Moisture Podcast 010
Artist: Сhristonia5 featuring Zzzzra
Design :Dmitry Chalyi
Interview: Cheyenne Blue
Visualisation of podcast: youtube.com/watch?v=AuW-WWrgSzs&feature=youtu.be
My name is Alexandre Lehmann and Zzzzra is the name of my main music project. I produce electronic music since late 80’s. At that time I was working in my adolescent bedroom, using a brand new Roland D-20, creating stupid love songs without lyrics ; I then moved to the living-room when I finally grew up and sold all my gears - except for my mighty Nord Modular - to focus on computer. That’s about the only big difference in my producing modus operandi since then. Well, except that now I’m a drug addict but that’s another story.
I like to wear slippers when I’m producing music. But sometimes it’s a bit warm out there so I have to go barefoot.
I have the feeling that I’m more creative when I have a beard. When I shave, everything goes wrong…
I often drink bottles of soda (with a lot of sugar in it) just above my keyboard. This occasionally means big troubles !
Sometimes I have to work on a track for 10 hours straight with no pause (because I always forget to have a break) and then I get bed sores on my ass.
Short video for our podcast from Alexandre and Cristonia5:
Interview for [moisture] team:
Hi Alex! Thank you for agreeing to give us an interview, and for the podcast with Christonia5.
Hello there, thanks a lot to Moisture for this opportunity. It was fun to work on such a complete project with my partner Christonia5. Please excuse by advance my flawed English speaking.
1. Please tell us how you came to dub sound, to dub music, what influenced you and what it is for you in general?
It started in the mid-nineties. I remember that I was getting really bored of this psytrance-goa-whatever music hype. The “French-touch” - idiotic naming for sample-based filtered house music –, was everywhere on TV or on the air, although it was a true catastrophe on a pure creative level. Both were really not my taste. I was more into Detroit productions. Anyway, I came inadvertently across Basic Channel and Chain Reaction catalog and I was instantly amazed at what those guys were doing. They cared more about sound textures and atmospheres than about catchy hooks, over-compressed ripped-off grooves and brainless vocals. I guess my main influence at this time were those two particular tracks : “Antistatic” from Vainqueur and “Phylyps II/II”. However I had to wait for 2007 to produce my first series of dub-techno oriented tracks. In the meantime I just had different hobbies than music ; mostly fractal art, studying political philosophy, collecting sci-fi books and also doing nothing. Doing nothing is such a great hobby !
2. your second project Musicians With Guns is fabulous. Tell me, how come there are similar video masterpieces? Perhaps you waiting for a special mood or what is the muse for you? I sincerely hope that these ideas don`t come to you in a dream when you're asleep.. ?
Aside from being an enthusiast home-studio hobbyist, I developed a passion for fractal imagery more than 15 years ago. In 2011 I discovered 3d fractal objects and I started to have fun with animation and video. Exploring those fractal worlds is a bit like LSD over-dose sometimes. I eventually dreamed of those infinite landscapes while working on intensive animation sessions (the production process is unfortunately very slow) ; those are not funny dreams for sure ! Note that Musicians With Guns is not about fractal imagery, it is rather a music side-project focusing on drones, ambient and experimentation.
3. In one interview, you said that if after five minutes of listening to your track comes drowsiness, it is a good track. you really care about the health of your audience..) Tell me please, it initially was your goal when you started making music? What do you want to reach people with your music, do you want to be appreciated at its true worth or all of this only for yourself?
Drowsiness can be felt as a virtue sometimes. I personally love this semi-conscious state of mind, favorable to reflexion. It is also the perfect moment to be physically touched by mesmerizing music. Although I specially enjoy drowsiness when it is induced by a copious meal. I started to get interest in electronic music a long time ago because learning sound synthesis was rather fun for me. Understanding how air pressure can be turned into electrical signals and finally reach our brain cells, how all sounds we hear are composed exclusively of sine waves, etc. I tried to learn about every kind of sound synthesis I could approach. Since then I always had more focus on sound characteristics than composition and arrangements. Creating mood and atmospheres is for me the most important thing in such a sub-genre as dub-techno. Honestly I am really not a fan of techno tracks sounding like mini-symphonies.
4. You could have come to Russia, believe me, there are many people who are happy to lie down on the couch under your music.) We know that you do not like to fly on airplanes, but you can get to us by train.) What do you think about this? Or, perhaps, there is a country, where would you like to come and why?
Coming to Russia by train could be fine. However I would have
to be es corted by my own private S/M nurse and all my courtiers crew. You know how French people are, right ? Actually I would really like to visit Siberia one day. It seems to be so wild and exotic.
5. As far as I know you're not a DJ, and to be honest, not much information about you is available on the Internet. I only know that, when you write music you like to wear slippers, and the fact that when you shave you have the feeling that something is going wrong. Do you private man? Or may be a little crazy (in a good way), how do you want that people would perceive you? and the same way by your music?
That is true, I am not a DJ. I never learn such techniques. I guess I have always been too lazy. Also I'm not really interested in playing in front of an audience. I have a big ego, of course, but I like to keep it for myself. I don't give a lot of real infos about myself because quite honestly I'm rather a boring man and my private life has strictly no interest.
6. Please tell us about your future plans? What can we expect from you? new albums, labels or can be common project?
I started a very small Bandcamp label last December ; it is named Trucs et Astuces (“Tips and Tricks” in French). There are only two EPs in the catalog right now but, of course, more material will be released on a semi-regular basis. I am currently working with AXS, Christonia 5 and Esko Barba on common projects for this label. I also asked some of the guys around to work on new material - namely Fingers in the Noise, Lo, Syncronize... Let's wait and see. The next releases will be full of surprises, trying to move deep and dub techno to uncharted territories. Note that Trucs Et Astuces is unique in the way that 100% of the sales incomes goes directly in artist's pockets. Finally, a dream is coming true for artists being tired of not getting paid ! My first “Musicians With Guns” album should finally be out on Entropy Records in a few weeks. It will be mostly dronish and a bit creepy sometimes. It will be followed by a second album, still dronish but this time more retro / oldschool oriented. I also work on multiple projects with my main project Zzzzra, including releases on the aforementioned label Trucs Et Astuces. (A lot) more to come soon ! Finally, there are probabilities that I will marry my charismatic partner Christonia 5 in a blurry future. And then we will have zillions of strange and uncanny techno-mutated babies together.
7. Finally, let us ask you our traditional question. Please, name 5 releases without any style or time limits, which our subscribers must listen.
In no particular order :
- Captain Beefheart : Trout Mask Replica
- Frank Zappa : Uncle Meat
- Chico Mann : Manifest Tone Vol. 1
- The Beach Boys : Pet Sounds
- Sun Ra : Interstellar Low Ways