Manu Louis is back to give the world a well needed carnavalesque twist. The Belgian-born, Berlin-based artist recently followed up on a solid 7″ for New Pangea with his debut album Kermesse Machine, a surreal and exotic voyage through post-modern pop.
Manu has kindly agreed to sit down in the LSD Faze Time hotseat to dish out his darkest secrets. Listen to a highlight from Kermesse Machine below, read on and catch Manu Louis on tour in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and at his homecoming show in Berlin’s Südblock on May 27th.
My name is Emmanuel Patrick Jean Christophe Louis but you might know me as Manu Louis. I was born in Liège, Belgium and grew up in the same place. When I was a child my idol was Indiana Jones, because such epic music preceded his most heroic actions. When I was 30, I started to listen to Alvin Curran. It was then that I realised that my center of interest was different than a lot of people and decided to travel the world to preach the Good News. Since then I haven’t stopped.
One of the best gigs I played was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was so much fun the local police offered me a job and with a broken heart I declined.
One of the best gigs I have been to was Alvin Curran with Merce Cunningham in Rome. I loved how he would press very softly on his keyboard, creating a very nervous accordion sound. For the wild post-modern guitarist that I was, it was magical. That’s what turned me on to electronic music.
Now I live in Berlin with my roomate, Alex Baladi, a comic artist and very pleasant man. In my house you can find another house, a garden house which serves as my bedroom and my refrigerator is usually full with pickles – Alex thinks it helps to keep a good mood. I enjoy the sauna and working a lot. I can spend hours sleeping. One of my favorite places to visit is Valencia, because women!
On weekdays I compose music and on weekends I usually play concerts, if not go to other concerts.
My favorite song at the moment is “Wooden Bag” by Richard Dawson. A film I watched lately and really liked was The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos. The last series I watched and loved was Black Mirror.
I am very inspired by Berlin, music, politics, art, books. My dream is to keep doing the same thing (maybe with just a little bit more comfort). My worst nightmare is to go to a 9-5 job daily.
I love being excited by music or art or in general and hate conflicts with hyper-sensitive people.
I am addicted to cigarettes, but I quit, I just cannot stop mutilating my brain online.
I get totally fucked up, when I watch garbage on the internet. The next day I need to look at the internet again.
Local Suicide reminds me of Berlin.
Tomorrow I perform in France. Next month I have my record release concert in Berlin with Neoangin (Jim Avignon), at Südblock on the 27th of May. Next year I will travel to Japan. In 10 years I hope that human beings are still there. I don’t want the extinction of humanity to ruin my career.
If I wasn’t a musician, I would be a city.
If my life was a Hollywood movie, it would be – I haven’t seen it and probably won’t – Baby Boss would have the main role, because you don’t really remember the others, do you? If I could have sex with anyone, it would be a vintage woman (if possible, in the seventies).
If I was a car, I would be a self-hating one, because I think cars should be forbidden. If I was an animal, I would be a shoebill. If I was a drug I would be the internet. If I was an invention, I would be a dynamo (a Belgian invention). If I was an object, I would be a control-alt-delete wand . If I could date myself, I would Google myself beforehand.
If I could play with anyone it would be Eric Dolphy. I would like to collaborate with 2,000 brass instruments, surrounding a huge public place to perform my piece “Plastic Fanfare”, conducted by Pierre Boulez and featuring 500 pop stars covertly mixed in the audience and playing plastic instruments. It’s a project I am currently working on. We could also do it with another conductor and replace the pop stars with people from the local nursing home.
If I had only one wish, it would be not to become old and stupid at the same time.
I would never buy a control-alt-delete wand, because the beauty of the idea is not necessarily in its application.
My word of advice to the reader would be to don’t try to be yourself, try to be like me.