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Abstraal: “We must preserve the essence of our cherished underground culture”

Abstraal, a French duo who are making a name for themselves in the Indie and Melodic Techno scene, regularly receive praise for their compelling music.

Photo credit: Abstraal – Facebook

Following the release of ‘Axis Mundi’, they unveiled a fresh EP, ‘La Magie Des Reves,’ via Family Piknik Music. This joint venture with Angst Vor Greta merges Indie and Melodic Techno, crafting a memorable musical expedition. Expect dream-like ambiances, hypnotic moods, dynamic synths, and engaging basslines.

In our interview, we explore their creative process, the story behind their latest releases, and their future plans. Fresh from a successful event and with more exciting projects lined up, Abstraal shares their unique insight into the future of electronic dance music and the role of AI in music production. EG took this chance to find out more about their newest releases, projects, and aspirations.

EG: Hi, guys! Welcome to EG. It’s a pleasure to have you here with us. How have you been? What have you been up to?

Abstraal: Bonjour! Merci for having us. We’re doing great, feeling very energized. There’s a lot of work on our plate, but it’s incredibly exciting, and we’re eager to share it all with the audience. We’ve just released two newest EP, ‘Axis Mundi’ and ‘La Magie des Reves’ We’ve also launched our own event concept called Based on Real Facts. This event was a huge success, and we’re very proud of it. Now, we’d like to take the concept abroad and expand it internationally.

We’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of these two EPs. We’ve been quite busy with our tour dates & gigs, as well as with Alex’s move to Paris. Setting up the new studio took some time, which delayed our production of new music. Now, we’re settled into the studio and ready to work on our upcoming releases and even more exciting projects.

EG: First of all, congratulations on the release of your new collaborative EP, ‘Axis Mundi’! How are you feeling about this one now that it’s out? What has the initial reception been like so far?

Abstraal: Merci! We’re very happy about this EP because we’ve received a lot of great feedback and support from big artists who have played the track, such as Øostil (Afterlife). The release came out on Citizen Kain’s label, a well-known and respected artist for decades, lending credibility to the project.

This EP is also interesting for listeners because, up until now, we’ve predominantly produced tracks with vocals. Here, we feature instrumental pieces, and some vocal elements, but not lyrics with a singer’s flow. During our shows, every time we’ve played these tracks, the reaction has always been very postive. Sometimes, it even gave us goosebumps. The tracks have a truly “epic” sound; creating a unique atmosphere on the dancefloor when we play them.

EG: So, what can your fans expect to find on ‘Axis Mundi’? Is there a concept or trigger driving these two new cuts?

Abstraal: The composition of this EP is the result of extensive work, drawing inspiration from the mystical concept of the Axis Mundi. We kept this concept in mind throughout the writing process of the EP.

For those who are unfamiliar with this concept, it represents a point of connection between the familiar, tangible world we know, with all its troubles (wars, political issues, religious conflicts), and a higher, more spiritual realm. A world characterized by harmony. The Axis Mundi symbolizes the link between these two worlds.

Our intention behind this EP was to provide listeners with the opportunity to experience a spiritual dimension while simply listening to the music, while also enabling them to dance and unwind. To achieve this, our tracks needed to retain their potency on the dancefloor for a captivating experience. It was challenging, and we hope you’ll appreciate it.

“Our intention behind this EP was to provide listeners with the opportunity to experience a spiritual dimension while simply listening to the music”

EG: ‘Axis Mundi’ sees you linking up with Jas/t. What was the recording process like? Did you have a previous relationship with Jas/t? How did that come about?

Abstraal: Indeed, we collaborated with Jas/t on this EP. It’s not the first time we’ve worked with him. We previously released the track ‘Disconnected’ on Ruback’s Errorr label. Bastien is a truly talented young producer from Lyon. We appreciate his perspective, freshness, and approach to production.

We know Bastien personally and we collaborate with him on other projects. That’s why working together on a shared musical project was a natural choice. Our workflow is excellent; we work quickly and complement each other in the studio.

