Earmilk Interview: Fulgeance [Exclusive Download]

Earmilk Interview: Fulgeance [Exclusive Download]

Frenchman Fulgeance has been bringing his unique flavor to instrumental hip-hop for some time now, and his forthcoming LP, Step Thru, to be released on rx:tx, is no less special. His second album in the course of a year mixes digital and analogue productions tools and he describes Step Thru as his "most personal record, not trying to be catchy or hype, banging or trendy" -- it's "something darker and weird that I'm really into now." We're always down with creative minds doing what they feel like when they feel like it, and thankfully, Fulgeance's new tracks aren't too weird to be listenable. You can catch the album on October 15 (or pre-order it now).

Check out (and download) an exclusive cut from the LP below, and read on for our chat with Fulgeance about the album, his influences, his live show, and his production process.

EARMILK: What were the driving thoughts for the new album, Step Thru?
Fulgeance: I really wanted to go into a kind of minimal production like the crystal clear productions of Harmonic 313 or Dabrye. Something raw and clear at the same time.There are plenty of influences, and I think it's my most personal record, not trying to be catchy or hype, banging or trendy, something darker and weird that I'm really into now.
EM: What were you listening to in your free time as you made the album?
F: Well, a bit like always... my old fav productions from Prefuse73, Dabrye or Hovatron, Om Unit, Squeaky Lobster, Dimlite, Four Tet. But once again it's all the crazy sound libraries where I took a lot of samples which influenced me, the strange moods, nostalgia and simple but deep melodies. I self-released the b-side of Step Thru, an EP called Mini Club, really inspired by those libraries... Don't ask me why, I love it, even the most crappy one, this analog stuff is so amazing. When you listen to this, you feel the time context, the dusty studios and long recording sessions. 
EM: What's your production process like mentally?
F: I try to stay minimal, feeling the elements like bass and synths and always searching to smash - shuffle - squeeze them, keeping them danceable and always "groovy" which I think, whatever direction of sound I take, is my credo, the “groove."
EM: What tools did you use to make this album? How do your production and live equipment differ?
F: A lot of chopped samples, Ableton Live, Reason, and a few bits of analog gear, I wish I had more of this and am working on it!
Since I'm playing live, my production was always fixed on this, always thinking at the same time about the way to bring it live, but on Step Thru, I really concentrated on the production and sound, without beats played on pads, it's more "mouse" editing, you know! I know it's less sexy than a controller or an MPC2000, but that's the way it is, and it pushed me diferent ways. Don't worry, the live set is still punchy and live improvised!

EM: Who are your favoriter producers out there right now?
F: To be up to date, the new Flying Lotus gave me a cool slap, and artists like Four Tet, Dimlite, Dorian Concept, Cid Rim or Yosi Horikawa are one step ahead, people whose sounds are never influenced, pure original stuff, something new.
EM: What are your long-standing musical influences?
F: For sure all the black music to start wide, but to do it randomly : Roy Ayers, Geoff Barrow, Malcolm Cato, Shawn Lee, Prefuse 73, Dabrye, Daedelus, Bernard Wright, Dorothy Ashby, Quincy Jones and the list cannot end if I start!
EM: What's it like working with vocalists?
I wish I could meet them but the result is a ball!
Freshdaily from Brooklyn has something new school and old school at the same time, I wanna do more beats just for him, he's talented and as his name says, productive and fresh!
Yinka is a friend from Athens, a famous rapper in Greece, involved in what happens to his country. We started this track maybe 2 years ago, and lyrics take even more sense now, and I'm happy to support this country in that “little" way.
EM: What's next? 
Gigs and travels, holidays and good food!? Japan, Asia, USA... Yes, but seriously, some new music on my label Musique Large, from BR&CP, Débruit, myself and new signed artists. Working on my other project Souleance with DJ Soulist for First Word Records, a 7" and a 20-track beat tape. And few EPs in 2013 for diferent labels as Fulgeance, I love travels and music has to live in different countries, labels and collectives.
No need to be hype, just have to love what you do, share it and travel with, another credo of mine.

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