´I try to keep being honest to me, being myself and producing music that is most personal to me, if people like it it's a plus of course but I don't think I would produce music for people to enjoy, in that way I don't really consider myself a "rave" artist, whatever that means.´
The second instalment of the series invites one of the contemporary post-punk, EBM, industrial Parisian artists: Mind I Matter. Debuted last year in Detriti records, followed by releases from the labels such as Intervision, Mind I Matter solidified his sonic manifestation with a legendary Joy Division remix for Raw summer hits alongside some talented artists such as Julian Muller, Hadone, DYEN, MRD and more.
We had the chance to talk about the political and aesthetical motives that constitute the punk infused rebellious sound of Mind I Matter as well as the current actors and trends on the EBM, post-punk scene alongside an hour ride containing ´industrial / EBM to more noisy tunes, mostly made by friends and people I admire´ and some unreleased content in it as well.
NCOUNTERS: In which city did you grow up? How did you form your early musical aesthetics and how did they evolve?
Mind I Matter: Hi! I grew up right next to Paris in a city called Montreuil. A multicultural city full of creatives, whether it’s in cinema, theatre, music, design, fine arts… Great place to be creative! It has its own atmosphere, full of old buildings, old factories, nice parks... while remaining 5 metro stations from the center of Paris so its pretty cool.
Growing up I listened to a lot of things but classic coldwave/postpunk are the genres that had the most influence on me thanks to my parents who made me discover it when I was a child. Then I started learning to play guitar and drums on my own, tried to play with friends, make bands but it never really worked so I was wondering how could I basically play as a band but solo, how could I accompany myself, and started to learn production on the computers and machines.
I guess that's where my musical taste and aesthetics are from, trying to blend my rock musical influences with electronic music. I was completely mesmerised when I learnt of acts like Liaisons Dangereuses or DAF as a teenager and definitely wanted to explore this side of the musical spectrum.
´Nowadays everything needs to be so fast, everyone wants to have the most gigs, more and more releases out as fast as possible, and I feel that sometimes the music becomes more a product than an artistic take. People consume it for a night and throw it in the trash the next day. Everything is in a rush. It's a direct consequence of internet & social media influence, things are less material, lot of new music is now released only in digital format and being forgotten the month after... It's how it works now I guess, but it's something that exists in other genres as well, it's not restricted to techno of course.´
What are your observations of your local scene? Do you see any effects of political situation on the scene?
Paris is a great place for electronic music (before covid at least) – there are a lot of people, lots of collectives, parties, greats producers and DJs.
As for the effects of the political situation here and now, well France is a repressive country, nothing new. Most events now are shut down by the police, sometimes with violence, I think we're definitely living weird times; I obviously get the sanitary concern, but the country is slowly turning into a cultural disaster and that sucks for sure.
What are the challenges/opportunities that you go through in your local scene? Can you point out some problems and things that you want to change?
Nowadays everything needs to be so fast, everyone wants to have the most gigs, more and more releases out as fast as possible, and I feel that sometimes the music becomes more a product than an artistic take. People consume it for a night and throw it in the trash the next day. Everything is in a rush. It's a direct consequence of internet & social media influence, things are less material, lot of new music is now released only in digital format and being forgotten the month after... It's how it works now I guess, but it's something that exists in other genres as well, it's not restricted to techno of course.
There's also the impact of trends. Sometimes you end up a Saturday night with 5 parties that plays the same music, booking the same artists over and over because they know it's going to sell. That's probably what I like the least in the Parisian scene.
As for the challenges, I try to avoid it, competition has always been a stressful thing to me and I never liked it, I don't like to compare myself to others, too depressing ahah.
´There are some queer collectives like Myst or La Toilette (which I'm a resident of) that are constantly pushing the boundaries of parties, blending music with arts, performances... I love it! These parties – alongside others – are fighting for diversity in the scene and that's cool. Paris would've been such a sad city without these kinds of collectives around.´
What is your source of inspiration? How do you locate your art and artistic perspective?
A lot of things can inspire me in the creative process, could be movies, books, arts in general. Life as a whole is inspirational: what you do, what you see, what you hear, the people you meet... It's all defining what you produce as an artist.
I try to keep being honest to me, being myself and producing music that is most personal to me, if people like it it's a plus of course but I don't think I would produce music for people to enjoy, in that way I don't really consider myself a "rave" artist, whatever that means.
What do you think about the current EBM/post-punk revival ?
It’s great! But honestly, it’s not as booming as it used to be, in Paris at least. The crowd here is more obsessed with 150bpm Euro-dance cheesy edits, then the music almost became ironic.
The actual revival happened around 2 years ago, it was great, but it was a trend too and it went away quickly (at least the music was better though ahah), people took a lot from the general EBM/Industrial and even goth aesthetics, but the sound didn't really stay in. Paris isn't really the best place for this music, people here are much more looking for the «festive» aspect of it, not that EBM/PP isn't festive, but I'll say it's more "serious" less self-deprecating. While the crowd here is more seeking for a faster, more colored sound.
The fact that it went away is not that much of a bad thing, the has some super dope producers and I’m glad that these people are maintaining the genre alive and making it evolve. I think It’s important to keep this kind of community with like-minded people and producers, to link with others.
Georgia seems one of the best places for EBM and industrial music atm. it’s great! playing in KHIDI is one of my dream, it’ll hopefully be possible once we pass this sanitary situation!
What are your future plans??
Lots of things incoming. On the production side I got 2 EPs ready, currently working on an LP. Did some tracks that will be released on vinyl, some tracks for different compilations, some remixes too.
I announced my new side-project Schadenfreude with my friend Gewalt (@gew.alt), it's great to produce as a duo too – different points of views, different perspectives.
On the gig side, I had the chance to play several times in Paris since the end of the lockdown in June so it's cool, but I think we'll need to wait a bit more as the sanitary situation is getting shitty again.
I was supposed to make my Berlin debut at Kantine Am Berghain on March of this year for the DETRITI Records label night but it got cancelled the night before due to the lockdown, it'll hopefully get postponed to when the situation gets better!
Do you have anything to add final remarks?
About the podcast: it's a small selection of tracks I like, both old and new ones. It goes from classic industrial / EBM to more noisy tunes, mostly made from friends and from people I admire. I've put some unreleased content in it as well.
As a final remark, big S/O to my friends in Paris and everywhere else, to my comrades from INTERVISION (@intervision_label), to my friends from VESQ (@vesqmojo) and everybody else.
Editor: Erol Görür
Graphic Layout: Can Hatunoglu
NCOUNTERS, Berlin (2020)