Friday, September 16, 2011

If you don't know it already, let a bit of shame creep over you and then go check out the previous two volumes of the .Falling Down compilation (and check the webzine while you're at it). If at the very least half of those bands don't tingle your hearing buds just the right way, then you seriously need to revise your record collection.

Let's face it, compilations were always a bit of a lame concept, at least as a commercial product, even all those years ago when we had to go through the delightfully rewarding but cumbersome and time-consuming process of putting together a mixtape. Which were usually either meant for long road trips or as a gift to an attractive member of the opposite sex anyway. I made thematic mixtapes for myself too, but I'm a huge reclusive nerd. Anyway, in the age of .mp3 portability, a compilation makes even less sense, on paper, unless you do it like Yann and Thibaut have done it. By picking fucking amazing, cutting edge underground bands, the list of which sometimes reads like a possible Roadburn line-up, and getting mostly unreleased tracks from them to feature on the compilation, they've single-handedly made the compilation cool again. Or cool tout court, actually.

The third volume, .Falling Down IIV, will hit us in 2012, with a line-up that is so far absolutely dreamy, and it features 100% unreleased tracks. Keep your eyes peeled, and let Y. and T., a true yin/yang pair of dudes, guide you through everything you need to know about .Falling Down.

1. Before Volume I, how did the idea first arise of doing a compilation like this?
Y: This idea came to me in late 2007. My former editor in chief had released several BM tape compilations, and since we had begun to establish some great contacts in the scene, we thought it would be cool also to release a compilation. The idea was full of modesty: the objective was to bring together a dozen bands, if possible have one or two unpublished songs, and release it on a single CD. Obviously, we had no experience in this shit, but it allowed us to spice up our dull and boring daily lives. This project was supposed to last a matter of weeks... but no, finally, we decided to transgress the limits. There is no business in there. We don't want to establish contracts: we trust our bands, and the guys trust us. We are still young - we are students, we began this project when we were 19 years old - and it's a totally independent work, done by passionates for passionates. We invest our own money for the pressing, the rights, the promotion, and everything else. I love the proximity with the artists, it's just an amazing pleasure to know, personally, the guys that I admire the most in the world. Many musicians have become our friends, and just for that, these compilations are really one of the biggest successes of our lives.

2. Since most of the compilation consists of unreleased material, has it been hard to get it from bands, or is everyone always eager to chip in?
Y: Yeah, most of the time, it's really hard. Particularly on the first and second volumes. We were young, nobody knew us, no experience, we were not (and we are not) bilingual and, last but not least, we're poor. We basically sent out emails to our favourite bands saying like "Hey there, we love you! We're two totally unknown Frenchies and we would like that you send us an unreleased track for our comp, do you agree? No? But WHY?! Come on!", haha.

But there are a lot of possibilities: if the band already has an unreleased track recorded (like it has happened with Kylesa, Time To Burn, Year Of No Light, Gnaw Their Tongues, Kongh and others), it's easier for us. If the track is already composed, but not recorded, it's more complicated with the costs of the studio and mixing/mastering, but fortunately not impossible (it was like that with Knut, Cortez, Kehlvin, Amenra and some others). And if the band has to write and record especially for us, well, we must be really.. clever? Fortunate?! This situation is really the hardest. But we had the chance to collaborate with amazing people, very passionate, and it was a huge honour to have their trust and their interest to our modest project, people like Ufomammut, The Ocean, Jucifer, Omega Massif, The Poisoned Glass (a fucking great new project with the legends Stuart Dahlquist and Edgy59) and a few others.

On this third volume, things seem tp have been easier: our comps are beginning to be more known and we've currently a biggest experience. This is why we decided to have a new challenge: only unreleased tracks. No compromise.

T.: It's so HARD in most cases... but we can't thank enough those who have/will record a track especially for .Falling Down. Interest, confidence and passion, shared through this project... it's a great honour, rare but deeply felt.

