Mimetic aka Jérome Soudan is no stranger to both the techno and industrial music scene. He has already released on labels like Hymen Records and HANDS, and had tracks remixed by the likes of Mika Vainio and Kangding Ray, and after a three-year hiatus he returns with the Maidenhead EP which went out on December 3rd on the Swiss label Les Arts Minis. His blend of techno, industrial and noise takes us on an unexpected trip and proves once again that his versatile sound hasn’t lost its appeal.
You to set me free from this agony, sweet agony oh what
If I take control so easily sweet agony”
When asked about Sweet Agony’, Jérome says it “combines a driving techno roll with a bass-line as deep as they come – warm, analogue-sounding beauty that will keep you coming back for more”.
We had the chance to chat with Mimetic to celebrate the release of his Maidenhead EP and discuss work, life balance and future plans as one of the busiest men in techno.
LSD: You don’t seem short on talent – from techno producer, movie composer, writer and producer for a number of contemporary dance artists, drummer, multi-instrumentalist, artistic director of Electron Festival and Présences Electroniques Genève. I could go on. But firstly, how do you find the time to well breathe?! It must be a challenge to balance it all?
Mimetic: Yes, it is indeed, but somehow it was my choice. It is my way of staying connected to the music world 24/24. As an artist, I always need to challenge myself with new projects, collaborations, and I never wanted to confine myself to only dj, or to only play single live set alone, or to compose only strict techno tracks. I had great pleasure to collaborate with many different artists for my live sets or my albums, such as, for instance, an enigmatic saw player or an ondes Martenot player. My musician’s network is fed by my event organizer’s one and I have a lot of musician and dj friends who are working in promoting events or managing labels or agencies. It is somehow a way to live from and in the music industry for a lot of artists nowadays. Then you have to, for sure, find a way to strike a balance between family life and working life, as is it really often confusing and mixed up.
LSD: It obviously keeps life interesting doing a multitude of diverse activities. Which is the most rewarding and which could you never stop?
Mimetic: I’m born with music and I will never stop making music, as a dj or as a composer. As a composer I can work hours around a single sound, like if I have a special relationship with it, it is really immersive and personal. On the contrary, as a dj or when I play live music, I share a lot with the world. The story of an artist is always a good balance between his inside world and what he perceives from the outside, a kind of interaction, sometimes cathartic, sometimes really egocentric of what he feels he has to do, to say, and what he is able to express. I think that with time, I gained enough experience to express more easily what I feel which is the most difficult and could be the most rewarding actually. As a promoter it’s quite rewarding to help people discover some new artists from all over the world in a local venue, and it is somehow a highly challenging task!
LSD: The opening track ‘Gone’ sounds like it’s influenced by rave culture to me, well, perhaps it’s just the stab synth towards the end. Can you tell me what influenced the “Maidenhead” EP?
Mimetic: After my last album which concluded a bit my strong industrial time I wanted to release a kind of a light release. I wanted to dive again in my Berlin time, e-werk, a club I was going to quite often because I really liked the industrial atmosphere of the old factory with huge machines. In the 90’s Berlin was really interesting, a kind of after war city with a lot of abandoned buildings. I remember being in streets with works for kilometres, no people in the street, no cars, few prostitutes and really cool bar on the top floor, many clubs & bars with no entrance and you had to know which day you could go inside, etc., and the music scene was clearly moving from experimental (for instance I played in a venue called ‘Im Eimer’) to techno music and rave parties. ‘Gone’ is definitely coming from the rave parties I was visiting, I love the atmosphere of rave parties, it is somehow really organic.
LSD: Being a multi-instrumentalist and having a history of drumming in bands, you would be aware of the distinct differences between djing and live performance. Do you prefer one over the other? Or should they be compared? I know carrying a drum kit to a gig would be quite different to arriving with USB drives and headphones!
Mimetic: Yes, if you speak about the equipment, this is slightly different, but at the end I can find the sane huge energy in a dj set than in a strong punk rock gig. With the new technologies, djing is now quite similar to live for me. Djing is more like a big jam session with raw sound material, new tracks, etc., and it is somehow quite easy to feel the public vibes and to communicate with it! The possibilities are endless nowadays for djs.
LSD: Please describe the electronic music scene in Geneva.
Mimetic: The scene in Geneva was on one side quite influenced by the UK scene, because a lot of English people are coming around for ski, and on the other, influenced by the French rock scene, and finally since we have a huge connection with Berlin, the techno scene is quite strong as well. Geneva is a very special city, a small sized one (only 400,000 people), but with a high quality level of events. A lot of different foreign communities from all over the world: Brazilian, African, etc. It’s really like a small mix of London and Berlin in a French culture area. Some of our artist here are really hype, if you speak about Luciano who is huge or Sonja Moonear who is touring all over the world. We have a long list of artists in the house scene or techno scene who are producing and touring a lot such as Quenum, Dachsund, La Forêt, Garance. Geneva is the home city of electro rock bands such as The Young Gods as well. We have a strong drum’n’bass scene as well as a lot of rave and free parties…
LSD: What’s next for Mimetic?
Mimetic: I’m working on an album. I don’t know when I will release it exactly. I work a lot with visuals artists called SigmaSix in Geneva, we build A/V installations with surround sound system, one of the pieces we did ‘Vertical Surround’, was presented in The National Museum of Taiwan and was a great success.
Mimetic’s Maidenhead EP is out now via Les Arts Minis