"I simply like something that could be likened to the essence or mythology of a genre, which ironically goes against my broader beliefs, because essentialism is something I abhor, but in music as a discipline, it's perhaps innocuous."
Vampire Castle EP by now Prague-based musician Andrej Kabal explores and subverts the framework of a particular genre, its boundaries whether elastic or sturdy. Being constrained by stylistic tropes can be surprisingly liberating, and perhaps ephemeral too, a mirage. The tracks resulted from spontaneous sessions: from experimenting with text-to-speech to strumming on a guitar. Deeply personal, the EP reflects a specific period of his life.
"These tracks came to life in my room while I was living in Petržalka (a concrete-block district in Bratislava), where I could amazingly listen to music until 4am undisturbed, so I was able to delve into production. I can relive this vibe when I listen to the tracks again. The dimly lit room, me smoking at 5am on the balcony, observing the sleepy Petržalka council estate unrolling in front of my eyes."
The mood of the EP is opaque and mellow, like that fleeting time of the day, where dusk is transposed into dawn; slightly menacing (like a John Carpenter soundtrack, one of Kabal's perhaps more obvious inspirations on this release), with spots of light seeping through.
The title "Vampire Castle" was inspired by Mark Fisher's concept and uses samples from his work. “Individualise and privatise everything”, “essentialise”: we are all doomed indeed, but as Fisher wrote “Outside the Vampires’ Castle, anything is possible.”
– Lucia Udvardyova