Release Insight: Chino – Autostrada

As always with our releases, we thought it would be a nice bonus feature to compile some background information. So, here’s Chino talking about the inspirations that shaped “Autostrada” into such a striking record, musically and visually. Because Artur Oles not only created the tracks but also the artwork.

Chino: The record is a combination of some old and new tracks, that has been recorded between 2015-2020. The oldest one is “Carabo Cruise” and the newest one is “Dyscyplina”.

I find it interesting that tracks recorded in such a wide range of time still fit together and tell some common story. Musically it’s a cross-section of what used to and what still turns me on. Starting with the title track “Autostrada” which is a reflection of classic electro/detroit/rave sound. Then “Dyscyplina” which is my recent approach to the EBM/wave sound. Carabo Cruise is a friendly winking to all that mighty Italians that changed the electronic music in the 70s/80s. Finally “Alwernia” — as Conrad called it — it’s the most cinematic one on the record, which is inspired by all that dark sci-fi movies. The title refers to Alvernia movie studios close to Krakow.

Alwernia Studios

The title Autostrada came to my head some time ago even before we started thinking about my EP on Uncanny Valley. When I realised that the titles of separate tracks really fit the topic — there was only one choice. In this case Autostrada (Autobahn/Highway in polish) refers to the A4 highway which I realised is a very strong part of my life. I’m wandering this road a couple of times every week. It’s a main line between Kraków, Katowice and what’s most important in this case — Dresden and Saxony. I would say that the spectrum of feelings is completely full when I’m thinking about this road. Starting with total excitement when it comes to travelling to Eastern Germany, visiting friends, playing so many great gigs in Dresden, Leipzig and Olganitz or Berlin. Also lots of really fun car trips with friends happened on this highway. It’s also super nice to come back from Katowice to Kraków after work. 

Steering Wheel

But A4 also has a lot of dark sides in my opinion. It makes me super angry when I’m thinking that it’s a perfect picture of some not very honest political games that happened in the 90’s in Poland, and now the condition and the price of the road is just an echo of these tricks. The Kraków – Katowice section of the road is private and the polish government signed a document saying that none of the alternative ways could be modernised for something like 30 years. I’ve been traveling on this road for 15 years or even more and it never happened that I passed it with any road narrowing or renovations which causes long traffic jams. The price is incredibly high when you compare the distance and the price with other toll roads in Europe. (I think there were even some jokes about it in German press).
The title itself is also a tribute to Kraftwerk’s Autobahn, which is a milestone for modern music in my opinion. I feel that Kraftwerk’s picture of Autobahn was quite positive and even glorified the idea of this kind of fast way. Mine is maybe a bit wider and besides the futuristic vision tells also about the negative sides of the issue, but also about things that changed since 1974. 

Passage for animals
Plane landing over highway on Balice Airport
Fürstenwalde gas station in Breslau, designed by Friedrich Tamms
Alfa Romeo Carabo

The cover I designed is also inspired by the original Kraftwerk’s artwork, but the idea was to translate it to my own linear-grainy graphic language. I also included some locations on the highway that I find really special — Alvernia Studios in Alwernia right before Kraków, Gas Station in Wrocław designed by Friedrich Tamms, a passage for animals over the highway, the place that planes are landing over the road in Balice. There is also a car of my dreams — Alfa Romeo Carabo by Bertone (never got into mass production). And have you noticed? The composition of the cover is based on the original Kraftwerk’s artwork.