Interview: Get to know Mondowski
Mondowski – real name Baptiste, is a French Techno/Electro Club DJ & Producer making waves in Hackney right now. He recently found critical acclaim with his third EP called Klub Psycho (out 11th March ’16), which included several original tracks, plus remixes by The Hacker, who crafted a perfect rave soundtrack, and Joe Spurgeon from The Horrors, who referenced robotic early Detroit techno.
The record however, predominantly featured elements of sleazy industrial dancefloor goth-styled dance drops from eighties influences such as Bauhaus, Liaisons Dangereuses, and Trisomie 2… balanced neatly with detached, modernist production. The result is rather cool and seductive; distinctive and brave in the faceless pool of mediocrity that exists within many elements of emerging techno at present.
Currently in the studio working on his followup, we discuss the next direction for his music and the possible return of his popular cult club night in Bordeaux called Shadowplay. Not to mention our shared nostalgic pining for the reigning days of Creation Records, and the subsequent early British indie bands it helped springboard…
Growing up far away from nightclubs in suburban France. How did you first discover your love for the British artists on Creation Records, who inspire so much of your distinctively dark, pulsating sound?
You know, I was born in the 90s, so I grew up with Brit Pop and the indie scene in the mid noughties.
Before the internet it was a bit harder to discover new things, specially when you’re a kid but we had the channel MTV2 at home, I don’t know if it still exists, and if it’s still good by the way?! But I remember that most of my culture was taken from this. They played mainly UK bands and artists. It’s where I discovered things like My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, JAMC etc… I just felt attracted to this scene. Probably there is no turning point exactly which drove me into the direction of the music I’m doing today, as Creation is only the tip on the iceberg of music I like.
Having long been a fan of 80s synth bands such as Cabaret Voltaire, The Cure, Depeche Mode and The Jesus & Mary Chain… and possessing a talent for guitar, drums, bass and piano… what made you decide to first move into producing and DJing instead of being a musician to start with?
At the beginning I started production to create backing tracks to play guitar onto. You know I’ve always played in bands and it’s been very helpful to have a knowledge of production to create music quickly.
Then I discovered synthesizers and started to dig into this. To be honest, I liked the idea of doing something alone, which didn’t involve other people. And maybe, to be able to play different instruments helps me a lot into the production, I guess I can draw on different facilities, or maybe not…who knows ?
Taking creative direction from Death In Vegas, your work has evolved from pure techno to flavours of new-wave electro to rock and acid house in the last few years. Following this period of experimenting, where do you find yourself at now in terms of style?
It’s quite complex, from one week to another I can have such different moods. Obviously I try to be coherent on what is released as EP single, but I need to do different and new things to keep myself stimulated. There is much stuff from me that you’ve never heard. I prefer to keep it for other projects. That’s why I like the idea to do an album. I mean, to assume different styles – but still with a common thread.
In 2013 you started your own residence called Shadowplay (a respectful node to Joy Division there) at one of France’s most popular clubs – the iBoat in Bordeaux. Which attracted the likes of Tom Furse from The Horrors, Richard Fearless, Andrew Weatherall and DJ Hell. Having now set up camp in East London do have you any plans to do the same here? In the same vein as the cult Cave Club etc.?
Unfortunately, I’ve never been to Cave Club’s parties before. Since I’ve lived in London I’ve always had a gig on the same night. I love the Moth Club by the way, it’s one of my favourite venues and I’m living quite close.
About Shadowplay – yes I really would like to do it in London, I’m working on it. Maybe something will happen at the end of summer or this winter, hopefully. But no rush.
Having released Klub Pyscho (one hypnotic, dark, thumping beast of a compilation) on the 11th of March this year, you’re now working on your next EP, as well as various other projects. Any gigs coming up in London?
Yes, one has been confirmed on the 22nd September with Vox Low at the Waiting Room and others are coming up too. It’s definitely my favourite venue in London and I’m definitely crazy about Vox Low so I’m looking forward.
You also have a new project called D8T, with Markus Gibb, can you tell us more about this?
Well, we decided to do this project maybe 2 years ago. First we’ve released one original track and one edit as a free download on our Soundcloud page.
We’ve just started our debut EP a few weeks ago, it takes us ages as we are very busy and Markus lives in Lyon so it’s quite tricky to work by sending files via WeTransfer haha. But yes, something is on the road. It will be a crossover between guitar music and electro. I really like the stuff we’re working on at the moment, we’re very excited!
Is there a release date set yet for your next EP, and where can buy it if so?
I just started it, it will be released on Relish as well as the last one. Basically, it should be ready for the end of the year. Stay tuned kids!
Written by Natalie Wardle