Having just released his album ‘Compte sur moi’ on Le Syndicat des Scorpions, French-born, Brussels-based Regis Turner’s music, at times romantic and quirky yet simultaneously experimental and melancholic, fits right into the current French chanson revival. He made us a mix that is, put simply, a tribute to combo organs. He admits having scoured around obscure organ-lover forums to find the necessary material for the mix, but states that it’s all worth it because “It is possible to record a piece of music without an organ on it. But it won’t be as good.”
Can you describe yourself in a few words?
I grew up in Champeix, a small village in the middle of France. I went to high school in Clermont Ferrand, the closest city. At that time the local scene was moving towards a 60’s beat Garage revival, and so was I. After high-school, I discovered some weirder music through a collective called HAND CLAPPING GIRLS. They saved the town by bringing all kinds of outsiders to play and perform in Clermont.
How did you first start making music? How does it fit into your life?
I started performing at shows when I was 19. I got the looper that got me started with this no-style project. I could easily do endless improvised mixes of imagined music. At first I used predominantly guitar and vocals, while trying to imitate a garage sound that soon got mixed up with folk, dance or hip-hop influences, with every new loop altering the previous one. Eventually these loops turned into tracks, and then into pop songs with lyrics, like the ones I make today.
Is music a full-time thing for you at the moment? If not, what are your other occupations?
I am more or less occupied with music all the time. When I am not on tour, I am either recording new materials or going to shows. It doesn’t leave me a lot of time for anything else. (And I sleep a lot).
Can you describe the mix in a few words? What is its overriding influence, where would it best be enjoyed, what makes it special?
The entire mix can be seen as a tribute to combo organs. The instrument, very popular during the mid-60’s, shaped the music of that particular era (60’s sound) but as you can ear in the mix it is still used now to make the best music. :)
Can you tell us about the exclusive track on the mix? Why did you chose to include this one? If it isn’t one of your own productions, how did you come across the artist?
The first one is by Colombey and is titled Le Jardin des Maladies. It’s kind of exclusive, because the album isn’t out yet. But it once was on Soundcloud, before Thibault took it off there to put it on his next record. I chose this one because it has good organ sounds. The exclusive track of my own is called Plastic Jewels, and consists of loops I made with a Rodeo 49. I could listen to these sounds endlessly.
When and where did you record it? Describe the room, the furniture, the walls, the view from the room, the neighbourhood, the weather at the time, etc…
I felt young and ignorant when asked to make this mix. I wasn’t too sure how I could create something that wouldn’t just be a collection of random tracks, as I don’t listen to a lot of stuff, but mostly to music that is all very different. Then the idea came to make a mixtape with combo organs. I already had the first tracks and the last one, which is by Procol Harum. So I did some research, asked around for ideas and collected sounds I found on obscure organ-lover forums. I put all the tracks and sounds together on my computer from my room in a former industrial building in Anderlecht. From my window I can see the large road coming from the Midi train station on the left, and the Ring on the right. I’m lucky to also have a tree right in front of my window, and even though it blocks the light, I at least get to see and hear some birds.
What’s your favourite track on the mix?
Well, it might be the Aymeric de Tapol one. It’s a hit. But the Noir boy Georges track, and the one by Mamman Sani are some of my all-time favourite tracks as well.
What are your top 3 albums of the year so far and why?
1.Aymeric de Tapol – j’ai dansé avec elle (7” – Lexi Disques)
Everything about it is perfect. It’s not hard to see why, but it gave me the idea for this mix as it just came out this month. I listen to it a lot.
2. Paolo Tecon – Faux Schifo (Tape – Kakakids records)
I’ve known him for a while with his industrial noise duo Point Invisible, but I just discovered this year this solo project. It could perfectly fit on this mix, except I think he is not using combo organs but synths. I like everything in this tape.
3 _Sierra Manhattan – Tape (Tape – Ab Records)
well, not only he’s a good friend but this tape was this year’s soundtrack. It made me friend again (or for the first time) with POP songs.
What do you have coming up in the next few weeks?
I’m playing in Turnhout on the 23rd September for the opening of Bert Jacobs’ exhibition. And I’m playing some more gigs in France from 27th September to 4th October to “promote the record” and to get drunk. Then I’m leaving on tour again with “Ce Soir”, which is a duo consisting of me and my girlfriend. We don’t use combo organs, but that’s ok.