Dutch for “palm trees”, Palmbomen appropriately delivers a tropical escape from the mundane. Kai Hugo’s music is as experimental as it is contagiously poppy. Haunting vocals and hypnotic synth lines produced by desolated studio equipment create an atmospheric sound that, according to somewhere between 80′s italo and 60′s psychedelia. A custom built quasi epileptic light show completes the sensation of being lost in a neon Amazon forest. Kai’s debut ‘Moon Children EP’ is out on NON Records and showcases the uniquely eery sound of Palmbomen.
Since 2015, Hugo has been releasing under the moniker Palmbomen II. Hugo birthed Palmbomen II while spending a summer watching X-Files in his mother's attic in the Netherlands, and Palmbomen II marks a significant departure from his previous sound on Night Flight Europa. Explaining his moniker change, Hugo tells Dummy Mag: "I wanted to split Palmbomen in two. It's a practical thing. In Palmbomen, I play with a band, and playing live, you have to cheat. I remember trying to emulate the sound with a band playing – we had a gigantic setup, but it was impossible. I thought that if I'm gonna play with a band, I wanna do it with a band – no electronics, no click track, no bullshit. On the other hand, if I want to do electronics, I just want a bunch of drum machines and synthesizers to play around with."
He debuted his new moniker with the full-length self-titled album "Palmbomen II", an X-Files inspired Outsider House album in which each track is named after a minor X-Files character. The album was released via Beats In Space on March 3, 2015 and was well received by critics, with a 7.3 out of 10 from Pitchfork and 3.7 out of 5 from Resident Advisor. Approximately a year later, Palmbomen II released "Center Parcs EP", a dreamy IDM album cowritten with fellow Dutch producer Betonkust. Palmbomen II and Betonkust wrote the album over the course of a rainy weekend at the virtually abandoned holiday resort "Center Parcs De Eemhof", drawing inspiration from the shiny façade and inauthenticity of "swimming paradises". Center Parcs EP was released via the Vancouver-based label 1080p on February 26, 2016. Read more