Clotur, (co-founder of Warok) is one of the most important artists in the rising techno scene of Tunisia. Inspired by ambient and drone, he developed his own mental-packing techno mixing deep atmospheres and groovy basslines. His latest EP was released on The Gods Planet.
How did you first discover electronic music? Where did it all begin for you?
It all started 15 years ago! Back then I discovered electronic music despite having a restricted internet access and YouTube was censored by the government. Thanks to my cousin, who was a music passionate and a collector, I got introduced to progressive house, house, techno, and classic Trance.
It didn’t take me long to start composing in my free time. In 2010, I started Djing and it was only in 2016 that made my first release.
What or who has been your main musical influences as a producer?
Well, I would say that I’m pretty much interested in every genre. Usually I listen to IDM, Electro, Post punk and even Jazz for inspiration as they put me in a great mood. As for artists to name a few of my inspirations: Aphex Twin/ Autechre / Opus III/ Joy Division/ Brian Eno/ Pink floyd/ Arovane…
Of course the list doesn’t stop there as many others influenced my music throughout my journey.
What kind of podcast have you prepared for InDepth, did you have a certain concept in mind prior to making the mix?
Although I use a spontaneous approach when it comes to prepare a mix, I make sure to always take my time before recording something, as I love to share a coherent and engaging story.
For this podcast in particular, I plan to share with you some of my personal unreleased material as well as Warok ones. I see it as some breakbeat combined with elegant grooves that are dance floor oriented.
It seems you have a strong relationship with the french scene. BLNDR, AWB, Jc Laurent released some tracks and remixes on your label. There is also a nice documentary « Réfléxions Eléctroniques » (with AWB and Simo Cell) from « Neuvième Ruche ». Can you talk us about this documentary and your relationship?
I live in Paris and I m super connected with this scene, I became friend with these amazing artists thanks to the music and I m really happy to release them on Warok.
Concerning the documentary, it was filmed during the summer of 2019, it’s a workshop organized by Neuvieme Ruche and Warok team in Tunis. I’m a good friend with Adrien (AWB) who putted us in contact with Antoine the founder of Neuvième Ruche. It was a good workshop which will be probably re-organized in the future.
Tell us a bit about the local scene in Tunis : how would you describe the Tunisian sound? Any standout acts, clubs or parties for you? Is there a strong appetite for deep techno locally?
Unfortunately, the local scene is not much into deep techno. They prefer House, but that didn’t stop us as Warok to install our sound and to organize many successful parties with other friends and labels. On the other hand, there are very talented Techno and Electro Labels like Are You Alien and Trouble. For parties, the biggest problem in Tunisia is longevity as an average club lifespan is between 3-5 years.
You run Warok Music along with Eyth, with your latest EP « Dimensions Doors » released on the label in September. What’s coming up for the label this year? And what else does 2020 have in store for you?
We released Ponorogo 2 a VA including tracks from myself, “Arnaud le Texier”, “Eyth” and “Unbalance”, and it was our third record appeared on April during the confinement. In five days we will celebrate the 4 years of Warok, with releasing amazing stuff from incredible artists, you can find the tracks on our discography.
For the next releases we have the Ponorogo 3 which is a VA Collab including my track with “JC Laurent” with very talented artists like “Blenk”, “Ruhbarb”, “Moteka”, “Shekon”, “Hearthug” and “Eyth”. We have also an EP by Italian talents “Esilum” with an amazing remix from Casual Treatment, another EP from Portuguese talent “Enkõ” with a remix from “Alderaan”.
And many other interesting artists …
As label owner, you probably receive lots of demos or request from artists. What makes you decide whether or not you work with an artist?
To be honest we rarely accept random requests or demos as we prefer to collaborate only with persons that we know personally.
Another criteria that we value is uniqueness and innovation.
You are producer as well. Is it an important part of your projects?
Totally, in the past few years thanks to the experience, I knew how to balance between Warok and Clotur. Sometime I take some breaks off for one or two months with my personal project to be innovative, so I disconnect a bit and don’t be in the loop. Recently I started feeling the limits of deep Techno. I felt like it was lacking a bit of innovation. So I decided to experiment new sounds and techniques that are more suited to my personality and vision.
Since I began this process I became more inspired.
What are your favorite tools (gear or software / plugins) as producer? And do you play live ?
The perfect gear for me is the Nordlead 4R which I find very interesting because it allows me to produce pretty much any sound I like without boundaries, The Thermionic Culture Vulture forsaturation and the Audient sumo for thesumming, two magical gear to give you the perfect analogue sound.
Concerning the plugins my favourite is Reaktor, you can do what you want with it, I m into the hybrid process between digital and analogue.
Concerning the live project, I’m working on it step by step because I prefer to think about what I want to share, what the audience want to hear , while staying true to my style.
How do you split the time between gigs, music production and the work for Warok Music? Are you currently putting a special focus on one of those?
Well to be honest, with this Covid 19 pandemic there was not much gigs going on. On the other hand as mentioned previously, I take some breaks in between to balance every aspect. Right now we are focused on the 4 years Warok anniversary in order to celebrate it as it should. That doesn’t stop me to grow my personal brand as well.
With gigs and touring on hold for now, how are you spending your time at the moment? To what extent has the current situation allowed you more time to focus on projects such as production or this podcast for InDepth ?
I have many gigs cancelled because of this pandemic, I went to Tunis on February to play on some gigs and stay one month, after that I was supposed to go back to Paris but I stayed there for 6 months because borders were closed.
But this period gave me a lot of free time and allowed me to move forward Clotur and Warok.