Photo Credit: Frederic Laverriere
EG caught up with Garance to learn more about the release of ‘Yellow Shadows’ on Grey Bar Hotel, her experiences in Gevena, plans for the future, and much more.
EG: Hi Garance! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. Where are you based right now? How have things been going this year?
Garance: Hello! Super nice to meet you, thanks for this interview. I am based in Geneva, Switzerland. This is where I was born and raised. 2019 was a great musical year for me, with nice releases and gigs, a residency at Audio Club, and a South America tour, and this evolution has been abruptly stopped by COVID. After two chaotic years for culture and a painful start to 2022 for personal reasons, I am now happy and relieved to feel better, composing again with inspiration, and seeing that things are starting up again positively.
Regarding production, at the beginning of the year, there was the release on Balance Music of an EP, ‘Extatique’, that I composed in collaboration with the Australian artist Jamie Stevens, and regarding gigs, had the chance to play in other cities such as Zurich, Berne, Annecy, Berlin, Shëngjin.
EG: What was your summer like? Any particular highlights?
Garance: If I have to make a choice, 2 highlights for me.. performing at Unum Festival, in Albania, organized by Secret Society, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
EG: By the way, congratulations on the release of your ‘Yellow Shadows’ EP on Grey Bar Hotel! What has the initial reception been like so far?
Garance: Merci 🙂 First of all, I would like to thank the Grey Bar Hotel label team, Michael Ritter and Felix E, co-owners of the label, for the excellent and professional job they do with the promo and distribution, to let our music reach a maximum of people, the respect they have for the artists’ works. The first feedbacks are super nice, for the 3 versions, the original, and the 2 remixes. Karotte recently played my track in his Karotte’s Kitchen Session at Harry Klein in Munich, and we also received a lot of nice and positive feedback from Eelke Kleijn, Anthony Pappa, Seth Schwarz, Matan Caspi, Nicolas Rada, Steve Parry, Darin Epsilon, DJ Ruby, and Weird Sounding Dude, among others…
EG: So, is there an inspirational trigger to ‘Yellow Shadows’? What was it like to collaborate with BUNN on this one?
Garance: No specific trigger for this one. As always in my case, the creation process is something very organic and spontaneous. About the collaboration with Bunn, it started as a joke, on a night we were clubbing together. I knew she was a singer, and I proposed to her to try something together. It was totally homemade. I sent her my track, and she sent me something back, but as I changed a lot of elements after that, I couldn’t use properly everything she had sent me. We already are planning to work together again, but this time in a studio, with more consequent lyrics. I know she already is working on projects with other electronic music artists. To be continued….
EG: This EP also includes remixes by Chris Zippel and Vanita. What do you look for when listening back to a remix of a track of yours for the first time?
Garance: I’m always curious to discover which elements the artists chose to keep in their version. I love discovering their creativity, and I am happy when I recognize some elements of my track. In this situation, the 2 remixes are so beautiful, I’m super happy they accepted to do the job, they managed to sublimate the original version. For example, Sudhaus wrote in his feedback, “Chris took all the good parts of the original and added that certain extra..”.
By the way, remixing original tracks is something I personally appreciate a lot.
EG: Let’s step inside your studio for a bit…what does your setup look like at the moment? Have you picked up any new soft or hardware you’d recommend?
Garance: I’m working with Ableton live, using different VST plugins, such as Massive X, and Super 8 from Native, Pigments and Sem from Arturia, Diva, to name a few of my favorites at the moment. Ableton gears are also great. The sampling technique is something I appreciate working with as well. Ah! And as my mate in the studio, Olivier Kolly aka Oktet is working with a lot of different analog gears and modular synths, I have the possibility to use sometimes his Moog Slim Phatty for example for lead or basslines…
After the creation and composition step, I arrange a studio session with Ladislav Agabekov, a good friend and sound engineer I work with for a long time, to polish the arrangement and the mix. It is fluid and easy going and we found a good way to collaborate…. He does an incredible job!
