hackedepicciotto_credit_Errefotografia__5140hackedepicciotto – Alexander Hacke & Danielle de Picciotto – have announced details of a new album, Keepsakes, set for release on vinyl, CD and digitally on 28 July 2023. The album will precede a European tour – first dates announced below, with more to follow.

For over 20 years Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten) and artist, musician and filmmaker Danielle de Picciotto (co-founder of Love Parade) have been developing and evolving a deeply intuitive and symbiotic working practice and creative partnership, and on the new album, Keepsakes, that has manifested into their most intimate release so far. “It might be a cliched phrase, but this is a very personal album,” says Alexander Hacke, Danielle de Picciotto explains, “we usually sing about universal themes, like the fate of mankind, but this time it’s about our personal lives.”

Each track on the album is dedicated to a friend, giving the album an immediate and enveloping warmth, and allowing each track to possess its own individual personality. Listen to the first track to be shared, the hugely textural, detailed world of ‘Schwarze Milch’: https://youtu.be/zcpB_TGQIOg

While friendship is the central theme, place has been a recurring theme throughout their work and the recording environment plays a significant part to the feel and sound of the album. This time it was the Auditorium Novecento in Napoli that proved key: “…one of the first recording studios in Europe,” says Hacke. “Where Enrico Caruso and all the great artists from Napoli recorded in the early days of records.” Located in a huge and beautifully-sounding room that can record up to 17 people at a time, the pair threw themselves into the vast array of instruments housed there – utilising everything from brass to grand piano and tubular bells to a celesta that was owned by the maestro himself, Ennio Morricone. “It was very, very inspiring to work in that place,” enthuses de Picciotto.

The band’s choice of instruments was expanded not just on an excitable whim, but in order to document nine different people, they needed to stretch out and expand their sonic palette. “The record is dedicated to a very varied group of people,” says Hacke, so gentle piano, rich brass, and celestial bells can all be heard echoing and rippling through the record, alongside engulfing strings, pummelling bass, atmospheric drones, sparse drums and the dreamy tones of Morricone’s celesta.

The theme of friendship expands as far as artists they worked with to put the album together: long-time friend Victor Van Vugt mixed the record, David Hochbaum painted the cover and Manolo Luque worked graphics. “… every single detail of the album has to do with really deep old friendships,” says De Picciotto. “In that way, they are always with us. That’s something that means a lot to us.”

While Keepsakes is a beautiful ode to friendship born out of a time when we all realised we needed them the most, another element that underpins the record is the ever-expanding relationship between Hacke and De Picciotto. Despite having a working relationship spanning over two decades, they are in a golden period of creativity, collaboration and connectivity. “We’ve grown into a proper partnership as composers,” says Hacke. “Everything we do is based on the interaction between the two of us and that’s what makes this project so special. It’s all based on how we react to each other and I think we’ve found a language that is really unique.”