Originally published 5/29/2011
InFiné Music is a still somewhat young Berlin/Paris-based label (only five years old) dedicated to a certain wave of what some may consider rather cinematic electronica. With a roster that boasts such artists as Apparat, Francesco Tristano, Murcof and The Hacker their motto,”easy music for the hard to please” rings true. Created by Agoria, Alexandre Cazac and Yannick Matray in 2006 I took some time to speak with them behind the scenes…
TJ Norris/for Igloo Magazine: Hello Julien, how is all going out there today?
Julien/InFiné Music: Hi TJ, It’s all going good. We were all in a rush last week. We are working hard on our release schedule for end of the year.
TJN: Busy beats. The label has a sort of custom-made feel somehow?
Julien:Most of the music, we have been releasing till now is very introspective indeed. Our first album was a solo piano of Francesco Tristano and we are about to release an album of Flamenco, in between Ethno House, Detroit Techno, hybrid jazz, rave. We have no stylistic trademark… but we are trying to create a musical consistency through this general feeling permeated in almost all our releases. We just love nicely structured and emotional music. Music with which one can travel, dream, think… One may find some answers to your existential questions in listening to InFiné music (big smiley here please) but we also hope one will be willing sometime to dance as well.
TJN: When I spun the latest by Murcof, Idiosynkrasia from Francesco Tristano and also the 12″ from Rone I felt a certain curatorial sensation, like a cinematic pastiche. Can you speak to these overtones at all?
Julien: Yes and actually, not so surprisingly La Sangre Iluminada is a soundtrack. But obviously this feeling has to do with the personalities of the two A&R’s of the label. Agoria and Alexandre Cazac have in common a strong liking for “cinematic” soundscapes and are really caring about the sequencing of our records. Most InFiné releases are flowing like movie scores and have an obvious narrative frame. There are little stories… we wanted to tell to the rest of the world.
TJN: After seeing Murcof live several times (most recently in Seattle for the Decibel Festival last year) I’ve always heard that sense of pause and breath, a subtle dramatic flair that conjures stories. He’s worked with several labels in years past. How did your release of La Sangre Iluminada come about?
Julien: Fernando is one of the godfathers of the Label. Alexandre knew him quite well already and introduced him to Francesco Tristano, a while ago when he was working on his debut album, “Not For Piano”. Fernando took part in its post-production and they both started to tour together. Fernando came to us with his soundtrack, which had been released previously on Intolerancia records, a Mexican Label. We all thought it was amazing material, which was truly fitted to InFiné. We wanted to make it a very nice LP version and here is it … we are happy people like it.
We just love nicely structured and emotional music. Music with which one can travel, dream, think… One may find some answers to your existential questions in listening to InFiné music (big smiley here please) but we also hope one will be willing sometime to dance as well.
TJN: Your roster is quite diverse, does that come from the fact that your offices are split between two countries? You also work with artists who create installations. How do you develop an aesthetic for the label?
Julien: Our official Headquarters is in Lyon in France, where Agoria lives. Most of the team is in Paris and I am living in Berlin. I think, what we get from this geographical triptych is a certain distance taken from local “buzz” and “fame”. Agoria is really committed to the development of Lyon’s musical scene but from the start, the idea was to develop an International roster. We are a slow-burning label, I think… we are not trying to release the hottest tracks on earth or a spread a sound related to a localized emerging scene, the sound of now. We like a lot of different styles and all our artists have a personal way of doing music but they are also our voice in their own countries. The “buzz” usually goes directly global, we are rather trying to build upon various local scenery.
TJN: Many of your artists play the club circuit, is that where you locate those you are working with, in the wake of night?
Julien: Sebastien Agoria is playing all over the world every weekend. He meets a lot of people on the road, talks about the label to other fellow international deejays. That helps a lot… but that’s not especially where we are looking at new artists. We aimed at promoting fresh faces, producing original music, but what’s the most important with us is the personal relationship we have with the artists, if we have faith in them in the long term. It’s not a question of networking or having a great time one night with someone. All our artists have long term contracts with us, they have the time to evolve their music and this decision is bound to way more complex parameters. Some consensual decisions between all of us.
TJN: What makes the best producer?
Julien: Personality, authenticity, kindness and surely a bit of boldness.
TJN: Since 2006, how do you define the change/shift in electronic music in general? Any significant reasons for these potential changes?
Julien: From a label perspective, everybody told us, it was completely a foolish idea to create a label in 2006. But five years after, we have already seen some young electronic labels acquiring some international recognition overnight and sometimes also slowly fading and disappearing as quickly. In electronic music, producing, promoting and selling music is cheap, the networks are easily reachable, and labels are sometimes just management companies aimed at promoting one main artist. The role of a label in electronic music is really called into question. But putting a record in store and in the media is one thing, creating a proper long-term identity is another. That’s why we are really happy when someone mentioning a InFiné feel or a trademark, that’s why, we are also happy when our artists are blossoming release after release.
TJN: What’s coming up?
Julien: Murcof’s soundtrack and Rone’s new EP So So So have just been released. We are releasing the LP version of Arandel’s In D with remixes, alternative and unreleased versions, one of the most surprising records of our catalog. End of August comes Barlande, an album of flamenco of Perdo Soler & Gaspar Claus produced by Bryce Dessner (The National, Clogs). I do not think I need to say anything more about this project. And two albums of Composerr and Cubenx are in the pipeline for the autumn/early winter.
For more information, visit InFiné Music.