The process for recording the tracks is quite straightforward. We either have an idea or Bastien does, and we share it, exchange thoughts, discuss, and try to improve it, each adding our individual touch and we send the projects back and forth directly.

EG: Not only are you behind ‘Axis Mundi’, but you’re also dropping few days ago your ‘La Magie Des Reves’ EP. Is there anything that you can share with us about this?

Abstraal: This EP is particularly exciting for us because we wanted to work on something new. We were a bit tired of all the tracks currently coming out in our music style. They all seemed very similar to each other. Here, we have a different atmosphere blending indie and melodic techno, with the unique vocal from Greta that mixes both French and English. Her voice elevates the track to another level. It sounds underground, sexy, raw. This is something we absolutely wanted because we’re a bit tired of listening to tracks with AI-generated vocals.

We’re happy to be back on the Family Piknik Festival’s label! They work hard and do an excellent job, and we’ve grown with them. We’re grateful for their support since the beginning of our musical journey. We can’t wait to come back on stage for this massive festival on August 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 2024, near Montpellier, (south of France).

EG: Now, stepping outside of the studio for a bit…What do you think the future of electronic dance music looks like? Are all these innovations and big-screen festival performances bringing us closer or farther away from the music? What does the scene look like where you’re at?

Abstraal: The technological advancements we have now enable us to do extraordinary things. As you mentioned, the content we see from big festivals with audiovisual shows are truly fantastic and extraordinary. It opens our musical style to a very broad audience, but it’s not without consequences. Indeed, the risk we see and have already seen coming is that our musical genre becomes mainstream. And what we originally appreciated about this music was its underground aspect. And we’re seeing this when attending an event becomes more of a trend than a love for the music itself. We can see it when people are filming instead of dancing and connecting with the music and artists. And like all trends, they evolve. Currently, we’re at the peak but soon, people will tire of it and return to something more underground.

We must always maintain moderation, know how to be trendy without excess, and always be in anticipation, evolution, and self-questioning. As artists, we feel it when we’re on stage. It’s always very exciting to play on a big stage at a major festival. It’s a necessary milestone in an artist’s career to perform on such stages.

When we play in a small venue, people are very close, and we can feel their presence. The vibes are different, and we love both, of course. It is crucial to maintain a balance between the two. We must preserve the essence of our cherished underground culture while making it known and developing it, without succumbing to a mainstream and tiresome “spectacle” that goes against this culture.

EG: It being such a hot topic, how do you feel about the recent implementation of AI in the creative side of music? Have you explored any form of AI in these recent releases?

Abstraal: As we’ve said, technology is meant to serve humanity, but humanity should not become enslaved to technology. We must master it and use it in moderation. Indeed, we are tired of all these tracks generated by artificial intelligence. That’s why we worked on something imperfect raw in our EP ‘La Magie des Rêves.’ We believe that artificial intelligence is a fantastic tool, and we use it from time to time, but it does not completely replace the “human touch”, which is so warm. It remains cold and flat. It’s in imperfection that we can appreciate performance!

“We must preserve the essence of our cherished underground culture while making it known and developing it, without succumbing to a mainstream and tiresome “spectacle” that goes against this culture”

EG: Finally, can you provide some insights into what’s next for Abstraal? What can we expect from you in the coming months? Where can your fans catch you next?

Abstraal: We have some exciting projects in the pipeline. We’re working on new solo tracks and collaborations that we can’t wait to share with you. Expect a blend of our signature sound with some fresh twists and surprises. You can catch us at various venues and festivals around the globe. Keep an eye on our social media channels for announcements about our next shows & music releases.

EG: Thank you so much for your time, guys! See you on the dancefloor!

Abstraal: Merci for this interview. We thoroughly enjoyed discussing topics with you. We look forward to sharing our upcoming projects and hope to see you again soon. We love connecting with our fans in person and bringing our music to life on stage… So, stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to follow us for our latest news, show, and releases… #BASEDONREALFACTS

Abstraal’s ‘La Magie Des Reves’ is now available via Family Piknik Music. Stream and download here.

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