Arkane are about to release their second full length album “Mesmeric Masquerade Seduction” via the American label The Fossil Dungeon, 5 years after their debut album “Enraptured Serene Mesmerism“. This one man ambient neoclassical band from Greece is the solo project of ArkanumX (ex-Daemonia Nymphe), whom I asked everything about the upcoming album. At he same time he looks back at his music career so far, sharing his personal thoughts and memories with us.
- Hi ArkanumX. Thank you for taking the time for this interview. Arkane are finally ready to release their second work! Before we speak about it though, I’d like to ask you present our readers your “bio” after your departure from Daemonia Nymphe.
After my departure from Δαιμονία Νύμφη (Daemonia Nymphe) at the end of 90s (being a co-founding member of this famous band), I formed xARKANEx as a solo Project. With this project I released the album “Arcane Elitism” in the year 2002 by the American label The Fossil Dungeon (owned by member of The Soil Bleeds Black). After a while I changed the monicker to simply Arkane and released the debut Arkane album entitled “Enraptured Serene Mesmerism” in the year 2008. Now I am preparing my sophomore album which will be named “Mesmeric Masquerade Seduction” and it is scheduled to be released in January 2013.
- How would you describe Arkane’s music with your own words?
Mesmerising seductive art. In order to be more specific I would describe it as mesmeric, cinematic, soundtrack-ish seductive music which intends to seduce the listener into the oblivion of mesmerizing trance!!
- What are the differences between Arkane and xARKANEx? Have you changed just the name, or is there any musical redirection?
Arkane turned into the direction of strict , self obsessive, minimalistic neoclassical, which emphasizes mainly on the operatic mesmeric female voices, which are dominant throughout the whole duration of each and every track. In the future there might be some changes and the next album will mark the end of this Mesmerizing Seductive Trilogy which I have always had in my mind as a main concept…
- What are your feelings now about your debut album “Arcane Elitism”? What do you remember from this period? Was it well received?
Feelings from this period are always present. Not so much about the album itself, but cause of the nostalgia of that era. A great period of time in personal and artistic point of view, which was always boosted by the ignition of something new. Not to mention the major growth and interest in dark music in the early 2000s. Unforgettable old times, which I cherish more and more, especially nowadays where the world is collapsing and I am falling deep in vast clouds of black depression….
Not only was ”Arcane Elitism” well received (It was sold out within some months) but also gave Arkane really good name among the dark underground worldwide. I remember I had lots of emails from around Europe and USA writing for orders and interviews. Many magazines also interviewed me even from far away strange lands like China and South America. Well, times were so different back then. Internet was on its rise, but in a good helpful way. There was no MySpace, Facebook or YouTube and people were reading dark websites and magazines. The industry nowadays has collapsed to a total end and very, very few people are into buying physical CDs or even reading about you. It’s a crazy new fast food world of furious overload information and what really matters in the end today is hype and definitely not ART.
- Your first release as Arkane was the impressive “Enraptured Serene Mesmerism”. Tell us a few words about this release.
It was out in 2008 exclusively self released by my own productions and distributed by Twilight Records (South America) and Arkane in the rest of the world. Still managed to get a lot of reviews, 90% of them positive. Then started the rise of MySpace which helped Arkane a lot. I Had a lot of friends there and loads of messages, comments and listens. Everything seemed to go by Arkane’s side, until MySpace’s death, although the album did not sell that well as ”Arcane Elitism” did. It was a good enough album by its time. Still I like many of its songs, but of course I am not satisfied. I’m not even satisfied by the upcoming album ”Mesmeric Masquerade Seduction“. When you reach for perfection, all you get in the end is a utopic vanity… Perfection is futile but its necessity is the ultimate goal.
- What should we expect from the upcoming release?
An extravagant masquerade experience that seduces the imagination and elevates the senses… MESMERISM meets SEDUCTION. Music, performance, artistry and inspiration collide for a decadent album of celebration with avant-garde, mesmerizing seductive art.
- What is the main inspiration of Arkane?
My biggest influence is Arkane as a unity and concept which I have… My inspiration has always been atmospheric music, projects such as Dead Can Dance, Elijah’s Mantle, Depeche Mode, Celtic Frost, Limbonic Art, Arcana, The protagonist, Arcturus. Also dark soundtracks from composers like Wociech Killar, Hans Zimmer, Eliot Goldenthal, Zbigiew Preisner etc… The albums that have totally created my musical and artistic profile throughout all those years are:
1) Dead Can Dance – Within the Realm of a dying Sun
2) Celtic Frost – Into the Pandemonium
3) Limbonic Art – Moon in the Scorpio
4) The Protagonist – A Rebours
5) Arcturus – La Masquerade Infernale
- Is there any particular concept behind Arkane? Any message you’d like to share?
Mesmerism, seduction, the masquerade artistic eroticism of seduction, the mesmerism of aesthetics, beauty, charm, enticement, allurement, mystique. all transformed into music.
- All your works have a characteristic artwork style which seems to be one with your music. Tell us a few words about the visual concept of Arkane.
Imagery in Arkane is devoted to the dark, obscure, mystical as well as music is, in order to utterly fit the whole concept perfectly. ArkanumX means that I am a very secretive persona behind the project. It means the arcane, apocryphal mysticism of the total unknown, hence the use of the masks which symbolizes the art of mystery.
- Would you like to tell us about the composition process of your music? What instruments do you use?
The composition, as well as the recording process, is a mystical enigmatic and profound ritualistic procedure, which I would not definitely like to reveal… All you get and matters in the end is the final result and we all should stick up to it.
- Is there any chance (or even a thought) to listen to your music live?
There is no chance for many obvious reasons for that, although it would be interesting to perform at a special time in a special place with a special audience. Never say never…
- Would you like to travel back in time and share with us your memories from Fiendish Nymph and Δαιμονία Νύμφη? You started almost as a black folk metal band!!
That goes back in the primitive yet innocent era of the 90s. Certainly great οld unforgettable times. There is not much to recall nowadays. It was something really special, which I keep forever in my mind and heart, but it makes no sense to feel nostalgia for a period of time which is impossible to return.
- How do you see the future of Arkane? Do you have bigger ambitions with this project? Any thoughts for a video-art with your music? I believe this would complete your art.
The future remains dark. Certainly bleak and obscure. There is no sight of light ahead in all aspects of life in those disgusting modern times of madness. Definitely no ambitions for Arkane whatsoever. Music industry is dead, magazines and websites are sparse, the demand of people to listen to new music is limited, as its all over-served on YouTube. Magic is lost. Anticipation is non existent. Arkane is only for a limited audience who appreciates art. And it will remain so forever.
- Thank you for the nice interview. I wish you all the best with the next album. Last words are yours.
Welcome to the new DARK AGE.