EG: How did you come across electronic music? Was there a record or gig that pushed you down the rabbit hole?
Garance: When I was a teen, was always listening to swiss Radio Couleur 3. My dedication to listening to their special broadcast ‘Pump it Up’ during the weekends between 1991-1997, broadcasted live from clubs or during evening events such as those of the Dancefloor Syndroma organization, with a lot of house, trance, rave, and techno sounds, may also have contributed to my development. I was dancing a lot in my room… then, since I could go to clubs, I never stopped. Electronic music has been so important to me, in the personal construction of my life. The scene is very inclusive. Since the beginning, I really can be myself, feel safe, and cherry on the cake, enjoy the music I love.
I knew Geneva during a time when many squats still remained throughout the city. This unique setting created a number of possibilities for me to discover new music and musical movements. Attracted by the nightlife, wild and violent, filled with emotion, and frequent random encounters with eccentric and exuberant figures, there could only be one style of music suitable as the soundtrack of this nightcrawler’s life: electronic music.
My first musical crush fell upon soulful Chicago house, deep house, and artists such as Terry Lee Brown Jr, Timewritter, David Alvarado, Akabu, François K, Daso… I have also been influenced by labels such as Plastic City, Defected, NRK, and Mood Music.
I started deejaying in 2005. At this moment, the most popular style was minimal techno, and I was not much of a fan…I felt it was quite boring. I wanted to hear the more melodic, organic, and deeper sounds, the music I was listening to at home, and the sounds of artists and labels I loved. I started playing a lot in bars, before having the chance to play in clubs… Looking back, I had to work to make my place, it was not so easy at this time, as a female DJ, to manage to obtain gigs in clubs …
Production was the step after, I did my first melodies in 2012. Resuming, music is the most durable and important project of my life. It has given me so many good emotions for such a long time.
EG: How do you guys keep entertained when not in the studio? Any good books, movies, or series you’d recommend?
Garance: Cooking (!).. and tasting ;), walking in the forest, riding my bicycle listening to Earth track radio. Any movies and books recommendations? Yes! For movies, never forgetting going to independent cinemas, and at home Mubi, a platform with a lot of classic independent cinema. Books? I’m currently reading ‘Paresse pour tous’, by Hadrien Klent, which I received from friends for my bday, or ‘Jung, un voyage vers soi’ by Frederic Lenoir.
EG: What’s next for Garance? What particular milestones are you looking forwards to now?
Garance: Finishing now a new solo EP, let’s see on which label the tracks will find a home. Planning one more collaboration with my friends Qlons, with whom we already released an EP on Perspective Audio in 2020. Currently composing for a short movie and theater project, and a residency in a museum planned for 2023.
About deejaying… Some nice gigs ahead, such as at Hive Club in Zurich, or at ADE in Amsterdam for the showcase of Grey Bar Hotel x Deep Tales x Libertas with Kamadev, Kind Of One, Intaktogene, Till Antonio, Michael Ritter, Thalia, Libere, and Jaap Ligthart.
I also have a new project called Wholly DJs with 2 other artists from Geneva, Mimetic, Electron Festival artistic director, and Oktet. We play electronic anthems and rare stuff, bootleg, limited editions, and vinyl b faces. We already performed 2 incredible gigs, in the Center of Geneva for La Fête de la Musique, from the balcony of the Grand Théâtre, in front of thousands of people, and the closing of Miss Kittin & The Hacker 2 weeks ago at Les Docks in Lausanne.
EG: Thank you so much for your time! We wish you all the best for the future.
Garance: Merci beaucoup 🙂 Bisous
Garance’s ‘Yellow Shadow’, featuring BUNN, is out now via Grey Bar Hotel. Purchase your copy here.
Follow Garance: SoundCloud | Instagram | Facebook | Spotify
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Photo Credit: Frederic Laverriere