The French techno superstar is back with a brand new ‘Sonic Architecture’ album on Bedrock
Interview : Dan Prince
Antoine welcome to DMCWORLD Magazine. Before we speak about your fabulous new album, let’s kick back and return to the 80s when you first fell in love with music…a decade when you discovered early electronic sounds courtesy of Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode, classic US Hip Hop and then Acid House and Chicago techno. What did you want to do with your life back then career wise?
“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do, my first choice was to be a plane pilot, I wanted to have the kind of jobs children dream about. I wasn’t very conscious of the future, I just enjoyed life and had fun. My family wasn’t in the artistic field, they were more traditional who thought that working in the music scene was utopian teenage dream. So I started studying at an engineer school to do something “strong” for the future, but it was wrong for me…”
An exciting few weeks ahead of you with the release of your new album “Sonic Architecture’ swinging our way on the mighty Bedrock. 14 tracks make up this most excellent long player, please give us a few words on each tune…
01. Dope: “This track is the meeting point with Bedrock, based on a coincidence as it is released on Sign-industry, the label from my friends Maxime Dangles and Paul Nazca. John sent some wonderful feedback: “if I can have such a track on Bedrock …” So with my friends we decided to propose it on licence to Bedrock and they agreed…
02. Geode: It’s a special futurist venue in France which always makes me dream. I organised many parties in this part of the city, and the Geode is a centre point from it all. So it’s like a big souvenir from all those cool parties.
03. Airy Filed: Gran Cavaliere worked with me on this track, I made 4 collaborations on the album with Guillaume. When listening to electronic music, I always see many landscape scrolling before me me. For this one I imagined many airy landscapes bringing me lots of fresh air. This is a cool track for when I’m stressed
04. Silky: I use to be really influenced by 90’s rough techno, and this kind of techno is back now on the dance floor, with clubs like Berghain for example. It’s the really pure techno sound where I came from during the 90’s, sounds from Joey Beltram, Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, UR, and this track is one of my visions fromt that kind of music.
05. Cyclic Blues: Music is wonderful, but sometimes it’s really hard. You get great, good vibrations then big deceptions. It’s always like this and this bring cyclic blues …
06. Irritated character: Everything is in the title!
07. Unaggressive Complexity: Sometimes you can have very complex tracks in structure and in the creation yet it can be complex but non-aggressive. I used to be really influenced by music from the label WARP; take Autechre for example, their music is really complex but never aggresses me, I love it.
08. To Sail: To Sail is the second collaboration with my friend Gran Cavaliere and is the explanation of the sail in the life as a couple.
09. The Four Keys: Many techno tracks are similar to each other and I always say to the other artists I work with that some tracks just need a little something to be different from the others, something to help remind people of your track over the other, even just “four keys”. So I put those four keys in groovy dance floor track.
10. Unfinished Memories: When you drink too much or take too many drug things become strange. Reality is modified, you start to forget what happened and you have unfinished memories from parties.
11. Lowd: This is heavy techno, a big work on textures and saturations, but I wanted to keep a groove too.
12. Saturn: My son has a poster in his room and each evening when he goes to bed I have to tell him all the names of the planets on it and my favourite one is Saturn, it’s a track for that special lovely moment.
13. The Rave Child: The rave is me because I’m a rave child. But I met my wife some years ago in a rave party and we have a son together so he is also the rave child
14. Lili: Before having our son, my wife and I were told we weren’t able to have children so we were very sad and melancholic. I started this track and put all my emotion in it but I didn’t it. We didn’t know that she was already pregnant with our son Zadig and when I found out I finished it with more hope. You can really feel this in the track as it starts a bit dark and quickly opens to airysensations and more happiness.“
Why did you choose to go with John Digweed and his Bedrock label?
“It’s wasn’t really me who chose at the beginning. As I said before, Dope was the meeting point with Bedrock, based on a coincidence as it was released on Sign-industry, the label from my friends Maxime Dangles and Paul Nazca, but John sent a some wonderfull feedback. After that I decided to send a new demo to John with Lili, Opened Hands and 2 other tracks and he agreed on them for an EP. Then he asked me to remix his track BRAZZ which he did with Nick Nuir. I really felt a big interest in my music which no labels had given me before, so I decided to take a chance and proposed an album to John. He agreed but he told me that the album should be eclectic, not only mental dance floor tracks, and it was exactly what I wanted to do: I can’t see an album other than eclectic. An album is done to give a different direction of what you need to do. So it all started from chance and at the end things are good as they really give me a lot of freedom in creation and lots of confidence in my work. They said yes to the track listing so it’s really a personal album done with heart, and I’m really happy to work with the Bedrock team.”
