A girl stands at an arcade machine, her eyes fixed on the glowing screen with her back turned on the world. She seems to be alone, somehow lost and yet at one with herself. The cover art (by Carmen Alt-Chaplin) for Peter Zirbs’ debut album as a solo artist conveys escapism – being totally immersed in another reality, in the virtual world. His equally futuristic and retro-futuristic aesthetic is permeated with melancholy. What if we really don’t exist?
Peter Zirbs himself also knows how to escape: how to hunker down in the studio, hide from the outside and lose himself in the music. He emphasizes that such an escape is healing, leading to the world of the romantic. The Viennese musician and producer has always felt most comfortable straddling genres, whether techno and rock in previous band projects, or now as a solo artist combining post-minimalist dramatic synth/piano (“Firmament”) with modern wave pop (“Are You Reality?”) and poignant ballad-kitsch (“Dreamescape”). Here there are subtle changes in emphasis gracing otherwise repetitive harmonies; there a true appreciation of pop. Ten songs – five with lyrics, five without – some threatening, some heartbreaking, all stirring. They project a world – sometimes concrete, sometimes abstract – in which can be found beauty and disquiet, love and fear, failure and perseverance. A world one is happy to get lost in while the cinema in one’s head tells its own stories. (by Manuel Fronhofer)
As part of the Viennese rave and techno scene of the 1990s, multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer Peter Zirbs has released music under several pseudonyms, produced and remixed various artists, and scored a range of experimental films. He has broken down genre boundaries over the years with the variety of his output. The circle closes now. In 2018 Peter Zirbs finally steps into the spotlight as a solo artist.
“What If We Do not Exist?” by Peter Zirbs is released on 19th October 2018 by Fabrique Records. Guest vocalists include Monika Heidemann (Heidemann, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, The Juan MacLean / DFA Records), Tom Walkden (Wolventrix) and Gerard McNeice.