Lonski & Classen

Lonski & Classen

In 2007, when Lonski & Classen released their first EP, or rather mini-album, on which everything their music was someday to become had already been laid out, they had found their own unmistakable language. When the two musicians stood on stage, the blind understanding between them could be felt instantly. Yann Tiersen felt it when he happened to be at the release concert for their debut album, Climbing on Branches, in an old ballroom in 2009. Not long afterwards Tiersen asked Lonski & Classen to accompany him on his 2010 Dust Lane Tour. The duo performed its music – which seemed as if it might turn to mist at a breathe of wind – in huge halls across Europe, at 60 concerts, in front of thousands and thousands of people.

After the tour, they retreated to a rehearsal space in Berlin, in a region where the city was practically a no-man’s-land. During the day, they chopped wood; at night, in the warm glow of a small stove, they wrote new songs for their “Japan EP” and for their second album All Tomorrow Is Illusion. Songs crafted with an axe and a portable typewriter. And with that special sense for detail and closeness, and a temperature that felt right.

Sometimes the pieces were improvised and recorded on the first take; at other times, in a long process, layer for layer, padded with piano, spring reverb and synth. Most of them evolved in this no-man’s-land, others were recorded in the basement of a former brewery, under the turns of a go-kart track. And some magical moments were captured on Ouessant Island, off the tip of France’s most northwestern coast, where Lonski & Classen recorded with Yann Tiersen at his house.

“Let the sun grow” asserts one of these songs. And as with many of Lonski & Classen’s songs, this one never entirely divulges its secret, maybe even all the less the more you think about it. But it feels like the start of something new and makes you sense: you need to be open for enlightenment.