You have had some seminal releases on labels such as Cocoon, Boys Noize, Communique, Soma and your own Skryptom Records over the years. Is ‘Sonic Architecture’ your finest work yet?
“Sonic Architecture is the most complete work, very eclectic and rich but I don’t know if it’s the finest. I really appreciate being able to create records with such different labels and I’m very lucky because I’ve had the chance to meet many different artists and every collaboration has been really interesting.”
What is the current top 10 you are spinning?
Traumer – Movements EP – Skryptom 15
Zadig – The grip – Deeply Rooted House
Jonas kopp – reject – Curle recordings
Ascion – the exporter – Modularz
Mark broom – t bone – Bek Audio
Johannes heil – lifesigns pt2 – Figure
Atom for peace – Amok – XL recordings
Depeche Mode – delta machine – Mute
Paula Temple – Decolonisation – R&S
Electric Rescue – the rave child EP – Bedrock
The French techno scene seems to be on a huge upward spiral at the moment, it seems a bit like the early 90s over there right now…?
“Yes! It’s really exciting here in Paris, many people are coming back to electronic music and all the parties are full. Many parties are organised here each week end, we have minimum of 2 rave parties per week and all the clubs are full with lots of new festivals being created. The period is really exciting. For clubs the best one is the Rex club as well as many others. For the parties outside clubs we have my own PLAY parties, but there are many others like Concrete, Debroui Art and Die Nacht for example. In terms of festivals we have Weather Festival, M.E. and Marvellous Island and it’s the same in Lyon and in Bretagne. The best festival in France, AStropolis, takes place in Brest. This festival is the most ravey one and also the coolest. There are many other interesting festivals all over France and Lyon in particular had many great clubs and parties.We live in a very good period for techno. I think young people left hip hop, or rock, and listen more to electro like David Guetta. If within all those people just 5% want to discover something more underground and interesting than David Guetta or cheesy dance music they come to us and help to grow our underground scene.”
Whenever I read articles about you the first thing that is usually mentioned is that Laurent Garnier ‘discovered’ you. Are you a lover of Laurent’s musical style?
“Not really, I’m not really a fan from the music from Laurent. I love some of his tracks like Crispy Bacon, Wake Up and some others, more in the electronica style most of the time, but I’m really not into his jazzy part. Nevertheless I really love his music career approach. He is an open minded guy who has always help me since the beginning. He didn’t really discover me but he always help me and pushed my music and I really thank him for it every day. I’ve known him for 20 years now, not like a very close friend but it’s really deep and clear between us. It’s a very good relationship. I think Laurent shows all the techno artists the right way to do a career: humble, simple, honest, passionate and hard working.”
A bold statement from you in a recent interview…I’m a fan of nothing – fanaticism is not a good thing, it makes people do crazy things.” Discuss…
“I don’t like fanaticism, because it’s always brings trouble or war. Religious fanatics create terror and political fanatics create riots or troubles and divided people. Fanatics from bands are silly and borrowing. Each time the word fanatic arrives in discussion it’s always for trouble. Fanaticism is too extreme, you can love things and keep your feet on the ground and stay lucid. Fanaticism is when you have left earth so you are able to do very bad things.”
What are your thoughts on the new Dart Punk album?
“It’s a good and well produced funk and disco album but it’s really not for me.”
God forbid, your house is on fire – what one piece of vinyl do you save?
“I sold all my vinyls last year and I have all my discography in my little hard drive in my back pocket, life is safe Dan.”
And finally, who are some of the producers from around the world you are giving high fives to right now?
“Traumer is an artist I developed, I managed him a little and helped him to grow up and I think this year he will be one of the next techno heroes. Jonas Kopp is for hot, underground techno. PSYK aka MAAN from Spain is an artist I discovered with Minus and Figure and he is doing good things on Mote Evolver and other labels too. Johannes Heil as he is always coming back with very high quality music. Truncateas as I love his rough techno.”
Electric Rescue’s Sonic Architecture is released on 10 June on Bedrock