As Hervé prepares to release his second album, we spoke to the veteran about bloghaus, collaborator success rate and how you should go about listening to the new record.
What do you mean by ‘Hallucinated Surf’? Is it a state of mind, or a recommended activity?
Hervé: It’s a phrase that has a special meaning to me. It’s a series of vivid memories. I’m definitely interested in what it makes others think of.
What are the subtler differences between recording music in the city versus in the countryside?
When working in the city you really have to lock yourself in the studio to not get distracted. Whereas working in the countryside (more specifically the woods) theres not much to do but work or go for a walk through the woods and fields. For me personally they evoke different feelings and memories so inspiration comes from varying angles. The end result being different kinds of music.
What parts of making a second album were easier because you’d already made a first?
As Hallucinated Surf is a double two part album the whole project was hard! Part 2 of Hallucinated Surf is a progression from the sounds of my project The Art of Disappearing - so maybe that made Part 2 easier to get into.
What parts were harder?
As I said before, the whole project was hard - specifically, managing all the guest vocalists was pretty tough. Tracking people down, getting the vocals actually recorded (a couple of tracks got abandoned due not actually being able to get finished vocals!) and all the paperwork. Being signed to Skint Records/BMG, I was lucky enough to get a lot of help with the project. It’s safe to say it was a lot of work for all involved! But I’m pretty lucky - my team have shown a lot of faith in me.
The record features a variety of international artists. How did you decide on your collaborators?
I’m always keeping my ears out for great, interesting people to work with, and I’m constantly making mental notes of singers and artists that I feel can bring something to my work. When putting together an album, I reach out to see who I can get. I’d say I’m 85-90% successful. Finding people is a constant process that continues throughout the album. I’d like to do a club album next, collaborating with producers I like (maybe Machines Don’t Care??) before I put out the official follow up to Hallucinated Surf.
You’ve put out a 06-08 playlist, and A-Trak has done a couple of bloghaus mixes recently too. Why’s everyone feeling nostalgic ATM?
Well I did that mix in 2013, so personally I’m not feeling that nostalgic right now :-). I just wanted to do a compilation of my remixes and productions from that time. I had just released The Art of Disappearing and thought I would put something out that was club related.
I never felt like I was a part of the electro house movement of that time, it all felt a little rigid. I saw myself, Trevor Loveys and Switch as coming from a different place to that. We were throwing in hip hop, drum and bass, garage and stuff like that into a 4/4 vibe creating bass heavy/wonk/fidget/wobble/whatdoyoucallit house I suppose?
Actually someone did a great article on us in 2006 or 2007 called ‘What do you call it?’ as no-one knew how to describe fully what we were doing, which was great! Anyway, it was an amazing period to be part of for sure.
How would you like people to listen to Hallucinated Surf?
Parts 1 and 2 are two different sounds and styles for two different mindsets. To sum it up in a simple way, Part 1 is for the body; Part 2 is for the mind. It’s not a double album with 20 tracks of the same style. I imagine they will be listened to quite separately depending on your mood. The album reflects the two sides of me I suppose.