At Jamendo, we like the artists who have their own universe, their own world and musical print. Molécule-G is one of those: all of his tracks are imbued with his artistic touch, resulting in an aerial and uncluttered electronic music with hints of pop. Armed with a rich musical past and a strong background experience, he released this year his latest album, Bubbles Machine.
Hello! First of all, could you tell us more about you? Is there a story behind this intriguing name, "Molécule-G"?
Hello! Who is hiding behind Molecule*G... I would say a curious person! It's the name I gave to my laboratory, the place where I experiment sound and image before playing it on stage.
What brought you into music? How did you start making it? Was there a trigger moment or musical memory?
I was lucky, music has always been part of my life. Ma sister used to study piano at the conservatory. I could listen to her for hours, playing Stravinsky, Chopin, Satie. She is the first person who shared with me her passion. I owe her some great finds like Emerson Lake and Palmer, Tangerine Dream and composers as Pierre Boulez, Béla Bartók... That makes a big journey... (laughs) I had more than one trigger! First I discovered Magma and the album Kobaïa… a big shock for me ! Then the "Live in Pompéi" and the movie "The Wall" about Pink Floyd. I realised how powerful was the mix between image and music. It's been the beginning of my work, I wanted to create musical atmospheres underlined by random videos.
Bubbles Machine isn't your first shot. Could you share with us your past experience in music?
My first instrumental experiences were with jazz pianist Gilles Marc Dardenne. At that time he was working with drummer Sunny Murray (Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman, Archie Shepp, John Coltrane) and saxophonist Richard Raux (Magma, Jacques Higelin, Aldo Romano). He asked me if I wanted to do the arrangment for the first part of his trio. Then he invited me to play with saxophonist Byard Lancaster, from Philadelphia. That was a very productive period of my life and I learned so much from all the people around me. Later, we founded the experimental band Waterdrop was created with some friends, and I met Michel Rodas. We have been working together on the soundtrack of his short film Bloody Pizza (Cognac Roman Noir 2003 award). And came the time to compose my own music and especially my first solo soundscaping material for photographer-filmmaker Nataliya Lyakh. Then I wrote my first album: "Interstellar (Musea)".
Who are the main influences that helped shape you musical style? If you had to describe your current music in 5 words, what would they be?
My influences are very diverse, from contemporary music to artists as Bill Viola, composers as John Barry, Dvorak, Ennio Morricone, and filmmakers as David Lynch, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and The Coen Brothers. Recently I discovered Hirokazu Kore-Eda and the aesthetic appeal of his movie "Like Father Like Son" inspired me, but there are many more... In a few words: Welcome to my cosmic trip!
What are your current favorite tunes/artists? If you could choose one artist to collaborate with, who would you pick?
Righ now I'm listening to pianist Francesco Tristano and Brian Eno, Bugge Wesseltoft, also some mixes from Kruder & Dorfmeister, Bumcello and Aufgang's live recordings.
Without hesitation I would love to collaborate with Philip Glass. I also like Bumcello's energy.
Do you have a specific creative process when making a song? What advice would you give to budding musicians/composers?
I always define an atmosphere first, a color, a concept. It helps me to create the main theme of my piece/track which is the central thread of my music, then I assign a role to each instrument; when everything is set up, I develop the structure layer by layer, like an impressionist painter, that's how I feel. My advice would be to enjoy yourself, go where your inspiration takes you, without style labels or music trends. Music is and should remain an open space of freedom.
Interstellar, your first album, is an invitation to travel in outer space, shooting us right into the cosmos with progressive music to guide us. Could you tell us the story of this peculiar first album? When you created Bubbles Machine, did you also have a specific theme in mind?
Interstellar is a concept album, the first step of a molecule's journey around Planet Earth. This is about gravity. The molecule's odyssey ends when landing on Earth. My album Bubbles Machine is an extension of this adventure. This is the monitoring phase of the molecule. The set up has changed, the atmosphere is more urban, it's a contemplative approach. For this album I wanted to develop a swiftly rythmic universe while keeping a very light musical landscape to guide the listener in one direction, but still wandering wherever he wants.
We can see an old-school record player on Bubbles Machine's cover art, which is paradoxal, given the contemporary sound of this second album. A blend of retro and futuristic? Other contrasts can be found: urban yet aerial, electropop and pscyhedelic atmospheres, classic and current sounds. How did you come up with such a rich, diverse yet cohesive mix?
I was very inspired by the elements surrounding me every day. If you look around and look at what surrounds you in the daily life, you will easily notice that retro and vintage are everywhere, in object design, car design, fashion and even architecture. It is the same with music. I hear a lot of sonorities from the 70's, 80's, 90's, vinyl is back... In all styles, fashion, music trends and cultures. I think it defines our time, the fusion of all those different kinds of influences. And I chose a record player because I love that thing, and it represents precisely this phenomenon. You can see it in my video clip of "Made in Paris".
All of the songs on this album have a special flavour. Could you guide us through all of them with a track-by-track commentary?
1. Melody for a Cosmic Trip
Introduction theme, welcome to my world !
2. Tea Time
This break is very important for Molecule*G (laughs)
3. Pink Motel
A memory from when I was travelling, we were in a car with some friends from New-York when we passed in front of that pink motel, standing there by the wayside, an empty space with nothing but this huge pink building, with a crowd of hippies in front of it.
4. Made in Paris
A track with a video clip directed by Michel Rodas. A psychedelic wink to the city I love, underlined with a chapter about women-as-objects.
This is the longest piece I have written so far. Composed between Brooklyn and Paris, it's one of my favorite travelling souvenir.
Walking around Central Park.
Rythmic evolution of "Concerto".
8. My mood in London
So British ! This one goes out to John Barry.
9. Prisme d’une lumière fossile
Experimental study based on metal and fluids.
10. Lumière fossile
A very nice souvenir of a composing session in Austin (Texas) with Gabriel Rhodes playing guitars.
Time to get inventive! You've worked with numerous filmmakers and already created several soundtracks for movies or short films... but let's turn it around. Imagine that a filmmaker offers to create a movie around Bubbles Machine. What kind of movie would it be? What would be the plot, the location, the actors, the director...?
A movie based on Bubbles Machine would have an enigmatic and psychedelic scenario, filmed like an episode of "The Prisoner" by Patrick McGoohan, in a ghost town burnt by the sun in South Andalusia.
For the production, I will stay faithful to the team I already work with, Michel Rodas as a producer, Erasmo Difonzo for editing, Estève Gili for the graphism. But if I had the opportunity to do it, I would think about The Coen Brothers, I'm pretty sure we can trust them for the casting you know...! (laughs)