Exclusive mix 97: Monolithe Noir

It’s been a little while now that the Breton Antoine Pasqualini (1985), more fondly known as Monolithe Noir, has set up base in Brussels – and he’s increasingly making his mark the scene. One only needs to consider his latest EP Le son grave, which was released on Luik Records earlier this year. With a strong background in musicology and pop music, he turned towards modular synthesis, drone, and ambient sounds over the years – but never turning his back on his sonic roots entirely though, as evident with his mastering of rythmic melodies. Ahead of a busy season, Antoine’s cooked up a concoction of stuff for us that he’s been listening to for a few years now. A lot of inspirational sources for Monolithe’s sound, with the recurring theme being drone, of course. Make sure to see him live in action tomorrow at Ancienne Belgique’s Club venue alongside London due Raime.

Can you describe yourself in a few words?

I started making music as a kid and was always in the search for something other from what I had and did already. I’ve been waiting a long time to find what I want to hear or listen to, and I’m still searching now. For me, making music has always been about the necessity of a state of dream, from which you’d wake up afterwards. As soon as it’s out there, it’s not really mine to claim anymore.

How did you first start making music? How does it fit into your life?

I started with drums, went on with guitar, then drums, then synths. Music is at the same time squeezed between a lot of practical things and relations; and it’s everywhere, all the time. I’ve always wanted it to be the biggest thing in my life.

Is music a full-time thing for you at the moment? If not, what are your  other occupations?

I work in a record shop in Brussels.

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 mix I prepared is a pretty good representation of how I listen to music: jumping from one thing to another. From decade to decade, from one place to another. It’s pretty “drone-y” most of the time and you could listen to it while reading, washing the dishes or walking your dog at the park. But definitely on your own.

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 Valsalva Move is one of the latest tracks I’ve composed alongside elsie dx, who provided the vocals. I chose this one because it doesn’t really feel or “look” like anything I usually do. Also I’m currently doing a lot of Valsalva stuff because I get problems from swimming. The mix surely won’t be very balanced.

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 recorded it this last week on a Thursday morning, at the back of the shop, without light.

What’s your favourite track on the mix?

Kyema by Eliane Radigue. The track is normally about one hour long.

What are your top 3 albums of the year so far?

Jarvis Cocker & Gonzales’ Room 29

Mario Batkovic’s st

Kate Tempest’s Let Them Eat Chaos

What do you have coming up in the next few weeks?

A bunch of shows: Ancienne Belgique tomorrow night alongside Raime, then Roubaix’s Crossroads Festival the day after. The 20th I’ll be playing at Amnesty International’s #JeSuisHumain-e United Music Festival, followed by Scratch+Snuff at Ghent’s De Koer on the 7th of October.