Culture Kultür, by Dj Rex

Culture Kultür are frontman Salva Maine, Josua at the programming and Distortiongirl as live keyboardist.
“They kicked off in 1992 out of Malaga, Southern Spain, evolving from a EBM style with distorted voices to a more Electro sound with energetic beats, melodic synths and complex lyrics boosted by powerful vocals and in my opinion managed to define the genre better than many of their better known peers.
After their signing with Out of Line in 1999 their career has been a good story, they have supported the Mexican legends Hocico in the Tierra Electrica ’99 Tour, played in major European festivals such as WGT, M’era Luna, Infest & Eurorock, performed shows in the USA, Mexico and Canada, and included dozens of songs in different compilations.

Their single DNA Slaves reached the 10th position in DAC charts, and their second album, “Revenge”, contains hits that have been spun in clubs all over the world.

The band released, in june’05, another album, “Reborn”, which achieved acclaim as one of the best releases in its genre and also reached #3 position in DAC charts (German alternative charts).

Their new album, “Spirit”, is the long awaited return of Culture Kultür after a long five year absence. This new album represent the perfect blend between hard worked melodies, club oriented rhythms, dark cadences and reality inspired lyrics, but there is more in this work beyond the classic danceable tracks that have made Culture Kultür so popular. We can find a musical aperture to the mid-tempos where the result is both surprising and touching. It has heavy beats, catchy choruses, real life topics, plus a vibrant attitude that all make this album a work that represents the present of underground electropop.
Spirit in available now on Caustic Records.
Many have tried to be this slick, this accessible and this underground, but Culture Kultür are one of the few that have succeeded in getting the balance right.

I also had the pleasure of grabbing a moment to have a Chinwag with Salva Maine of Culture Kultür, here’s what he had to say –

Rex – Personally I’m a fan of your music, so I consider it a genuine pleasure that you have taken some time out to answer some questions for me.

Salva Maine – Thanks to you for your interest. It’s a pleasure for me too.

Rex – Culture Kultür is a great name, does it have any meaning?

Salva Maine – It’s a kind of homage to the German and English influences. Bands like Depeche Mode, Joy Division, New Order on the English side and Kraftwerk or Front 242 on the German/central Europe side.

Rex – Some great bands there, how about other bands, what music are you listening to right now? Apart from your own.

Salva Maine – Let’s see my spotify account… Melotron, White Lies, Paul Kalkbrenner, Information Society, Rome, Pattenbrigade: Wolff, Editors… Mostly electronic, in a wide spectrum.

Rex – More stunning choices, so what genre of music do you consider your work to be and who would you say are your major influences?

Salva Maine – Electronica with no defined boundaries. We mix elements from technopop, EBM, trance, and everything that comes to our minds. In the vocal part, I am mainly melodic, but I also use some heavier tones sometimes (like in ‘Never Again’ or ‘My Voice’).

Rex – Back to other bands, what would be the most embarrassing single or album you own?

Salva Maine – Well, I’m not sure if classify it exactly as ’embarrassing’. Back in 1999, I joined the band, the other guys (Josua and Wolfran) told me that the first thing to do was to record a single with five new songs. The second was touring for two weeks with Hocico and KIFOTH. So when I hear those tracks I cannot avoid to think in all the experience gained in all this time.

Rex – Moving on, how long have you all known each other? How did you meet?

Salva Maine – I met Josua and Wolfran in 1999, but they knew each other in the 80’s through the local comic scene. After that they got involved in the music world and started CK in 1992. I knew about the band by an advertisement in the music shop in which Wolfran worked (and still does). I was interested in doing something around music so I answered the advert, made an audition and started all the exciting things of the latter question.

Rex – What can you tell me about your instruments? (i.e., are you subject to brand loyalty or will you play with whatever’s available? What made you choose the instruments you have now?

Salva Maine – We play with all that fall in our hands. Long ago we used synths and samplers, but now we use mainly virtual synths. The reason is the huge commodity of not having to deal with cables, configurations, programming and hardware failures. When we play live, to carry most of your setup inside a laptop is also a plus.

Rex -What’s been your favourite show, is there a venue that you always love to play?

Salva Maine – I think that our best show was in the Moritzbastei during WGT. The place was packed and the crowd was really enjoying the show. Mexico DF and the public there was also amazing, but some problems with the audio keep it in a second place.

Rex – From fav shows onto gig horror stories, are there any you can tell us?

Salva Maine – Whenever there are problems with the sound. It’s terrible when you can’t hear yourself or feel that the sound is failing in the venue and all you can do is continue the show the best you can.

Rex – When you’re out there live, which songs do you perform most frequently?

Salva Maine – War is Over, Promised Land Blues, Wonder…

Rex – I do love to Dj war is over, tell me do you ever play any covers and if you do, what made you choose that particular track to cover?

Salva Maine – In ‘Spirit’ we do a cover of ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, and we play it live too. Distortiongirl, who plays live with me (in fact we live together) and also is a DJ, suggested it because there weren’t many electronic covers of it. I liked the idea and after working a while, it was apparent that we could make a pretty original version, keeping its original spirit and also adding our own style to it.

Rex – Who writes your songs?

Salva Maine – Josua and I make all the composing, music and lyrics.

Rex – Could you briefly describe that music-making process?

Salva Maine – Usually it all starts with an idea from Josua: some synth lines and a rhythm base, conforming one or two parts of a ‘proto-song’. After that I think of a possible vocal line that fit and then we work together defining the final structure, melody and lyrics.

Once the composing is done, I record the vocals and after that comes the mixing. We usually do even the mastering, but this time we leave this phase to Moises Marti of Dark Dreams Studio.

Rex – How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs?

Salva Maine – Right now our website is a shell that contains widgets of every social network or musical promotion website we have:

Rex – Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge for giving you support over the years?

Salva Maine – Yes, Distortiongirl for her patience, waiting for me while I was in the long composing and recording sessions.

Rex – Ok, some silly questions –
What is the one, single food that you would never give up?

Salva Maine – Fried eggs with potatoes.

Rex – What do you dream about?

Salva Maine – I don’t have many dreams…I try to keep a balance between living the life as it is and changing what I don’t like,

Rex – What scares you the most and why?

Salva Maine – The stupidity. I think that it is more dangerous than evil.

Rex – What makes you bored?

Salva Maine – Repetitive work. I like the challenge of discovering new experiences or ways to do thngs

Rex – thank you for taking the time to Chat with us! 🙂

Salva Maine – Thanks for your interest!