About the author
When I talk to the Paris-based Concrete resident he’s jet-lagged and I’m hungover, so we’re right on the same page. Antigone is part of the vanguard of French techno and his music could be described as emotional and atmospheric. He released some impressive stuff, has a new EP coming up on legendary Token Records and will play in Radion tomorrow. Reason enough for a chat.
Can you give me an example of an artist that you respect?
“It’s hard to choose just one. Inigo Kennedy makes harder techno which is very emotional at the same time. His work on melodies and ambiance used to really touch me, his records could make me cry. I also like Luke Slater because of his sound design and because he’s such a visionary. When I first listen to his tracks I find them strange, but when I listen to them again after a few hours they’re actually amazing. He has this approach to music where he uses complicated textures and melodies, with offbeat atonal structures as well.”
Has your perspective on partying changed? Do you still go to clubs yourself?
“The last three months it was a little harder because I’ve been playing a lot. I like to take every chance I get to see an artist I like. I live next to La Machine Moulin Rouge and of course I go to Concrete a lot. Usually I go to stuff that’s outside of my own scene. The last artist I saw was Raresh, I heard so much about his sets. I think it’s important not to get stuck in one style or be snobbish. Even mainstream shitty stuff offers interesting sounds and approaches to music.”
What shitty mainstream artist do you like?
“Haha, you’re going to laugh. Lately I really like Beyoncé. It reminds me of lame emotional R&B. ‘You love me, I love you’, you know. She has a great voice and she really dances and sings during her shows instead of play-backing. I listen to a lot of ambient as well, to be more serious.”
Tell me about your next release on Token. What was your inspiration?
“I started working with textures and effects and exploring strange, organic sounds. It’s all about space and time. I started with a single sound and delays, not even a melody, and putting these in effects. I wanted to bring more color and warmth, some tracks are pretty emotional. I listen to a lot of ambient and I’ve wanted to try this for years but never had the guts to do so. I left the kicks and groove bugs on the side and focused on sound design and emotion.”
Does your release tell a story? You said some of your tracks are more emotional.
“The first track, Anna Livia, I made on the day the daughter of my brother was born. We’re really close and this was a big moment in my life and I felt like I needed to express it musically.”
How does it differ from your previous releases for Indigo Aera or Concrete for example?
“I wanted to do something more ‘clubby’ and playable. For my previous records I didn’t think about DJs but just made music for myself. Of course I still do that, but I never played my own records and I wanted to create something that I could play.”
You’ve played at Trouw, how did you experience the vibe?
“The vibe was really good but it didn’t work out that great for me, to be honest. I was really stressed because it was my first big international gig and I knew the club wasn’t going to last. It turned out pretty well but it wasn’t my best set ever. I’m really sensitive and get stressed easily. ROD played before me and did one of the best sets I ever heard, which made it even harder. It was nice to be invited though, historically. Now I can say I played at Trouw. My last gig in Closure was my best gig ever in Amsterdam though. People were screaming and I felt like I could play for hours.”
Isn’t being sensitive hard in this scene?
“I’ll always be nervous. The day I’m not anxious anymore I’d be stuck at this job, because it would mean I’m getting bored. I need this. It’s my motivation and little natural drug. The first ten minutes are awful and then only pure pleasure is left. I like the sensation. When the set ends I usually go back to normal.”
What’s your opinion on making an album? Are you planning on making one in the future?
“Oh yes! We thought about announcing the release as an album but for me this is an entirely different way to approach music. You really explore what techno music is. I think I’ll work on an album and a live project next year. I’m still exploring now.”
What are your expectations for your gig at Radion tomorrow?
“I don’t know what I’m going to play yet, I’m selecting my records tomorrow. I will be play a bit harder than usual I think. I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about the place and I’ve been told multiple times that I’ll love it.”
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