Adhémar is a multi-disciplinary artist, establishing his universe through music and visual works. Constantly in search of the luminous quality of sounds, in a world made of shadows and light, his music is closely linked to his plastic work. This obsession with shadows leads him to think and create spaces, atmospheres that focus on the lightness and poetry of light. The idea of “narrative potential of music”, allows us to confront the psychological and philosophical journey with a particular relationship on what is alive and what surrounds us (whether it is the material, immaterial world, the fact that everything is constantly becoming). With a particular rigour for transitions, whether in his own production or in his DJset, his universe is built little by little, with the passing of sound transformations and the light and poetic transportation of it all.
Looking back: What was your relationship with music in your teenage years? When did you first began to gravitate towards electronic music?
Since I remember I’ve always listened to a lot of music, always in a very eclectic way. Electronic music came much later when I was at fine art school. I found myself immersed in it through childhood friends who were studying in the same city and who were very interested in this music. I remember we used old mixing desks borrowed from older brothers who were musicians, and tried to mix in party with. Then afterwards I got caught up in it and continued to become more and more invested in it.
How did you come up with your alias Adhémar and what does it mean to you ?
From the beginning with these friends we had a lot of opportunities to play in clubs, festivals… so we had to find a name. It’s never easy, but I wanted to choose something that sounded like a name. It’s simple and I can build the atmosphere around this character as I want without already being influenced by the name himself. This one is very neutral and simple, it’s like an extension of me.
What role do you think music plays in a difficult collective moment like this? What role does it play for you?
Music is very important, it is the art form that spreads the most: everyone listens to music. So inevitably the music feeds on difficult moments it helps people to escape or to cope with reality. I really use it to build the atmosphere and it helps me with what I have to do. When I paint for example, I listen to certain types of music according to where I am at with the progression of the painting.
For me it doesn’t play a different role as I constantly listen to music and have for many years. I listen to different music depending on the time of day and the season. And fortunately the current situation hasn’t stolen the seasons from us yet !
Music is very important, it is the art form that spreads the most: everyone listens to music. So inevitably the music feeds on difficult moments it helps people to escape or to cope with reality.
How have you been approaching music during this time? Anything, in particular, you’ve been listening to or playing these last months?
I have been fortunate to have had more time for production in recent months. I’ve tried to make the best use of it without getting immersed in the situation.
As for the things I listened to more particularly, it was according to the days and hours, Ravel, Fela Kuti, Christophe, Abul Mogard, then above all a lot of Podcasts, which really play on the atmosphere because of their deployment in time.
You released a lot of tracks during the last few months. Out of all of your releases, which are your top favorites and why?
It’s super hard to find a release I’m happy with. There’s always something that bothers me… something that I’m not happy with, but it’s good and that’s what makes me want to keep going, as with any other creation. Lucian Freud, a British figurative painter of German origin, used to say that what makes us start again, for him in this case a painting, is the feeling of not having achieved what we wanted. That something is bothering us, so we do the next one to make up for this dissatisfaction.
I am tempted to say that my favourite outing will be the next ones.
Lucian Freud, used to say that what makes us start again, for him in this case a painting, is the feeling of not having achieved what we wanted. That something is bothering us, so we do the next one to make up for this dissatisfaction.
What are some rituals you need to stay accustomed to in order to be inspired?
Looking at reality up close, at nature, at light.
How does the work process in the studio look like and what are your favourite pieces of gear (or software) ?
My studio is rather minimalist, I have a computer, a small machine to make basslines and another to convert the energy of the plants into MiDi that I use like a sequencer. I immerse myself in Ableton and try to create an atmosphere, a light with the sounds. I like it to be as simple as that.
When did you start to produce and what was the learning process like? Would you consider yourself as a mainly self-taught artist?
I was playing drums when I was younger, I played drums for almost 10 years so I took music lessons. But for electronic music I learned to produce with Adrien Leprêtre and Corentin Ollivier. They showed me some basics on Ableton, then I did a remix with them of a track from Samba De La Muerte (Adrien’s band, and Corentin is also part of it). From then, I have continued to learn and experiment on my own.
You started a brand new project with Olorun called « Aucuba Replica ». You released your first album « Atsume あつめ » on संस्कार RITES (Circular Limited’s new sub-label). Can you talk us about it?
Exactly the album has just been released !
We are happy with the result and with this first trip. It was a great opportunity to start on Rites.
I have known Tristan (aka Olorun and Abrial) for some time thanks to his beautiful releases. We started talking and then naturally we started to compose together. There was a place musically where we wanted to go each on our own so we created Aucuba Replica to go there together. We complement each other quite well and therefore working as a duo is a natural thing.
Besides, we already have other outings planned with this project, so we’ve set off for a long term collaboration.
When you produce – do you have a clear idea of a track in mind beforehand or rather, does it evolve in the process of making?
Not at all! I try out sounds and take them off, it’s very empirical. I like being surprised, not having a place where I know how to go musically. I test a lot. Sometimes I still have an idea of atmosphere in mind which guides the choice of sounds and rhythm, especially if I need to build an EP. It also starts with how much I set the bpm, often very slow.
You are also a member of Oslated (a Seoul based label and channel) as graphic art designer. What’s the story behind your collaboration? Can you show us your work?
Jong-min, the owner of the label, was looking for a new person to make of all the visuals, so he sent me a proposition and we had a discussion to see what he wanted and what was the image I needed to make for him. It’s a relation which is constantly growing, we now know each other more and more and it’s very constructive and trustworthy.
So I’ve been making the podcast page and the visuals for the releases for one year. I’m already working on the next one planned I really enjoy this combination between music and image. I listen to the album and try to think of some images, colors. I keep that in mind before having a few words with each artist to see what is the idea behind the track and the album it’s always so interesting. And then I adjust.
Here is some images that I’ve already done.
What are your projects at the moment and what can we expect from you in the future?
For now, as Adhémar, I’m on different projects. The track of the releases mentioned before are done so now it’s just planification and discussions with the label. On Secuencias Temporales my album is planned on the 30 of November so everything is practically done. I’m focused on the releases on Diffuse Reality at the beginning of January, it will be on CD with three remixes, I can’t wait to have it out. For Huinali I’m at the same point, but I’ve more time as this one is set for next Spring. This one is going to be really singular, I worked on slow soundscapes.
And now I’m working on 2 other releases for next Summer, plus I’ve one podcast per month to record. Alongside some tracks for different compilations and some remixes to do. Classic schedule but with some really exciting stuff.
As Aucuba Replica we have two releases in the pipeline as well as some tracks for VA.
So plenty of beautiful sonorities that I hope you will enjoy.