Interview: A True Terror Corporation
"Strange Therapy presents a new sonic menace with “The More You Feel, The Less You Live” by the duo ATT Corp (A True Terror Corporation), comprised of Incendie and Templer.
Find yourself surrounded by post-apocalyptic sounds with strong industrial tensions".
The Forgotten is pleased to share with you an interesting talk accompanied by one of the tracks that make up this full length album.
TF: Tell us something about you. What’s your background? Where did you studied and who influenced you to explore musical processes?
We met by chance at Maschinenfest in 2016 where we saw Test Dept, Trepaneringsritualen, Hypnoskull and much more. We spent 3 days together and it unfolded very naturally between us from the beginning. We later met again for Tropic of Cancer and Sixth June at Berghain, and we made later that night/day our first album in an improvised session. A couple months later in Köln where Arthur was living, we saw Front 242 and spent some time and had the chance to get to know each other on deeper levels and trust each other as humans.
Music has always been the cement of our relationship, and we grow out of it a lot of discussions onto music and society, which nourished our wills to improvise together and unleash the bad feelings we could experience in our lives, a place where it’s safe and appreciated to authorize yourself to scream, hit metal sheets and make a lot of noise. It is very primitive, about freeing ourselves. Thomas: We completely have different musical backgrounds as Arthur is coming from the post-metal/doom scene basically and Thomas more from the techno scene. But we both discovered industrial and directly recognised ourselves in this scene. We both have been influenced by industrial music pioneers like Test Dept, SPK, Sütcliffe Jugend or Esplendor Geometrico but also Doom metal/ drone bands like Amenra, Godflesh, The Body or Sunn O))). The whole idea of ‘collective’ used by Test Dept is really something that definitely impressed and pushed us to develop more ATT CORP the way it is now. Even if it's just a beginning and we still have many ideas and projects to make this idea alive.
TF: You live in Berlin. How does this place influence you as artists?
Arthur: Berlin became the city I wanted to live in after experiencing the Atonal Festival a few years in a row. Since I moved here, places like Urban Spree, Arena (rip), Festsaal Kreuzberg or Loophole and festivals such as Dice or CTM filled my heart, feelings and thoughts. I wanted to experience as many concerts and atmospheres as possible and Berlin is a very intense place for this purpose.
We also met so many people here, from all over the world, with incredible stories, knowledge and intentions, and the openness you can experience here toward your identities is a precious thing, for which we should continue to fight and stand for.
Yet we both agree that after a few years, Berlin is sometimes too intense and might feel like an alternative reality. It feels important to us to find a balance and to take breaks, to go breathing next to the sea, the mountains or forests, where we find a lot of peace and inspiration.
TF: What new hardwares did you apply to make 'The More You Feel, The Less You Live' album? Do you have a particular method while working in the studio?
When the lockdown happened, we didn’t jam for a while. Thomas started to have a complete case of modules and Arthur received an Ableton Push and a bow for his guitar and new contact mics. We wanted to experiment around these new sonics, with more digital and synthesized input than in the EP on Modern Bön, which was rather organic.
You can find this experimental and improvised approach on Haewusu, Angkor Wat, Okinawa Cave and Vatican for instance, which are more or less cut from the recording. Betelgeuse is a bit of the odd one out as we played it 3 or 4 times before getting the right intensity in the recording and deciding to keep it.
We also manipulated some tracks through Ableton, in order to fuse our industrial influences with modern sonorities and treatment - as in Nanga Parbat and Betelgeuse - or for arrangement purposes as on Erta Ale. Whilst we usually worked the audio straight from the recording before Covid, with minimal alterations to the improvised intentions, we wanted through the daw technique to expand our sound palette and will definitely continue to do so in some instances. Although the method can have evolved a bit, for the creative/ recording process itself we basically still work the same way. We press the recording button and jam for an hour or two and decide what to edit, keep or throw away.
TF: "The More You Feel, The Less You Live" … If you focus on feeling you stop thinking and you just find yourself in the present moment ... What conceptual-spiritual idea is there in this title?
As mentioned above about Berlin, sometimes, feeling too much gets overwhelming, and we both tend to withdraw into oneself when it happens. We are both hypersensitive, and even if we lived different things differently we can really relate to each other's feelings. Although the title can sound defeatist or pessimistic, it is rather of an observation to illustrate this hypersensitivity.
ATT CORP is a catharsis for both of us, and by expressing what we can't express in real life we are able to understand it, even if that’s out of the linguistic realm. This title is about living and loving, in order to be happy later on, as the project name is intended, the sonic is a terror yet a healing one.
