The Duty Freedom – a Cologne-based electronic musician with a unique blend of sounds and a multidisciplinary approach to music.

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The Duty Freedom specializes in cosmic soundscapes and sonic textures, evoking spherical harmonies with the intent to move your mind, body, and nervous system. With a mix of dreaminess, distortion and intricate rhythms, his tracks are an exercise in contrast and tension, while always keeping one foot firmly on the dancefloor.

The Duty Freedom擅长宇宙音景和音质,唤起球状的和声,意在调动你的思想、身体和神经系统。他的音乐混合了梦幻、失真和复杂的节奏,是一种对比和紧张的练习,同时始终保持一只脚在舞池中。

Almost all of his tracks are paired with a striking visual component. This is by design: The Duty Freedom’s take on electronic music as a multimedia practice pairs electronic clarity and rhythmic experiments with a playful visual agenda uniquely his own.

他几乎所有的曲目都搭配了引人注目的视觉组件。这是他的设计: The Duty Freedom将电子音乐作为一种多媒体实践,将电子清晰度和节奏实验与他自己独特的俏皮的视觉议程相结合。

The Duty Freedom was formed as the musical laboratory of Nicolas Epe in 2020. Beginning with his debut EP „Chronic Durations“ on SNC Records he takes his audience on a dramatic, emotional journey into the world of Intelligent Drum and Bass music. While the producer’s following releases drift away from IDM & Breaks territories, they somewhat remain familiarly close to earlier ranges of moods.

义务自由 “是尼古拉斯-埃佩在2020年成立的音乐实验室。从他在SNC唱片公司发行的首张EP《Chronic Durations》开始,他把他的听众带入了一个戏剧性的、情感丰富的智能鼓和低音音乐世界。虽然这位制作人的后续作品偏离了IDM和Breaks的领域,但他们在某种程度上仍然熟悉地接近早期的情绪范围。

Listen here:

The studied media artist seeks both, high-end precision and Lo-Fi nostalgia aesthetics alike. In his arrangements, The Duty Freedom plays with controlled elements on the one hand and chaos on the other, driven by a highly intuitive way to work with his analog and digital tools.

这位经过研究的媒体艺术家同时寻求高端的精确性和Lo-Fi的怀旧美学。在他的安排中,The Duty Freedom一方面玩弄着受控的元素,另一方面玩弄着混乱的元素,以高度直观的方式使用他的模拟和数字工具。

Watch the premiere here:

Hello Nic, we are amazed by your release which is going together with a fantastic video! Could you tell us about your day and introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello, thank you very much for the kind words about the release. My day was quite fine, I worked on a project that I started 6 months ago and haven‘t reopened since then. After that, I organized some stuff for my upcoming summer residency in Athens. Oh and of course I had an espresso at my favorite café Formula Uno here in Cologne.

I produce music for my project The Duty Freedom. Having been in electronic music production for more than a decade now, my motivation to create tracks that are a derivation of my influences and curiosity hasn’t really changed.  Also, I have a background as a media artist so I love to collaborate with visual artists to shape a wider narrative for my music. 

And I love pistachios.

你好,非常感谢你对发布会的赞誉。我这一天过得很好,我在做一个6个月前开始的项目,此后一直没有重启。在那之后,我为我即将到来的雅典夏季居住安排了一些事情。哦,当然,我在科隆我最喜欢的咖啡馆Formula Uno喝了一杯浓缩咖啡。

我为我的项目The Duty Freedom制作音乐。我从事电子音乐制作已经超过十年了,我的动机是创造出我的影响和好奇心的衍生曲目,并没有真正改变。 此外,我有媒体艺术家的背景,所以我喜欢与视觉艺术家合作,为我的音乐塑造更广泛的叙述。


How would you explain the name of your project? What does it mean to you The Duty Freedom ? 

I enjoy Duty-Free zones at airports. Whenever I am in Duty-Free shops (which is rare) it’s like entering an artificial parallel world. Everything is so shiny and even ordinary products you know from anywhere else seem more special there because they are presented differently, eg some products have a packaging you can just get there. Overall it’s basic stuff in a posh setting. I like to spend time thinking about phenomena like this so it was just a matter of time until The Duty Freedom crossed my mind and it seemed to be the perfect name for me.

我喜欢机场的免税区。每当我在免税店(这很罕见),就像进入了一个人造的平行世界。所有的东西都是那么闪亮,即使是你在其他地方知道的普通产品,在那里也显得更加特别,因为它们的展示方式不同,例如有些产品的包装你可以在那里得到。总的来说,这是在一个豪华的环境中的基本东西。我喜欢花时间思考像这样的现象,所以在我想到 “责任自由 “之前,这只是一个时间问题,它似乎是我的完美名字。

Speaking about the process of your work and particularly about that album, how did you come up with the idea and connection between the video and your music? 

Since I think that electronic music in many cases benefits from a visual component, I try to equip mine with videos. When the EP was finished I showed it to my friend Nathan Schönewolf aka Prettywolfx who instantly wanted to contribute a 3D video to My Favorite Dead End. We had a chat and couldn’t let go of the idea of an empty airport. To match the spaced-out vibe of the track, we chose the characters to be a moving suitcase, mutated penguins and a custom emoji. Nathan was thrilled to build this world with glossy surfaces and light interactions. He customized all these typical airport objects like shops, security checks, signs, etc and even fulfilled my wish to feature a green Kawasaki (thank you). The fetish for these objects which generate this world forced us to think of a storyline to lead us through it which turned out to be this odd series of happenings. In combination with the music, it should make you feel alien.

Creating these tracks was more intuitive tweaking and knob pushing than on my previous records. I focused on the arrangement and sound design and it was the first time I let my own music mix externally (thank you Jan Niklas Jansen). This helped a lot to not step into the trap of mixing instead of composing during the musical process. I work hybrid so I crafted the sounds mostly with my hardware synths and a few in the DAW.

Could you tell us about your further plans?

Well, I have a lot of unreleased music on my hard drive and want to find a way to publish it asap. For me, it makes it easier to work on new music after you released your previous material because people react to it which motivates you. In my case, it pushes me to go on and explore other arrangement methods. Currently, I am into more minimalist production techniques, I am basically hunting for a maximum effect with as few as possible elements which are trickier than it sounds.

On top, I can imagine making an exhibition with The Duty Freedom videos and related artworks. After having collaborated with amazing visual artists this could be an interesting constellation.

Video Credits Music:

The Duty Freedom (@thedutyfreedom)

Video: Nathan Schönewolf (@prettywolfx)

Mix: Jan Niklas Jansen (@jniklasj)