Published by Alessandro Violante on March 14, 2018
French label Audiotrauma Records has launched a lot of music projects making music in which different genres are melted together very well. It’s a very fresh label and MOAAN EXIS, here interviewed, are very fresh and new too in their way of creating music, with their melting of very powerful electronic music, noise and punk / hardcore. The duo, based in Toulouse, expresses itself at its best when performing live, but have also composed a solid debut album, Transcendence. MOOAN EXIS have also played their music in Italy thanks to brave promoters. We talk with the founder of the project, Mathieu Caudron.
MOAAN EXIS is a very fresh project which released an EP and an album, this last one released by French label Audiotrauma. What can you tell us about your project?
Yes, it’s a fresh project, started early 2015, but you missed an EP, the first one was released on Industrial Strenght Records, New York label of Lenny Dee, at the end of February 2016. So, I started to play alone (at the very beginning for fashion shows), quickly I’ve understood I needed to add another musician, I asked to my friend Xavier which is also a Punish Yourself member to come to play the drum, and then the mix between machines and accoustic drum made the tracks and live performing more powerful. Xavier joined me in september 2016, he is member of MOAAN EXIS, we are MOAAN EXIS, this is not MOAAN EXIS + a drummer. More we play more we enjoy to perform together.
Let’s talk more in depth about Transcendence, your last work, recently brought live in Italy too. How was it born?
Our 1st album is born as a continuity of the 2 EP, to be honest, I made a LP format to make attention on the project, because if you only do EP you are not seriously considered as newcomer for reviews, bookers… Then, Transcendence is stronger than the 2 EP, it was an occasion to revisit strong genre as punk and hardcore mixed to techno and industrial, even if all these genres are already linked.
I’ve recently seen you live at Audiotrauma fest in Prague, and according to me “transcendence” means to overcome the boundaries of music genres. It’s a characteristic also shared by other Audiotrauma projects, such as Horskh. Do you agree with me about these considerations?
Yes, I agree, we are this kind of people, bands, which can’t be satisfied of what is already done, we need to do something more, intensive as possible with no limits.
Although when playing live you play songs from your releases, you express yourself at your best when playing with physical drums, also thanks to your live drummer. I find this thing very interesting, because then fans enjoy an experience different from that of listening to the album with their earphones. What do you think about it?
Yes, that’s excatly what we want to do, give something more, tracks structures are different, some parts are added which are not on original tracks, percussions and drum add something more visual and powerful to the live perf, more tribal, we have strong connections Xavier and me, it makes the craziness grow up more and more during performing, that’s a real pleasure to unleash madness live and feel people feedback, give them an intense experience as much as possible.
I dont know in depth the history of the so called “French scene”, but I’ve know about Chrysalide. Can you explain to the readers how this scene was born, when and why? I think it could be very interesting, as it’s very fresh.
Sorry Alex, I’ve no special knowledge about that, I’m in French scene since I started MOAAN EXIS, not before, I’m not a first hour fan of the French scene, maybe you can ask me a derivate question about this subject?!
Electronic music and a punk approach. Talking about punk music, what was your background before becoming MOAAN EXIS? Which music have you played?
Before MOAAN EXIS I played in a Digital hardcore band, sounded like Atari Teenage Riot. I’ve also listened to punk, metal… I started music at 5, learning classic genre, saxophone and guitar, but at 15 I carried on alone as I would like to progress and express myself as I wanted, I wouldn’t be formated by school and technics, I kept this way, that’s a kind of a punk approach.
Let’s talk a bit about songwriting. Generally, musicians working with electronic music spend a lot of time refining their sounds in the studio, while the process of recording punk music seems to me more immediate. What’s your approach?
I spend a lot of time in my tiny home studio, not really a studio, a room with a computer, sound card, monitoring, and usb controller, digging sounds and sounds designing bass, leads synth, pads. I think punk can be assimilated with currently electronic music because with no money, just with a shitty computer and a virtual hacked synthesizer you can be a one man band, compose tons of good or bad tracks.
It’s always interesting not to tell everything about a music project, but what Transcendence’ artwork means? And what about your project name?
I used to work in family, especially when your sisters are in graphism and video production, one of my sisters made Transcendence artwork, I didn’t gave her any direction, she knows me and knows what I like, she did it handmade, and it’s really good. When I received the artwork I hadn’t already choose the album name, one of the tracks called Transcendence sounded perfect with artwork and also our current spirit, so all conditions were there, no coincidence. The artwork looks mystical as all MOAAN EXIS arts.
I chose the name “MOAAN EXIS” because for me it sounds like a incantation, interrelated with the logo which is a combinaison of 2 runes. These runes were a purely aesthetic choice at the beginning. We can clearly see a M as the cross form, “Dagaz” which corresponds to the transformation, the awakening, and an E stuck to the M, which is close to the rune “Ansuz”, rune of the communication, of the music and divine strength.
What are you working on at the moment? Are there already new songs ready for the next album?
Curently, I’ve already started new tracks for the next album, vocals will be added that will enlarge possibilities, and we always work on how to develop MOAAN EXIS’ live performance, find ideas for the next video. I’ve recently worked on a collab with Italian guys from Synaptic Memories for a release on Phages Tapes label.
You’ve released your album also in a vinyl format, I have it. Is there a specific reason why you’ve chosen to do it? What do you think about the new revival of this music support?
Producing a vinyl permit to make your music not to be consumed like an mp3 you put on long playlist, when you listen a vinyl, you are mindful to the music, sound quality is better, frequencies range is larger than a cd or mp3, I think this new revival is not also trendy, but a means against banalisation of music consuming, a balance to counter mp3 consumption, keep a part of music physical, and yes, it’s for music lovers.