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Okzharp and Manthe Ribane’s album Closer/Apart out now

The recording of ‘Closer Apart’ reflects the title. Okzharp says ‘most of the music came out of headphone moments in hotel rooms, planes and airports in the brief periods of time that we spent together, in Paris and later Vienna’, a city Manthe describes as a ‘beautiful dream place’

Okzharp describes Manthe as a ‘co-producer’, ‘she selected instrumental sketches and we developed them together, sometimes just keeping the bare bones or a melody or rhythm, or trying different elements or sounds. In tandem Chris worked with Manthe developing an umbilical visual identity, feeding back into the music, for the live show but also for the audio-visual elements of their work, which will come around the album.

Even thought the album was built long distance, the short periods they spent together were the ground zero for creativity, Okzharp recalls ‘One particular moment in Milan last year, ‘we had a whole free day before our flight so we visited the Salone di Mobile design show. We were so inspired by an installation there just walking around, listening to the amazing soundtrack. That evening our flight was delayed, so we sat on the floor of the airport terminal putting musical ideas down for ‘Time Machine’ on the laptop speakers and writing the lyrics. “Tic Toc time, we’ll be fine / Airport queues, cerulean blues / Viper trails cross the skies / Lights reflect in your eyes…’

The album has a softness and openness that contrasts the tougher sound of the EPs. Manthe explains, ‘The new music is a 360 turn, It an expression of my “Lady” side, I grew up listening to Jazz, Classic and Gospel, I am a very soft spoken person, and it resonates with being confident with that. It’s been crazy finding balance and finding a smart way to strengthen my weaknesses, I had to trust the process.’ Of the songs she says ‘They are part of the world now, I hope everyone feels motivated and inspired to be more after listening to the album.’

Buy Closer/Apart now