Interview: Five minutes with AUST

Electronic producer AUST has released his two-track EP, The Hive via Enhanced Music’s new Chill imprint, Enhanced Chill earlier this week. The EP features jagged electronic elements paired and thrumming basslines which are brought about via melting synthetic and organic sounds with elaborate melodies. 

Hailing from Neuchâtel, Switzerland Tijany Bacci currently operates under the moniker of AUST.  Co-founder of electro-pop duo Chic and the Tramp, Bacci also performed under the alias of  Litkis before moving on to the title of AUST Have a look at our exclusive premiere of the EP below. 

[Premiere] AUST – ‘The Hive’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

Music is, I guess, the best way to convey ideas and emotions. It is also a great time-machine if you want to reconnect yourself with a moment of the past. I’ve always felt the needs for creating and I think it’s in human nature to do so. For me, music is primarily personal but what I think is so cool with it, is that it can echo with the lived experience of someone else. It also can be reinterpreted into a personal brand new emotion that differs from its first essence.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

The sound. It always starts with a sound. It could be a drones atmosphere or a tinny beating sound. I like to let things come first and then try to find my way through it until I’m able to see the big picture.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes sometimes, especially for vocals, but I prefer having control over the overall process. I like being alone while composing, especially because my creation process is quite time-consuming. I also mix and master my songs by myself.

What’s on your current playlist?

I don’t often listen to playlists because I like to take the time to get absorbed by an artist’s universe. But artists I like goes from Moderat, Rone and Flume (like everyone) to fairy tales for grown-ups from Sufjan Stevens without forgetting my all-time first love for the punk rock of the ‘90s.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I worked with my friend Florian Fatton with whom we developed a live concept based on visuals. We put a lot of efforts in creating an immersive atmosphere where every track has its own universe with a dedicated video played back on a giant screen. For that manner, we only shoot particular stuff that we guess almost no one has ever seen before. Everything is made without 3D to reinforce the organic side of my sound. For example, one of the videos was shot in a chemistry lab with laboratory technicians who helped us creating some good looking chemistry reactions that we filmed in ultra close-up in slow-motion. So, during the show, you have those giant colour-coded “tableaus“ enhanced by a meticulous light-show that interact with the music and create a kind of break in time where the listener/viewer is enveloped or hypnotized by what’s in front of him.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

It could be anything. In fact, almost every track starts with a new technique or new instrument that I hadn’t experimented before. It really is the fun part. But something I almost always do is recording random discussions or stuff ambiences on my portable recorder and turn it into sounds or synth patches with the help of granular synthesis. I also like to compose a quick piece of music and then totally deconstruct it to something fresh and unexpected.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I usually switch on the gears and open the lasts sessions of the pieces I was working on the preceding days. I go and get a coffee and then listen for half an hour to decide if there’s something valuable to continue to work on. If not, I restart something from scratch. I spent a lot of time creating stuff that I won’t ever use. So basically, it’s a balance between producing and listening.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Not really, because I’ve never told to myself something like “I want to live from my music and I’m going to do everything to pursue this goal,“ it just happened. But when I realized the amount of job I invested to build my studio from scratch including the brick walls, etc. I was like: “Okay, now you have to do something with it!“

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

Not a thing, but my wife. She’s always supporting me and she’s really focused on how we could improve things. She always blends into the audience to see how the crowd reacts.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Malvae. I love his sound texture.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I don’t really know, Peter Pan syndrome maybe, ahah. Anyhow, every time I wake up I feel the same irrepressible feeling that I have to create something and that I can’t wait to arrive at the studio to do so.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I have a mastering oriented studio with a PSI A25-m monitoring system wired on a Lynx Aurora (n) AD/DA converter. If you have that and a well-treated studio, you know exactly how it sounds and how it will sound elsewhere, the rest is just fun and strictly dedicated to experimentation and composition. Oh, and yeah, I’m an Ableton guy. I learned the whole process of making music with it since version 6 and I use Live for every part of the process as for the live show where every lights and videos are managed within Ableton.

Any side projects you’re working on?

Yes, I’m a professional score composer for ten years now and I’m currently developing a side project that will mix this side and AUST. A kind of contemporary score music style project under my real name: Tijany Bacci.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I’ve always tried to remain well informed about new techniques and new softwares. I’m also very rarely satisfied with my work, so in a sense, it helps my willingness to always push boundaries.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

I’m currently collaborating with a male vocalist whose voice is a hidden treasure. I also hope to take my live show on a serious tour in 2020.

Famous last words?

Thank you!

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