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Pelace [Interview]

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Hasselt (Belgium) based duo Pelace (Jordy Cosemans and Jannick Warnier) are set to release their much anticipated album 'Echoes' on the Dutch label Infinite Depth. Two years in the making, during the first lockdown, Pelace reflected on life and which story they wanted to share with their music. They dug deep into their own experiences and emotions that have been influencing their lives. The story became one of melodic depth and uncompromising breaks. Melodies, arps and breaks became a common thread throughout the songs. We had a chance to catch up with the Belgian duo for an interview leading up to the release. Enjoy.

Hi Guys, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hi Guys, thank you for the opportunity.

The latest piece of music we listen to varies we think. For Jannick it is Nils Frahms album ‘All Melody’. It’s a true masterpiece. For Jordy: Actual Life 3 album from Fred Again… It’s great how underground he us but everyone knows his music as well.

What are your plans for the coming week?

Together we work in the event industry, Jordy works in the music industry and Jannick in the B2B event industry. This week we both have events we have to take care of. Our spare time goes to studio time.

How has your summer season been so far? What have been some highlight gigs for you and why?

Our summer has been good. We have played our live show on some great festivals.

I think we have two highlights; Release festival and Extrema Outdoor. Release festival was in our neighborhood so it was very special to play our Live show. We saw so many familiar faces in the crowd. Extrema Outdoor is one of those festivals who are very special to play as they focus on house and techno. So for us it was very cool to get the opportunity to play our Live show there, between all those great names.

Given that we’re coming out of a two-year pandemic do you feel a greater sense of celebration or freedom on the dance floor this summer season, compared to say 2019?

We think people are more aware of what certain moments can do, that in the end it's all not so obvious and things should not be taken for granted. We do notice that people are living more in the moment which makes the atmosphere around the dance floor more intense.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

When we started producing we watched a lot of tutorials online. Thanks to those tutorials and a bit of experimenting we learned the basics of producing. After a while we got into analog synths and from there we started building on our sound. If we could give any advice, don’t be afraid to try some stuff and to experiment. It will help to find your own sound.

Let’s talk about nightlife in Belgium, what are some of your favourite venues to attend or perform at and why?

We like Ampere a lot, we have played there one and the atmosphere was very cool and the soundsystem is great. Labyrinth club is great to, it was one of our first bookings with Pelace, we where up there with DJ Tennis.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within your production dynamic as Pelace?

We both know what ‘the Pelace sound’ is. That’s the base, from there one we just do things that sound great and go for there on. If one of us doesn’t feel it we just keep working till we both feel the track.

Do you have different roles in the production process? And if so elaborate please.

We both are making rough ideas in Ableton, we then send them over to each other. We then decide which ideas are the best. When we meet in the studio, we work on those ideas to build complete tracks.

Your debut album ‘Echoes’ will be released via Infinite Depth, please tell us about the release and how these tracks showcase your sound.

We don’t like to think in boxes. The album defines Pelace's signature sound, a mix of all kinds of electronica. Broken beats, intertwined synths, four-to-the-floor beats. Our sound is often described as emotional electronica. The album will be released by the end of 2022 on vinyl as well. It will be a very beautiful double vinyl in blue and green.

Tell us how it began to take shape? Was there an initial goal of writing an album from the beginning or did this happen organically in a way?

We never had the intention to write an album. During the first lockdown, we made a lot of tracks. After listening to them and reflecting on what those tracks meant to us. We decided to make an album. We  dug deep into their own experiences and emotions that have influenced our lifes. The story became one of melodic depth and uncompromising breaks. Melodies, arps and breaks became a common thread throughout the songs.

The album is quite varied in terms of style which makes for a very refreshing listen. Tell us about the inspiration behind the album and why it was important for you to express your thoughts, ideas in this way.

Thank you, we wanted to have a varied album which showcases the spectrum of our sound. This album was a reflection on the time during lockdown and on what our friendship is. Forever together is a homage to this friendship. It is about the deeper connection Jordy and Jannick. Besides being Pelace, they are good friends in life. 'Forever Together' is about always being Pelace together.

We believe it is very important to express emotions and feelings in a way. Whether be talking to someone or expressing feelings in art, music.

How did you end up with the final track selection and how did you go about cutting stuff out? There must be a point where it becomes quite difficult letting go of certain pieces?

