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Saturday 02nd, April 2005
Moogwai Interview (2005)

Production legend and trance.nu fave Francois Chabloz has just released his first album on Platipus Records, a label with which he has been working for as long as us trance.nu babies can remember. His records span everything from progressive to psy to house, but always contain a melodic edge that have seen the likes of 'Viola' and 'Keo' destroying dancefloors from London to Sydney and pretty much everywhere in between. Any self respecting trance fan will have at least one Moogwai record among their collection, so with the new LP release trance.nu decided to catch up with Francois to see how things are going...

You have just released your first album, why has it taken so long for it to surface?

Because “I’m lazy as I man can beeee”. Hello Bill, thanks for the interest… I remember after signing one or two tracks with platipus, I told Simon I was going to have an album ready in the next 6 months and he told me “I needed more than 1 year to make my last..” and I thought “he he, old generation.. just wait and you’ll see”. So we waited 5 years happy
And here’s the moogwai album! Bill, everybody is happy now, so don’t make me go back into embarassing memories wink

Your style is quite individual, how would you describe it?

“Psycho-trance with style” is the exact definition of it. It’s not “bang in your face” but it lasts a couple of listens! My definition for moogwai stuff but also for the trance genre I like, Platipus stuff, Cygnus X, Earth Nation, Eye Q.. nothing really new, but never surpassed in my heart.. I didn’t liked the evolution of trance since then, it became a bit too aggressive and using simple/obvious melodie. This is just my feeling and personal experience, no judgement!
10 years ago, I was buying my first Platipus compilation (vol1) and the guy from the shop told me “THIS IS PSYCHO-TRANCE” and I thought “yeah man, that sounds like a plan”.. And I’m still stuck in that definition of trance! Everytime I start a new moogwai, I think that cygnusX orange theme is the track to challenge! He he

Which artists would you say are your influences, and how do they influence your work?
I’ve been listenning to that platipus Volume1 and other union jacks since then. (well I stopped last year because it was seriously getting on my nerve). Platipus wrote a page of trance history, the emotion coming from Simon and Claudio (both were unionjack, simon is art of trance) had a big influence on my culture, thus in my work. It’s a pitty claudio has gone on another planet now but fortunately Simon is still running the label with his vision! Even if I’m not checking news from the trance scene, obviously there were UFO every now and then catching my interest.. der dritte raum, the holden mix of fake more recently is very impressive. That’s the “trance” I like.. its not only “trance”, its cool music.

Which of the tracks on the album are you most proud of, and why?

Viola has always been my favourite and the best melody I made in my life so far! (will I ever beat that??) The nord song is also one of my favourite. It take 3 or 4 listens before getting it, but then its great! You can see that even “random” arpeggios have a musicality once your brain has adopted it. I adore that loop now, but as it is quite long (16 bars or so) you need a coupe of listen to understand! (sampled from a virus random arpeggio, then looped)

‘Viola’ has been remixed for 2005, what do you think about the fresh remixes, and the general trend with producers and labels updating ‘classic’ tracks?

Emotionally its not really my thing anymore but technically, I totally agree that on dancefloor its way more powerfull than the original, tek^tonik has done a brilliant job! I don’t have any problems with people or labels revamping “classics” [thank you wink], I think it’s great if many people can get that emotion over the years. Whatever way to discover music you may like is positive. I was more than happy to hear the “mirwais/miss you” (originally a rolling stone track).

How do you go about producing a track? Maybe you could give the aspiring trance.nu producers some tips!

I will always give a good advice that is helping me a lot everyday: make your own sound library and refresh it regularly. Take one day per month just to sample records, synths...there tons of free good samples on internet as well. Cut loops properly and put them in a loop folder (I use ableton Live to then choose my drums loops), cut tons of single percussive things and put them as “autoload” in your sampler (an external sampler like the MPC is still my choice, faster than a computer to scroll sounds and I can use my 10 fingers). What is one day spent on doing your very own library ? Nothing compared to the time you spend doing it while your creativity is going away.. Your inspiration is the MOST precious thing.. don’t waste it on technical things you could do before.

Moogwai isn’t your only alias of course, why do you use different production names, and which is your favourite guise to produce under?

Chab is my main project, its more prog-house and I feel more comfortable under that guise. I can put into that project more influences of my musical backgound that I can with moogwai, wich must have that trance feeling. Chab is more me because more slow and more into groove than melodies. Grooving slowly is my thing. Moogwai is a side-project and this way, it’s really for fun and pleasure. One day I have an idea and I can go on “let’s starts a moogwai today”.. chab thing is more my everyday life, so its more organized. But this has changed a bit lately, I’ve stopped last year doing any music as a job and rediscover the pleasure of doing it just for fun. I did a chab album as well last year during my break-year and it’s out now on SAW (hear clips on http://www.sawrecordings.com/chab )

Many producers, DJs and listeners, admire your music but which musicians do you look up to and why?

Thank you, I appreciate. Doing an inspirating work for even one preson is all I can ask from this human life! Technically, I’m fan of mirwais (he did a solo album called “mirwais/production” and worked on madonna last 2 albums), he is bringing a new production idea every minute. Take madonna “american life” album, did you ever see so many electronic ideas in such a “mainstream” release ? This guy is definitely at avant-guarde. Have a listen if you can. Daft punk guys also have a out-of-space sound! talking sounds, do you know something that sounds better than “around the world” or “stardust /music sounds better with you” ?

What can we expect to hear from you in the next few months?

The near future sounds like touring the chab album. Right now, I’m doing edits and new mixes for this and it’s very close to a live experience as I record many things live on cdr.

How do you expect your music to evolve?

I have some ideas on how the moogwai sound should move now but it’s impossible to describe… the feeling will remain the same I guess, the presentation is changing a bit, we were talking about the mirwais influence. This is something I would like to test with moogwai.

What is your opinion on the trance scene at present? How do you think it could improve?

Honestly, I’m not updated with the trance scene so I can’t give you any opinion on that. But I’m sure its wayyyy too fast and tooo hard.. just kiddin, I don’t have a clue...

What is your opinion on digital downloads? How do you think they will affect the scene?

That’s the future (already the present for many of us)! Imagine EVERY single track on earth a click away from you ?? that’s a dream becoming reality right now.. In the meantime, it’s a pitty that we still have to download illegal stuff, just because that remains the only way to find some specific tracks. I download illegal stuff from time to time, only because it’s the only way to hear a track I’m looking for, but when I can, I pay. If many people think like me (a lot), there are many reasons to be unsatisfied with actual situation : 1. I’m not happy to be illegal 2.The artist I download is not paid. There’s so much money involved that I’m not worrying that systems will be ready soon (something like iTunes but including ALL underground music as well). Considering the time I spend on internet today, I can easily imagine a direct net connection in my hear in the future..

note: That being said.. I’m a sick to be part of this generation who is surfing between 2 hybrid systems : the old directed by asshole majors using artists for advertising and the new internet dream where we all are loosing royalties until it works properly… transition period... why me ? like if doing music was not complicate enough!!

Finally, after such success within the scene over the last few years, what are your ambitions for the rest of your career?

Having a good laugh a day should be a good start “for the rest of my career” as you say… wink

Trance.nu would like to thank Francois for his time

The new album "5 Wishes And More" is out now on Platipus. Check out http://www.platipus.com for your copy!

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