Browsing through items in a second hand shop in LA, Robot Koch came across an old cassette. The pencil-written inscription in its cover, which read “Cousteau”, caught his eye momentarily, but the German electronic music producer didn’t think much of it. He bought the two-dollar tape to record his own material over it. “What you seek is seeking you,” says Robot quoting the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi. As Robot would find out later that evening, the cassette wasn’t blank - it contained a mysterious recording of a lecture by the late Jacques-Yves Cousteau. “It’s pure magic. I found something I didn’t consciously know I was looking for,” he adds. At that moment, Robot couldn’t have imagined that that serendipitous instant in which he found the tape, or, the tape found its way to him, would mark the beginning of the story of The Next Billion Years, his latest album.
The tape Robot found was a 1973 lecture by Cousteauf in which he contemplated the future of our species and planet, “What blew me away is how accurate and relevant his prediction of the future was back then. He talks about current topics such as climate change, poisoning of the environment, overpopulation and gives an outlook about the survival of our species and how it depends on the decisions we make right now,” says Robot. But far from being just an interesting speech, that recording was of special relevance to Robot whose whole body of work revolves around similar meditations. His music, characterized by the juxtaposition of analogue and synthetic sounds, evoke both familiarity and alienation, humanism and futurism, “I’m fascinated by the future and I was really into sci-fi as a kid. This otherworldly element, exploring the unknown, and pushing the boundaries of what’s known and possible, really enthralls me,” he says.
“I perceive myself as part of a bigger picture. The more I learn about the big picture, the more I learn about myself. I try to understand more about how everything is in cosmic interdependence, to understand myself better,” says Robot.
It was this big-picture view that informed Robot’s decision to work with the grandeur of an orchestra and the famed Estonian conductor Kristjan Järvi on The Next Billion Years. Apart from his forward thinking approach to classical music, Järvi, like Robot, injects into his music a great deal of philosophy and existentialism, “Once, over dinner in Estonia we found out that we share a common interest apart from music: the universe and cosmic consciousness,” Robot reminisces.
The Next Billion Years is an album which, at its core, asks what the future might look like
“To save mankind from total disaster is a matter of a collective decision. Cousteau proposes the idea of a global consciousness which needs to develop in people's minds, and I couldn’t agree more. Part of the problem we have today is that people feel separate from nature and each other. I think we need to perceive ourselves as part of nature, part of life, working as a single unified pattern, not separated, but integrated,” says Robot. While Cousteau hoped to ignite that consciousness in us through his books, films and lectures, Robot counts on the power of music to awaken us, “Music is a means to allow a higher consciousness to enter. everything is energy, everything has a frequency and with music we can connect and raise our frequency in a way we would not be able to do with the limitations of the mind.”
released May 29, 2020
Robot Koch (Producer, Composer, Mixer)
Kristjan Järvi (Conductor)
Nordic Pulse (Orchestra)
Ro Rowan (Solo Cello)
Viktor Orri Arnason (Violin, additional production on Stars As Eyes),
Julien Marchal (Piano on Cousteau),
Ludwig Wandiger (Drums on Liquid, Hawk),
Steward Cole (Flugelhorn and Trumpet on Kassel and Hawk),
Anetta Morozowa (Flute on Particle Dance)
Gene Pritsker, John Metcalfe (Dragonfly), Julien Marchal (Cousteau), Viktor Orri Arnason (Liquid, Kassel)
Robot Koch is an award winning producer/composer from Berlin, living in Los Angeles. His unique sound of organic electronic
music has been called “Wonderful and Strange – pop music from the future” (John Peel) and has been used on various TV shows and films.
Robot Koch´s music is an intriguing dialogue between technology and nature, futuristic sound design and organic orchestration....more