Karlmarx are brothers Isaac Aesili (Opensouls, Recloose Live Band, Eru Dangerspiel) and Mark McNeill from New Zealand. Karlmarx make music from the dark side of the moon, fusing electronica, techno, synthpop, industrial, future soul and instrumental hip hop into something new and exciting – think early Human League meet Kraftwerk and Vangelis in 2011.
They have enjoyed early support by Benji B (BBC 1Xtra) and Lefto (Brownswood). Their song “Mists” is featured on the current Brownswood comp “Lefto & Simbad present Worldwide Family Vol.1″.
Isaac Aesili is a musician, producer and DJ with a Masters Degree in Political Science from Auckland University. Trumpet is his main instrument but Isaac also sings and plays percussion. He released his first solo album “Eye See” in 2009. Further he is a member of New Zealand soul/funk bands Opensouls and Eru Dangerspiel and played with the now defunct The Recloose Live Band.
Mark McNeill is a producer and sound engineer who studies film at Canterbury University. He was initially the studio engineer for The Shocking Pinks, who are signed to DFA Records in New York. While their musical upbringing was mostly shaped by classical music, jazz and classic rock, both brothers developed an early interest in soul and funk music.
“In retrospect the experience of creating this album has been inspirational musically and as brothers because we found so many differences in our music approaches but at the same time so many similarities in our appreciation of music”, says Isaac Aesili about their collaboration. With references ranging from Debussy and Tchaikovsky to John Coltrane, Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre, Dam-Funk or the Blade Runner soundtrack, the eclectic approach of their collaboration seems typical for the New Zealand music scene. “New Zealand is a young country with an old soul and we are lucky enough to have a small scene of musicians playing electronic soul based music. “I’ve played with amazing Kiwi bands like Opensouls, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Shapeshifter and Electric Wire Hustle. We are all good friends and egos don’t tend to be a problem in our scene, it’s more like a family.”
Given the problems one might have labelling a genre for “The Karl Marx Project”, Isaac simply suggests space funk or electronic soul music. After all, the album owes as much to electronic dance music, industrial and synth pop as to deep house, modern funk, jazz and r&b. The result is a progressive and emotional listening experience with stunning cinematic qualities resembling the early works of director Ridley Scott.
This summer, Isaac Aesili is relocating to Hamburg for four month to explore the German house and techno scene and gain inspiration for upcoming projects. “I’ve always been intrigued by the concept of living in Germany, I love the friendly vibe of the people and I’m impressed that they have a passion for electronic and soul music. I appreciate Germany’s depth of culture and philosophy and I think it will be good for me to be around.”
And right before the Karlmarx album drops on June 3, Isaac Aesili treats us with a 30 minute Ableton live set, exclusively showcasing multiple tracks of the album:
01. Kiss A Girl
02. Leaning Shadows
05. Future Pop
06. Soundfield Demo
08. Anti Gravity
12. The Conversation
The album Karlmarx “The Karl Max Project” (Melting Pot Music) has been released June 3, 2011.