In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? caught up with Velour Modular vocalist Guilhem and producer Hektagon. With their debut EP Capsule set for release in 2014, we discussed their debut single Forward, recording an EP over Skype, and the story behind their name. If you want to know more about this electronic synth-pop duo, indulge yourself in their interesting answers:
AMBY: Hello Velour Modular, thanks for speaking with AMBY today! Please introduce the project to our readers.
Guilhem: Velour Modular is a concept & an experimental EP between Hector and me around the love we shared about retro sci fi culture. It’s kind of celebrating the references of our childhoods: myths and spaceships.
Hector: Velour Modular is the result of our shared passion for the sense of wonder that seems to be almost lost, like looking at the stars for example, people seem to be too self-centered that they forget the bigger picture. We wanted to translate this into music and create a free form EP that narrates the story of another civilization in 4 different chapters.
AMBY: How would you describe each other in one word?
AMBY: Your song Forward has such a neat sound, and I especially love the vocal count in the intro. What’s the story behind your first single?
G: When I started to work with Hector I was really into the symbols of numbers. For the writing part I worked on the fact that each track is representing the 4 states of evolution, and the number related to it. Seems complicated but it’s quite simple: Forward is the second track coming after the first, ESC, representing the Big Bang. Forward represents Humanity and its goal to conquer and fight the unknown: “Darkness is the universe, we will be the light, one torch of fire and we will march on the night…”
In the video I treated it like a game: Cristian Straub (director) decided to push the frontiers of imagination and reality of a kid playing war.
Hector: As the music producer I have focused on making all the sounds as organic as possible with a lot of movement. I like to play with space a lot so some of the elements on the track are 3d sounding such as the Taiko drums, I wanted to create an experience in which the listener could feel totally immersed. You can hear a lot of the references to the 70’s and 80’s sci-fi film on elements such as the 8bit computer sound lead in the chorus for example.
AMBY: The Capsule EP is set for release in 2014. What’s the significance behind the EP’s title?
G: “Capsule” is a container. It can contain pretty different things like organic tissues, medicine or an astronaut. Its also suggests perfectly our collaboration highly condensed and brief.
AMBY: Looking forward to the upcoming release of Capsule; how would you describe the feel of the EP?
G: The EP is very cold and wide. We wanted to create the more organic feel taking to most synthetic ways. Each track is different and really having its own character.
Hector: For me the EP has an almost melancholic feel to yesteryear sounds but with a modern edge. When you hear all the tracks in context with each other everything is intertwined, it tells a story that grows on you with every listen.
AMBY: How did the artwork for Capsule come to be?
G: France Vannier is a designer (at Maison Nue) and photographer based in Paris. We were in Georgia together and when we discovered that sulphur waterfall while walking in the mountains it immediately felt obvious to use it. She is very talented and she easily got the feeling of the EP so she had “carte blanche” means she was totally free in her creation. And the result is gorgeous, isn’t it?
AMBY: Many people are intrigued by the lyric “here we are, chaos nuclear.” What does the lyric mean exactly?
G: “Here we are, Chaos, Nuclear”… Forward was supposed to be a war song. When I started to write it I thought about a kind of army anthem, super epic and dark at the same time. I think that Hector did a nice work on I, with those impressive drums reflecting quite well the mood I had in mind.
AMBY: Where did the name Velour Modular come from? And what other names had you considered?
G: Choosing a name for the project was quite difficult. We spend a lot of time searching for it. Actually the full EP was done that we did not have any name… Hector decided that the best solution was to choose each one a word that we really liked. I chose Velour(s) means velvet in French, I just really like how it sounds
Hector: I totally agree with Annabelle choosing a name was the most difficult part. We wanted to stay away from cliché names so we tried many different names, at one stage we were going to call ourselves Telectronix but we realised that the name did not fit well. Eventually we decided to create a name that reflects each one’s style, I have chosen ‘Modular’ due to my passion for sound and synthesisers.
AMBY: I’ve read that you’re fans of old futurist movies. If you were a character from any film, which would you be?
G: Atreyu. I was obsessed by this movie as a little girl.
Hector: Good question, I am going to state the obvious but I would chose Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. This film has been a huge influence on my music and sound.
AMBY: What’s the best release of the year?
G: Jon Hopkins Immunity.
Hector: That is tough question, as an artist I try to not be influenced by what music is in, short of preserving it in a cocoon so I can create my own sound. If I had to choose one I will say Boards of Canada, it took almost eight years for the new album but it has been worth the wait.
AMBY: And lastly, what’s something about Velour Modular that nobody knows yet?
G: This EP was created on Skype : We met for the mix in Paris and not before.
Hector: The 4 tracks on the EP were written in Ableton Live and took almost 6 months to be finalised, we had created countless different versions until we found the one that we were both happy with.
Thank you Velour Modular, for giving us your answers!
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Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout