When two ex-punk rockers from Leipzig find themselves on Berghain’s stage as »We Have Band’s« warm-up group, performing as an electronic duo some serious deconstruction must have taken place. Deconstruction is the whole approach of the highly conceptual band Deko Deko. Deko Deko stands for Deconstruction of Decoration – the beauty and productivity of dismantling. 10 years of making music together gives Lena Seik and Tristan Schulze a heck of familiarity and artistic compatibility to start taking apart and putting back together.
»Our transition from punk rock to electronic music just sort of happened. With Deko Deko we wanted to create more conceptual stories. We wanted to consider the whole thing and we did. The concept was there from day one,« explains Tristan. As a very visual band the two have a very visual story to explain the »Deko Deko principle« as they call it: »If you hold a vinyl with something beautiful on it, you drop it, it breaks in a hundred pieces, you take those pieces and put them back together to create something new – that’s it. It’s always about destruction and construction.« Deko Deko melt the boundaries between eighties wave and goth-pop. The synths can be as brutal as they can be calming. Lena’s voice moves between iciness, that disrupts lyrical harmonies, and comfy warmness that doesn’t make sense within a chilling arrangement. »We don’t make typical pop songs but there is a pop element in our music.«
Deko Deko formed in 2011 though Tristan has been making electronic music for quite a long time. »We always had a lot of different side projects as well as at least one project we did together. We experimented with a lot of different styles and our last collaboration saw a lot of electronic influences,« explains Lena. »If you hold a vinyl with something beautiful on it, you drop it, it breaks in a hundred pieces, you take those pieces and put them back together to create something new – that’s it. It’s always about destruction and construction.« The two produced the album themselves, which was released on the Leipzig music and art label Ortloff. It’s a small label that unites creative potential and creates a community of artists and musicians. There’s a lot going on parallel to each other, things and people mixing together and that really fits perfectly into the »Deko Deko principle«. »It’s inorganic but at the same time a subdued power exists,« Tristan explains.
As the two of them were so familiar with each other already and had taken their time to figure out a concept the developing process was clear from the start. »We permanently discuss and reflect but at the same time we let ourselves really drift off.« A love song that starts off sensitive and subtle can turn brutish and hard. The two aren’t scared to let a song transform into something completely different even when the lyrics are very indicative of the song’s mood. »There are discrepancies within our songs that shouldn’t be there. To be honest we are still applying research processes when we write our songs,« says Tristan. In the studio Tristan comes up with the song’s structures and Lena adds her lyrics. »I play around with the lyrics, see where it fits and then it goes back and forth between us,« explains Lena. Before the songs are even finished they are inspected for their live playability. How will it function on stage? Is the song too complicated, annoying or too accessible? Does it sound too much like something else? It doesn’t. After the two are done taking apart and putting together any reference they might have had disappears.