Kai Hugo composes music and video under the pseudonyms Palmbomen and Palmbomen II, the former a live band and the latter a solo project, though both engaged with practices of spontaneity.
While Palmbomen is heavily influenced by Italo Disco, Krautrock and New Wave, Palmbomen II was born out of Kai’s desire to further explore traditional production techniques with drum machines and analog synthesizers. Influenced by early 80s Chicago house, 90s shoegaze, as well as European minimal wave, Palmbomen II’s sound is ethereal, haunted, house music.
For Memories of Cindy (Beats In Space, 2018), Kai employs a process in kind with the self-titled debut (Beats In Space, 2015); Hugo worked through several iterations of each Memories Of Cindy song in a single day before using a comprehensive end edit to create a piece with an immediate, impossible feel. Palmbomen II’s live sets are also characterized by this sense of immediacy, as he plays with the same equipment and techniques he uses to record his music.
Hugo is also a talented visual artist and director. For each installment of Memories of Cindy, the artist wrote, shot and directed short videos that further introduced the city of Carmel Vista, and all its quirky inhabitants.