story and at the really end it leads to the point of where and who I am today. All these tracks are traces which mark my path as a musician and even more as a person, trapped in the struggles of life and its challenges.
What inspired you to produce the tracks and the LP?
Last year I had a management request from the united states. I applied and we stared to get ideas flowing. We started to figure out, that it will be time to create something unique. So the idea of an album came up. I collected tracks and ideas and we managed to put together a decent number of tracks to make this project become reality. After a while I realized, that it may not be the right time to grow or breakthrough, or however you may call it. So the whole project was falling into deep sleep for almost one year. Since then, I made a lot of progress personally. I stepped back and didn’t produce music for a longer time. I was asking myself if I really want to keep playing a role in this game called music business. I have been unsatisfied with the tempo and the superficiality in the music scene and also the whole world. After spending my time with doing anything else then music (I was a volunteer teacher in Myanmar, worked as a chef in the Alps and spend two months in Morocco just for surfing and painting) I came back empowered and more grounded than ever before. My booker asked me, if there is any content coming. It has been quiet for a decent amount of time. So now after one year and with more consciousness about who I am, I finally had the courage to release the album to the world and make it a charity, since I don’t want it to be a business but a gift to the world. I am dine with playing the game of competition and quantity over quality. Also the order of the tracks tell a story. Each track describes a specific feeling and all together they tell a story about me. And all of them are Traces. Traces in myself, in you and in the world around us. Since we all leave our traces around us and the world.
Where and how did you produce the tracks?
Many of the tracks were created in very hard and lonely times. Almost the half of them I created during the last year, when I had a very intense but also very chaotic and emotional relationship. The tracks carry a lot of feelings. Some of them I created during my travels in South East Asia but the majority in my studio in Berlin.
How was the feedback so far?
Till now the feedback is very positive. A lot of people like the idea of the charity and that all funds will go to the Mudita Foundation which gives educational support to orphaned kids in Myanmar. Most of the people like the story behind it. It takes people on a journey. Not only a journey into my life, but also on your or their personal journey. Also for the first time it is a release which gives me 100 % confidence. This is something I never felt before and this is also the feedback so far. It sounds complete, adult and homogenic, thats what many people say.
How and why did you choose the record label?
I send the album to Uwe from Afterhour Sounds and he really liked it. Somehow it ended up on the table of Andreas, who also runs Amselcom. He was very touched by the story about the album and since I had a release already a few years ago, he asked me if he can release it. As I wanted to have this out as soon as possible and also had my own concept and artwork, he then offered me to release it on his sub label Male Cmos. So here we go.
What’s up next after the release? Any plans and projects?
For now I haven’t any specific plans, music wise. I am living a life without any force. This year I will spend the winter in the mountains and maybe also create some new music over there. I just let things happen, as they appear. This is the most authentic and powerful way of creating in my opinion. No force, just flow. I could imagine that there are some shows following up for the next year, lets see which possibilities pop up after the release. I am open for everything.