3. The line-ups are invariably amazing, it’s almost too much awesome for one single compilation, every time. When you start thinking of a new volume, how do you guys choose? Do you all have a meeting and start throwing names of bands you love?
Y: Thanks man for your kind words! And yeah, we regularly have meetings, in our moutains in Savoie, lost in our woods. But we're also regularly (always?) so stoned that we have to have a web discussion the next day.
[my kinda people.]
Thibaut is my best friend: I know his tastes and he knows my tastes. Globally, we love the same bands, and this is really important: we have the same connection, the same approach to the music. I think that we are open-minded enough so that if he wants to get in touch with a band that I don't like particularly, there are no worries... and vice versa.

T.: I have a thing for heartfelt, deep emotions. I want to get high thinking. We agree in the same way, to the highest levels at the dark bowels of the earth, and even if some details differ, this also increases our potential depth of mind. It's always without any fuss. We come out with an ideal, which is then submitted to the various problems and possibilities.

4. Come on, promotion time – what’s great about IIV, and why should everyone get it?
Y: Like I said, this IIV volume is a new step for us: only unpublished tracks. We don't want to be "pretentious" or whatever.. but, honestly, this compilation is starting to get more and more crazy: Karma To Burn, Rosetta, Julie Christmas, Mouth Of The Architect and a special collaboration between Year Of No Light/Mars Red Sky and Terra Tenebrosa (who feature members of Breach!) have given rise to awesome feedback so far. And, on the other hand, we have some a-ma-zing bands, less notorious but really talented: Ahkmed, Hopewell, Black Sun, Ayahuasca Dark Trip, Rorcal, Ocoai (for the third time!) and others...

We're working on the next and final announcement: if we manage to fulfil  all that we want to, I'll be the happiest man in the universe. You won't be disappointed, believe me! I can't say much more for the moment but a special collector's version will be also available, only on pre-order. We want to thank all the people who support our project since the beginning. Stay tuned, as it will be very limited, and it won't be repressed.

T.: We don't like to sell ourselves, we aren't whores, we diffuse our project at best, an entity that we like personally. And I think that .Falling Down IIV will be, it must be, a satisfaction, an ecstasy, like walking on air. We let the business whores in this sad world, not in our hearts/minds. I can only say we already have some tracks, and damn... amazing ! I want to say thank you, awesome, I dive in!

5. I particularly like how there’s always a few layers – from the widely known bands to some bands that are still beginning or very underground. Especially in these last ones, do you feel you’ve helped some of them to get their music to a wider audience they wouldn’t have otherwise?
Y: It's difficult to say... we can just hope so. All these bands give me a lot of energy and help me daily. I travel with their sound, so, if we can help them to promote their music, our project will be a huge success. I can't selfishly consume their work, I need to interact with them. I buy an LP or a shirt, I go to their shows, I do an interview or write a review... or I produce a compilation. But in every cases, I need to help them... they are so important in my life. So yeah, when we have some feedback by people who thank us for a discovery, or if they want to have a contact for writing a review, or just a great comment on a facebook page with an allusion to .Falling Down, this is a fucking pleasure.

T.: I don't think that will change the feelings of this world. This is indeed unfortunate...
as Yann said, we can just hope. For a few isolated individuals, for some underground bands from here and elsewhere, showing their beautiful feelings, the darkest and most delicious, in seamless and endless melancholy.

6. Is there a band you’d dream of having on the compilation that you haven’t yet?
Y: We have already the limitless pleasure to work with many of our favorite bands... a lot, but not all. I'll able to answer your question when the final tracklist will be announced, until then, we'll do our best.

T.: Maybe Jus Oborn will pass through here... for now, his cloud seems too far from ours to get along. The wind may blow...