It is also important to note that we are both lovers of life and nature, and this project helps us to accept ourselves and our emotions. In the closing track of our live show, we are talking about grief and expressing love and empathy to those who are suffering from it.
TF: How was the creative relationship with Strange Therapy? How did the idea for the album come about?
We have been following Strange Therapy’s release since almost the start of the label and love every single release. Wouter has a strong vision of what he wants to publish and the image of the label completely corresponds to our universe. So it was almost automatic and very natural for us to propose this album to ST. After listening to it Wouter was super enthusiastic about the whole concept and we directly started to plan and work on this album together. He really brought a fresh visual identity with the design. He also came out with the idea of Oil Thief as a remixer, which is a super idea because we really like his work.The Nent is a friend of us and we bothy love his project so it was also super natural to invite him to remix us. We have to say that we are super happy about both remixes.
The Strange Therapy relationship with Wouter was very easy going, he is taking care of so much with the label. He made the design of the album and understood very well what was behind our music, a glowing light within darkness; color and warmth to the pains and weaknesses we shared throughout. We also thank him for giving to Dadub the mastering process, which understood our sound and intention, and gave the album the right energy.
TF: Do you pay attention to the strong reactions of others to your work? Does that affect what you create?
Honestly no, it can seem a bit egoistic but as we said above we do music together as ATT CORP to be able to do this catharsis and express what we cant express in our lives. It is purely personal and kind of therapeutic for us and it is the main point behind the project. We never know which direction is going to take our jam sessions and we barely talk about it while jamming. We can play for an hour together without talking to each other. It is almost a nihilistic approach as we don't impose ourselves on any methodology or rules to follow. Taking in consideration the fact that it is so intimistic and has this therapeutic goal we don't care if people will like it or not. The most important thing is that we felt something while doing it and that it helps us to evolve humanly.
TF: Can you tell us more about your next release? Do you have in mind other projects?
There’s a lot of work in the making and tracks ready, as well as exciting compilations. We always share a lot of music and try to expand each other’s sonic and rhythmic boundaries, there are plenty of directions we’d like to explore, whether ambient-ish, deconstructed or sound design focused works.
We also intend to develop ATT.Corp’s to be a collective entity, to experience, from one additional member to numerous, with Test Department as a model, an incredible band we had the chance to see twice, and discuss with for some hours two years ago during Wroclaw Industrial Festival, where Thomas played as Imperial Black Unit with Pablo Bozzi.
TF: Recently, have you seen any movie or documentary, or heard an album that has influenced the way you make music? What other art forms or music inspire you as a person? Thomas: Although I used to read a lot of books about leftist literature, sociology or dystopies. Since this covid period I needed to escape more from the dystopia we actually live in. So I decided to spend more time in the place where I'm from (Pyrenees, south of France). And all the books I'm reading at the moment are about alpinisme which is one of my other passions.
Musically, I am again digging a lot of all the Kvitnu, Raster, In Paradisum, Ohm Resistance, Horo stuff that I will never get tired of as well as some older things like Mika Vainio, Pan Sonic, In Slaughter Natives, Muslimgauze... Besides I have to say I’ve always been a huge fan of Mondkopf (and his side projects) since his first albums and it has influenced me a lot in my musical journey. Since I'm exploring more and more different forms of creation with my modular synth I started to use more and more euclidean rhythms or patterns combined with generative elements. I like the way it can break the typical occidental way of doing music and build something that can sound so ‘unconventional’ for the western world while being almost traditional in some other part of the globe.
Arthur: One thing that I’ve appreciated during this last year was having time to discover lots of new artists and musicians as Ice Eyes, NYX Electronic Drone Choir or King Yosef, and labels as Genot Centre or Hypermedium, as well as traditional music from India (thanks Daisy!), North and East Africa, and a bit of Latin America. It felt sometimes challenging, yet a very rewarding experience, which I’ll continue to explore.
I am personally interested in a combination of art forms and artists such as Arca, Antromorph, Marco Donnaruma or Naked have to my have been embodying this intersection. I have followed them for a long time now and definitely inspire and transcend me in their respective ways. They motivate me to find my way to explore performance and working with the body.
I also watched a lot of documentaries about insects, animals and marine creatures during the lockdown which helped me escape the gloom together with ambient, the genre I am listening to the most by far, a pillar for many years !
TF: Any last words from ATT Corp to our readers?
‘Close your eyes, listen around and within’
Format: Tape + Digital | Release date: July 15th, 2021
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