Maria Køhnke
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Maria Køhnke


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Collector, 2007, ARTI001



Danish vocalist, producer and songwriter Maria Køhnke released her first solo album, “Collector”, in January 2007 to a generous round of critical applause.

A familiar name in Danish music, Maria Køhnke has previously contributed to a great variety of projects, including instrumental and vocal backing appearances with some of Denmark’s leading rock bands. Yet the reviews indicate that her accomplished solo debut took local critics completely by surprise.

“Heavenly brightness & resonating darkness”
Danish music critics have virtually been standing in line to praise the “Collector” album’s wide range of qualities:

“There’s a quality of expansion and growth in Maria Køhnke’s easygoing approach to her at once playful and dangerous pop music, which demonstrates capability beyond mere eagerness.” - Politiken, daily national newspaper

”A style-confident and extravagantly faceted album. Maria Køhnke has a marvellous voice, with a repertoire that spans from heavenly brightness to resonating darkness.” - Gaffa, Denmark’s main music magazine

“The result is at once simple, refined, gentle and deep. It’s pop, yet with just the right edge and strength.” - Catapult, magazine

The album is written by Maria Køhnke in collaboration with Christian Bech and M. Maurice Hawkesworth, with one track written exclusively by Sune Wagner of The Raveonettes.

Maria Køhnke describes her music as “expressive pop”: “It’s a term which I use to describe my personal soundscape, located somewhere between country, pop, alternative rock and film music. It is a musicality of contrasts: At once observing yet present, gentle yet dark, alternative -- yet pop!”, she explains.

The creation of the album’s musical universe was often inspired by unpredicted incidental sounds from the surrounding locale or from the manual handling of the guitar, inspiring both melodies and arrangements. This contributed to making Maria Køhnke’s music absorbing and extraordinary, with new details emerging at each repeated listening experience.

The process of creation took some interesting twists, as Maria Køhnke originally had agreements with Beck’s guitarist Smokey Hormel and ”Whiskeytown”-guitarist Phil Wandscher about collaborating in the U.S. Frustrated by waiting for these plans to bear fruit, she decided to take a simpler approach. The process, she intuited, had to manifest itself right in front of her. And indeed, one evening in her native Copenhagen, Maria Køhnke and her friend Christian Bech spontaneously decided to team up on the project. As ”Collector” more than indicates, this proved to be a happy combination.

Remarkably, Christian Bech and Maria Køhnke produced the entire “Collector” album at home in Maria Køhnke’s three-room apartment, which added positively to the album’s idiosyncratic tonalities. Maria Køhnke personally supervised all artistic and technical recording aspects and used the instruments at hand to create her pleasingly distinctive music. ”Collector” was mixed by the Swedish producer Per Sunding, known for his works with such bands as The Cardigans, The Ark and Good Shoes.