7. You’ve mentioned to me that you like to push the limits as far as you can – so all the way through this third volume, do you think you’ve branched out as far as you can in terms of music genres? Or can you still go further in future volumes?
Y: I don't know... all our choices are, when it comes down to it, really natural. It does seem that our project is becoming more and more "eclectic". Like I said, we were extremely young when we were starting to get in touch with the first bands and our musical culture was... limited. There is no accounting for taste, they say. Okay. But, as far as I'm concerned, I think that tastes must change. I can't understand that some people listen the same 5 bands for 15 years. The sentiments are endless... and I'm convinced that about each sentiment, each moment of your life, there is a track, a perfect track, perfectly adequate. When the music corresponds with reality, you can presume to be in osmosis.
So far, I've been satisfied only with the extreme music. All my sentiments are extreme. Extreme music for extreme people, I assume. But I'm changing, absolutely, so... yeah, perhaps one day, .Falling Down will work with some jazz artists or in the world of the classical music, this is not impossible. Perhaps one day my definition of "extreme music" will also change. Time will tell...

T.: Basically, this isn't merely about the music itself but also about the feelings and interpretations from the universe of bands and sounds. An alliance of what emerges, what is perceived, according to our thoughts, expectations, philosophies... .Falling Down unites the escape and reality, music and spirit, the real musing, reflection, which is beyond compliance decreed. Push ever further, in every way. From a purely musical point, the limits should be bound only to what individuals can radiate, carry through in this world.

8. Speaking of future volumes… do you have a long/medium term limit for how many you are going to do?
Y: It's difficult for me to plan my projects on a long/medium term... my main problem is that I hate the new technologies more and more, particularly the internet. This shit is our new drug, our new dependance and I don't like that... this absence of freedom. I'm convinced that, in the future, many people will reject this virtual world: it's destroying our critical mind, our amical relations, our memory, the notion of effort, our patience, our curiosity, and so on. I'm convinced that many people who listen to these music genres are really smarter than the average, more critic, and they are going to understand that this shit is destroying one of our biggest passions: the music. I'm convinced that the future of this scene will be more marginal, more underground, more secret, almost private. I fucking love this idea! If it does, I gotta see this and I will contribute to it. If people continue to want to share their music, their discoveries, their tastes to all the people around the world, there won't be other compilations. I don't want to be part to this nightmare... I prefer that my projects be appreciated and respected by 200 guys than to be downloaded by 10000 unknown dudes. To properly judge progress, we must also take account of what it deprives us of.

T.: It's already extremely hard to plan this next compilation, so... I'll have to stay alive until then, too.
It's so seedy and pitiful here below. See the sleepwalkers of the orderliness, of the machinery, see these squalid souls... I feel like a void of horror, really, I don't know, if the pure desire persists and that evil doesn't burn down too, doesn't stain too. Anything is possible.
[remember Yann said they're regularly stoned.]

9. Wouldn’t it be cool to organize a little festival with at least a few of the bands on the compilation?
Y: Yeah, absolutely! Since the beginning, we have wanted to organize a festival. A special festival, not a boring night in a club with 5 bands. A special event, a mix between the Roadburn Festival and the Dunajam... something in the mountains, into the wild, something private, a psychedelic experience with a lot of substances, a vacuum, in another world, immune from what is already happening and what is yet to come in the big cities. We have a lot of ideas: we have to concretize them now.

T.: We imagine perfectly... The realization, however, isn't still entirely clear, probably a lot (too many?) of practical problems, for the moment.

10. Last question is list question: list five bands that you like, personally, that would never fit on the .Falling Down compilation.
Y: If we like them, we contact them. By the way, I have to get in touch with Clint Mansell!
Thanks man for your interest and your support! We really appreciate it! We need it... and it's always a fucking pleasure to meet some new passionates like you. I would like also to send out special thanks to our friend Julius Kleipool: he made our trailers... he's really talented, no doubt! If someone is interested in his work or if a band wants to collaborate with him, don't hesitate! Get in touch directly or drop us a message, you won't be disappointed.
[Yann still apologized for his English, but that was just him being all modest. I wish all English-speaking bands could speak and/or write as correctly as he did.]

T.: As with all detailed responses, I think that the moment in space-time has a significant role.
As there are no limits to contact according to our desires, tastes... I can quote Wipers, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Loop, the classics artists like Chopin, Nirvana, particularly live.
And thanks for understanding our voice.

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