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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » 2018 » January » 31

Drunken in the Streets of Brussels

Delivered... Hannes Liechti from Norient | Scene | Wed 31 Jan 2018 7:53 pm

Stromae’s viral music video «Formidable» reached almost one 120 million YouTube hits in two years. We talked to Belgian music video director Jérôme Guiot about the process of creating buzz and how marketing strategies have become an integral part of producing contemporary music. From the Norient book Seismographic Sounds (see and order here).

Brussels Molenbeek (Photo © by Michielverbeek , 2015)

This is Not a Lesson

[Hannes Liechti]: You have been working with Stromae for quite a time now. Why do you like to work with him?
[Jérôme Guiot]: Because I think he’s genuine in what he’s doing. To be honest, I’m not really into his music in everyday life. But I’ve known him for a long time now—we’ve been studying together in the cinema school—and I know that he’s really dedicated to what he’s doing. He’s not just releasing products to sell.

[HL]: You’ve had your first success with Strome on «Alors en dance» in 2010. Apart from the official music videos, you’ve been and you still are releasing different video formats with him. What are they about?
[JG]: We have two kinds of what we call experimental web contents. First «Les leçons de Stromae» (Stromae’s lessons): short, viral videos of him, explaining how he’s doing his songs. Second, another format called «ceci n’est pas un clip» (this is not a clip), in which you can see him singing in front of the camera. «Formidable» was supposed to be such a lesson, but since it turned out to be a mix between both concepts mentioned above, we decided to create a new label for this video: «ceci n’est pas un leçon» (this is not a lesson).

[HL]: So «Formidable» was not intended to be an official music video at first?
[JG]: No. At the time Stromae’s second album wasn’t out yet. He was just about to begin the promotion of it. We were looking for different ways to make people discover the songs than through the usual method of sending them to the radio stations, launching a music video and waiting for the people to like it. So basically «Formidable» was an experiment.

Some Kind of a Scandal

[HL]: What was the idea behind the clip?
[JG]: There was a guy who filmed Stromae at a gas station, sitting in his car eating something he had just bought there. This little crappy clip became viral. For us that seemed completely absurd: we spend thousands of Euros for producing video clips and this guy has just been an asshole for five minutes and hit as many likes as we normally do with big efforts. We asked ourselves what people would appreciate more: a music video with real content or one with some kind of a scandal of a famous person? That’s how we decided to let Stromae play drunk in the streets of Brussels.

[HL]: Have you been surprised by the result?
[JG]: The reactions of the people were totally reversed from what we expected. For sure people recognized Stromae. But instead of helping the drunken man, people filmed him and uploaded the clips on YouTube afterwards. That’s really awkward. On the other hand, the cops who approached Stromae during the shooting tried to help him, which really is not what they usually do with drunken people. They only helped because Stromae was famous. Indeed, the video is not really expressing a world I’d like to live in. But I apparently do.

[HL]: Did you have contact with the policemen later?
[JG]: Yes, we did. First we decided to be careful and to blur their faces, but later we got in touch and one of them even got on stage at some of Stromae’s concerts during the performance of «Formidable.» He came and arrested him towards the end of the song. That was funny.

Was He Drunk?

[HL]: I’d like to talk more about the shooting of the video. Can you describe it in detail?
[JG]: We did everything with hidden cameras, the whole set was invisible. We had seven cameras, four Canon 5D’s and three GoPro’s. One was in a car, driving around the roundabout the whole time, and another one with a long lens was in a building next to the place. We also had a sound engineer—hidden of course. Stromae wore headphones in order to be in sync and to catch the right pitch. We arrived around 8 o’clock, started around 9 and finished already at 10. Stromae went through the song maybe four times, but he never sang the whole thing, just screamed parts of it. Since the passers-by didn’t hear any music they really had the impression that he was drunk. He was even covered with beer and smelled like a drunken person. That helped as well.

Film still from Stromae (Music), Jérôme Guiot (Video): «Formidable» (Belgium 2013)

[HL]: How did you choose the spot?
[JG]: We’d been looking for a central location in Brussels that would feature a lot of people moving around, but only in passing. It was important that people didn’t stay there for too long. Then we planned to shoot on a busy day, in our case Monday. Finally the weather was perfect: raining and super cold. That added a lot of drama to the video. Stromae himself looked even more desperate in that situation. By the way, we only outlined a rough sketch beforehand about where to start, where to stay and where to go after receiving my call. Besides that he was completely free to act.

[HL]: Were there any reactions in the press the next day?
[JG]: A lot! We shot on Monday morning and somebody instantly uploaded a clip on YouTube. The day after, all of the Belgian newspapers printed headlines like: «Drunken Stromae in the Streets.» We decided not to respond and to wait for the video to be launched. Stromae even went a step further: on Friday he had to do a huge TV show in France and he played drunk on the set too in order to increase the buzz and the expectations of the audience about an explanation. Finally we launched the video on Saturday or Sunday. But we never explained anything; we just let the video speak for itself.

