Minneapolis-based electronic quintet POLIÇA and European orchestral collective s t a r g a z e release their debut collaborative album Music For The Long Emergency on February 16, 2018 via Totally Gross National Product/Transgressive. Introduced via the Liquid Music project run by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, with the hope of a cross-genre collaboration, POLIÇA and s t a r g a z e first met in Berlin in 2016 in s t a r g a z e conductor André de Ridder's living room.
While the collaboration started in the same room, the process continued as an 18-month long "ping pong" match as the bands exchanged ideas and music over email, mp3 files, video conferencing, and the occasional meet-up in Berlin, Minneapolis, and Eau Claire. Both bands were adamant that whatever they created "not just be POLIÇA songs with s t a r g a z e pasted on top," as POLIÇA vocalist Channy Leaneagh puts it, and the end result is the most adventurous and forward-thinking music either group has made to date.
Lyrically, this is in many ways an album of tensions — of sorrow and intense joy, of beauty and confusion. "It's about those contradictions in life," Leaneagh says. "How you can be going through tragedy, never-ending wars, but you still also are dealing with human relationships and love and romantic troubles." It is a reflection of the strange and sudden darkening of our times.
"Everybody in s t a r g a z e and POLIÇA is a little older. I grew up in a time in America that was before the internet, in a time when the schools in America were the least segregated that they'd ever been. In a time when we had turned towards progress after the era of Jim Crow, and lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan. And we're back in that right now in America. And in a lot of places in Europe too. We had our hands on progress and then it flipped. So the songs deal with that, lyrically, and musically they do too — with the idea that we're still human beings and we’re trying to find happiness and the love of our lives, or a career to be happy about, but then we're also trying to find world peace and end racism."
For both bands, this record is "an example of the truly healing effects of making music with your friends," says Leaneagh. “And while it doesn’t necessarily make things better, it builds community.”