Interviu: Philippe Cohen-Solal (Gotan Project) [EN]

Cu o carieră care se întinde pe aproape 2 decenii, Philippe Cohen Solal este cu siguranță unul dintre cei mai inovatori arhitecți ai sunetului din zona muzicii electronice. Co-fondatorul renumitului grup de electro tango Gotan Project, Philippe Cohen Solal va ajunge curând la Cluj, unde va urca pe scena festivalului 18+ în seara de sâmbătă, 26 septembrie.

Cu aceasta ocazie l-am luat la întrebări pe Philippe, fiind curioși de planurile de viitor pentru proiectul Gotan Project, de muzica care îl inspiră și colecția lui de vinyluri. Mai jos puteți citi întregul interviu, în engleză.

How are things going for you, Philippe?
Very well, thanks! We still have great weather in Paris. It makes the city and life even more beautiful 🙂

Through the Gotan Project, you guys took traditional Argentinian music into the electronic music area. Do you happen to know any other artists that did the same with the folkloric music of their country?
When I was 20 years old, I was very impressed by albums like “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ by Brian Eno & David Byrne or “Duck Rock” by Malcom Mc Laren.
Both were mixing folkloric music or ethnic sounds with beats. It definitively had a huge influence on my music, long time before Gotan Project.
Today I appreciate DJ-producers-artists like Daniel Haaksman, Chancha via Circuito or Nicolas Jaar among others. I’m always curious to discover new sounds coming from the streets of Rio, Bogota, Monterey or Johannesburg, etc.

In Romania we have projects like Subcarpati and Danaga from Cluj-Napoca. I’m not sure you’ve heard of them, but maybe you could tell me your opinion in a few words after your first listen to these songs: 1 / 2.
Never heard before of Subcarpati and Danaga, sorry, but I like it very much. You can feel how genuine those projects are. Both folklore and electronics have be to authentic and sincere and here they are.

Will the “Gotan Project” get back on track and announce a new world tour?
No world tour to come, sorry

After “Club Secreto” we haven’t heard any news regarding new materials. Can we expect something to be released soon?
I’m working now on a second volume of Club Secreto with more great remixes. Hope to release it before the end of the year.

With whom would you like to collaborate in the future?
In my deepest dreams, I’d love to work with David Bowie, but I’m not sure that he really needs me (haha;-)) More seriously, I would love to collaborate with singers like Caetano Veloso, Beck or Bonnie Prince Billy.

What current artists inspire you?
At the moment, I’m listening a lot to old Cat Stevens records and I feel that they already inspires my songwriting.
I’m also very impressed by the last Jamie XX, Major Lazer and Tame Impala’s albums. All are very inspiring in different ways.

As I understand, the cinematic part of Gotan Project’s concerts was your idea. How important are visuals within music for you?
Visuals have always been essential for me since I’ve been music supervisor for films and had the chance to work with amazing directors like Lars von Trier, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Nikita Mikhalkov or Bertrand Tavernier.
But visuals became more connected with my music when I’ve started to work with Prisca Lobjoy in the late 90’s when we did our first music & visual collaboration for the Contemporary Art Museum PS1 (now MOMA-PS1).
Later, Prisca created all Gotan Project’s artwork, stage video projections and our best music videos. Visuals can bring another kind of “poetry” to music.

Will you have visuals for you dj set at 18+ Festival?
I prepare a very special thing for 18+ Festival with young visual artists from Cluj who will draw and paint live simultaneously inspired by the music they will hear on stage. Of course this will be projected directly live on a screen by the stage, so its original visuals with original music.

From 2006 to 2011 you’ve visited Romania 4 times. How would you describe your visits here and the audience?
I always loved Romania. Had only great experiences in your country. Super nice, warm & friendly audience.
I met people after our shows who introduced me to the small underground scene of Bucharest and I’ve been really impressed by their energy and creativity .

What music do you listen to most often?
I listen music all the time and I can jump in the same day from electronic to pop, classical, jazz, ethnic, reggae, soundtrack, folk, country, blues, latin etc.
Duke Ellington once said: “There is two kind of music. Good music and the other kind.”
But I’ve discovered recently the sound of silence, I mean nature, which is everything but silent 😉 As a real urban guy, born and raised in Paris, I was mostly into beats and loud music, but I start to appreciate a lot to walk in the countryside and listen to the soundtrack of the earth.

Which records were most important for you as a teenager? How about now? If you could compare them, how would you describe the transition?
Definitively albums like “Ziggy Stardust” & “Never Mind the Bollocks here’s the Sex Pistols” changed my life as a teenager. Those 2 albums captured my youth’s energy – Rock ‘n’ Roll- then my teenage’s anger -Punk- in something more positive and cool. It’s not only about music, it’s about your mindset and your lifestyle.

Could you tell us a bit about your vinyl collection?
Haha ;-)) omg, that’s my joy…and my burden. I always moved house because of my record collection. Just moved once again last June and I still have to unpack lot of boxes next weekend and re-classify my records in their shelves. More than 15 000 albums, all my life is here! Just back from holidays the other night, I was watching my vinyl and kissed them. Literally ;-))

Which was your last vinyl purchase?
Just bought in Goteborg Sweden, a soundtrack called “The Adventurers” composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim and arranged by Quincy Jones. A dream team 😉

By the way, are you preparing your vinyl suitcase for your dj set at 18+ Festival or will it be more digital?
It will be more digital with CDs and USB. I still do sometimes vinyl DJ sets for some specific occasions. I plan to play at 18+Festival a mix of roots & digital, very dancefloor oriented for happy party people with mind and ears wide open. Gonna be fun !

Ya basta!

Thank you. See you in Cluj-Napoca!
My pleasure, see you soon in Cluj-Napoca!