On December 18, Curiosity Music released its tenth opus, Flore, an EP produced by the brilliant brain and expert hands of Loïc Saunier, aka Loïs, previously known as Loïs Plugged. Nourished by many influences accumulated along his career, the French producer presents Flore and Class, two tracks tinged with a both classic and devilishly contemporary house, made in collaboration with his friends Fruckie and Nebula Beatz. Also to discover, two remixes by MoMs and François V. During a long conversation, Loïs recalled his debut, career and various productions and evoked his crucial meeting with the French master Laurent Garnier.
CURIOSITY MUSIC: How and when did electronic music come into your life?
LOÏS: I grew up in Cognac in the southwestern part of France. Musically, at home, there was always French and international pop, as well as classical stuff. At that time, I did not feel much about music in general. Around fourteen or fifteen, discovering techno, with its power and kicks games, really transcended me. While I was in secondary school, I came across a techno remix of 2 Unlimited, a trendy dance band in the early 1990s. From the very first listen, it turned me upside down. For me, this commercial trend was a gateway to more underground music. At school, I also had a classmate whose uncle was a DJ. Both of us started listening and mixing vinyl. That’s how it all started.
I am essentially self-taught. I have always been a big fan of hardware. In the mid-90s, there were no computers, so I started buying a drum machine, synthesizers and multi-effects mixers... After that, I sold a lot of machines to buy new ones, and I learned everything I could on my own. By necessity, I became interested in audio engineering, recording, mixing and mastering. And for a few years, I’ve tried to continue to improve in that.
C.M.: Which artists and musical trends influenced you during this discovery phase?
L.: About the 1990s, I’d mention Daft Punk and Fatboy Slim but I was also interested in all the slightly harder styles like Hard Techno and Hardcore, particularly the productions of UW until the beginning of the century. For example, DJ Kraft, Laurent Ho and Manu Le Malin are really part of my culture. Subsequently, there was of course the whole Electro period, with Boys Noise, Boxon Records, etc. In general, I have never been very sensitive to the Minimal stuff. I have always been rather maximal (laughs)! I prefer music to be listened loudly and lived.
“It’s always nice to be supported and encouraged by Laurent Garnier!”
C.M.: Now you are mainly focused on music production, but you also performed as a DJ in the past…
L.: I was mainly on stage between 2000 and 2010. During this period, I scoured a lot of clubs and rave parties in France and abroad, especially in Switzerland, Germany and England, playing hard techno. While all my friends were DJing, I’ve always been more interested in performing live and production. On stage, I therefore mainly acted in live. I like DJing too, but I feel it’s more interesting to present my music than to mix others’ one, even if it’s of course a creative act.
C.M.: In addition to your productions, you are working on Intelligent Design Studio, your production and mastering studio, your label Wefine and the DJ Art School that you created in Bordeaux with your friend Sébastien Rideaud. What role do you play there?
L.: In the mid-2000s, we saw a lot of DJ schools, but none in the Southwest of France, so we started this adventure. On a daily basis, Sébastien manages the DJing and events part, while I take care of the music production and recording follow-up. It is a beautiful project that we try to develop every year.
C.M.: Let’s talk about Flore, your last EP that Curiosity Music has the great honour to release in December. Under what conditions did you produce these two new titles, Flore and Class?
L.: I worked at my studio in Bordeaux. This project is closely related to my friend Fruckie. We love producing House music together. For Class, I started working the main bass sound on my modular. Then I included a binary rhythm. In fact, my rhythmic works are always very simplistic. I’m more focused on creating synths and effects. For his part, Fruckie immediately thought of this a capella voice, which we put on it and that pleased both of us.
Flore, the other track, is the result of a project I started with another friend, Nebula Beatz. We worked together on the sampling part. I let him manage the rhythm part and he also found a voice that fitted really well. Then I finished the composition by adding a big break and lots of synths. From the moment someone brings an idea to one of my projects, I always co-sign it with him.
C.M.: These two tracks sound both old school and really contemporary...
L.: That’s exactly what I was looking for! The old school side is related to the rhythmic part and the general atmosphere of these tracks. The modular is an old technology that sounds very 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. We got inspired by what we like in the productions of those periods, and we added a denser, cleaner and clearer side, so that it sounds contemporary. Basically, we took a vintage sound aesthetic that we have complemented with all the most modern tools.
C.M.: Curiosity Music could sign this wonderful EP thanks to Laurent Garnier, who was the first to playlist Flore in “It Is What It Is”, his monthly show broadcasted on Radio Meuh. How did all this happen?
L.: Through mastering, I had worked with people who had already collaborated with Laurent Garnier. One of these people kindly gave me his email address, so I basically sent him my demo. A few days later, he replied me that he really loved these two tracks and immediately purposed to playlist one in his show, which is something difficult to refuse! It’s always nice to be supported and encouraged by this man, who remains our reference in France, our godfather!
C.M.: Like the famous sets and productions of Laurent Garnier, the music you show in this EP seems able to seduce all generations of music lovers. Do you share this impression?
L.: I hope so, of course. Anyway it’s true that it’s a music that gets people together. For example, my students at school love what I produce, whether techno or house. To be honest, it first surprised me because I would have thought that my music would rather interest the thirties and forties, but not at all. Finally, when the quality is here, I think everyone can receive the emotions conveyed by the music.