Paris’s university seems not to have lost any of its superb when it comes to electronic music. Its persistant lights keep attracting -as much as they steadily arrouse- more and more artists from the country towards her, although a very few, the most cunning ones succeed in implanting durably there. Traumer is one of them. The keen disciple has left Avignon’s confortable warmth and plundged deep into the capital’s boiling life. For a couple of years now he’s been devoted intirely to his passion and has elicited many enthusiasm, offering him now the possibility to dedicate all of his time on his productions. Under IRM founders’s friendly wings, who noticed in the first place his talent, and Electric Rescue’s expert and encouraging critic, the young producer keep on working and delivering new material, easily oscillating between genres, that has already convinced most of the electronic scene’s godgathers.
Can you tell us something about yourself for a start? What has shaped you as an artist and as a person?
Obviously, my parents had an important part about who I am as a person. But there is also my friends, every of them had/have an impact. They advise me, they orient me, they hugs me when I am bad, etc hehe 🙂 There are also some people who shaped me as an artist, but they also are some great friends now, like Electric Rescue, Maxime Dangles, Dawad and Joff Logartz (from IRM records, the very first label who trust in my music), Dj Deep as well, to say just few names. These great guys teach me about music, but also life into the music scene, and life in general.
What’s your normal process for recording a mix? Do you make them in one take, or spend a long time collecting music to use?
I don’t do studio mixes that often, but when I do, I always try to evoke the feeling of a broadcast: when, where, how. Setting a context, let’s say. For me, a mix is anchored to a context. It’s strongly related to this moment, that you chose or that you’ve been given. After settling on this context, I select a large amount of music which relates to it. After this step, I organize those tracks in groups of intensity, then I start mixing.
What is your background – where did you grow up and has this informed the music you make and play?
I grew up in Avignon, in the South of France, until I turned 18. Then I moved to Paris as I got accepted into one of the best schools in France for Product and Graphic Design. I had a pretty artistic education, but nothing that was really “out there” artistic as learning Product Design helps you to create with industrial rules. So this meant I developed a particularly structured way of creating.
You operate under a few different guises. Do you feel this helps you to interact with people in different ways?
Definitely. It keeps my mind fresh – I never get bored of being in the studio, as I switch from one style to another once I get tired. To be honest, I started to feel a lot more comfortable with my production process once I started to create different monikers. My problem was that I wanted to produce various styles of music, but doing this under a single identity is not a good idea, for both the people who are listening and for myself. I wasn’t really sure where to go when I started something, I was always asking myself too many questions. Splitting my output into different names helped me to be more committed to each type of sound I wanted to create and release.
Where does your inspiration for production come from? Where do you find the samples for a track like Classroom?
I can’t give a proper answer about my inspirations, there are way too many things that feed into my creativity: the music I listen to (electronic or not), the DJs I listen to before or after my sets, the movies I watch, and so on… To be honest, I can’t remember where the sample came from, I know it’s a recording of an Indian classroom, with the class singing something which means: “In your chest, my heart beats”.
How did you start out producing in the first place, was there someone that inspired you to follow that direction?
I started producing when we got our first computer at home. At first I was doing a few kind of mash-up styles, then I gradually tried to do my own things.
What do you perceive to be your strengths and weaknesses as a producer?
It’s an interesting question. I actually try to ask it to myself as much as possible, but maybe writing it down will help me to find some answers.
Two of my major strengths are both my speed and my ability to assemble pieces. I am very fast in the creative process, maybe not so much now, but I used to make 10 tracks a day. About the assembling ability thing, I can easily combine parts in order to make a solid groove and loop. For remix duties, for example, especially the ones with a lot of musical parts, I can easily isolate the right moment, cut it, and re-arrange it.
Another main strength is that I can produce a lot of types of music: techno, ambient, house, deep house, etc.
Also, I am good at bringing a club-ready efficiency with my music. It was even more obvious some years ago. Basically, I know how to make a track rock thousands of people in a big room.
But for me this also a weakness, since I’m too often focused on this aspect of a track: the response of the audience. I’m trying to learn how to catch people’s attention with less “explicit” tricks. I still need to work a lot on that. At least I need to release stuff which is more classy, less super effective; I am doing lots of different music, deeper, etc., but I think I am kind of blocked in my head in a way of thinking like I have to release some club-ready beats.
One of my main weaknesses is that I struggle to get out of my comfort zone. I try but I do not succeed often. Once when I have a recipe that works I tend to stick with it way too much. For example, I think I have like 15 tracks that sound like Gettraum006, because in the period of creation I was into this way of producing so they all sound the same; even if the ideas are a bit different, they are all copies of previous ones.
Also, a downside of my speed is that I often finish some tracks too fast and I don’t like to return to it. Most of the time, once I exported it I don’t like to rework it. I am definitely too hasty.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
I would really love to be able to play the piano. I mean, playing in general. I have absolutely no musical education. I am not a skilled musician and this pisses me off during almost every studio session; I would love to be able to take the keyboard and rock a solo, but I can’t. So I always have to struggle with this musical part when I am producing.
What gives you a greater buzz, playing out or producing in the studio?
I need both, that’s for sure. I really need the public and the interaction with it. That’s what brings me the energy and the feelings to keep going, and also it’s a way of testing the new music I’m doing in the studio. The studio is my way of losing myself; it’s my way of escaping.
Traumer’s sound has evolved from driving techno to more groove-laden, minimalistic beats. How easy was this transition?
For me, it was natural in the way that I was into a more minimal sound even while I was making and playing more techno-oriented music. I have just taken my time to make the official transition; I wanted to be as ready as possible, let’s say. But still, I’ve tried to make this transition as smooth as possible by releasing some more smooth and minimal tracks or remixes during my “techno era.” The most difficult thing was trying to hide all of my “efficient techno” production habits in these new minimal house beats I was trying to produce.