Culture Kultür

The Universe is full of Spirit

November 2010

Culture Kultür are frontman Salva Maine, Josua (programming / producing) and Distortiongirl as live keyboardist. Born in 1992 in Malaga, southern Spain, they've evolved from an EBM style with distorted voices to a more electro sound with energetic beats, melodic synths and thoughtful lyrics carried by energetic vocals. Since their signing with Out of Line in 1999 they have supported Mexican band Hocico on the "Tierra Electrica '99 Tour", played at major European festivals as Wave Gothic Treffen, M'era Luna, Infest and Eurorock, doing gigs in USA, Mexico and Canada, and included dozens of songs on different compilations.

Their 1999 single "DNA Slaves" reached the 10th position in the DAC (German alternative) chart, and their second album, "Revenge" (2001), contains hits that have becoming club classics across the world. In June 2005 a new album called "Reborn" appeared, which has been acclaimed as one of the best releases in its genre, reaching number 3 in the DAC. "Spirit" sees the return of Culture Kultür after five years in the wilderness. The new album continues their successful mix between hard working melodies, club oriented rhythms and lower tempo compositions. Often at their finest when exploring the mid-tempo field where the results can be both surprising and touching. Culture Kultür say the universe is full of spirit and that you are part of it. We caught up via email with founder member and lead singer Salva Maine to dig a little deeper into the bands ideas and inspiration...

Culture KulturDSO: Five years have passed since your last album “Reborn”. There are probably a lot of people that don’t know you, but who would love to.

Salva: Well, we are Culture Kultur, live in Spain and do an electronic mix of synthpop, EBM, and anything that comes into our mind.

What have you been up to in these past five years?

Basically, dealing with life, with some illness (not me, the other band member, Josua) which happilly seems to have disappeared and researching the songs included in our new album until a point that was satisfactory for both of us.

What is behind the new album title “Spirit”?

If you look the dictionary you will see that there are a lot of different meanings. It may be the soul, a ghost, an angel, a demon, God, an inspiring attitude, a sense of membership in a group... I think that several of those meanings apply to the album’s songs. Moreover, probably it is in this album where we have put our own spirits the most, as the lyrics are very personal.

Spirit sleeve"Spirit" sounds more club oriented than “Reborn”. Do you agree? If so, did you plan it that way from the beginning?

From the begining we tried to create synth lead lines sharper than in previous works. Probably that makes them more club oriented, but our aim was the sound and the definition of the songs, not their destiny. We hope that people enjoy dancing to them, though!

There's a surprising cover of Joy Division's “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on the new album. Why did you decide to give this classic song the 'club' treatment?

Salva: After a specially long pause in our work, I thought that doing a cover would be a good way to get busy again. We thought about several possibilities; one of them was New Order’s Blue Monday but that one was already heavily covered. With Love Will Tear Us Apart we felt that a very different version from the original was possible, but keeping nevertheless its spirit. The result is very ‘us’ and means a tribute for that great band.

On the new album song “Drum Machine” you sing “My heart is a drum machine”. Does this imply that your music is necessary for you to survive? Or is there another meaning behind it?

Yes, music is absolutely a must for us. Without it, life would be too grey and sad.

The album begins with dance friendly club tracks, passes over to mid-tempo tracks and finally ends with ballads. How did you manage the order of the songs?

We intended to create the right mood to listen the album. It starts with energy, then slows down to speed up again and finally ending with a couple of calm songs. It’s like a wave; we just felt the songs fit in that pattern.

Culture KulturAfter "Reborn" entered the German DAC chart at number 3, what are your expectations for "Spirit"?

Reaching number one! :) Seriously, we hope that it has at least the same impact. We thing that the songs deserve that. We put a lot of effort on each track and on us to improve as much as possible. But our main goal is to reach the listeners' minds. If the feedback from them is right, our mission is accomplished.

You're one of only a few bands who seem to be refreshing a futurepop tradition in today’s 'hellectro' dominated times. How do you see that?

Well, in Spain we say “in diversity lies the taste”. There is a person, a moment, and a place for every kind of music.

Your lyrics are inspired by the reality of daily life. How much of yourselves are in your songs?

As I noted before, this is our most personal album. Yes, there is a lot of ourselves on it, but not all of them come from first hand experiences. Some of them are based on present world problems like Irac war (Sieged) or death penalty (Dead Second). Others are imagined histories (Unforgiven), so there is a wide range of inspiration in general.

There are not many bands of your genre in Spain. How would you describe the Spanish underground scene?

Under-underground!! :) Sadly, this scene in Spain is even out from the alternative music circuit. There is not much electronic background here.

Do you plan a tour to the new album?

Yes, we would like to do some gigs in Europe and America, but we want to check first how the album  is received.

Any parting comments?

Greetings to all the people that follow us! If you have spirit, you are not alone...


See also:

Gig Reviews - Culture Kultur

Music Reviews - Culture Kultur

Official Culture Kultur website: