Robot Koch’s latest album, The Next Billion Years, is as musically as it is philosophically ambitious. Inspired by a mysterious recording the German producer serendipitously came across of the 20th century French explorer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the album imagines and gives sounds to a far distant future, “When I first heard the recording I was really blown away by its long term vision. When we think about the future we usually think about our own lifetime or the one of our children, but who really thinks a thousand or a million years into the future? Or even better, a billion years?” asks 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 album, opening up his electronic meditations to the Baltic Sea Philharmonic’s terrain of acoustic instruments and arrangements for the first time. The Next Billion Years turned out to be not only a highly emotive and existential sound journey, but also incredibly poignant to the times we live in.
Now, Robot decides to add even more layers to his ambitious album project by inviting long-time collaborators to reimagine and reinterpret the album’s tracks. Producer, singer and songwriter, Delhia de France releases the first rework, which takes Robot’s somewhat eerie instrumental track All Forms Are Unstable into warmer, alt-pop waters. “Being a songwriter I knew that I definitely wanted to give the track words and a song-y feel, yet leaving enough space for the layered sounds in an instrumental part, and of course also featuring the gorgeous orchestral sounds,” she says. While the orchestra’s touch can still be felt in her reinterpretation, they fade into the background as Robot’s ghostly synth-line takes center stage.
Delhia de France’s remarkable voice has given colours, as well as a touch of darkness, to several releases throughout the last two years. With a rich back catalogue that spans influential electronic-music collaborations, such as with the duo Adriatique, all the way to soundtrack creation, such as for the TV series ‘Shades of Guilt’ with Robot himself, Delhia injects into every collaboration a moodiness that is instantly recognizable through her powerful vocals.
In All Forms are Unstable Delhia complements the original track’s mysteriousness with soft vocals and textures which progressively gain momentum in the repeating chorus line ‘why does this wait feel like a billion years’. “While Robert’s concept of the next billion years is relating to the future, the quote in my lyrics is about letting go of the karmic past. I wanted to do something that starts off very intimate and slow and then gradually turns into a more dynamic and forceful track,” says Delhia about the rework.
Robot Koch – All Forms are Unstable (Delhia de France’s Trust Rework) is out now