Who makes up the members of Amentia, and where are you currently based?
Amentia is a duo composed by Etienne and Raphaël, we are two guys who basically met in Strasbourg (city in the East of France), but are mostly based in Paris since three years now.
For those not already familiar with your sound, how would you describe your music genre?
Our music is inspired by several subjects ranging from ethnic groups to animals. We always start with an element or concept, create a fantasy in our minds, and then build a track that represents our vision. Having a fantasy of how it could feel, look or sound helps a lot in our creative process, as it comes from our own imagination, and is not imposed by someone else.
How did you get into music?
We both learnt instruments (piano and drums) and started jamming together and creating some acoustic tracks. Originally we didn’t see Techno Music becoming a passion in our lives, but with more recreational exposure to the scene, step by step, we started to really enjoy it, and wanted to try making our own Techno tracks. We think it’s because it was a new horizon for us, not the same structures or the same rules, and we still don’t see the limit.
I understand your next EP is on American imprint Sol Selectas, how did you meet Sabo who runs the label?
We’ve known Sabo since the beginning of 2016. He first came to us saying he really liked our EP titled “L’Aventure Des Plantes”, which was released late 2015 on Amslecom. He wanted to know if we had any demos for his great label Sol Selectas. We were immediately super excited about this idea, as we love the label, and the whole spirit around it. Since then we couldn’t be happier working with Sabo, as he’s full of surprises and great advice!
Is there a concept behind your Sol Selectas release?
Miracle d’Hwange Ep is inspired by Zimbabwe… a warm welcoming land with its mystic waterfalls and majestic animals. Our friend Alexandra Mason, who originates from this vibrant country peaked our interest in the concept, and we dove a little deeper. After some investigation, we built our EP around the traditional instrument of Zimbabwe called the Mbira.
You can follow the spirit of the Zambezi River during the 3 tracks :
Beginning with « Victoria » , referring to the Victoria falls, the largest Waterfall on this planet. This track is a fresh dive to clear your mind.
« Antilope » lets you imagine the spectacle of the elegant antelopes galloping between sunbeams on the banks as you navigate your way down river.
Finishing with « Miracle d’Hwange » to purify your soul in Hwange, a special place of tranquility on earth, hope you might hear the plenitude 😉
Tell us a little about your writing process when it comes to making music, I understand you record all your own drum sounds rather than use samples?
We don’t have a precise rule about how to start a track. It could be first a bass groove, percussion or simply a melody hook. It also often happens that we have to change the whole ground structure, and adapt it better to what was created over it. This happened in the track Miracle d’Hwange for example, in which the first basis consisting of kick drum groove was way too hard and punchy. So iwe choose to keep the later added melodies plus voices, and instead change the ground structure. What it comes to microphones we use a pair of Rode NT5 to record percussion, voices and random noises. We do that a lot to create sounds that give a more human feel with subtle imperfections.
What is your gear setup, did you use any specialist bits of studio equipment?
We don’t own so much hardware, only gear that is very essential to us:
Nord Lead 2x
Roland A 800pro
Elektron Analog rytm
Boss re-20 space echo
Nord Drum 2
Novation Launch control XL
Rode NT5 mics
How does your set up change when playing live, do you also play DJ sets?
The live setup is actually the same as the studio. We create the tracks by jamming live in our studio, and using the same live set up means we can easily recreate them on stage.
Outside of electronic music what are your other interests, and do they influence your sound?
Music is our first passion but that never deterred us to continue other forms of creativity. We individually learned the entire Adobe suit (Photoshop; Premiere Pro; After Effect… etc.) and have a general passions for creative imagery. We also like to hike and go camping from time to time, as France has some really nice mountain landscapes! Also we recently started skateboarding again, and that’s a great way to be outside plus free your mind.
What can we expect for you in the future?
More music for sure! We have been working on a bunch of projects lately… so expect other fresh releases soon. Other than that we have an upcoming project in Paris, working on an animation movie with our good friend Gwenn Germain. If you check the video below you will see Gwenn has a real talent, so expect the unexpected soon!