Thursday, December 16, 2010
André Obin (SCQ's Year-End Questionnaire Part II)
Forget his impressive touring schedule, which witnessed him opening for the likes of Phantogram, Tycho, and Matthew Dear; André Obin’s also responsible for one of 2010’s finest EPs. Front Runner presents a songwriter compounding sinister songwriting and detailed synth-pop into a tantalizing dark alley you can’t help but drunkenly explore. Little did I know, André Obin’s own nightlife explorations sought to expose precisely those venomous veins of rave-up violence as divulged in the interview below...
SCQ: Every list-lover's favourite question: what are your top albums of 2010? Feel free to include any older yet worthy records you discovered this year.
AO: I haven't had enough time to engage full albums this year which is unfortunate because I consider myself an album guy. Here’s a list of tracks from the past year that I adore...
Serena-Maneesh – "Reprobate!"
Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith - "Not in Love"
Pantha Du Prince - "Behind the Stars"
Class Actress - "Journal of Ardency"
Coralcola - "Egggirl"
Depreciation Guild - "Dream About Me"
Avoxblue - "A Place Without Time"
Tamaryn - "Mild Confusion"
Steve Moore - "Saturnalia"
Lookbook - "Over and Over"
a few "older" tunes that were on repeat all year...
Byetone - "Plastic Star"
Jesu - "Hard to Reach"
Bauhaus - "In the Flat Field"
Spiritualized - "Let it Flow"
Radiohead - "Go Slowly"
SCQ: What were you listening to a lot of while recording the excellent Front Runner EP?
AO: William Basinski - El Camino Real, David Bowie - Low, GAS - Nah und Fern, NIN - Pretty Hate Machine, lots of Slowdive, The Knife - Silent Shout, Horace Andy - In The Light Dub, My Bloody Valentine - Loveless, Carbon Based Lifeforms "Betula Pendula", Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five "The Message"
SCQ: Be cocky for once in your life: what was the finest thing you did all year? That moment where you actually thought "shit, I nailed that..."?
AO: I think I know the feeling you are speaking about and that I may have experienced it. I'm not sure it happened this year. Either that or it happened a lot. I can't tell. What I can tell you is that I’m excited to be releasing a new vinyl 12” called “Soft Rain” on Trouw Records in Amsterdam soon. There is a sequence in the track that I love. I usually can write a melodic line a lot faster than getting the color/texture for the synthesis right and it all happened almost simultaneously this time. Synthesis is an arduous process for me and it felt really good to have a component of the song finished almost instantly. It might seem like a small detail but the little things are just as important to me as "achievements".
SCQ: Effect and Cause: Leaving a friend's apartment to catch my route's last bus, I found that construction had temporarily blocked service to all nearby bus-stops. My ensuing dash, which lasted six blocks, was paced to 'Golden Hair' and complimented all that's cosmopolitan and sketchy about downtown late at night. Okay, your turn: confess a true tale that inspired one of the songs on Front Runner EP.
AO: A few years ago I found myself in Berlin. I was outside of a club in Alexanderplatz late at night and had had quite a few vodka tonics. I was looking for more fun. I tried to buy some stuff from two hoods. A minute after the transaction I realized they had taken me. Rather than just let them have my money, I chased them for a mile, confronted them in an alley way and ended up trying to fight them both. I was a mess for the rest of the trip and honestly I'm lucky to be alive. The chorus of "Valencia" is directly related to this incident. No regrets by the way.
SCQ: If all the reasonable and implausible ideas in your head came to fruition in 2011, what would they be?
AO: I have roughly 50 unfinished songs/tracks/ideas that I’d love to sink my teeth into. If I can get 10 of those songs finished in 2011, I would consider that a huge accomplishment. Most of the music I produce takes a long time to complete and I'm fine with that. It's important to have a strong concept at the start of each project. I’d also love to continue performing live on a regular basis. 2010 was really good to me in that respect. I'm in search of passion, intensity and meaning in life. Ultimately, I want to make timeless music and tour the world.