Painter and producer Julien Meert provides an hour-long picturesque epoch of wintertime, best enjoyed in front of a crackling open fire somewhere far removed from civilisation.
Can you describe yourself in a few words? Your sound, approach to making music, your influences, how it all started, etc…
I’m born, raised and based in Brussels. My time is divided between my two passions, which are music and painting. I use both mediums as a means to express my perception of the world, which I could briefly describe as a general feeling of estrangement combined with a constant amazement. I’ve been into guitar a lot lately, trying to get a better technique. Which is basically me, alone in my room, watching Youtube tutorials for hours on end.
How did you first start making music? How does it fit into your life?
I started producing music in 2001, around the time I met my friend and colleague Jonathan Poliart, who today makes music under the alias Sublyme Diagonal. At the time, he was already quite advanced in music production. I remember being impressed when he showed me techno demos on mini discs. I also discovered experimental music thanks to him and his father, and we started a duo called ‘Les hommes du mercredi’, which served as our first musical laboratory. Our shared love for rap music incited our interest in more abstract sounds, and motivated us to start up L.E.G. in 2005, together with Citizen Ledge, and which was a kind of ‘deviant hip hop’ project. I’ve been producing solo since 2012. My solo work sounds quite different from all the other stuff I did before, and is created in the more intimate setting that is my bedroom. Parallel to my solo project I continue to collaborate with Sublyme Diagonal for Chorus, a project that aims to unite visual artists and musicians for a collective project of improvised music.
Can you describe the mix in a few words? What is its overriding influence, where would it best be enjoyed, what makes it special?
This mix is all about wintertime, and the melancholy that inevitably comes along with the season. I see winter as a long tunnel, but luckily there’s light at the end. I wanted this mix to illustrate this sad hope, filled with a nostalgia that is present in a lot of the music I listen to. The mix is furthermore an account of lots of Sundays spent indoors as a child, when the weather is cold, or when it’s raining, or even the first moments of young love in the cold at the North Sea…
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 assembled the mix in my little brother’s old room, which became my studio. There’s a constant pleasant sound coming out of the radiator. It’s warm inside, and it looks like it’s pretty cold outside, which equally seems the best way to listen to this mix if you ask me.
What’s your favourite track on the mix?
I particularly like The Star Crossed Lovers, a Duke Ellington classic, but in a more rare version. Ozzie Bailey interprets the saxophone part with his voice, in a melody without lyrics. I like singing it too, when I’m in my car. I found the record at my grandfather’s. He was a man enamoured by jazz music, who composed music himself, as well.
What do you have coming up in the next few weeks?
I’m currently working on a performance with my friend Bitsy Knox. It’ll take place 16th December at W139 Amsterdam for the PEACH residency/exhibition. I’m interpreting some of Bitsy’s texts into music. And I just sent over a track to my friends at JJ Funhouse for a Christmas compilation that will be out soon.