ALEX STOLZE (Nonostar Records)

Violinist, producer and songwriter Alex Stolze has generated a well-deserved reputation, both as composer and collaborator, for his unique blending of different musical worlds. Shifting seamlessly between stark modern classical works, fiercely intelligent electronica and off-kilter indie pop, he manages to craft his own consistent sound throughout. Middle-Eastern scales create a beguiling tonal landscape, complex polyrhythms and unusual time signatures are turned into addictive, danceable beats, while analogue synthesisers, minimal piano and his bespoke 5-string violin combine to create a uniquely textured sound- world.

Already widely acclaimed for his work with electronica acts Bodi Bill and Unmap, and the experimental avantgarde trio Dictaphone, his emergence both as a solo artist and as head of new label Nonostar has opened up a range of new musical possibilities. The 2018 debut album “Outermost Edge” showcases a compositional and lyrical perspective at once innocent and experienced. Dark minimal compositions are placed in contrast to timeless love songs, while a political message encouraging empathy with outsiders and warning against a time of division and blind conformity emerges again and again. As Stolze sings on the effortlessly catchy “Way Out”: If we don’t change our ways to behave, there is no way out of destruction on earth…

The same utopian eclecticism drives the Nonostar label, based at Stolze’s remote studio on the German- Polish border. Nonostar’s roster of underground artists, drawn from alternative pop, modern classical and minimal techno, are united by a shared uncompromising commitment to originality. The talents of art collective CargoCult provide the label with a distinctive visual style, consistently innovative in the merchandise, record sleeves and music videos they create. The buzz around Stolze and Nonostar is growing exponentially with each new release; we can expect to hear a lot more from the artist and his label in 2019 and beyond.