I’m going to say “I” because I think I can’t write about my music other than in the first person. I’ve been playing drums since I was fifteen years old and I’ve always had bands since. Even if I always contribute artistically, to different degrees, my latitude of action, from a creative point of view, has always been limited by the fact that I am a drummer. Like many people, I learned to play very approximately the guitar and keyboard, and I spent years going over obsessions and recurring patterns, in my room and in my head, without doing any of that, and knowing that even though I was and still am extremely involved in my past and present bands (Skategang, La Secte du Futur, Marietta to a lesser extent, and ), the music we were making was only partially representative of me. I’ve always listened to a lot of reggae, dancehall, music from Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, and overall music that is based more on repetition and intention than composition, and that’s something I could never really develop in there.
In 2015 my brother and friend Benjamin Dupont, the human behind Bryan’s Magic Tears, moved into my flat share / Noah’s Ark at 35 rue Clignancourt, in the 18th arrondissement, and it was him who unlocked everything by showing me how to record music by myself ; and one September morning, lying on my back, I saw the light.
It’s really a new world that’s opened up to me, I started recording at a pretty intensive pace, just letting myself be carried away by what I’ve had in my head and fingers for years; I’ve accumulated a lot of material, including a lot of unfinished pieces, and I’ve tried – I’m still trying – to understand for myself what my point really is and to learn how to systematize and channel my obsessions to make it something personal.
Recording a lot, without any constraints of format, group or expectations, by letting myself be totally carried away by what was coming out in the moment, it allowed me to give myself a certain insight into myself; I am not one of the people who compose music by having an idea of where they want to go, but by repeating the exercise, something coherent ends up taking shape. I would say that it oscillates, for the music, between synthetic krautrock, dancehall lo-fi, Manchester sound recorded with toys, rock à la Velvet and Memphis rap for children; and between Les Négresses Vertes and Julien Gracq for the texts. I still write the basis of my lyrics without music, and I attach a lot of importance to it; French has become obvious because I want to say something true and I would not be able to do it otherwise – even if the text of “The Fur” is in English, but it was to seduce a girl (it didn’t work), and it won’t happen again. This is my friend Paula from J.C. Satan and Succhiamo, who sings on “Mariposa” and “Venera 16”, because I had no idea what to do about it; I sent her the songs and she sang on her phone, it was great so we recorded it.
This first album is a kind of best-of from 2015 to 2018, the songs that held up best, the ones I had lyrics on, the best finished drafts, basically. I owe its existence to my friends at the Megattera micro-label who, after hearing my songs at home at night, decided to release them confidentially on tape first; without them, they would still be on my hard drive. Under the spell, Born Bad Records then entrusted Olivier Demeaux de Cheveu/ Heimat with the mission of mixing the “best” tracks to give them the lustre they deserve and make these few crazy and scattered tracks a full-fledged album. I asked Adam Karakos, from Villejuif Underground, Guillaume Rottier, from Rendez-Vous, Nikolaj Boursniev, from Quetzal Snakes, and Milia Colombani, who plays in half the bands in Paris, to play live with me.
Pleasure Principle is located somewhere within a triangle formed by Francis Bebey, Add (n) To X and Ludwig Von 88; it is a solitary race to the outside, an ode to the forward flight, a way to escape in the peaceful expectation of the great liberating flash. I often find myself dancing like a monkey who forgets the world when I record at night in my room, and I hope to provoke the same reaction in people.