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Découvert grâce à un 45 tours sorti par le label De Stijl, puis via deux ou trois albums plutôt envoûtants, le duo Hype Williams porte en lui à peu près tout ce que j’aime en musique : des mélodies inaudibles, du bruit déchiré, un mystère brumeux, une identité floue, une attitude de branleurs trop malins et un savoir-faire inégalé, singulier. Chez eux, quelque chose d’irréprochable semble se construire, entre la force d’un Kode9 (avec lequel ils joueront ce dimanche dans les jardins de Villette Sonique) et les masques de Drexciya. Pour en savoir un peu plus avant leur concert, j’ai envoyé quelques questions par email. Leurs réponses, les plus succinctes jamais reçues, sont à la hauteur de la réputation du groupe, tout en incises incisives.

How do you feel so far about the records you have released ? How will you manage to reproduce them in concert ?
A 4 hour, 65 man contemporary dance re-interpretation dressed only in kappa.hope they let us run overtime

The records have a very foggy feeling : is it something you wanted to achieve very early on or have you stumbled upon your sound by chance ?
Need some new tapes

What would be your typical writing / composing process ? Do you start with an idea, a sound, a sample, an instrument ?
Havent played a note yet.all this stuff is from deans days of producing for All Saints. still got tons more of that junk   to put out.

Is there a necessity for Hype Williams to have several members or is it a duo / couple idea ? Do you feed off each other’s ideas all the time or do you have a different working method ? For instance, do you compose all the tracks together or are separate signatures ?
See above….ras amaris has a record out soon

How important was the De Stijl label for your music ? Was it important being on a label that releases new records and reissues of forgotten music ? Do you feel close to any of the artists on that label ? 
Clint  simonson is a g

You lived in the UK : how important is this background to your music ?
Shit drugs

Do you feel any kinship with any contemporary artists / bands ?
Nope.hate the music scene

Depuis un peu moins d’un an, la musique d’Oneohtrix Point Never ne quitte pas mes oreilles, mes appareils, mes envies de disques. Le groupe (en fait, un seul homme : l’Américain Daniel Lopatin) est passé récemment aux Instants Chavirés à Montreuil et il rejoue fin mai à Paris, à la Géode, le même soir que Manuel Gottsching : une soirée qui fait partie de la programmation irréprochable de Villette Sonique, qui est résolument l’un des festivals les plus motivants et iconoclastes de ces dernières années, dont on apprécie la manière d’agencer les groupes, sans céder à la hype ou à la grosse artillerie.
En plus d’avoir bon goût, les gens du festival sont sympas comme chou puisqu’ils offrent trois places pour le concert de la Géode, le 2 juin, aux lecteurs de ce blog. Pour en avoir une, envoyez-moi un mail avec un jpg d’une pochette de cassette d’Oneohtrix…
En attendant le concert et son prochain album qui sort en juin chez Editions Mego, voici une interview faite par email avec Oneohtrix, en anglais :

When did you start recording music as Oneohtrix ? What were your previous musical experiences ?
I started sometime around 2003 but there wasn’t an OPN release until 2007. I grew up playing the piano and keyboard and at some point in late high school I got a sampler and a 4 track and started experimenting with  sound in my bedroom. I’ve been playing the same Juno 60 since I was a little kid.

Was there a specific idea that lead you to Oneohtrix Point Never’s specific sound ? What was the story behind your trilogy of vinyl releases (later compiled on the No Fun double CD) ? Do you feel the music was enough to convey and tell the whole story you wanted to tell ?
I think the music conveys something on it’s own, but I’m super visually oriented, in fact in high school I wanted to make films and still do. So I always envisioned Rifts as a sort of film trilogy. But thats just selfishly motivated because I hear the tracks in such a profoundly different way than most anyone that comes across it. The idea of OPN is constantly changing. I guess at first I was really enamored with Legowelt and a lot of my early stuff sounds kind of like Danny Wolfers jams. But it feels more pointless now… which is a good feeling.

Is there a specific attraction to formats like tapes or CDRs ? Do you consider your work differently if it is going to be released on vinyl or tape or CD ? How does the format impact your ways of composing ?
I don’t consider format while I’m recording; no. The format informs the recording. Like you could record something and it would sound drastically different from 256kb mp3 to vinyl to chrome tape. There are some considerations with vinyl that I think about when sequencing the order of an LP side; since the quality degrades the closer you get to the inner ring of the record.