We send all our music to Jonan, the label manager of Infinite Depth. We then made a selection of tracks that would fit on the album. Some tracks were immediately add to the ‘must be definitely on the album list’. After e few more listens the ‘must be on the album list’ grew until we had 10 tracks we were really proud of.

How difficult was it deciding on the flow from a listener’s perspective?

It’s very difficult to decide the flow. We send the album to some friends, befriended dj’s/producers. What helped us to find balance, were long car drives and talks.  When the album became easy to listen to, we knew we had the right balance.

What does your studio set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of ‘Echoes’? We have a mix of both analog and digital synths.

The main synth that was used a lot in all of our songs is the Korg M1. The pad/stings sound on the M1 are phenomenal. As for drums we are great fans of the 808 and 606.

The digital synth we used and use the most is Arturia’s Pigments. It has endless possibilities and it has made the sound of Pelace.

How do you feel about your music being remixed and what do you guys enjoy more, writing originals or remixes?

It is really great to see how other artist rework something we created. It is really cool to hear how they have made their own interpretation.

We like to write originals, but we also love to remix other tracks. But if we have to choose it would be making originals and to be as creative as possible.

There have been two remixes from Sasha Carassi and Naiiv released as a prelude to the full album. Will there be additional remixes following the full album release?

Yes there will be more remixes, more info will follow soon.

Do you think the digital era changed the way we perceive artist albums? Do they still carry the weight they once did or should? Is this something that perhaps depends on who (record label) is releasing it as well?

In the digital era it is very hard as an artist because so many things are put on the world wide web. You have to try and stand out as an artist. But we do think that it is still special to release an album.

Infinite Depth is not a label you had released with previously, what made it the right home for you to release your debut album?

We were already speaking with Jonan, sending some music over, and we had a good vibe/connection. When he said he was interested in releasing it as an album, we didn’t hesitate.  He is a great guy who knows what he is doing.

Let’s talk about production again for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?

Mostly it is a certain vibe where you feel like you want to make music and then it just all comes naturally. If it feels forced to make music, it won’t go that easy. It is easy to sense a vibe or mood in a certain track, so personal emotions are very important in our process.

For you to get started on a track do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called ‘visualizations’ of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?

We don’t like to plan or to visualise a finished track. We start by jamming, mostly soms pads and synthwork. When we feel like we have made something that we both feel, we start on adding the baseline, drums and other elements. A track should grow organically, and we believe chance plays a big role in this, one small change can mean a whole other outcome.

 Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?

Some cozy lightning always helps. We both have a dog (Jordy a poodle, Jannick a Golden Retriever) and we like to bring them in the studio as well.

Especially in the digital age, the writing and production process tends towards the infinite, I think. What marks the end of the process for you? How do you know when a track is done?

Yes that is true, the possibilities are endless. But at a certain point, you have to be happy with what you have made. We believe that there is beauty in every imperfection.

And to add to that, how much road testing or friend feedback is collected to help make that decision? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

 Road testing is THE thing haha. A lot of feedback of the album from friends and producers is: they started listening and one hour later the album ended. They didn’t knew they were already listening to it for so long. For us that is a compliment because of the album is a album to listen to (and maybe do a little dance ;)). We have a few producers, promoters, friends where we can always count on and they are also honest if they don’t feel it of don’t like it.

 What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

Creating arps an different kind of sequences is really cool, it is crazy how many possibilities there are. We prefer to not do mastering. We believe there are a lot of talented people out in the scene who can do mastering much and much better than us. Our Echoes album was mastered by Peter Luts.

 What is one superpower you would like to have and how would you use it?

Jordy: I have one bad habbit: being late. So being at a few places at one time would be great. Jannick always hates it when i’m late. :)

Jannick: I would like to be able to fly. I think it would be great just flying around and enjoying the view.

 If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice (not including yourself), who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

To difficult to make this one haha! We definitely would make a line-up where a few genres could collaborate in one event. Why couldn’t Tale Of Us close a event where Bicep was right before them? Rufus Du Sol definitely would we also a great match. ;)

What does the remainder of 2022 hold for you guys? Anything you can share with us?

We will do an all nighter in Versuz, Hasselt on the 6th of October. They are opening a new Techno Room and they have invited us to showcase our sound. Other than that we will showcase our Echoes Album Live at Mary Goes Wild, Amsterdam on the 8th of October. We also have a couple of new release ready, more info on that soonish.

'Echoes' is out now via Infinite Depth: https://bit.ly/3RGAtKf

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