STS 014 - Posh Isolation

posh isolation music mix podcast

Original photo by Nikolaj Møller.

Loke and Christian of Posh Isolation compile a mix of new and upcoming label material - sophisticated, sharp harmonies and neurotic, melodious twists.

It’s hard to count the publications where Posh Isolation are featured in one way or another. With that in mind, the label probably needs no extensive introduction. From early gritty cassette based noise melancholia to current digital world explorations, Posh Isolation has developed like a city - going through phases that bring differences, yet are all building one entity. PI shapes a space where disparate, confronting emotions and intimate dramas can coexist. Damien Dubrovnik’s Great Many Arrows encapsulates (at least partially) the core aesthetic sensibilities of the label: elegant walls of extreme noise, lush and elevated orchestral arrangements, a heavy emotional charge and subtle poetic movements. All of this can be revealed in a wide variety of forms ranging from the bubble-gum melancholia of Croatian Amor, and the blissful chamber purity of Vanessa Amara, to the crystalline utopian fantasies of KYO or the smart future garage of Yen Towers. The recent compilation, I Could Go Anywhere But Again I Go With You, introduced a several new directions - take Yde Girl’s distorted indie pop or the autotuned deconstructions of Khalil.

During last summer’s visit to Copenhagen it struck me that the whole cityscape, the vastness of its spaces, the presence of water everywhere, the moderate and reserved character of the people and these colder summers resonate strongly with the sound of PI. There is a strange sense of unease in some places, a peculiar type of melancholy quite typical for larger Northern European cities, a solemn atmosphere of fresh sea air - all right next to cultural hedonism and a vibrant nightlife.

For a better view, label founders Loke Rahbek and Christian Stadsgaard (read a longer interview here) compiled a mixtape and answered a few questions. The mixtape represents the present moment as the majority of tracks are either from fresh or upcoming releases. Expect a lot of sharp harmonies, neurotic melodic twists, emotional sincerity and sophistication.

How has your vision for the label changed since the beginning?

C: To be honest I do not think anything has changed. We release the music we care about made by people we care about. Like we have always done.

L: 9 years have passed since the label started, I would consider it a great failure if everything looked the same and sounded the same now. We have changed, the world has changed and the label naturally changes with it. But i agree with Christian - the vision stays the same.

How do you share responsibilities in the label? Are there situations when your thoughts/ideas/visions do not match?

C: One of the most striking things about us when we first started working together was that we agreed on pretty much everything, and never really had to talk about where wanted to go with the label. After working closely together for nine years, doing both a band and a label, that common understanding of things has not become smaller. Of course we have different perspectives on things and sometimes disagree, but in the big picture we really don’t.

Recently you released your first digital-only compilation. What was the reason for such a step?

L: We wanted to portray the scene around us as it looked on that day in early January, a digital platform allows us to work much faster than any physical format would, it felt important for it to be here and now.

C: I really like the idea of digital releases. It is fast and democratic. Much like tapes were in the 80’ies. I think this compilation captures much of the zeitgeist of 2018, and in that sense it needed a contemporary format.

Since PI has a revolving pool of artists (in addition to new ones), is the community aspect important to you in choosing new names?

L: There is no rule set and no application form. If it is there it is there.

C: We do not release music by people who we feel are not in tune with how we do things; having the feeling that we are all in this together and strive for a common goal.

I have always been fascinated by the title of the label and how accurately it reflects the concept of it. Is there any story behind it?

C: We stole it from a Belle and Sebastian song. Still one of our better moves.

You had some flirtations with the fashion world (a collab with Kappa) and your merchandise is always elegant and carefully designed. Could you elaborate on this collaboration?

L: I met Kazuki Kurashi of A.Four Labs through friends in Japan and America and we bonded over shared love for the Stone Roses and Peter Saville. When he asked if we wanted to design the Kappa collections with him, we agreed. I always dreamed of a Posh Isolation tracksuit and we finally had a chance to make that happen. Merchandise by bands and labels is nothing new, i guess the main difference is that ours generally look better. I made the facemask cause it was really cold out.

How does Copenhagen influence the label?

C: Copenhagen looks amazing on instagram.


01. Khalil - Submit So Deep [2017]
02. Brynje - Fuel [2018]
03. [Unreleased]
04. Hvide Sejl, Varg & Frederik Valentin - Women In Love [2016]
05. Yen Towers - First on Comedown [2018]
06. Whitearmor - F Extend [2018]
07. CTM - Red Dragon [Upcoming]
08. Boli Group - Toxica [2018]
09. Ydegirl - LOA_An Indie Libretto [2018]
10. Damien Dubrovnik - Arrow 4 [2017]
11. Khalil - Always Wanted To Ride In A Place Like This [2017]
12. Severin - Any Day Now [2018]
13. Minais B - My Main Source of Water [2018]
14. Croatian Amor & Varg - Shadows Show Violet [Upcoming]
15. Puce Mary - The Temptation To Exist / Croatian Amor - An Angel Gets His Wings Clipped [2016]
16. Vanity Productions - The Crack In Everything [2017]
17. Vanity Productions - Altitude [2018]
18. Vanessa Amara - Of Hoping [2018]

About Author

Paulius Ilevicius is a Secret Thirteen journalist, editor and occasional DJ focusing on more dreamy and melancholic soundscapes. Born in post-industrial town of Pavevezys, currently he lives and works in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Leave A Reply