Kadri Sammel is an alternative electronic music artist from Tallinn, Estonia. Bedless Bones experiments with different noir genres, building bridges and bending borders between dark wave, murky techno beats and industrial sounds. The music is heavy on abstract otherworldly atmosphere topped with a uniquely elegant voice. Dark Beauty reached around the world to ask a few questions…
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born, where are you now, where are you going?
I was born in Tallinn, Estonia, where I still live. I can see myself living somewhere else in the future, permanently or not.
How would you describe living in Estonia?
The weather is gloomy, the distances are short. You can see the echoes of the Soviet times here and there sometimes. There are quite a lot of forests and bogs. I live a short walk away from the sea. I’m quite a hermit, so I can appreciate the ability of being like that here, without judgment; and the sparse population.
Cold wave, noir, dark wave are some terminology to describe your music. What is the draw for you to create dark electronic music?
I was a choir girl during my school years and I went to music class briefly, learning to play Estonian zither (a folk instrument) and classic guitar, but I always had a very restless spirit and the desire to create something new, not knowing what that should be. At some point I realized I wanted to try to experiment with electronics, but I lacked courage. My partner Anders inspired me to give it a shot and also invited me to his band Forgotten Sunrise. I began experimenting on my own and my first music pieces were unstructured, dark ambient soundscapes. I’ve now moved on to more specific forms, beats, bass lines, songs, but I want to maintain a certain atmosphere in the music always, so it wouldn’t be too sterile and synthetic. However, I am influenced by EBM and industrial music as well, and the hypnotic motion of minimalism. I still don’t have a routine or a specific workflow for creating music, I like to keep it playful and see where it takes me. I’ve had numerous occasions when I start, determined to create a specific style piece, but along the way I get inspired by some random sound and I end up with a completely different track. I let it happen. I think that controlled coincidence is a very important factor in the process of creating genuine, boundless art.
We love all your videos! Limbs Entwined is your newest creation, could you describe the meaning of the track?
Thank you. It’s very corporeal, about the bliss and discomfort of being bound in a flesh vessel; and the merging of the two. It’s also a metaphor of three very vivid states of being. I will not reveal what these are and leave them open for interpretation. There are three characters in the video as well, with different intensity levels and movements. I wanted to back off from a narrative and emphasize the sensuous experience.
You just released your debut album ‘Sublime Malaise’, tell about that:
‘Sublime Malaise’ is an exploration of a state, where you are steered away from being fully functional, at your best health. There is an absence, a deficiency of something. It can be acute and pulsating at times; and numbing, floating, ethereal at other times. Escapism is a big theme as well. I am also looking at the body and the mind: inseparable, but also in juxtaposition. What I want to accomplish is to show glimmer of relief; an awakened awareness; regaining control and responsibility; reaching the sublime.
What does your live performance consist of?
It’s me on electronics + vocals, and Anders on percussion. I’m trying to find that state of detachment from all other issues, so I can connect with the music and the energy of the room the best. I’ve found out that I don’t like to have a barrier, like a keyboard, between me and the audience. So I have that stuff on the side of the stage. I have a synth, a bass guitar and a drum pad, but my main focus is the vocals as it’s the purest form of expression for me.
What type of events and festival do you perform live at?
Obviously my music fits the best in the context of other dark music. I’ve played at a dance music event where the other performers are mostly DJ’s; and with harsher industrial metal acts.
Describe your personal style:
I’m happiest at home, but when I do go out, I usually like to get very bold and flamboyant. As I love art and fashion, I get easily inspired by the things I see and I like to experiment with different style elements. I do wear a lot of black, weird jewelry, things you’d find at a hardware store… I also have a soft spot for vintage, I usually have a decade in fashion history that I obsess over. When I get tired of black, I derive inspiration from kitsch aesthetics – it’s compelling and exciting to defy the borders between good and bad taste. Sometimes I just don’t care and wear a band T-shirt. Always works.
I really want to take a vacation now! Honestly, I just want to lie under a palm tree somewhere warm and do nothing for a while. But jokes aside, going forward I want to keep on creating weird dark music, play it live for people, create visual art and collaborate with other artists. To transcend and communicate. Also to be more a more useful, conscious, responsible citizen of this planet.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
Dark Beauty is a lush realm that feeds the imagination of those who don’t want to be force-fed by the spectacle that is made to downgrade the autonomy of the mind.