Bringing you only the finest music in WWD094 this week. We have the honour to host the ever enigmatic, boundary-breaker Clarian on this edition of our central podcast series. The renowned producer, songwriter and sound engineer from Montreal, steps up for our 94th podcast just before the upcoming release of his first album. What’s more, we had the chance to talk with him about his creative process and the making of ‘Televisions Days’. It’s all below…
WWD : Hey Clarian, thanks for taking the time to chat. Where are you in the world right now? And what’s been dominating your schedule of late?
I’m in Montreal right now making beats and chilling.
WWD : Even though you’ve been making music for a long time – this year marks a huge milestone – the release of your first album “Television Days”. Share with us why now and what your goals were for this record.
I wanted to make an album you can listen to in the car or at an after after hours with friends to play in the background and get rocked or get deep with. No strings attached.
WWD : We know it’s a moment many artist can struggle with. Tell us about the day you decided “yes that’s it, all done!”
It was one of the last tracks that didn’t quite sit right with the beat. Then I stripped out the drums, drastically altered the tempo, cut it down, and added a piano line. somehow all the softness and chaos came together in a weird way and I thought to myself, hey, “that’s pretty fucked. cool – let’s keep it.”
WWD : Is there a meaning or vision behind the title ‘Television Days’?
Television Days is a lo fi synth pop album. The album recaps the story about a guy named Kevin Jones who used to be a script writer living in Los Angeles back in the late 80s / early 90s. He disappeared in Mexico while working on a TV pilot and there’s floating conspiracy stories in Berlin about him going crazy seeing talking iguanas… there’s some rare recordings of him which are sampled throughout the album.
WWD : Tiga & Michael Meyer provide a remix on the lead single ‘Under The Gun’ from the album. What was the first thought that came to your mind when you first heard the remixes?
Humbled and grateful listening to the masters at work.
WWD : What made Balance Music the ideal home for this LP?
Balance is a legendary record label with many influential and diverse producers over the years. I’m very lucky that they heard it and thrilled it’s coming out.
WWD : Are there any albums in the electronic domain that stand out for you as ideal examples of quality LPs?
Yeah, so many… some records lately;
HKE – Charming Devil
Tribe of Colin – Fruits of Zion (Cassette)
OGR – 195
Nils Frahm - All Melody
John Maus – Screen Memories
Jori Hulkkonen – Don’t Believe in Happiness
WWD : We know you’re from Montreal so how did Clarian and Montreal’s Tiga come together to collaborate? How did you meet; where does your story begin?
When I was a kid I would sneak into SONA and catch Tiga play who was already a legend blowing up the Montreal scene. That was very inspiring for my “awakening” into electronic dance music. When I moved from moonlighting as an engineer at Lost Star Studios to head engineering and producing, we were eventually introduced and hit it off. We started working together 5 or 6 years back, producing, engineering, and collaborating on many different challenging and rewarding projects since then.
WWD : How was the end of 2017 for you? Have you any particular highlights from the past 12 months?
My second EP on Kompakt was a big moment for me. Launching, producing mixing and mastering records with Felix Da Housecat and Jamie Principle the past year, as well as collaborating with these Chicago house music pioneers has been an amazing experience and a musical journey together, as well as for everyone in the FOF crew.
WWD : From a distance it seems that electronic music is going from strength to strength in Canada in recent years. How would you describe the current health of the scene there?
It’s deep in the cut and I’m proud to be part of it in any capacity.
WWD : Who are some up and coming Canadian artists to look out for?
Moon Room is off the chain. also, Blakk Hazel, she’s got some serious talent waiting in the forest to blow up. The young ones are bringing fire, challenging and paying attention to the systems in the underground and following their own visions and confidence, finding new ways to shake things up are the ones to look out for. That’s what’s up!
WWD : What are you most excited about in 2018?
Television Days dropping worldwide February 23rd is the most exciting thing happening for me this year. I’ve got some more music with Felix Da Housecat dropping later in the year and on FOF. And after that, in late spring, I’ve got a 3 track EP collab with Tiga of original material we made together – but that’s all I can say for now.
WWD : Apart from music, what makes you happiest?
Twin peaks and whiskey.
WWD : No.1 favourite thing about the winter season?
Playing music in the early hours and watching the snow outside the window glow in the streetlight.
WWD : Cheers for speaking to us today Clarian.