Hello You Man, for those who don’t know about you, can you please introduce your project to our readers?
We are two guys from the North of France, who met 20 years ago on a beach near Côte d’Opale (google it!). We’ve never stopped making music together since then.
What is the idea behind your project? Please describe your sound.
We created the You Man project eight years ago with the idea of making festive and introspective music at the same time. The result sounds like a style between disco and EBM, with a hint of psychedelia.
What made you start the project?
Between our previous project and You Man, we spent two years discussing metaphysics while also making music a detachment form. Basically, we were composing music to create new experiences with sound in the first place, but we were trying to understand how music could bring some kind of transcendence. Sometimes we would play the same loop over and over again for three hours straight, and when one of us hit “stop”, it was like we had slept… and dreamt. This state of mind of detachment led to several important moments of synchronicity in our lives and great encounters (with Alpage Records, for instance), which encouraged us to continue.
What are some of your biggest influences?
As they say about Lille, it is a city at a “crossroads of Europe” in the town hall brochures. Our music is a mix of English pop music, Belgian EBM, German techno, and Paris disco – better known as the French touch. For a very long time, we have had projects like Soulwax or The Chemical Brothers on our radar, and more recently we have been influenced by discoid sounds coming from Israel (Red Axes), Mexico (Rebolledo, Theus Mago), Berlin (Local Suicide, Curses), and Lithuania (Manfredas) among others.
Can you talk to us about your new ‚Altered States’ EP?
This entire EP revolves around altered states of consciousness, especially the connection between consciousness and the whole universe. You know, “One” is in everything, and everything is in “One”. This is why we also use a lot of animated gifs with some fractals. The songs are called ‘Nonsense’, ‘The Veil’, ‘Altered States’ and ‘Mind Ballad’ because we want to share what we have discovered about the fact that nothing makes sense in itself, but we have a veil in front of our eyes that make us believe the opposite. Transcendence can invite us to take a step aside from ourselves, as we’re in another dimension, where we can observe ourselves – like we exist and don’t exist at the same time.
How did it come together?
Without asking each other too many questions. 🙂
What did you use to produce it?
Very simply, a computer with Ableton Live. We like to do it the old way and to keep it simple, copy, cut and paste. A little bit of real guitar and real bass sometimes, but that’s it.
What made you release it on Eskimo?
We had known the label for a long time because we went to the huge Eskimo parties in Ghent at the turn of the millennium, and for their countless releases since. They offered us to do a remix for Radial Gaze last year, and it went really well. We kept in touch ever since, in a very organic way, and we decided to release this EP together.
Any future releases/projects we can expect from you?
We are working on our album all the time, embellishing it as we go through our experiments and meetings. We hope to release it in 2021, depending on how the situation evolves! We are also working on remixes for artists we feel close to. We just released one we did of a Yuksek feat Polo & Pan track, and several more for Zimmer, Kid Francescoli, Mokado and Futuro Pelo.
What else – outside of creating music – allows you to express yourself?
We really like to share our experiences and knowledge with each other: new things that affect us, the Future, the possible Futures. Giac is a hypnotherapist and Tepat is an interactive designer, and we like to think that our worlds touch each other, and not just in music. We want to work on installations where the public can express themselves with us, go wild with us on stage, and are open to testing new stuff with our video experiments.
What is your routine when preparing for a gig?
No routines. Every time is different.
Any fun gig memories?
When we were playing music somewhere, we took a personalized, cube-shaped mirror ball with us. Before the gig, the main activity was to find the best place for this mirror ball. During a date in Berlin at Wilde Renate, we had particularly struggled to position it because we realized that one of the rooms of Club Renate contained more than a hundred mirror balls..
Fun fact on tour: one time we played at a festival and a queue in the toilets. We told the guy in front of us that to save time, he could go shit in the shower, which he did immediately! Turned out, it was Keith from Prodigy.
How are you dealing with the current global situation? Has it had any positive impact on your career or personal life? Have you adapted your creative or productive process during the pandemic?
