Often we don’t understand why something happens. Sometimes things take an unexpected turn and all we can do is try to catch up with the events. In 1998, Musicom, (a three piece from Brussels consisting of Pierre Mussche, Ernst Meinrath and Renaud Charlier), began crafting tracks of cool electronic ambience mixed with orchestral hip-hop, as soundtracks for adverts and underground films. Scottish born Esra Tasasiz was working in Brussels at that time singing on house records. She joined Musicom and the four decided to work together on recording a short piece of music. It was during these sessions that it soon became obvious that their creative output worked outside the confines of cinematography and Airlock were formed. The production of their first album ‘Drystar’ stretched over a period of two-and-a-half-years. During this time Airlock met with cult film director Oliver Van Hoofstadt and wrote some tracks in conjunction with the making of three of his films - Keo, Snuff Movie, and Parabellum. ‘Face Down’ the composition that appeared on Parabellum, finally made its way via European radio stations to the desks of British record labels as part of a demo. After being spoilt for choice, they signed up with One Little Indian on which ‘Drystar’ was released in 2001. The connection between Airlock and films was kept alive with their work on Roman Coppola’s the “Making of” of CQ. Furthermore, many tracks from ‘Drystar’ were used in films and series such as “CSI”, “CSI Miami”, “As If”, “Model Behaviour”, “5 go dating”, and more.
Airlock began work on their second album. The album was completed in October however, before they had played the album to anybody, all of the masters were destroyed in a studio fire. Airlock had to re-record the entire album! Whilst the studio was being rebuilt, the band decided to write some new songs for the album and worked in an improvised studio with minimal equipment. Though they had to change their working habits by that (the band considered this as a positive challenge), it also gave them the opportunity to concentrate more on the writing itself. The new album ‘Symptomatic’ has elements of tension, naivety, strength, conviction, vulnerability and freedom. Compared to their debut with its various musical directions, ‘Symptomatic’ is more coherent. For example, there are less instrumental tracks and warm sounds of analog synths are used on all tracks. The content of the album however, deals with a mixture of emotions, experiences and expressions (or symptoms…) resulting from the issues Airlock had to face. Many times we don’t understand why something happens but sometimes there are symptoms that point us to the source and help us to get our heads around it.