Based in Germany, Julien and Can make up the Solique production duo. Even though both are partners, friends, and roommates who share a passion for electronic music, the joint playing and producing connects the duo more than their long-lasting friendship ever could. Solique performs with a rare feeling of mutual connection, with meditative and assertive affairs that challenge the listener with unexpected but intuitive turns and interrupting grooves. First emerging with a release via Moblack, Solique continued to build on their creative synergy with a well-received EP for Turkish imprint Isolate. Beloved for their exotic percussive arrangements and avant-garde melodies, the duo then quickly found favor with Agoria, Ame, Aera, Dixon, Jimi Jules, Marcus Worgull, Nandu, Trikk, and more. Now as Solique continues their trailblazing ways into 2022, the duo debuts on microcastle with a three-track showcase entitled ‘Imminence’.
We had a chance to catch up with the German duo for an interview leading up to the release.
WWD: WWD: Hi Guys, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood?
Hey everyone, first of all, thank you for having us here. We are very happy about it. We are in good spirits, and we are glad that the night life is slowly coming back here as well.
WWD: WWD: What are your plans for the coming week?
Nothing really special. We will probably spend a lot of time in the studio working on new music. When we are not there, we try to be active in sports and spend a lot of time outside.
WWD: WWD: What music from your youth had the biggest effect on where you are today? Are there certain tracks or albums which profoundly influenced you?
Can: I grew up with a lot of music through my parents. It was everything from R&B, rock to trance, because there was always music playing at home. One of my favourite albums is “The Score” by Fugees. I think a lot of influences from the past can also be heard, but in our music we also try to look into the present and the future.
Julien: When I was young, I listened to a lot of American rap. I bought the first album from Eminem. That was also the moment when I asked myself how something like that was produced. Then I discovered trance and I got to know more about electronic music.
WWD: Your artist name is very unique, how did you come up with that?
We had been looking for a name for a long time and at some point we came across it. Unfortunately, there is no special story behind it and the name has no meaning for us.
WWD: You are from Austria and Sweden originally, how did you both end up eventually living in Germany?
We were both born abroad but moved to Cologne at an early age. We were actually almost neighbours and got to know each other that way.
WWD: You cite Australia as a place that helped shape the Solique sound, tell us about your time there and how it influenced the music you make?
Australia has a special place in our hearts. Not only because we have great memories to look back on, but also because we started making music together there. The special places and of course the nightlife there brought us together musically.
WWD: A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within your production dynamic?
We are lucky that we agree on most things. But if that is not the case, we quickly find a solution. When you want to function as a duo it is important to communicate with each other.
WWD: Do you have different roles in the production process? And if so, elaborate please.
Can: We usually work on sketches separately and then send them to each other, each contributing our own parts. Julien is especially good at working on the drums and the groove, while I usually do the musical part. Later we work on it together.
WWD: You have a new EP ‘Imminence’ out this week on microcastle, tell us a bit about the release and how it showcases your individualities.
Can: On this EP, we actually started together from the beginning in most cases. As mentioned above, Julien also mostly did the drum part, which plays a big role in our productions. The first finished track was “Imminence”, which, unusually for us, was finished very quickly. The track started with the melodies and the bassline, and from there we built up the arrangement. With “Velar” it was the other way around.
WWD: What does writing a track look like for you? Could you walk us through the production process on one of the tracks from your microcastle release?
With ‘Reflection (Cold War)’ our workflow was very fast. We had the idea within one hour. After that it was edited and roughly arranged. We then started to work on the sounds we had, refining them and tried to create movement and variety by layering a lot. Unfortunately, this does not always run so smoothly. 😊
WWD: microcastle is home to artists like Ivory, Mulya, Radeckt, Yubik, Echonomist, Upercent and more, what made the label the right home for your new EP?
We have had our eye on the label for a long time. They release with artists we really appreciate, and we are happy to be a part of this family. Mitch does a great job with the label and we felt like our music could fit and luckily it did!
WWD: I think for a lot of artists music allows you to write a sketch of your own personal universe in a way; your travels, life experiences etc. Is that true of yourself? Was there anything that inspired these tracks? And where does your inspiration come from generally?
Yes, we can definitely confirm that. We mostly try to go with the flow in our music and not think so much. Our inspiration comes from many areas like certain stages of life or just our musical taste in the moment. The tracks we’ve released so far are often made for the clubs and our microcastle EP we think has a darker feel to it than what we’ve done before. But for the future we also want to show another side of us.
WWD: What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of this EP? What’s a piece of gear that always gets used when you’re writing a track?
We have some hardware devices, like a Prophet 6, Sub 37 or the MS-20 and a few others. The microcastle EP also has some elements of that. However, there are so many good plug-ins nowadays that it doesn’t really make a difference, so it doesn’t really matter to us 🙂
WWD: How much road testing or friend feedback is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?
We have the advantage that there are two of us. But of course, the tracks are approved by a handful of friends and this feedback is also very important to us. You lose your own opinion by listening to the tracks over and over again. And before you break things, such feedback is very valuable.
WWD: What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you had unlimited budget?
We have everything we need, but if I could choose anything it would be a retro synth like the Buchla Easel or Minimoog Model D
WWD: What has the last year and a half been like for you? Have you focused more time on making music? And has the pandemic affected your creative spirit in any way?
We have continued to make music throughout this time. Of course, you had moments when you didn’t feel like it anymore and were also uninspired. But it is a passion that we practice every day. On days when you might not get much done, you update your libraries or watch tutorials to improve your technical skills.
WWD: If you could travel anywhere for one day, all laws and limitations void, where would it be?
Can: I am Swedish, but I have never seen the Northern Lights. I would do that.
Julien: I would love to see Canada and go see an Ice hockey game 😀
WWD: Apart from music, what makes you happiest?
Can: Being with my family and friends and having a good time.
Julien: That my Family and Friends are healthy and to visit the live everyday new.
WWD: With 2022 beginning to take shape, what does the rest of the year hold for you guys? Anything you can share with us?
We hope that in 2022 it will slowly return to normality, in the cultural scene but also in the world. We have some things planned that we can’t talk about yet. But there will soon be new music from us again 🙂 Thank you!