As all our gigs got canceled, we suddenly had a lot of free time to work on our album, remixes and mixtapes. It also allowed us to step aside and think about what we really wanted to do, so we started developing our interactive dance floor installation, which we make totally autonomous, and which we believe reflects other meditative music projects. Looking for different ways to interact with the public, we have to continue to be creative despite the constraints. Creativity loves the constraints. 🙂
Mental health is gaining more and more relevance as a subject in the clubbing scene. Is this something you would like to talk about?
You may be referring here to the title of our EP “Altered States”, with titles like “Mind Ballad”, “Non Sense”, “The Veil”, it’s true that it could refer to mental health. Still, we see this field as a huge universe of inspiration, from Einstein’s theories 100 years ago and the latest discoveries in quantum physics, which put in question so many things, the infinitely large which looks like the infinitely small, parallel worlds, the notion of time, it’s really revolutionary, fascinating and we are passionate about it, even if we don’t understand everything. We wonder if someone really understands something there. In any case, it is very inspiring.
Personal tips and tricks to plug-off.
We like to read books on new forms of understanding humans (for example, “Sapiens” – Yuval Noah Harari) or “Synchronicity” (Massimo Teodorani). We also love to listen to podcasts.
Motivational and/or positive experiences or topics.
“The world takes the shape of what you’re looking at.”
Alright. Thanks guys!
Our Thursday selection:
You Man – Altered States (Eskimo Recordings, ER541416511750D)
Back around the turn of the millennium Tepat Huleux and Giac Di Falco, lured by dazzlingly eclectic sets by the likes of The Glimmers and 2manyDJs, would sneak out of their Lille homes, cross the Belgian border and dance all night at the legendary parties that birthed Eskimo Recordings. 20 years later the pair, now known as You Man, make their debut on the label with the stunning 4 track ‘Altered States’ EP.
Those early club experiences obviously made an impact as the pair have followed that open minded approach with their new EP embracing everything from dark disco to muscular EBM, euphoric trance to Konnakol, a percussive vocal effect used in Southern Indian Carnatic music, and even Di Falco’s background as a trained psychologist and hypnotherapist. The result a mesmerising experience primed to both open and expand minds on the dancefloor.
A homage of sorts to ‘The Doors of Perception’, Aldous Huxley’s classic book about his mescaline experiments, the EP’s opener, and title track, is just the thing to get us in the right mindset for this journey. Luring us in with a looping bass line that will lock your body into the groove, ‘Altered States’ kicks into gear as the aforementioned Konnakol vocals, a series of stuttering percussive syllables, work their magic and lift you to new levels of consciousness.
Taking us deeper into this trip we have ‘NonSense’, a track that recalls the wild experimentation and playful spirit of the early 90s trance scene and artists like the Higher Intelligence Agency or Banco de Gaia. Imbued with a playful spirit, the track bounces along as percussive elements, little vocal snippets and strange instruments fade in and out of the mix before echoing off into eternity.
If ‘NonSense’ revels in the lighter side of the psychedelic experience ‘The Veil’ offers us the other side of the coin. Easing us in with a series of insistent, repeating tones that build and build the pressure until the track explodes into life, a throbbing post-punk bass line and looped rising and falling synth tone creating an effect as eerie as it is atmospheric. One for dark industrial warehouses, illuminated by just a single flashing strobe and silhouetted hands reaching into the darkness to tear down the veil that exists between worlds.
Finally we reach the end of the EP and ‘Mind Ballad’, a track that adds a psychedelic twist to the early Chicago House sound of producers like Lil Louis. Created with hypnotic intent, close your eyelids, let the bass line fill your body, and as the snare rush hits open your third eye to the world around you in all its fractal altered glory.
With releases on labels such as Tronik Youth’s NEIN, their stunning live shows and hypnotic visuals created by Huleux, the pair have firmly established themselves on the underground disco scene, their eclectic tastes and esoteric interests combining to create a distinctive sound that is sure to win over even more hearts and minds in 2020 with the release of the ‘Altered States’ EP.
Tracklist: You Man – Altered States (Eskimo Recordings, ER541416511750D)
01. Altered States
03. The Veil
04. Mind Ballad
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