Tag Archive: The Naming Ritual


During Winter 2018, we started work on a new album. Originally our plan had been to look back at some of our earlier work and rerecord some of the material, thinking that we could apply current methods and thinking to older tracks and make something new out of them. We were quite excited about revisiting everything, but somewhere along the line a lot of the ideas that we had led us in completely new directions, and before we knew it we were working on new material again.

The new songs had a particularly slow drift to them, a gradual shifting of sounds that felt almost glacial in nature. Where past releases had featured music where the listener had the opportunity to explore the soundscape at their own pace, the new music had a tidal quality where the listener was swept along through a range of sound. And the more that we traveled alongside those songs, the more obvious it became to us that we were headed in the right direction musically, hitting all the right themes and ideals we had established in the early days of Kalte, while still building further and expanding on them. In many ways, this new release felt like a culmination of all of the work that we had been doing since we first started trading sound files and coming up with a project vocabulary all those years ago.

When recording was finished, we started the Naming Ritual again, and decided on “Covalencies” as a title. In addition to having a molecular association that connects it to “The Lanthanide Series“, “Covalencies” refers to the sharing of electron pairs between atoms, which also serves as an analogy to the sharing of ideas, themes, and methods found throughout all of our work from 2008 to this release. Needless to say, we’re really pleased with this album and we think that it stands as a nice bridge between our first decade and what we plan to do musically in the future.

You may be wondering at this point, what ever happened to the idea of remixing or rerecording some of the older stuff? When is the Kalte Remix Album gonna come out? Well, we can’t answer that definitively right now, but it’s in the pipeline so that’s something you can look forward to hearing when it’s ready…

The Naming Ritual

kalte_logoOnce we had recorded some music, it seemed like a good idea to come up with a name for what we were doing, along with some song titles. That might seem like a really easy undertaking on the surface, but any musician will tell you that coming up with song titles is hard, and coming up with a band name is exponentially harder.

Band names need to encapsulate an ideal, a sound, an image, a style, all in one, two, or three words. And not only does it have to capture all of those things, it also has to be memorable, unique, catchy, and instantly recognizable. And perhaps most importantly, it really should be something that you’re okay with being identified with, because whatever name you choose is going to stick with you for as long as your band does. And that’s important to remember when everybody has had a couple of drinks and you’re all laughing at some pun that seems really clever at the time, but isn’t really that clever at all.

Having spent so much time talking about our sound and coming up with a vocabulary for what we wanted to do, we were able to narrow down our choices for names for our project pretty quickly, and there wasn’t a pun or a regrettable choice in the bunch. Glacial was a strong contender for a little while, but it didn’t quite work. Pika was entertained for about an hour, but it seemed like too much of an in-joke to really appeal for very long. Cold was a front runner for a while, that one seemed very sharp and applicable to many of the ideas we had been working with, but there was still something lacking. And then hidden amid some production notes we had been trading back and forth about the songs we were working on, one of us suggested Kalte which is the German word for Cold, and immediately we knew that’s what we wanted to be called. From that day on we stopped talking about what we were doing as “the project” or “our new project”, and we started talking about Kalte, and that felt pretty good.

Ten years on we’re happy to report that we still feel pretty good about being called Kalte.

Choosing song titles was a little more straightforward. Taking a cue from how we had each developed a series of sounds independently while we were recording the album, we decided to do the same thing for song titles, promising to mail each other ten possible names inspired by the vocabulary we had been using (heretofore known as the Kalte Vocabulary). And it worked. We each listened to the tracks we had been working on at the time and came up with titles that were in keeping with what we wanted to do and what we had been influenced by at the time, ultimately resulting in a cohesive through line that connected all of the tracks.

We’ll spare you having to read a list of all of the song titles that we came up with, mostly because we ended up using all of the best choices, but we wanted to share the following list of names that we put together for the album title;

1) Taiga

2) Lagomorpha

3) Inertial cavitation

4) This cat is important to me…

5) Lanthanide Series Volume One

Thinking about it now, we should probably take note of “This cat is important to me…”, that sounds like a really great name for the new album that we’re currently working on.

Anyway, you probably know by now that we ended up choosing “The Lanthanide Series” as the name of our first album. For those of you who are interested, the name is taken from a group of 15 chemical elements known as the Rare Earth Elements, and this idea of chemistry and elements and a series within the Periodic Table really seemed in keeping with the kind of things that we had been talking about while we were planning the project that would eventually become Kalte. It was a title that seemed to touch on a variety of reference points for us, and because of that we knew that it was the perfect name for our debut album.

So we had a name, we had music with some great song titles, and we had a great album title. All we needed to do was figure out what to do with all of it.

Come back tomorrow to see what we did…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

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