Kodama is the DIY dream pop project of Berlin-based musician Ringo Lukas. Originally hailing from the Black Forest in the south west of Germany, Lukas studied the triple threat combo of literature, journalism and south east Asian art history in Leipzig before moving to Berlin. That initial six month stay in Berlin has since turned into an indefinite relocation and two self-released EPs, titled Lift and Bedroom Recordings.
The Kodama sound is a sonic collage of a life less ordinary, packed with hazy and lazy lo-fi that incorporates field recordings and samples anything from Twin Peaks to Nintendo games. The one man band writes, records and produces all of his own material in his bedroom, preferring to experiment on his own terms. At the time of this interview – in his bedroom-slash-studio – Psychic TV fizzle through the speakers, a multitude of guitars are sprawled across the floor and a children’s toy piano sits next to microphones still set up from impromptu recording sessions.
Whipping together a playlist, here the musician shares the songs buzzing around his head alongside an exclusive premiere of his new video.
Below video: Exclusive premiere of Kodama’s track Boiling Water Sharper Nails directed by Luna Redondo.
Never Mind by Masami Tsuchija
“I recently fell into a hole of 80s Japanese Experimental / Ambient / Scaping and did not yet feel the urge to climb out; actually, I’d rather gather all my belongings and start furnishing it. Maybe fill it up with warm turquoise water and a lot of bubble bath lotion, grow gills and just dive around in it; no seasons no tides just vagueness and goo.”
Something Come Over Me by Throbbing Gristle
“Maybe this could drag one out again, it’s always like this with Genesis P-Orridge – the whole spectrum of things you could do you would do, always alarmed and somehow aggressive but very much in peace with that.”
Romantic by Run DMT
“This always makes me pretty jealous. Overly compressed and indecisive but also all over the place – I like silver more than gold.”
When The Open Road Is Closing In by Magnetic Fields
“Situational and selective. Before making this playlist, there has only been one place (hosting only the same three or four people) in which I have been listening to Magnetic Fields. Maybe it should have stayed there since selectiveness always indicates intention (in theory), and intention can be misread. But since I already argued against determination (including destiny and all that) here it is, active and free of script and overwritten. In the end, I like it. Reminds me of drawing Gameboys.”
Tong Poo by Akiko Yano
“I found this song as a photo of a screen on my phone on a pretty hangover morning indicating that the night before must have been interesting. I can’t remember details though.”
Sometimes by Perfect Hair Forever
“I bought my flatmate a box of 500+ wobbly eyes in different sizes to glue on things. Now they are everywhere and I´m not sure how to feel about that – same goes for Sometimes. It’s just a little too sweet and smooth and joyful to be enjoyable at all times, a caricature. But then again, Sometimes is exactly what is needed as an instrument to detach from reality (or base reality, the cooler term avoiding dualisms taken from Blame! which I hereby recommend to read). If you are watched by a ton of toy eyes, the importance of the real focus is beautifully undermined. Same goes for the things you listen to.”
International Man Of Melancholy by Jerry Paper
“Going back underwater, filling in more bubble lotion, finding a tunnel in the experimental hole going even deeper – entering an underwater cave where all the children’s TV show protagonist you were afraid of at night (remember Barney, this purple tooth paste ad monster?) suddenly have great conspiracy theories to share with you.”
Boiling Water Sharper Nails by Kodama
“This is a new song by myself as Kodama, recorded on top of a recording of boiling water (pragmatic title). The video was filmed as a hommage to ghosts and my favourite two plastic toys, fake blueback Godzilla and his fake brother (unnamed), all taped on a very shitty camcorder. All credits to Luna Redondo, who I hope will decide to come back to Berlin soon. Breaking into cemeteries is great.”