Koen van der Wardt, the man behind Klangstof, has an interesting back story, having moved back and forth between Holland and Norway and played bass in popular Dutch band Moss before leaving to make his own music. But we didn't know any of that when we were first transfixed by "Hostage." Since then, Klangstof has signed to Mind of a Genius, and released a succession of stunning videos and impressive singles.
Although guitars, drums, and vocals are prominent on his debut album Close Eyes To Exit, Klangstof is inspired by electronic wizards like Kaytranada and James Blake as much he is by Radiohead. Incorporating synthesizers and programmed percussion, he creates a multi-layered sonic whirlwind on some songs, but strips things back to put his voice and lyrics front and center on others. The progression and variety is clear, and Klangstof explains that is also reflective of his personal life.
"A lot of the album is about me growing up as a person," he says. "Moving back from peaceful Norway where my family still lives, to the Netherlands where I basically had to start all over again for the second time (after having moved from Holland to Norway as a child). I learned a lot about myself during this period. Finding out that I enjoy isolation, and that I get very unstable when not being able to make music for a few days. Lyrically it is very much an album I had to write to move on. All the weight I’ve been carrying around is out now. I had to lay this foundation to move on. It feels great, because from here I can really go anywhere for the next album."
Close Eyes To Exit is out now via Mind of a Genius. Buy it here and check out his tour dates below.
Klangstof headlines our No Ceilings London show on October 4 at Camden Assembly. Find more info and tickets here.
North American Tour Dates w/ Jagwar Ma:
11/3 - chicago, IL - bottom lounge
11/7 - toronto, ON - the hoxton
11/8 - montreal, QC - fairmount
11/9 - allston, MA - brighton music hall
11/11 - philadelphia, PA - the foundry
11/12 - new york, NY - webster hall