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Unsound music festival commissions club-inspired fragrances

Unsound music festival has commissioned perfumes inspired by experimental electronic music. The German perfumer Geza Schoen will create three fragrances based on compositions by Montreal sound artist and musician Tim Hecker, London-based Kode9 and Australian-born, Iceland-based composer Ben Frost.

“Scent and sound are both the most ephemeral of senses,” explained Unsound co-curator Małgorzata Płysa. “Without having a visible physical form … they have the power to trigger emotions, uncover memories and move other senses … We have decided to try and blur the lines.”

Thus: the perfume Drone, born out of Hecker’s harsh ambient drones; Noise, evoking Frost’s orchestral cut-up; and Bass, which draws from the low-end sounds of Kode9. “Electronic music can be quite abstract, yet certain sounds can trigger crossovers to certain smells for me,” Schoen told Pitchfork. The Berlin perfumer is designing scents using “raw sonic material” from the three composers. When he is done, the three musicians will create more music inspired by the finished perfumes.

All three fragrances, along with their corresponding music, will be presented at this month’s Unsound New York. The installation uses sound speakers designed by Australia’s Air Aroma, with bespoke visuals by Manuel Sepulveda and Marcel Weber. Unsound plan to take the project on tour, including a visit to Krakow, the festival’s flagship site.

Unsound also plan to create wearable forms of each perfume. The bottled versions will be launched, with bundled sounds, before the end of the year.

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