Photo by Luk Vanderplaeste
For this next volume of the podcast, former DAT Politics member Vincent “Marklion” Thierion takes some time out of his absolutely rammed schedule to give us a quick interview and some heavy beats and bass to listen to. Thierion gives us his views on digital music, independent labels, the internet and respecting one’s neighbours. Download the mix at the bottom underneath the interview and tracklist.
What’s your musical background? How did you get started?
I started music with my cousin when I was 8, playing bass guitar (with one string). I was also making some strange mixtapes with two walkmans. Later, I started a few rock bands playing experimental noise music and I was a kind of DJ during my teenage years at parties because I was too shy to kiss girls. Unfortunately, my DJ sets were always too chaotic so it always finished in a fight.
I became more involved in music around 1996 with a project called Tone Rec and then in 1999 with DAT Politics.
I left DAT politics in 2010 and started my solo project as Marklion and at the same time another band called Cosmic Control. I also run my label, Upcode Records.
Tell us a bit more about Cosmic Control.
Cosmic Control is a trio but it’s an open project. The two other musicians are also involved in a lot of different projects so we want to keep Cosmic Control cool and natural. We love to play together and the basic idea is also to invite different people to play with us in the various cities we’re playing.
We are actually slowly working on a record and a soundtrack for an old Sci-Fi movie called ‘The Fantastic Voyage’ (Richard Fleischer).
And the word “Cosmic” doesn’t mean that we’re gonna make only “Kosmik Musik” or new age stuff.. it’s gonna be disco and rock & roll too!
Was there a conscious decision to keep Marklion and DAT Politics separate? Was that why you left the band?
When we created DAT Politics in 1999 we were 5 people and now it’s a duo.
Actually, I started Marklion when I was still involved in DAT Politics (around 2010). But I felt tired after 10 years in the same band. You know, for me the creative part was like a “routine”. And it was very hard to find a way to express myself in this project. But i think it’s a classic problem in many bands, it’s not easy to keep it fresh. Even if I really loved that time, it was necessary for me to take some new risks and to try some new adventures by myself and with other people.
Was there a particular artist or track that compelled you to become a musician?
Not really. I had a lot of different influences from Rephlex to the Cologne scene, Kompakt or other labels like Mego in Vienna. But also in the indie rock from the US and UK and the extreme Japanese Music.
Did you always know precisely where you wanted to be and how you wanted to sound before you started producing?
I was pretty unsure of what could happen, but I always pictured myself as an electronic musician. I knew that I wanted to sound weird and fun.
How do you start a track?
I always work with instinct. Nothing is written; first I don’t want to think to much, I play with sounds with the software and then the rhythmic. It’s better to work with feelings and sensations, people think that maybe making music with a computer is cold, but it s not.
How does the equipment you use vary between studio productions and live performances?
It’s pretty much the same. I like working with a simple laptop and with a lot of different small keyboards, funny homemade midi controllers. It’s not that important for me to work with a real synthetizer or a virtual one, what matters to me it’s the production line.
How do you feel your music has progressed over the years?
I have the feeling that my music is always changing. I began my career playing experimental music and now getting older I need and enjoy lightness.
Who knows? I’ll probably make very weird or very pop music in a few years…
Are there any productions or career highlights that you’re particularly proud of?
To create DAT Politics in 1999 and to tour in so many different countries. To make this project work from our little town at the beginning of internet was so exciting.
Also when I began my solo project Marklion. I remember one of my first solo gig at the Transmusicales in Rennes (France), it was such a great moment.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m very excited about releasing my first solo album by the end of 2012. I’m planning to tour next year and to start an album with Cosmic Control. I’m also pretty busy with my label, Upcode Records, we’re going to sign a lot of cool artists.
What music excites you at the minute?
Mathias Aguayo, Nicolas Jaar, Club Cheval, the new Mouse On Mars, Debmaster, Antoine Pesle, Dominique Leone, Para One, Rebotini, DDDXIE and Bruit Fantôme…
Where do you see music heading in the future?
Those days people (and I) consume everything quickly, it would be great if we could consume less but better things. It’s a basic idea, but it’s so true and not only with the music.
I would love it if people could rediscover the pleasure of buying physical music (CDs, vinyls, or tapes?). Just because I think it’s important to have something on your shelves. Let’s imagine a very big internet bug. That means that everything can disappear… No? Maybe it’s an old guy idea. I prefer to give a bunch of CD’s to my son instead of 5 hard drives.
The internet is a sort of big phone, it’s a good way to communicate, but to have access to so much information you need a little bit of education to understand that what is rare, unusual can be good.
About what is happening in the music business: with small labels I really enjoy the possibility of being able to control the artistic work all along the production line. We have to stop thinking that independents need majors to distribute their music.
But it’s more a political and economic problem… I think we can discuss this problem all night long. Anyway let’s keep playing with the internet!
Do you have any advice for new producers?
Hmmmm… hard to say… just try to be original and free. And, respect your neighbors…
01. Atom(™) – Me Tiene Loco feat. Tea Time
02. GaBlé – Unbeatable (Fulgeance’s Beatable Remix)
03. Dominique Leone – 40/60
04. PJ Pooterhoots – Miami Swipe Remix
05. Debmaster – Bears
06. Siriusmo – Nights Off
07. Shit Robot – Work It Out (Todd Terje Remix)
08. Rafale – Beyond Bad (Arnaud Rebotini Remix)
09. Audion – Just Fucking (Roman Flugel’s 23 Positions In One Night Stand Remix)
10. Audion – Kisses
11. We Are Enfant Terrible – Filthy Love (The Shoes Remix)
12. Caribou – Lalibela
Download: Marklion – KOTJ Radio Episode 28