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dXd
Mr Rose Aime La Pop
Dazzle And Delight

Based as a duo of Franck From France and DJ Lord Blastard, the French group dXd has recently recorded a first "official" EP called Mr Rose Aime La Pop. The two members began at the end of the 80's, with the group Dazzle And Delight, with rock/new wave style music. After an album and some appearances on compilations, they decided to change their musical style in 1995, and drew nearer to electronic tones. After releasing some demos (like Low Tek Accident, Low Tek Accident II and RecYcle aGe Dé Mo), the band has recorded this EP, released by the independent French label Dazzle And Delight Productions. We find, through 3 songs, the numerous musical knowledges of the group, by the perfect mixture between the 70's psychedelism for the musical experiences, the 80's pop for the melodies and the 90's electronic for the musical audacity and destructuration. Like the eponymous title when we revive our souvenirs of Pop Musik, followed by Psychotic Jimmy and its current trip-hop, and then the psychedelic Beatnik Boogie.

But let's try to know more about the approach of dXd in search of a certain musical identity:

What are your major musical (or others) influences? Is there some evolution in comparison with the start of your carreer, and - if so - are they complementary or totally distinct from each other?
VF: we were previously in the band Dazzle And Delight with new wave influence. Then, the evolutions of the 90's electronic scene have profoundly marked our manner of conceiving. But our influences are very wide: classic music, jazz and an important part of the 70/80/90's rock music.
MF: my influences are so wide that these include the 60's psychedelic music up to the last Aliens releasing a great album in September 2001.

Where do you place yourselves in comparison with the French electronic musical motion? In particular facing "early people" like Laurent Garnier, or "rising values" like Demon, Daft Punk or Les Rythmes Digitales, with different musical roads?
VF: All these groups belong to the electronic wave close to the "house-techno" style, the "French touch". We place us rather in a more "organic" motion. Of course we are influenced by F Communications, Solid and the others French productions, but we are also very interested by the English bands like Orbital, Leftfield, The Chemical Brothers. The sounds and the manners they conceive their songs are very close to us.
MF: The motion of the French electronic music brings the bands together, first by the common country, and the desire to create freely, with multiple influences borrowing ideas and sounds from every musical trends and from every period. In term of music, we can do anything we like in France.

And in comparison with the international scene, in terms of distribution with a label, of concerts or festivals, of collaborations?
VF: No label, no concert or festival, no collaboration. More seriously: concerning the records companies, we want to prove ourselves, to take advantage of the liberty to make all ourselves, even if it is long and needs a lot of work. In fact, we are more interested by a distributor. We do not know how to make this, because it is too long and too tedious. And it is the same thing for the concerts: the organisation of tours is something we do not know and do not want to make ourselves. The collaborations are very important in the sense that they allow to compare the ideas and the experiences. We had some failed opportunities, but we are always open.
MF: It takes place in an innovative and inventive slot. It has become copied and imitated for some time.

In general, how long is there between the creation of a song, in term of idea of composition, and the final recording? Do the songs constantly evolve between these two temporal extremes, or has the first idea been kept?
VF: It is very variable. The song Amanda which is going to be released this autumn on the next maxi has been composed in its first version since 3 years. Of course it has been revised since, but the rhythmic base and the principal samples are the same. On the other hand, Mr Rose Aime La Pop has been quiet quickly constructed, about 5 months. But the final version has been achieved one week before the recording: we noticed (quiet tardily) that a sample did certainly not "free" of copyright, so we had to remake the rhythmic base at the last minute. In general, the first jet has an almost achieved melody. Bass/keyboards/guitars/samples take place in the song. Then, there is a long work of rhythmics, of arrangement, of structure. This is the longest work.
MF: This could be quick, but the tracks evolve slowly (6 months) because of the distance between us (NB: Franck From France lives currently in Sweden). So, there are several versions of each song.

The choice of samples takes an important place for the - independent - electronic musics: in your case, is it conditioned by the song itself, or can one compose a song around a sample in order to recreate a different atmosphere (if it is a musical sample) or in order to work like with a music for a movie (if it is a movie sample)?
VF: We work very rarely, and besides less and less, around a same sample. It is very restricting and it does not really correspond to our manner of imaging the tracks. On the other hand, a sample can bring a bonus in a song, a revival.
MF: There is no secret. This can begin with a distinct sample or a sample with no structure or a personal composition. In short, we find here the same synergy of a band, which means a track can be composed from an improvisation of the guitarist, the bassist or from a text.

I have recently read (from the excellent French magazine "magic!") that a hall had been created at Clermont-Ferrand (France), which allows concerts mixing sound and video. What do you think about the relation between the video and the electronic musics, relation more important than for the other kinds of music?
VF: That's perfect!
MF: The contribution of images with a duo of DJ can be a bonus to give a catchy side to live. Especially if the video is made with and for the music. The producer of these video will be an integral part of the group. Like some producers with their composer.

To finish, some words about the problem of the distribution in France, of the "independent" music I have always found aberrant to buy some French musics like import musics in France! What about the distribution of your albums? In fact, do you think that the circle "difficulty of distribution - a handful of listeners because of this lack of distribution (save for the initiated) - limited recognition and then difficulty of distribution" can find a solution with the great tool which Internet is? Especially, what is your position regarding the explosion of the MP3 technology which is, I think, an excellent way for people to discover some new musics?
VF: It is very difficult to find a record company for our maxi. I think, rightly or wrongly, that the distributors are afraid to deal with small independent groups. Wrongly because a lot of good music, in France, is made by this kind of bands who take risks. The quality is present, we just have to listen. Rightly because the distribution, like it is currently organised, is unfavourable for the small bands, except - as you tell - the initiated and their specialized network. But before that a style or a band becomes mainstream, there is always some duration when it is difficult to be known. And the French techno music is not mainstream, even if everybody talks about it. Except the first album of Air and Daft Punk, I do not know a lot of musicians who can compete with The Chemical Brothers or Fatboy Slim. Especially in France where, as you say, an album must be known in England before it should be sold in France. But I am confident because independent musicians, like us, wait for the right time. We are patient! Nevertheless, I think that the record industry (labels - distributors - music shops but also the music press) must fit better than it has done until now. With at style (the reggae style had to wait 20 years to stand out in France, and the same duration for the Swedish rap to be a real musical trend - NB: Franck From France lives currently in Sweden), and with at support. The MP3 support is the best example. Now, anyone could upload anything with Internet. The big companies which govern the record industry have certainly begun to launch their "cultural revolution", by grouping with the world communication firms, for example, because it will be their salvation. But what about the small independent firms which will not have the means to pay for developed and safe networks? As you see, the Internet revolution is two-edged, but we are banking on Internet, because it is a fabulous way for our music to be known, and a perfect support for the electronic musics.

But don't delude ourselves! As for the "traditional" distribution, it is always the showiest one who succeeds in being known. How could it be possible to come out of 500 000 bands who also bank on Internet? That is the question! The promotion with Internet needs less money than previously, but on the other hand, needs more time and imagination. I do not know what could be the results, for us, of this "Internet revolution", but we do not want to be a loner. Finally, don't forget that the aim of a musician is not to be known, but to have a lot of listeners. And without any income in return, bands do not hold out, anyway not in term of duration. I do not believe in philanthropy. This is a point to clarify, about this revolution of the new technologies (Internet, cutter).
MF: It is clear, Internet (go see dXd) will be the salvation of the "underground" bands. The auto-distribution policy is going to have all its sense.

Copyright © 2000 Patrick Dubail e-mail address

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