SUNSET – Interview about S01E02-05
Raphaël – It’s the end of summer. Our EP will be released in a few days, a bit less than a year after our first single Krystal. Do you remember the beginnings of our project, when we were in Miami?
Franck – Yes. For me, everything started in Miami Beach when we found ourselves over there during Spring Break. Two Frenchies in black hoodies lost in the middle of the beach and, a bit further, a crowd of American teenagers in a state of trance, dancing on EDM with their YOLO shirts. It was at sunset. I think this is when we had the idea to take this name.
R – “SUNSET” printed in white on black background, like some teenager’s black metal band would have it. A sort of apocalyptic version of spring break. A black gap in the fluorescent abyss of Miami. Like a Böcklin work painted under the influence of Redbull.
F – ‘Île des morts’… It makes me think about these shirts they all seemed to wear, saying “I SURVIVED SPRING BREAK 2013”.
In the end, death is never far away for the clubs. It’s waiting, just on the side.
R – This darkness of summer, this is what we are trying to reach with SUNSET. This other form of profound solitude. You are lonely, while being surrounded by fifteen hundred thousand girls in fluorescent bikinis, all pressed against you, facing the stage of the Ultra Music Festival. You are penetrated by the kicks of every bass modulation. And above all the trance sounds, there is a voice inside of yourself, telling you that, one day, you and everyone around you is going to die.
F – I think this is when was born the idea to have a French spoken voice on the electronic music. We came back from the beach. At that time, we were in studio working on instrumental parts – willing to do an EP that would speak about the club, using the sound as a brut material. A bit like these saturated recordings made from a phone and uploaded on Youtube.
R – Coming back from the beach, I started to write a few words. It was the beginning of a love song. “Tu es belle comme une star de porn filmée en full-HD / Tu es la fille que je n’ai pas eue à chaque été…” like a lyrical poem on trance synths. F – French language is perfect for this. It’s like a cold digital plug-in which would come crushing everything. Romantic and cruel at the time. R – In my opinion, French is the real language of love – the one that hurts, with sounds that are both soft and aggressive. Once, an American girl told me: “When I hear French people speaking, I never know if they are insulting or declaring their love to each others.” It’s true that in French, it’s just about the same thing. It sounds almost the same.
F – Do you remember the first instrumental demos we made after that in just a few days?
R – Yes. I also remember the noise of the overloading fans trying to cool down the PCs, because of all the Nexus that we were piling up indefinitely. And that black skull we had put on one of the PC stations.
F – The PC is really the computer of darkness. I don’t think there are any Apple Stores in hell. It’s too user-friendly. I always imagine a hell filled with overclocked PCs, with ultra powerful GPUs – for the graphic designs to be super-realistic.
R – At that time, we used to lock ourselves in the studio and listen to a lot of music. EDM, of course, but also Metal, Drone, Hip Hop… And evidently French songwriters tunes – to try and understand how it was written, how it was done. It reminded me of my teenager years. When I used to listen to both Léo Ferré and compilations of Thunderdome.
F – And this is how we heard La Mort d’Orion from Gérard Manset for the first time. And above all, Élégie funèbre, which is the last song of the album. This is also when we saw the music video of clip Throw Ya Gunz from rap band Onyx. A bunch of gangstas in baggy jeans hanging out on the beach with their guns.
R – And then we wrote Krystal. Trying to sum of all that up, trying to pump out all the emotional energy, for us to create something that didn’t yet exist.
F – After that, the difficulty was to put it all in a mix successfully.
Spoken voice plus Nexus, drone power chords and 40 Hertz subs. To create a sound which would have a powerful kick in a club, whilst keeping this inside voice that speaks to you. A bit like a poem from Houellebecq mixed on a Rihanna track.
R – Krystal was our first single, like the first episode of a series named SUNSET.
F – And then we released Ava, ripping a trance anthem from Swedish House Mafia in slow motion. Our EP S01E02-05 is the follow-up on this first season. It opens on a shooting outside of a club with Kim and ends with Tara, where a girl exiting a club realises that nothing on earth will ever last.
R – Yes. Everything started with a sunset somewhere on a Miami beach. And everything will end there, in a few million years.