Photo: Press (Mondkopf)
Paul Régimbeau has an amazing track record for someone who is barely in his early 30s. The French producer released his first records more than a decade ago and even though he doesn’t look back too fondly on his early output, his recent releases under his Mondkopf moniker as well as a variety of side projects and collaborations across the board have shown him to be an extremely versatile producer capable of thinking outside the box. His latest album You Fall, But They Don’t, released on his own In Paradisum imprint earlier this year, showcased yet another one of Régimbeau many musical interests, leaning more towards moody, sinister Ambient sounds. His contribution to our Groove podcast however focuses on Mondkopf’s equally diverse taste in all things dance music.
When you released your debut album, the IDM-tinged Un Été sur l’Herbe, in 2006, you were only 20 years old. What do you think about your early output, more than a decade later?
I can’t listen to them again, it’s like watching a video of yourself as a teenager, there’s something awkward about it. I’m glad I made them but I have my adult view on it now and I wish i did better.
You’re the founder of In Paradisum, where you have released most of your records since 2011. What was your incentive to found the label and what is the philosophy behind it?
I started the label with Guillaume Heuguet to be able to owe nothing to anyone with my own releases and be able to release the records of friends whose music we liked. We try to put out records that we both feel connected to. Make it a shelter for music that doesn’t exist elsewhere.
Even though you have produced and performed Ambient music before, your last album You Fall, But They Don’t – an elegiac Ambient suite in six movements – came as a surprise. How did the rather abrupt change in pace come about?
My taste and desires evolve and I try to follow them, I can’t repeat myself or stick to one formula. After an album like Hadès, I didn’t see the point of repeating this way of composing and producing, or going even more epic. I wanted to get closer to something more instinctive and direct. To improvise with an analog set up in order to stay focused and have less things to process afterwards, keep the spontaneity of the initial draw. I always listened to lots of ambient music and I like the way it can melt with the day-to-day life, and other sounds.
From Perc to Charlemagne Palestine, you have collaborated with a variety of artists over the past few years. How do you usually approach these quite different projects?
I learned a lot through collabs. All these artists taught me new ways to play and I found new ways to use my own musical langage. I always try to adapt and create a new universe so that it’s not artist A + artist B.
You have also extensively collaborated with the French graphic agencies Trafik for live shows and UNICORN for some of your music videos. What kind of ideas usually inform your audiovisual shows and videos?
The visual aspect is very important. I want to keep control of that and I reckon I can be quite picky. I like things that remains clear and powerful, with a poetic vision. I’m proud of all the people I worked with, but I mostly work with Gregoire Orio who did all the videos for Hades and the ones for the live set. He also does all the videos for my project with Gregory Buffier, Autrenoir. He’s like my visual alter ago.
As Extreme Precautions, you explore your fascination with Grindcore, a genre that historically has always relied on drum machines for extreme velocity. What drew you to that kind of music and how did the Extreme Precautions project come to life?
I do have a great fascination for extreme music, Doom Metal, Grindcore and Noise. Their sheer power and energy get me in a trance. The last time I set up to do Techno tracks I got bored pretty quickly, so I started pushing everything into overdrive, speeding up the tempo and I found this energy I like so much in Grindcore. I barely spent a week recording this one.
Your contribution to our Groove podcast draws on a broad palette of styles. What was your idea behind it?
I wanted to present the more club-oriented side of my tastes. I’ve always played as a DJ, and it might seem surprising but I always loved dancing. But I can’t keep to one style, to me a DJ set needs to remain surprising and provoke an emotional reaction.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks live in the near future, and what are your plans as a producer and label owner?
Right now i’m touring a lot with the band Oiseaux-Tempêtes, playing synths and effects. We’re touring the whole autumn season with Jerusalem In My Heart, including Guess Who? festival and Montreal and Toronto in November. I have an EP with my band Autrenoir out soon and I’m keen on touring around that. I’m also starting to arrange a new Mondkopf live set but i’m taking my time to be really happy about the result. I’m also starting a sister label on the side of In Paradisum with Frederic D. Oberland of Oiseaux-Tempêtes which will be more focused on ambient and experimental music.
Stream: Mondkopf – Groove Podcast 129
01. Beneath – Future Shock
02. RdG – Sky Pulse
03. Four Tet – Buchla
04. Chunky – Who Is That
05. CALDERA – Weirdpeoplescavedance
06. Credit 00 – Devolver
07. Girls of the Internet – Spam Folder
08. Ekman – تكوين
09. Gunnar Haslam – Sirenik
10. Hodge – Joe Likes to Dance
11. Orson – The Past Is A Dream
12. Perc – I Just Can’t Win
13. Hodge – He Woke In Darkness
14. White Chamber – Pale tears