Hamburg, Hamburg City, DEU

Kurt "Pyrolator" Dahlke, music and computer specialist. Co-founder of the Ata Tak record label and publishing company (over 150 releases since 1979). Member of Fehlfarben, Burkina Electric, Bombay 1, A Certain Frank. Solo artist as Pyrolator. He has produced more than 200 albums and been involved in over 100 releases as composer, musician and programmer. His main instruments are special controllers which shape the music through hand movement or pressure. Since 1980, productions, concerts and ins


Now the Pyrolator is back, after a hiatus of 24 years! And he delivers pure electronic club music gold! The album "Neuland" will go on sale in October, preceded by two initial tasters in the form of two coloured 12 inch vinyls ("Neuland /1" has been released in June, "Neuland /2" in August). Pyrolator explains everything in this interview:

Why did you wait for 24 years before releasing a new album?
I have been a solo performer for a long while already, but the pieces I play are not entirely suited to the medium of LP or CD. They are either created as multi-channel sound or are heavily dependent on visuals. Nevertheless, I have always had a secret love of more club orientated music. Since the mid-nineties I have often produced or remixed projects like Antonelli Electr., Repeat Orchestra, Kreidler or Rocket In Dub. I had a lot of fun in the process, so I began to introduce elements like these into my live repertoire. They always went down really well, which gave me the idea of releasing something along those lines.

Is the title "Neuland" programmatic? Are you breaking new ground?
First and foremost, it continues the "land" series of my solo albums ("Inland", "Ausland", "Wunderland", "Traumland"). "Neuland" was always pencilled in as the title for my fifth solo album.

How did you construct the album exactly?
Basically in the same way as all of the other Pyrolator albums. I only played a really small portion of the music on the keyboard. I first used "Brontologik", a kind of flexible sequencer, on "Ausland". In those days, it still counted as hardware. Today, it's software, something I have developed continuously over the years. I am currently using the "Monome" as an input device. I programme a kind of matrix of rhythms, chords and melodies. I like to work with loops, refining them bit by bit, piecing them together. Music created through programming – composition, one might say – is simply nothing like the music I would come up with on a keyboard.

Tell us how your live performance looks
For me, it is important that I have the flexibility to intervene in the music, hence I work with two special controllers. The "Lightning II", on the one hand, enables me to translate the various musical parameters by means of two rods and movements in the air. This allows me to control everything I need in the computer – pitch, filters, length of the pieces etc. The other controller, the "Manta", reacts sensitively to any contact and thus gives rise to the most delicate of melodies, as well as facilitating other control functions.


1979 Inland
1981 Ausland
1984 Wunderland
1987 Traumland
2011 Neuland