Gathered under the enigmatic name of De-Bons-En-Pierre with an exciting off-axis debut for Josh Cheon’s Dark Entries, L.I.E.S. very own analogue fiddler Beau Wanzer and French techno experimentalist Maoupa Mazzocchetti unite in a twopronged attack towards senseless standards and calibrated boredom on the weirdly mouth-watering ‘Crepes‘.
Recorded in Brussels at Mazzocchetti’s place on the occasion of Beau’s visit in the Belgian capital, ‘Crepes‘ sees the pair merge their compelling strangeness as one, colliding their twisted post-horror, club-wrecking sonics under the auspices of a blissful christening hardware session that invokes the best of industrial, cold-wave and unhinged techno tropes.
The opportunity was too good so we caught up with Beau and Florent to discuss their meeting, recording methods and manifest sound convergence. Listen to the EP’s mind-bending opener ‘Seul Comme Sombre‘ down below.
Interview by Baptiste Girou
"We didn’t record the music with the intention of releasing it. We just wanted to record and have fun."
Hey guys, first of all, how did the idea of this collaboration come to be?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti : Honestly I’m a little bit shy to ask for a collaboration with someone. We have many similar music influences and after a couple of years of sharing music and stuff, the idea of working together came naturally. When Beau knew he’d be touring Europe in 2016, the first idea was to record something together as soon as he’d be in Brussels. I booked him for a live set at the same time.
Beau Wanzer: Florent helped book a show for me in Brussels for my tour last year and it seemed natural that we record. I had a bunch of gear with me and he had his. We hooked everything up and just pushed play. We didn’t really discuss much about the process… it was very ‘spur of the moment’.
On what occasion did you first get in touch?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: I don’t remember precisely. It was probably some sort of technical question about a drum machine that we both have… or about the ‘Society’ movie from Brian Yuzna — which is one of our favourite horror movie. Following this, he strongly supported Maoupa’s music. It’s very flattering to be encouraged by an artist like him; who played this kind of niche music at a time when I was still busy pouring chocolate on my cereals while watching the Club Dorothée at the television.
Beau Wanzer: Florent reached out to me a couple years ago about programming a drum machine or something? I don’t remember exactly. One day I received a package in the mail with a very nice hand written letter and his first record. I really liked what I heard. We have kept in touch since then. Mostly talking about music and movies.
You said the language between you had been a barrier yet the result is that of a rather well harnessed chaos… How did you approach this studio session?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: Sorry?
Beau Wanzer: We use the international language of head nodding.
"We hooked everything up and just pushed play. We didn’t really discuss much about the process... it was very ‘spur of the moment’."
’Crepes’ is out via Dark Entries, a label that established as a particularly reliable source for industrial and new-wave gems, weird electronics, non-linear techno and other genre-busting oddities. How did you link up with the label?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti : We didn’t want to release this project with one of our respective labels. We thought it’d be best to build a new identity; some sort of siamese twins boys band and the label was part of it. For us, Dark Entries was the most pertinent match for De-Bons-en-Pierre’s music, identity and influences. Beau also had some music link with Josh. With a bit of luck, Josh was very enthusiastic to release the tracks we sent him and also to give me the opportunity to design this strange artwork for the sleeve.
Beau Wanzer: After I returned from my trip I was going through all the tracks we recorded (a total of 14 I think?). I was thinking about doing a self-release, then decided to send them to Josh. We talked about doing an LP, but narrowing it down to an EP. We all collectively chose are favourites. The 6 songs on this EP are the ones we all liked the most.
Was there any plan for a release since the beginning or did it come along the way/after you heard the recordings?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: At the beginning, we were just focusing on playing music together while chilling in Brussels. We were excited to share it with the freaks though, so the idea of releasing came naturally after we recorded the tracks. It’s not my style to speculate about music… That’d be strange to think about a specific release before making music.
Beau Wanzer: No plans at all. I think if you plan something or go in with a set goal the product loses a bit of the spontaneity? I just enjoy the process of collaborating with other people. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We didn’t record the music with the intention of releasing it. We just wanted to record and have fun.
How did you come up with that name, De-Bons-En-Pierre? Does it come from you, Florent?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: The initial idea was to find a name with a French connotation. We didn’t want to end up with a name too close from our respective projects… or related to horror movies, in a serial-techno-killer-monster-freak fashion… It went very fast on the label side of things so we had to find a name quickly.
After a period with no ideas, I remembered of a name which would fit. De-Bons-En-Pierre is the surname of my grandmother’s late aunt. “Bons” refers to a priest in Old French language, and this is pronounced like the “bonze”, a French term derived from Japanese and referring to these Buddhist priests; very famous since the photograph of one of them immolating himself.
"Plug it in, turn it on, and turn it up!"
As a great appreciator of both your solo projects and other collaborations, I was intrigued to know whether your modus operandi had changed for this record?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: We work with a couple of similar instruments, so the process was the same excepted some of our respective music-making tricks. We recorded 14 tracks in one day between 11:00 AM. and 11:00 P.M. Track after track. I love to switch my gear and to record very quickly what I’m finding in there.
I saw it was the same with Beau. It’s a fact, the mashing was just insane. It was a real fusion musically-speaking. Everything was spontaneous, with some jokes and very good human feelings. When the music sounds good it’s the same as a delicious dish. I didn’t need to talk too much, silence says it all!
Beau Wanzer: It’s pretty much exactly the same as I’ve always done, whether solo or with other collaborations. I think Florent works much like me in that we don’t keep the same set up for more than two or three songs. So the working relationship was extremely fluid. Plug it in, turn it on, and turn it up!
Did you have some assigned position in the making of the tracks or was it full-on jamming with whatever came to hand?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: Personally I don’t really like to jam when I’m about to create tracks; the clock was running down during the session, so we chose not to go towards a proper jam session. Instead, we focused in making tracks and above all without a specific style.
Beau Wanzer: We both had our ‘stations’ synced up. We would write a beat or a synth part and just take it from there. It wasn’t really that thought out. Much like what I do when I record solo…we’d have it set up a certain way, record a couple, than switch everything out… whether it be effects, chain of the machines, etc. I don’t like to overanalyse setup/making tracks. Just rip through them.
"It’s not my style to speculate about music… That'd be strange to think about a specific release before making music."
What about the title, ‘Crepes’? Was that your menu?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: Yes, because we ate crêpes…
Beau Wanzer: Crepes all fucking day.
Do you guys have any plans to collaborate again in the future or was it a one-off cooperation?
Maoupa Mazzocchetti: Next session will be very soon in Brussels. Beau would like to try some waffles this time…!
Beau Wanzer: I’m planning another tour this year. Hopefully I can come back to Brussels and record more.
Crepes is out now via Dark Entries, order a vinyl copy from Juno.
A1. Seul Comme Sombre
A2. Whole Body Irradiator
A3. The Mud Man Is Coming
B2. The Eyebrows Salesgirl
B3. Demissionne En Tuant Ton Patron