You have made a few videos, out of loops from old tracks : tell me a bit about how that work came to be ? And what attracts you to tracks like Chris De Burgh’s Lady In Red ?
Those videos are very instinctual for me. I make echojams as a sort of release from recording and a way to repurpose pop music in a way that is personally satisfying. By isolating certain musical or textual phrases, new narrative possibilities are born. « Nobody’s Here » became endemic of how life felt in NYC; psychogeographically — its a weird place. You are surrounded by people but you always feel a little bit alone.

Do you feel part of a particular music scene ? One that likes palm trees as well as old synthesizers as well as 80’s mainstream pop as well as 70’s drone bands like Tangerine Dream ? what links labels like Root Strata, No Fun & Ruralfaune and how did you end up releasing records on all three of them ?
I’ve worked very closely with Carlos and he has become a good friend of mine; we both are troublemakers and like to fuck with people’s expectations so I think we were drawn to each other. And obviously, we are both synth freaks so it wasn’t that much of a stretch. I don’t like Tangerine Dream very much at all. They are like the fraternity house of synth bands. But I do love synthesizers, especially the sort of impact they had in the 1980s when companies like Roland and Yamaha started making consumer level synths. It was a renaissance period for music, and a true democratization of the avant garde, which interests me very much. The roots are there but I wouldn’t say that all my music sounds like 80s music.

Laser To Laser : tell me a bit about this particular track ?
I made it in my college dorm room in 2003. I think its actually the first OPN track I ever recorded. I made it using a Sequential Circuits Six-Trak and a hardware sequencer. Kind of modal… spacy… pretty. I’m still quite fond of it.

Tell me a bit about Infinity window : in which ways does this project differ from Oneohtrix ?
Infinity Window is defunct now, but it’s different in the sense that Taylor’s approach to recording and jamming was very visceral and damaged. In that sense it was way more like, psychedelic noise than anything else. He influenced me a lot.

I heard you are about to release a record for Mego ? How do you envision it ? What are your upcoming projects ?
It comes out on June 18th. It’s quite different. Closer in spirit to… let’s say… Gabriel Garcia Marquez than it is to Stanislaw Lem. I have a new project called GAMES which is more dancefloor oriented… would love to finish a GAMES record by the end of the summer but I am notoriously slow-motion in the summer. The whole operation shuts down for a while. Maybe a coconut will fall and hit me on the head and I’ll get ideas for the next OPN album. I’d like to take in in a decidedly more palm-tree influenced direction.

Bonus : Oneohtrix Point Never reprend Grouper par ici.

omar souleyman villette sonique

omar souleyman villette sonique

omar souleyman villette sonique

L’an dernier à Villette Sonique, j’avais retrouvé Philippe devant le concert dantesque de Shit & Shine (4 batteries, 2 basses pour faire un mélange de kraut et Sunn, assez terrifiant et beau). Cette année, il m’a sauté dessus à peu de distance de la scène où jouait le Syrien Omar Souleiman, sorti en Europe et aux Etats-Unis par un des labels les plus importants des années 2000, Sublime Frequencies (si quelqu’un pouvait retrouver l’article que j’avais consacré à ce label dans les Inrocks, il y a 4 ans, j’aimerais bien en avoir une copie…). Le concert était fabuleux : autant dans la fosse, hétéroclite – des beurs et des branchés, des fans de noise et des fans de rai, des Libanais et des Algériens et des Syriens et des Français – un mélange qui dit que, bientôt, pour redevenir cool, Daft Punk, Justice et les autres devront se mettre à la musique arabe et pas n’importe laquelle : celle qui fleurit entre le désert les villes, dans les cafés où l’on traine des heures durant devant des mezzés et des narguilés et des filles aux cheveux noirs, aux yeux d’amande. Des cafés de Beyrouth et de Damas et d’ailleurs, où l’on écoute encore des cassettes, parce qu’on n’a jamais eu l’idée et l’argent pour acheter une platine vinyle et encore moins une platine CD (il y en a une dans la voiture, ça suffit pour écouter les CDR de Farid El Atrache et Asmahan et Abdel Halim Hafez et Mohammed Abdel Wahab). Bref, je pars à Beyrouth bientôt, j’espère y croiser Omar Souleyman ou ses cousins et, en attendant, je recommande d’aller aux Instants Chavirés mardi et mercredi pour le festival du label Sublime Frequencies : Omar y rejoue, et il y aura aussi le très électrique Group Doueh, tout aussi arabe, mais bien plus maghrébin. Le charme est le même, félin, lunettes de soleil.

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