feeder sound exclusive premiere: Midiminuit – 14:00 [Hôtel Costes]
Midiminuit announces their new LP “Round The Clock” to be delivered via Hôtel Costes this September, a six-track collection merging jazz and classical music with modular synths and electronic instruments. The project brings forward the collaboration between pianist Julien Quentin, bass player Yonatan Levi and electronic musicians Cesar Merveille and Adrien de Maublanc.
The name “Midiminuit” means “midday midnight“, which perfectly portrays the way the album was recorded, from 12 pm to 12 am for three days, twelve hours of jamming per day. There were no rehearsals here, with every piece being improvised and then recorded on the spot. The mixing was done by the Masomenos team at Studio HC in the heart of Paris at 239 Rue Saint-Honoré, the place where the Hôtel Costes label resides, internationally known for its famed compilation series brought forward by Stephane Pompougnac.
The album arrives soon after the release of “Studio HC #02”, the EP introducing the project, providing a unique approach to modern music, infused with soft piano keys, quirky drumming patterns, immersive atmospheres and organic synth modulations. Let’s dive in deeper into “Round The Clock” accompanied by the ethereal sound of “14:00” exclusively on feeder sound, while also finding out more about this venture from the artists themselves in the interview that follows.
f: Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. For those who are unaware please tell us who Midminuit is and who does what in the band?
AdM: Cesar Merveille and I brought our modulars and some synths, Yonatan Levi his upright bass and Julien Quentin provided the piano at his home. Our friend Moritz Capellmann is our engineer and an important part of our sound, he helped us hook all the elements together using Julien’s Studer console at home.
f: What is the process for you all in making music, I hear the name came from you recording improvised sessions from Midday to Midnight, is that the format every time you work together?
JQ: The rule at my place, as much as for our working time and for the neighbours, was that we would start at midday and wrap everything up at midnight, and every time we met we followed that rule which became our natural workflow. It was the first time all of us had all the gears at one place to start creating our sound, it could only be achieved this way, it took a while to coordinate our busy schedules.
CM: We usually start from a modular patch and the guys jam and improvise on it.
AdM: Then we took the whole session and mixed it in studio HC in Paris.
f: How would you describe “Around The Clock” to someone who hasn’t heard it yet?
JQ: It’s a journey over the course of three intensive days, we basically lived together and kept experimenting mixing our classical, jazz and electronic backgrounds into one entity. These were the first jams and studio days for us, it was a beautiful learning process and most of the tracks are pretty raw and are barely edited. There is a lot of life and love in this music, it goes many ways from the most laid-back ambient to lively funky grooves, we could call it electro-acoustic chamber music.
CM: Improvised minimalist electronic music with a taste of jazz and classical music.
f: What are your backgrounds musically as individuals outside of Midminuit?
JQ: I am classically trained and played the piano since the age of 5, studied at Geneva Conservatory in Switzerland, then moved to the US in Bloomington at Indiana University and completed my studies in New York at the Juilliard School. Touring as a concert pianist since my teenage years, my love for techno and electronic music grew early and I then found out that Berlin was the natural musical home for me.
CM: I’m a self-taught electronic musician. I have been producing for over 15 years now and specialised in modular synths.
YL: I am a jazz double bass player. I was living and playing in New York for 10 years. A few years ago I started working with electronic music artists on several different projects combining both worlds. I’ve been collecting lots of jazz records for the past 15 years or so.
AdM: I’m a self-taught music producer. I started from witting ballads in my room and spent the last 15 years producing electronic music and touring as Masomenos.
f: Your music has influences from jazz and classical music, but are there any musicians or albums that particularly inspired the album “Round The Clock”?
JQ: There is a wide array of music that is played or performed in our homes every day. But if there was one group and great jams that left an imprint on some of us, that would be Pink Floyd, that was the spirit.
CM: No, not really, this album is based on the process of starting from the modular and have Julien and Yonatan improvise on each patch. There was no inspiration from any particular album for me.
YL: I always like to listen to a Herbie Hancock album called “Inventions and Dimensions” before we meet for our recording sessions. It’s a very special album with incredible group dynamics. I’ve learned a lot from listening to it. It’s a beautiful and meditative record.
AdM: I’ll join Julien on this one, referring to Pink Floyd, as we settled a spacious meditative sound.
f: Outside of music are there any other influences that feed into the Midiminuit aesthetic, a place you visit, a book you’ve all shared or some other visual stimulation which feeds your creativity?
JQ: I think that the main inspiration comes from us being all together locked up in one place, the possibility to generate a home studio atmosphere creates something really special, and both Berlin (my apartment space in Kreuzberg) and Paris (the Studio HC at Hôtel Costes) are becoming our two homes where we come together. It’s actually there on-site that we will exchange on a last read or record that we find relevant to share with the others, in order to give us a fresh start into the session.
AdM: For the whole week of producing the album, I couldn’t believe the luck I had to be able to record along with such talented friends! That kind of friendship is definitely inspiring.
Title: A2. 14:00 / Round The Clock LP
Label: Hôtel Costes
Cat. number: HCLP002
Release date: 25.09.2019
Words by: AndreiB
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