Wrapped in an aura of mystery and introduced by a faint but solid melody and a hypnotic beat that plays in the distance, two figures stand out, slightly illuminated on the face. In Anima, a duo that is building its way to the top of the underground electronic music scene.
They have recently attracted attention thanks to the debut on Tale Of Us’ Afterlife but, the tune marks only a step of their journey. We have decided to reach the duo for an interview about their past, present, and future.
Hi guys, let’s start with a little introduction. When have you met and why/how have you decided to start this project?
We’ve met each other during our childhood. We were like 7 years old; it was the beginning of our beautiful friendship. Music has always been an important part of our life, and naturally we started paying attention to dance music. Immediately, we were flooded by this energetic and continuous flow. So we started playing some records on our first turntables. It was the CDJ-400 model from Pioneer and we were like 12 years old. It was amazing! We used to play a lot in our room after school or during the week-end. It was the real beginning of our dance music passion. Naturally, the next step was to learn how to compose and produce dance music. One close friend of us, Jean Baptiste Chiara, bought an APC40 from Akai and the unfamous DAW : Ableton when we were 15 years old. So we started composing our tracks …. Jamming with some 808’s samples. It was chaotic (laugh)! After 3 years of discovery and self-learning, we decided to start a common project. It was the beginning of In Anima.
You are both from France, Lyon if I’m not wrong. How is the underground scene and the techno culture in general in town/country? Have you studied to do what you’re doing or are you “self-made”?
Actually, there is a good scene in Lyon. Several good clubs which offers a good line up with Mondial-class artist. Concerning our music background, we were playing some drums when we were younger with a little music theory. But 90% of what we learned comes from the studio and our experimentation. Obviously we studied a lot the mixing/mastering techniques to be able to be « independent » from the beginning to the end of the process. It was hard but necessary for what we wanted to do.
Checking your SoundCloud/Spotify the first release is the Void Observatory EP. How the full EP has born and, why have you decided to debut with such a huge number of tunes instead of, maybe, focusing on a single?
At this time we were shaping our universe, testing some stuff, etc … and we were close to what we wanted. So we started to imagine our first EP as a 3 tracks trip. All the different emotions and energetical vibes we wanted to transduce was too much for one track. So naturally, we wrote this 3-track EP to « tell » the story we wanted to share.
Since the very beginning, it seems you have always produced what we now call melodic techno. Any special reason or, you just like it? Have you ever produced something different, maybe house, deep or harder techno?
We talked a lot about our influences and where we are coming from. I think we could mention the pop and trance inspiration combined, obviously, with the rise of the « melodic techno » style. But it would be so reducing to mention only them. We used to listen to classical music and jazz too! One of us has a mom who plays in a jazz band. She’s also playing a lot of classical. So basically we were immerged in the music since our young age! We could also mention our love for Daft Punk and the French touch. We are admirative in front of what they’ve done for the electronic music scene. That’s why we produce a lot of different styles of music. Sometimes we feel that the story we want to tell does not feet with club standards. We’re always following our instinct and emotions.
You teamed up with Camille Luciani for Maelström EP. How it was to collaborate with him and, has it been your the first time you worked in the studio with another artist?
We’ve met Camille 5 years ago. Nowadays it’s a good friend. We always shared some ideas, and after some unofficial collaborations, we decided to write an EP together. It was the first time we had to collaborate with another artist … it was hard! But we learned a lot with him, both in a technical and working way.
You recently debuted on Tale Of Us’ Afterlife with Last call, an highly appreciated track by the fans. How the track was born and how you ended up releasing it on Afterlife?
We started to write ‘Last Call’ on the return from our gigs in Malta (summer 2019). We were overwhelmed by this positive vibes, all these feelings lead us to compose this track. We wrote the main theme the day after we came back to Lyon! After months of works and adjustments, we were happy with the final result and persuaded that people will like it. So we decided to send it to Freddie (from Mind Against). Freddie & Alex were already playing some of our works so it was natural to send it to them. Then they started to heavily support it all over the world. Immediately we felt that people were receptive to this track and received a lot of good feedback! Then month after month the « hype » around this track gained weight and it felt natural to propose it to Afterlife. They immediately accepted and integrated it into the beautiful compilation ‘Unity’.
Last Call feels a little bit more clean and mature from your first EP 2 years ago; are you exploring and improving your sound? Do you have special gears or physical pieces you like to use recently?
Obviously we are! We are always pushing our boundaries to express what we want to tell. We think that it’s important to be in perpetual evolution and to move away from our « comfort area ». So we always try to be creative and fresh in our productions! Concerning the gear …. (laugh). We have some MIDI’s controller and … that’s all (laugh)! We work a lot with VST and Ableton build-in plugins (except for DIY mastering). Operator from Ableton is quite impressive with all the FM possibilities. We are also enjoying the art of sampling … which is really complex actually! Daft Punk were amazing at this point!
Our « gear strategy » was really simple (and budget-driven): buy the best monitors and the best sound card. So that’s why we ended up with an Apollo Twin, a pair of ADAM A7-X, and our MIDI’s controller. Actually we have also some drums machine (TR-8 and tanzbär), but we really love to work with some classic VST or classic samples.
Can we expect more music in the future? We can say you’re relatively new to the scene considering the, still, relatively small number of releases? What are, in your opinion, the keys to be noticed today? Do you have suggestions for “small” producers that want to reach a well-known label?
Of course, we are working on a lot of different projects; trying to evolve and refresh our ideas! In our opinion, all the answer is in the studio. Try to find an identity, develop it until you feel you got « something ». It’s only about the music, about the story you want to tell … Basically it’s work, work, and work 😊We love to think that global attention comes with quality …
Do you have hobbies you like to do in your free time?
As we are based in Lyon, we are a big fan of mountain sport. We try to go as much as possible to ski resorts during winter with some good friends. We’re in love with the vibes you can find in the Mountain, it’s awesome! As good French people, we love eating also (laugh).