Interview: Tim Engelhardt reflects on his 'Moments of Truth' | Soundspace

Interview: Tim Engelhardt reflects on his ‘Moments of Truth’

A sense of care and vulnerability resides in the music belonging to Tim Engelhardt. The blending of a left field sound with that of emotional reflection is a talent that few possess.

Under the umbrella of a thriving Cologne scene, Engelhardt has combined a musical background in piano with the melodic textures and beautiful structures of modern electronica. The result is an honest and intimate soundscape; a piece of complete emotional reflection.

Having released on labels such as Innervisions, Engelhardt is now preparing the release of his debut album, Moments Of Truth, on May 5th. We caught up with the artist to talk album inspirations, Cologne’s scene and the provoking of memories.

Your forthcoming album, Moments of Truth, seems to possess an intimate, emotive vibe, as does most of your work. Are there any particular emotive artists that inspired you when you were piecing together the concept?

My main inspiration must have been James Blake and Jon Hopkins for this album, not in a way where I would copy a track or take elements into my own production, but more the way in which things are put together, in a very intuitive way that shows a rare kind of emotion in electronic music. I like it how their albums show a very personal and intimate side, while showcasing their characteristic style. I’ve made it my mission to do the same, keeping my signature and taking things to another level emotionally. It was harder than expected but now, I love the result.

Do you have a particular creative process when it comes to crafting an emotionally reflective track?

I’m not sure if that’s possible, to have a routine when talking about honest and emotional music. The right idea might come to you at a time where you aren’t even in the studio. I actually experience this regularly, I would do something else around the house and suddenly, I have an idea and I would run to the studio to record it. So no, there’s no particular process.

What is it that connects you so deeply with emotive music?

I never thought about that so much, maybe it’s just in my nature. It’s the music I like and for me music was always about emotion. Also, making music that’s danceable does not mean to neglect the emotional content of it. For me the two things go hand in hand.

What is the electronic music scene like in Cologne?

For me, it’s very good how it is. We have a bunch of lovely venues for techno and house and lots of parties. Right now, we have many DJs around the city, especially younger ones. I’m hoping to discover some talented musicians in Cologne though, currently there are only very few artists around that do similar stuff to me.

Are there any other artists from the city that you enjoy?

That would be Andhim for sure, David Hasert and Leonard Bywa. All have their signature style and I’m pretty sure David and Leonard will go a long way, while Andhim are already where they deserve to be.

The artwork for Moments of Truth is wonderfully put together. Did you illustrate it yourself or did you bring in another creative to collaborate alongside you?

The original picture is from a shoot I had with Katja Ruge in Hamburg. Then we contacted Sonya Schneider, a very talented painter, so she could make a drawing of the picture. That’s how the cover came about!

Where did the initial idea for Moments of Truth come from? Is it symbolic in anyway? Perhaps to the subtle meditation that can be found on the dance floor?

I didn’t have that title when I started the album. I was never a guy of concepts, so I just let out what was inside me. After a while, this just turned out to be the right name for the album. When deciding which tracks to put on the album, I chose the tracks that were made in the most vulnerable and honest moments, as I think they were simply the best of all. That’s what made me use that name for the album.

Meditative, emotive and melodic productions can often incite a sense of nostalgia within its listener. What kind of memories does Moments of Truth provoke within you?

Very different memories to what you would think of when listening to the album. I’m involved in it, I put almost three years of work into it, so I’m kind of biased here. While it makes me think about the countless hours in the studio and the frustration of not getting anywhere with it, it also reminds me of some beautiful moments I captured with the music. Every song has a particular story and when I listen to them, I can hear that story, which for me is proof that I did something right with the album. I’m pretty happy about it right now.

Where can people catch you gigging over the next few months?

I’m playing various festivals this summer and we have a number of shows scheduled in Berlin, Cologne, Zurich, Milan, Barcelona and more. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Follow Tim Engelhardt on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.