Techno duo Tale Of Us and the White Isle seem like an odd couple. Best known for their dark and moody musical aesthetic — released mostly via their own imprint, Life + Death — Tale Of Us have put down permanent roots in sunny Ibiza for the first time ever this year, following a small stint of dates at DC-10 in 2015.
They’re launching a full residency at Space this season, titled Afterlife, which they’re describing as a musical “journey into the unknown”. They’re also set to launch a record label of the same name alongside the club-night, which will feature many of the core acts on Afterlife’s Ibiza bill. And with artists like Mano Le Tough, Mind Against and Voices From The Lake all confirmed, it’s guaranteed to be trippy and intense. We meet the Italian/German duo to find out more...
You were at DC-10 last year for a mini Life + Death residency but have moved to Space for your 13-week Afterlife residency this year. Why is now the right time for you to jump into a full residency?
Matteo: “We did a small residency last year and we’ve worked with DC-10 for many years. I guess it was a combination of events that led to this; there is no particular reason why it is this year, and not next year, or not last year — it just felt right.
“We’ve had really strong artist support in the past, and we had this new idea for a brand, something for a broader audience. The Space terrace has always been one of our favourite rooms in Ibiza and it all just came together somehow.”
Carmine: “We’ve been resident at DC-10 for four years and last year was a bit of a challenge. It’s a smaller venue and a different crowd to Space — we’re looking forward to leaving our mark on Space Ibiza before it closes.”
What are your thoughts on Space closing down this year — do you feel a certain responsibility to help it go out with a bang?
Matteo: “Well yes, it’s going to be really strong! It’s going to sell out for most of the season, I think. And yes, it is a responsibility, but for us we just see it as the first year of this new project — Afterlife. We’re always trying to keep the line-ups cool and to keep the production at top quality. We’re trying to build our concept and our identity, and we’re going to just go out there and do our thing, you know?”
And are you back and forth to Berlin?
Matteo: “Yeah, we’re touring a lot so we’ll be back and forth. But we’re based here for the summer, Ibiza is our new home [laughs].”
Can you talk to us about the ethos behind Afterlife?
Matteo: “The Afterlife concept is something we came up with because the Afterlife is basically a journey into the unknown. It’s a journey to explore something unchartered, to take risks and to find new inspiration — this idea is something we used to inspire our night. We’re really excited to bring our style of underground culture to Ibiza and to bring our sound to a broader audience. That’s the whole point, actually, to bring an imprint to the island that we think has not been here for a long time — basically, we want to bring some Berlin underground techno to the island!”
Carmine: “Oh, and also we want to push the music we believe in and the artists that we really support — that’s the real centre of the event for us.”
And the line-ups?
Matteo: “For us, the line-ups are not just about people supporting us. They’re about completing the sound and aligning the acts with the concept. It’s a new night, so a lot of people have put their trust in us and we’re excited that so many people want to be part of it. Of course, there are some big, well-known DJs as headliners — Dixon, Mano Le Tough, Recondite — but we’re also bringing on board a lot of... let’s say nerdy and experimental sounds. The Giegling crew are here, for example, which is amazing for me! Then we have live acts too, there’s a room specifically designed for live acts called Sunset Live, where we’ve got everything from electronic live acts to more indie live acts — there’s Howling, David August, Bob Moses and lots more!”
You’re starting a label under the name Afterlife, too. Expand on that for us?
Matteo: “The Afterlife concept as it is now started as only a clubbing concept, as something we could use to bring ourselves to a broader audience, to a bigger audience. But we want to go further than just clubs, we want to do this same kind of work with a label. At the end of the day, most of the people we book are not just DJs — they are amazing musicians! They all have their own imprints and projects, but what we want to do with Afterlife is make it something broader. And everyone is really excited about it — we’re launching the label in conjunction with the opening of the Afterlife night in Ibiza. We’re starting with an LP, a kind of compilation, featuring most of the core artists on the party line-up. It’s 10 tracks of unreleased originals, and in the fall we’ll start releasing some EPs as well.”
When are we getting the debut Tale Of Us album?
Matteo: “Well, we had an album completed, but we ended up releasing it as a series of EPs instead. We were thinking that the debut album from Tale Of Us had to be something different, a level above. At the moment we’re doing dance music, but we do have an approach to more ambient sounds, different kinds of electronica and more cinematic stuff. I’m not sure if dance albums make that much sense for us — it’s tough to do a dance album that takes you to a proper ‘Artist Album’ level. We’re really interested in doing live too, but we’re not ready yet. But, I can say, you’re going to get an album soon, and not specifically a dance music album.”