The first thought that hits my mind while listening to Vincent Corvec’s sound is that it is elegant, melancholic yet has powerful soundscapes. The Reunion Island-based musician Corvec debuted in India last year in March along with his live electronica band. Vincent’s sound waves weave in thoughts, his musical synergy of piano and voice, along with cinematic visuals create a magnificent spectacle. Well, the good news is Vincent will be back in India in 2019 for his second multi-city tour, probably in Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, and more…also, his finest DJ set podcast will be broadcast on boxout.fm on Saturday 17 March 2018. “It’s a selection of 12 tracks I wanted to merge in a non-linear mix since a long time. A mingling of laid-back funk, psycho-jazz instrumental and classic deep-house. This DJ Set is a meeting place for them, beginning around 90 bpm and closing under 126 bpm. During my debut tour in India last year, I met the members of boxout.fm in New Delhi and since then we have been working on this project, now I’m glad to propose this podcast,” he said.
Celebrating one year of his India tour, let us know what he has to share about his future projects, upcoming tour, what gears he’s using, his take on electronic music approach in India, online radio and more.
Do you think online radio shows can reach out to more listeners? How do you see the approach of it?
Online radios are not limited by geographical constraints. Podcasts can reach an extended range of listeners, beyond borders. This initiative may be a bridge between here and there, past and present. There is a huge Indian descendant’s community in Reunion Island, coming from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. Internet facilities can be a supplementary reason to be interested in their roots, but also by the actuality of Indian society.
I used to host a music show for three years on a local radio in France in my twenties when everything was about the live broadcast. Being on air was a refreshing sensation for both speakers and listeners because it could be partly improvised and happy accidents could happen. But, the audience was passively waiting, and couldn’t get any good quality recording or replay opportunities. With online radio, listeners are active and can choose what they want to listen, whenever they want to.
More generally, the observation of insights and statistics on my website or podcast pages reveal that my music/videos are more often played by people from abroad (Canada, India, Japan, U.S., South Africa), than Reunion or even French audience. Online tools permit to spread everyone’s work more easily even if you’re living in an isolated place like Reunion Island.
How well-versed are you in the electronic music space of India? Any favourite artist you are currently listening to?
When I spoke to several Indian music professionals on my last tour, I felt they were like in a frustrating impasse. On the other hand, the local scene is more dynamic with many talented producers in different styles, but there are only a few venues to host them. Contrary to French State (at least up to now), Indian Government doesn’t seem to encourage modern electronic music, or to be involved in modern culture process. It’s paradoxical that electronic music is still received as underground, despite the huge potential of producers and listeners in the market.
I read various music portals, listen to podcasts on various online radios, follow new releases on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, etc. I really like what Sandunes creates. Recently, I liked two songs Haze and Pas d’Amour of a French singer Mai Lan, from her album Autopilote. I do keep on listening to the same records of Kurt Cobain, Chet Baker, Portishead, Rage Against The Machine over and over again. I have been digging deep with some Japanese and Indian classical music, Portuguese and Spanish traditional songs, Western classical and Impressionist composers at the same time.
What gears/equipment are you using nowadays and carrying on your tour?
At home, I compose with a piano or a guitar, using my own home-studio or regional conservatory to build drafts or even produce a full track. On tour, we, unfortunately, can’t bring all our favourite studio gears. It’s generally a robust & light set up in a single flight-case, because of internal flight luggage restriction. I shall be carrying a small size and high-quality keyboard (Roli Seabord), a vocal multi-processor to plugin microphones (TC Helicon VL3), a laptop with midi controllers (Ableton Push). Most of the time, you never know the real venues’ conditions you’ll be playing in, until the gig’s day. Ear-monitors are important, to avoid endless soundcheck and frequencies-rumble during the show.
You have worked with several musicians from all over the world, any notable one/s you want to share?
Lucas Santtana is a modern Brazilian singer, with whom I have sung two years ago when he came on tour in Reunion Island. He has also worked with me on one track of my first EP. Among others, Stephane Dri, aka Scan X, a techno producer and sound-engineer whose hypnotic track Midnight I really fancy.
Another collab was Kutla Khan and Hakim Khan from Rajasthan. We had a recording session at Studio Ribbit last year in Mumbai, supported by the French Institute of New Delhi. They were playing on a 500 years old Kamaicha violin, constantly detuning and re-tuning. It was almost impossible to harmonise with electronic instruments on the whole length of a song. One of the tracks we have recorded will be on the Saodaj’s EP(Corvec’s choirgirl Marie Lanfroy’s Maloya band), to be released in June 2018.
Thanks to the internet, material resources are not that hard to manage nowadays. The main difficulty is to synchronise everyone’s schedule, to be at the same time, at the same place, and finally work together.
Music sounds great on Vinyl. How important is mastering the art of mixing on Vinyl before getting digital?
Mixing on vinyl is an inner experience, there is no visual aspect you can refer to, no cue-button, no pause-button, no synchronise button. As Chris Lord Age says, “Always engage ears, never engage eyes.” Music is great on vinyl if the appropriate analogue audio chain to restore the original sound of the disc is respected. The sound is like a hygienic process. Vinyl press quality, reading cell, cartridges, preamp, speakers, the room each step has to be clean.
In a way, for a lot of music lovers, vinyl revival may be considered as a fashion, promoted by record companies, because mainstream listeners don’t by CDs anymore. Vinyl is a fetish object we like to own, but they have to be properly listened, not forgotten on a set of a shelf like a social status trophy.
Vincent who will be touring in and around Reunion Island and in East Asia (Japan & South Korea) in July-August 2018, will be releasing a new EP and videos in September 2018. The videos have been already produced in Venice, Italia. The songs will be featuring Lucas Santtana (Brazil), Marie Lanfroy (Reunion Island), and a “Secret Woman Pop Singer” from India. In October 2018, he will be releasing another original soundtrack for National Ballet of Marseilles, France.
“Last time I had the chance to work with the whole Mixtape team for the multi-city tour, it was a great experience. The logistics were really good, but it is quite exhausting. In 2019, I will be back in India with more intimate music and DJ sets. Better things to come,” Vincent signs off.
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