‘Granular, Windy, Deep’ | Interview with Monolithe Noir

Hypnotising, fluid and genre expanding, MONOLITHE NOIR’s album Rin will, to put it simply, captivate you. Electronika, with an experimental touch, at its best. Read our discussion below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Granular / Windy / Deep

Tell us a few things about your new album Rin. What is the main idea behind it and how does it differ from your previous work?

Rin was made in peace and for the first time with four hands, with as partner of choice Yannick Dupont (Yokaï, Jahwar, Ottla) To bring in light, a breath and open in a more flexible way, more alive, less metronomic, to write music. Brittany, the desire to rediscover it, was central in the writing process of the record and in the atmospheres that emanate from it. It’s so different from my previous album Moïra because the process was continuous and lively, not so introspective. Rather than writing the music on the computer and put all the notes in the right place like it’s often done in Electronic music, everything was played. Rin was conceived to be played by musicians on stage.

In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?

A friend of mine once told me he would listen to my music while doing the dishes. From there everything seems possible. I’d love to imagine them doing daily stuff and getting suddenly grabbed by some particular moment of a song. And maybe wanting to jump on a train to the sea or their favorite natural spot.

Your music has an experimental touch. Should music as a form of art always challenge the listener?

I don’t think challenging the listener should be the first thing to think of as an artist. Challenging yourself might be a good start. I like to feel challenged when I listen to music but the most important to me is to feel honesty in the result. I don’t care about the means one uses to create a piece. Showing the connection you tried to establish to what you have inside, by any means, that’s what I’d expect from any form of art.

Adding to our previous question, how challenging is it to perform your music live?

Performing our music live is challenging to me because it engages the body. I tried not to think about it for years but now I feel how important it is to be aware of it. Performing is even more challenging now that we are a trio. We have to stick together, fully trust each other which is difficult but a great joy at the same time.

You blend organic soundscapes with cinematic synth elements in a very creative way. Which are the people and artists who have influenced you?

Thanks for that! I had a lot of thoughts about what was the best way to blend those sounds without sounding New Age, or modern Folklore or whatever you’d call this kind of music, which I have no problem with by the way! Emmanuelle Parrenin’s “Maison Rose” was always around during that period – it’s one of my favorite albums of all times; Beak> as well. I can’t deny Radiohead and Portishead have always been great influences to me. “In The End His Voice Will Be The Sound Of Paper” by Jenny Hval, Kim Myr and the Tronheim Jazz Orchestra also inspired me a lot while making this third album.

Your music is filled with tension. If the sound of MONOLITHE NOIR was a film, which film would that be?

Any movie by Paul Thomas Anderson

What is the story behind your name?

Back in 2013 I lived in Bordeaux, it was back then that I started working on electronic pieces. I just remember watching “2001, a space odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick in my bed. There’s that scene where the astronauts go down in that crater to study that black space monolith. Ligeti’s Requiem is playing. The scene ends up with a very high pitch sound. The astronauts cover their ears from pain. I’m just stuck here. Holy f**k! That’s it.

Thank you!

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