Courtesy is finally debuting her first music ever releasing a four-tracker in vinyl and digital formats to be out on March 25, 2022 via Kulør, a record label and multidisciplinary artistic platform which she founded in 2018, that produces records, books and programming across the music and contemporary art worlds.
The upcoming EP titled ‘Night Journeys‘ showcases a sound in all tracks oscillating between ambient, vocals, guitar abstractions and trance — emphasizing the paradoxical core of Courtesy’s usual DJing: no kicks. Definitely this release proposes a different sound that appears very interesting, stay tuned and find full details below.
Pre order vinyl: Bandcamp
‘Night Journeys’ EP is very much like Lee Krasner’s painting series to survive insomnia and anxiety after her husband Jackson Pollock died. Thanks to her dreamy synthesizers, Courtesy didn’t just survive, but found luster instead, lulling herself back to sleep — vocals and guitar complete the job.
“I’m not particularly interested in dark music, or things that are quote-unquote cool. To get to a meaningful place artistically, I had to stop caring”.Courtesy
There’s a luster to insomnia: its solitary rawness at an illicit hour of the night. In the spring of 2020, during the first lockdown in Berlin, Courtesy would get woken up at four in the morning by fits of chronic anxiety, so she would play chords on her synthesizer to clear her mind. To lull herself back to sleep, she would compose melodies as a way of deepening her studies in music theory. Only six months in did she realize this could and would make up Night Journeys, named after a series of paintings by Lee Krasner made after her husband Jackson Pollock died. “She couldn’t sleep and painted these abstract paintings in the middle of the night,” Courtesy says.
Night Journeys is the artist, DJ and composer Courtesy’s debut release. The EP of ambient trance will be released 25 March on Kulør, a record label and multidisciplinary artistic platform which she founded in 2018, that produces records, books and programming across the music and contemporary art worlds.
Having refined her sound as a DJ for over ten years, she began production once she reached a point where she “finally had something to say,” she says. “Until you get to that point, it doesn’t make sense to jump into production.” That process required endless digging and researching. For her DJ sets, she would create pads—soft layers of sound—to play over techno tracks to create the mood she wanted. She found herself drawn to ‘90s trance, a culturally-devalued style of music before artists like Courtesy brought back the genre’s forgotten gems to a modernized level of relevance.
Her DJ sets at places like Bassiani, Primavera, and Sónar by Night are known for soaring, epiphanic washes of trance that wrest open spaces of controlled release within club contexts more associated with dark, industrial techno. In a peak set at Berghain for instance, she might work up the tension in the room before coalescing into a six-minute ambient track, opening up a space for euphoria. In her hands, trance isn’t employed as an escapist fantasy, but as a center of gravity. Healing. What others deride as cheesy, Courtesy finds catharsis—a term borrowed from poetics, which hints at the narrative design of her music. “I’m not particularly interested in dark music, or things that are quote-unquote cool,” she admits. “To get to a meaningful place artistically, I had to stop caring.”
In the EP traces of ‘90s tracks, like the airy vocals in “Stay,” by Sash!, or the arpeggios of “Hearts” by L.S.G. Throughout Night Journeys, soaring pads are layered over modular arpeggios played by Otto Vik Mathisen. Vocals by Sophie Joe float over “Night Journeys II” like billowing fabric. Crisp and distant guitar, played by Luka Aron, appears on “Night Journeys III” like the oncoming of a hallucination.
As intimate as it is expansive, the music is designed for big-room clubs, which is where Courtesy will perform her debut live tour, starting at the main room in Berghain May 5th. She will collaborate with Copenhagen-based artist Esben Weile Kjær, who designed the sets for her concerts, as well as the vinyl cover. Ultimately, Night Journeys represents the next progression of the Courtesy project: a nachtmusik designed for late nights of quiet desperation.
Title. Night Journeys
Format. Digital/Vinyl 12″
Release date. March 25, 2022
Artwork by Esben Weile Kjær
A1 / 1. Night Journeys I
A2 / 2. Night Journeys II
B1 / 3. Night Journeys III
B2 / 4. Night Journeys IIII
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