Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Seven questions with ... Mathias Van Eecloo aka Monolyth & Cobalt

Mathias Van Eecloo aka Monolyth & Cobalt is a new inspiration to me. I have known and loved his music for a wee while now ... but it is through his Eliean Rec. label that he has touched me the most. It truly is, as his Bandcamp page says:
"...a sound map transcending our borderless world and the perception of sounds."
The music his wee label releases is exemplary ... it is probably one of the best organic, electroacoustic ambient music out there.

Eliean Rec. has two new releases out - Butterfly Meets Mountain by Xu - and - Archive by Danny Clay ... while I have been listening to these releases with the intention of writing about them in the near future, I thought I'd see what made Van Eecloo tick. This is what he had to say ... and note, Mathias' English is far better than my French:


1) Who are you and what do you do?
Linked to the music area, I was (and I'm) a music geek listeners in approximately all kind of sounds, except maybe house music and that kind of stuff.

Then, I begun in 2008 to play my own sounds on some electronic devices and all my instruments.
It was the first steps from my solo project Monolyth & Cobalt.

I learned by myself. It's certainly the reason about my prolific discography.

I try, I test, I experiment, then I record. that's all !

Actually, I try to be more discreet (it's not easy..) or at least to be more selective on what I propose or will propose in a near future..In parallel, I run a little independent label, at home, Eilean Rec. since April 2014, and I come back to my geek passion to listen and meet some people. not in real, sure, but it's stay really nice and good.

2) What are you working on at the moment?
- Eilean Rec. ;)
- try to be concise for this interview !
- and sure, a lot of thoughts in mind for some works in progress.
in solo, in some parallel solo projects, and in some collaborations too.
I like a lot to play with some other music artists. share and try.. and see what happens..

3) Who inspires you? 
- Name an artist who has inspired you.
Definitively not easy. a lot. some writers, some filmmakers, some artists and performers, some musicians… Ok. I try to be concise !!!

Writer : Henri Miller

Filmmaker : Gustav Deutsch

Artist : Joseph Beuys

Performer : Chris Burden

Musician : my favorites must be around 100 on some thousands. it's not a joke.

Ok, let's say these 5 first in my life some years ago, around my 18 years old. so 18 years ago.
it could be maybe like "my roots" which give me the desire to play  :
Oval, Tony Conrad with Faust (Outside the dream Syndicate), Zoviet France, Muslimgauze, and
Nurse With Wound (album : soliloquy for lilith)

- Name place that has inspired you.
not easy again. I loved to travel and I love to do it each years when my budget is not too low.
so, I love and try to go far away.

good for the mind, the heart and the feelings.

Asia is certainly the part of this world that I like the most. I went across over there several time. Indonesia too.

I will keep these 3 other places : 
- Glencoe in Scotland, when I saw it the first time of my life. each time I come back over there, I'm like at home in these mountains.

- Ihlara Valley in Turquia. certainly linked to the other place just above. I like horizons and vastness of the territories. it make people humble.

- A temple in Cambodia around 12 years ago. my first time in Asia. It was around the city of Battambang, it's certainly "Prasat Banon" Temple. It was really high, and I stayed some few hours alone. and I played finally with a Jew's Harp and some few Buddhists students were sitting near from me to listen. they were intrigated.. it was really nice and it's again today a strong memory for me.

- Name some "thing" that has inspired you.
All elements. especially like I said huge territories. and the sea.
I live near the sea now since 3 years.
So, I'm near from my perfect condition to living peacefully.

4) What drives you to do what you do? 
My instinct is my best partner. so : improvisation.

Play, record and stop. then share.

Certainly one of the most grateful thing in every art expression.

Let the thing live by itself..

5) What values do you wish your creativity to express?
Love. it seems stupid say like this. but it's not. I love to learn. I love to play. I love to share. I know myself in this way too. and I learn by the others too.

With time, words are boring and tiring for me. my words, the people words, my way of life has been changed when I moved from the big city (Paris) and today I like again to speak and communicate and all but finally we speak a lot for nothing (especially about art !!)

So, music is one of the nice way to communicate, like a lot of art expression - it don't' need to speak. it's already a language.

6) What role does community play in what you do?
A lot. although I said speaking is boring. I don't think really this. I'm finally a person who like to meet, share and create with people.

So a lot. but for example I always think that the social network are really not good for our minds but I spend some hours sometimes on it. I'm sure like a lot of us. It's necessary to find the good balance.
the balance between the loneliness and the sociability.

Social networks can be some possible nice bridges to built some projects and meet some people in music or art. but, then, it's necessary to move and work. if not, it's like a pollution for the creativity.

7) What is next for what you do?
I will go to sleep now. it is 4.40 am ;)

More clearly : stay focus because I'm always like hyperactive and I'm tired ! but it seems to be on the good way, near from my 40 years old in 4 years,I think I will stay a child but more calm.

Eilean Rec. for the 7 next years, if all go fine (yes, there is already the final date for the label..if all the project go to the 100 final releases) and monolyth & cobalt certainly more works on Ottö Solange, and some collaborations where I would love to take my time and give my best. I will try, and we will see.


Over the next couple of days I will feature interviews with Xu and Danny Clay ... and showcase their respective albums. In the interim, please take a wee trip over to the Bandcamp page of Eliean Rec. and familiarise yourself with their awesomeness:

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