WetYourSelf! have gone all out with their artist interviews this week, gearing up for the return of their August bank holiday throw down this Sunday. Performing live in Room One next to the WYS! residents themselves will be Canadian craftsman Marc Houle from the avant-garde techno clique of Items and Things - the label he shares ownership of with former m_nus artists Troy Pierce and Magda. Together they've become some of the mightiest players in the scene. Read on as WetYourSelf! deal some probing questions for Mr Houle...
Questions from WetYourSelf!
So, nice to see you at Sonar, yours was one of our favourite parties! Speaking of which, how is your label Items and Things doing ? Can you tell us about what you’re working on and what you have in the pipeline?
We just released a 4-LP Boxset featuring lots of great new material from us and our friends that I am really proud of. We've been getting great feedback so far from that and also the Down&Out Parties we've been throwing in special locations. I'm slowly making tracks and doing some cover song experiments at the moment for fun and to learn more from other people's chord progressions.
How do you find your transition from being a label artist to now being a director of your own label with it’s corresponding responsibilities. Does it have an effect on your creative schedule, do you get inspired by it?
I think I'm too in love with my studio and gear to ever let anything come between us! It's more interesting to be able to decide where you want to go artistically than just sitting back and waiting for the next instructions. I've been more inspired lately by the new circle of friends and music to make some weirder music than before. I feel more at home lately being surrounded by a bunch of music that really pleases me and I'm truly interested in. I also feel that we're onto something different and new and that's really comforting.
It’s clear you have an eclectic taste in music, what are you listening to at present?
Oh man; right now I've gone back to my Canadian roots and digging up a bunch of Canadian bands from the 80's and 90's. Stuff that noone would know unless they were from the region but it's fun to go back and see why I liked those bands in the first place. List time: Ceramic Hello, Spoons, Plasterscene Replicas, Grapes of Wrath, Iko 83, 54-40, Jane Siberry, Chalk Circle etc etc...
You seem to pull off translating your big tunes to big live experiences and giving people new perspectives on your recorded work. Which track do you most enjoy performing live and why?
Actually the App Remix I did; I love to play it because it starts off unassuming with a nice house beat but then kicks in with toms to a fun synth line and cool vocals. I also love playing 'Speeder 64' just because it's a favourite of mine but It's not a strong track when i play it out so I play it selfishly.
We heard a rumour that you have recently collaborated with WetYourSelf! favourite Miss Kittin. Can you tell us about the project?
I had the pleasure of working with her in my studio here in Berlin and I was really amazed at how nicely it flowed. We were punching out tracks very easily and it was lots of fun. As to what will happen with these songs, we're not sure just yet but they need to be released because they sound really great. I assume sometime later this year an EP will emerge.
Finally we would like you to ask another of our guests on this date a question. Do you have a question for Chloe?
Ah - she's great - whenever I'm out and hear a song that I really like I ask what it is and it's always from her. Since she makes so many remixes my questions are: A) is it easier for her to remix tracks or to make her own from scratch and B) any cool tricks for vocal treatments/effects?
Catch Marc Houle in Room One for the WYS! Bank Holiday this Sunday.