An exclusive mixtape and interview with the ambient-electronic duo, Cumeo Project! The project first materialized in 2013 as a SoundCloud account forged on a stay in Brooklyn, With influences ranging from early Warp to K-Pop, Slowdive to Flying Lotus, current member Edward and Song hold down the project in Seoul, South Korea. They slowly develop their sounds from the realms of moody, ambient guitars to dense, glitch beats with electro-acoustic warmth and well-executed bliss-pop. KALTBLUT this week has a special mix from the two, and shared a few words about their project.
KALTBLUT: What is the Cumeo Project?
Edward Choi: The Cumeo Project is a collaboration between Gwangho Song and myself. It started out as a SoundCloud account that I created for fun on a trip to Brooklyn, and it just kept growing until eventually we decided to release an album. We released our debut EP in April with the US Label Shoeboxx Recordings, and on June 11th our full-length album was released on our friends’ Korean label, Honeybadger Records.
KALTBLUT: Where are you from?
EC: We come from korea. Nowadays Korea is well-known for K-pop and Psy’s “Gangnam Style. Yeah, we love K-pop, too.
KALTBLUT: Your first full-length album has just been released, can you tell us a little about it?
EC: It consists of some older and newer songs. We needed to re-arrange these songs so we could enter into another realm of sound, another future of our sound. For that reason, this album is a kind of turning point and a “let’s leave the past behind” thing for us. So this album reflects the sounds we loved, love, the images we loved, and still love from the early warp sound, and new wave music. It’s got a mixture of old guitar sounds like Paul Desmond with some very raw recordings. We tried to add beautiful melodies on those things, on the silent part of ambience; layering tight beats. Also, reverb everything – add too much side chain, and make a mess with it. I’m sure you’ll like it if you want to get lost in hazy psychedelics.
KALTBLUT: Your video for ‘I Feel You’ is so fun to watch! Was the game Star Rider something you played a lot?
EC: Star Rider is a very old arcade game famous in the early 80s so we never had a chance to play it, but we’ve always had a strange nostalgia for arcade games from the 80s and 90s. Anyways, in terms of the music video, we were listening to the song and happened to be watching a YouTube video of 80s video games at the same time. Then, Star Rider came on and it was like a perfect combination with our song. We even thought, “Wow we don’t even have to edit this, this is something like a revelation of God”. But we did do some editing like adding glitch effects, collages, and stuff. Anyway, it all came together in a day.
KALTBLUT: Are you a fan of glitch art? How important are visuals when accompanying your music?
EC: Yeah, we like glitch art and we always try to mix strange visuals with our music because when we make our music with specific images that recall old memories, or remind us of tropical seas, city landscapes, images of freaking out, etc…. so the visual is the most crucial part of our music
KALTBLUT: I saw ‘The spectrum of consciousness’ and Gagatrack’s videos, they’re very impressive! Is this something we can expect from each live performance? Or are these one off visual experiences?
EC: We did some shows with Gagatrack as a kind of collaborative work combining music and interactive video art. He did all the visuals live while we played music and it was a fantastic experience. Now he’s staying in the Netherlands so we haven’t been able to work with him, but hopefully we can work together again in the future.
KALTBLUT: Who would you love to produce music with?
EC: Too many to name, but one person we’d love to work with is Flying Lotus.
KALTBLUT: What is next?
EC: We’ve only just released our first full-length album, but we started working on another record that we hope to release this autumn or winter. I’m actually responding to this interview in Paris right now. It’d be great if we could do some gigs in Europe this autumn or winter.
The album ‘No Youth Flowers’ is out now on Honeybadger Records