HMUNGA: Spherical Darkness


HMUNGA is an instrumental project by songwriter and producer Florian Zelinski from Munich, Germany. Zelinski has been releasing music with the project since 2020, and “Libration” is the newest addition to the discography. The album was launched last month. About it, Florian speaks in a new interview for Prog SphereHMUNGA was recently feature on the Progotronics 38 compilation.

Describe the musical frameworks your new album “Libration” explores.

This is a not so easy question in terms of genres. Maybe a good way to describe it is that my main ingredient has always been a spherical atmosphere as fundament often combined with a strong bass. On „Libration“ this is still true but the tracks are all a bit more energetic (in terms of e-guitars) and maybe also a bit more focused, which was actually nothing I planned to do. The original plan was to make a synthesizer driven album (Klaus Schulze style) – In the end it obviously turned out a little differently…

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and lessons learned during the creative process for “Libration”?

As a solo artist it is always a challenge to be in charge of everything. Especially the production side can be a bit tedious and I think it could be an enrichment to leave this part to some fresh ears who were not involved in the whole creative process. So for the lessons learned I would say that this time I decided to strictly separate the creative part from the production part which helped me not to lose the joy in composing music just because I’m stuck mixing a track for a few days.

HMUNGA - Libration

Describe the approach to recording this album.

Normaly I collect tracks over a longer period of time (some month or maybe a year) and then try to choose the tracks which make for a (more of less) homogenous album. This time I wrote all the tracks in a very short period of time and then afterwards mixed and mastered the whole album.

To someone who hasn’t heard “Libration,” what can he or she expect from it?

One can expect a spherical piece of music which also has some heavier influences here and there. Maybe the album artwork of „Libration“ gives a good indication of what to expect: spherical, dark and experimental music.

Which bands or artists influenced your work on the album?

I have many influences from different genres. Lunatic Soul, Bohren & der Club of Gore, Indukti, Russian Cirlces, Pink Floyd, Lisa Gerrard, Kyuss – just to name a few. On this particular album there might also be a track which is heavily influenced by Ian Andersons (Jethro Tull) flute play ;-) .

How has your perspective on the possibilities of song arrangement expanded over the years?

There was a time where I avoided certain song structures or chord progressions just out of principle. But of course this alone does not make a track more interesting… I now try not to think too much about those things and just make music. But of course sometimes I still experiment with exotic keys/modes, time signatures or very slow tempo.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

No. There are many different ways I compose music. Sometimes I start with a piece I played on an acoustic guitar and make it into a full track (where sometimes the original acoustic part is not left at all in the end). Sometimes I play around with different synth or amp sounds and create spherical soundscapes which form the fundament of a track. Sometimes I play around with different rythms and try to build bass and electric guitars around it.

What non-musical entities and ideas have an impact on your music?

I really like creating atmospheres with my music. These could reflect aspects of nature (like a wood or space or the deep sea etc.) or also things of the world surrounding us (which sometimes lead to dystopic atmospheres in my music). But sometimes it’s just my personal soundtrack to a mental image I got from reading a book / watching a movie / playing a game.

What is your view on technology in music?

As for the advances that have been made in home studio production in recent years, I think it’s great! It opens up a lot of possibilities (especially for a solo artist) that you didn’t have a few years ago. I’m also a big fan of great and creative sample libraries, although I also appreciate using studio musicians for certain exotic instruments on my albums.

Get “Libration” from Bandcamp here. Follow HMUNGA on YouTube.

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