Creating a Buzz

[HL]: What do you think about the fact that you reached such a huge success with a video that was not even intended to be a music video, while other music videos you’ve been making with a lot of passion and energy remain unseen by the broader public?
[JG]: I ask myself this question often because, I mean, we achieved exactly what the guy at the gas station did. Of course, that’s frustrating and for «Formidable» we just had a lot of luck, regarding the shooting and the timing. But let’s be honest: although «Formidable» was an experiment, the success was not that surprising on the other hand. It’s of course much easier to do such a thing with a famous person like Stromae. But you really have to try not to come to wrong conclusions after hearing the story behind «Formidable.» It would be wrong to say in general that you shouldn’t put a lot of money in your videos to make them seen.

[HL]: If it was an experiment, are you saying you weren’t aiming to create buzz with «Formidable»?
[JG]: I wouldn’t say it that way. I mean, we should not hide ourselves about the goal of a music video: it’s always about spreading the music through the Internet and to make it known to other people. So even for «Formidable» there was kind of a strategy behind it, although we didn’t know how it would develop. People have been accusing Stromae of strategic marketing. But why not? That’s how it goes today: musicians need to promote their work and as you can see Stromae is really talented at doing that.

Jérôme Guiot directed his first short film as a final student project to complete INRACI cinema school in Brussels 2009. Since then he’s been working as a director, mostly shooting music videos.

The text was published first as a very short quote in the second Norient book Seismographic Sounds. Click on the image to know more.

Read More on Norient

> Maxime Pasques: «A «Formidable» Hype in Brussels»
> Jean-Martin Büttner: «Der Farbige»
> Wanlov the Kubolor: «In Ghana, Stromae Wouldn’t Be Lonely»

Erica are set to bring the 909 into the modular age with their latest gear

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Wed 31 Jan 2018 6:49 pm

Erica may be known for their tube-powered, retro-Polyvoks post-Soviet chic – but now they’re taking on the TR-909, in modules and a powerful drum computer.

This isn’t just another 909 remake, though. Take Roland’s legendary drum machine not just as a selection of well-known sounds, but as a way of thinking about synthesizing and sequencing percussion. Then, make those eminently patchable, so you can wire them into other gear and create some new, original ideas. Erica founder Girts Ozolins told me early on in starting the company that he thought the real appeal of modular was in customization – that it was something that allowed musicians to make something their own. And that seems to be the essence of the idea here. It’s a deconstructed, rather than reconstructed, 909.

On the sound side, then, you’ve got two friendly-looking, handsome, patchable modules. You can bolt these in and grab the knobs and it looks like you’ll be pretty happy. But there’s also plenty of CV when you want to get more modular.

On the sequencing side – and I’ll be the first to say this is what has me excited – comes a 909-style sequencer with accents, multiple tracks and banks, and extras like probability, track length (for polyrhythms), live and step modes, and more. You can sync it with MIDI, but there’s also an absurd amount of patchability.

And there’s modulation, too (here’s where we get way out of 909 territory) – two LFOs for modulating drums.

Just as promising, the whole thing comes from a collaboration with French DIY drum machine maker e-licktronic, who have made a name for themselves as a kind of cult-following underground drum machine maker for DIYers. The problem with e-licktronic was their projects required way too much assembly for all but the most dedicated soldering iron gurus. This brings some of their expertise to a wider market – niche, to be sure, but at least allowing you some time to, like, finish tracks and not just finish hardware assembly.

Full specs:

12x Accent outputs
1x CV/GATE track
2xLFO with independent or synced to the BPM frequency
Time signature per track
Pattern length per track
Shuffle per track
Probability per step
Retrigger per step
Instant pattern switching
Solo/Mute tracks
Step/Tap record modes
16 Banks of 16 Patterns
Instant pattern switching
Pattern linking
Midi sync in with start/stop
Track mode
Firmware upgrade via MIDI SySex

It also seems this is just the beginning – Erica have a whole drum module system in store: “Toms, Clap, Rimshot, HiHats, Cymbals, sample-based drum module and, to pull all system together – dedicated a drum Mixer with extended headroom and a limiter of unique design”

But you don’t have to wait long to get started. The kick and snare modules ship early March, alongside that sequencer.

Hey, Santa Claus! Yeah, I…. oh, wait, $#(*&, it’s March.

Hey, St. Patrick!

NAMM news: Drum Sequencer

NAMM news: Bass Drum & Snare Drum

The post Erica are set to bring the 909 into the modular age with their latest gear appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Marathi theater fest enthralls Nashikites – Times of India

Delivered... | Scene | Wed 31 Jan 2018 9:00 am
Marathi theater fest enthralls Nashikites  Times of India

Marathi theater fest enthralls Nashikites – Times of India

Delivered... | Scene | Wed 31 Jan 2018 9:00 am
Marathi theater fest enthralls Nashikites  Times of India

Recently organised Marathi theater fest turned out to be a treat for aficionados in Nashik...

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