Deeply melancholic – Sainte Vie releases his “From Desolate Places and Forgotten Times” EP
The latest release by the Mexican avant-garde label Akumandra is founder Sainte Vie’s three track auditive voyage: “From Desolate Places and Forgotten Times”. Going beyond previous experimentation with sound assemblage and sampling from non-western musical traditions, Sainte Vie crafts his signature mesmerizing soundscapes by combining dreamlike synth textures, monumental drops and vibrant melodies that feel deeply melancholic. Insistent arpeggios and expansive build ups bind the tracks together in an ebb and flow of dynamic energy.
“High Seas”: Overlaid synth patterns, like waves, propel us into a mixed-percussion drop that settles on a harmonic calm before another surge of synth arpeggios drive us farther along into the thrilling sensation of voyage.
“Whale”: Disembodied vocals, like cetaceans communicating, echo each other, creating a ghostly undercurrent to the vigorous percussion and futuristic synth arpeggios.
“Darko”: Backed by an eerie melody and punctuated by a lead-heavy bass drum, a deep, guttural voice plunges us into the dark flow of time.
Spectral in theme and profoundly engaged with the sensorial quality of music, Sainte Vie’s EP transports the listener to a place that feels distant like uncharted waters, yet familiar like a memory.
trndmsk: What inspired you to produce the EP?
Sainte Vie: The inspiration behind From Desolate Places and Forgotten Times EP came from a combination of things that got my attention during the past summer and fall 2018 seasons. I have an immediate and profound connection with certain desolate places such as the open sea, nature, abandoned buildings, vast inhabitable places and foggy landscapes amongst other desolate places. Every time I’m in one of these places or simply see one of these places a very particular feeling emerges deep within me. This feeling also appears when I’m alone on the road, traveling or when I watch certain movies/documentaries such as Donnie Darko or Planet Earth to name a few.. It is indeed a very mysterious feeling and it’s very hard for me to describe or put into words.. I really wanted to find a way to express this feeling and somehow boost it even more so I started exploring different sounds and synths until I realized the combination between arpeggios, melancholic melodies, powerful bass lines and the sound coming out of my Nord synth were the perfect combination to describe this strange yet monumental feeling. In addition to this, I wanted to make an EP that had the same energy as my live set. Usually when I’m in the studio I’m inspired by slower tempos and I tend to go more experimental but for this particular EP I wanted to make something really energetic that I could later on add to my live set and play everywhere without loosing my signature melancholic melodies full of reverb that in my opinion are a fundamental part of my sound. In the end, I’m very satisfied with the result and I think the tracks, the artwork and the title of the EP perfectly describe what I was trying to communicate.
Where did you record it? And How?
The recording process of the EP was very new to me. Usually when I make a song I’m obsessed with it and I can’t stop working on it until I actually finish it. This time though, I started working on a track and then jumped to the next one and then came back to the old one continuously until I eventually finished the three tracks I thought were ready and enough to communicate exactly what I was trying to say with this EP. It was a very intuitive process and I really enjoyed the workflow. I made most of the EP on the road during my 2018 summer tour with my computer, Ableton, an SM-52 microphone, a few plug ins including Max for Live and my Nord synth. I composed most of the tracks between a friend’s apartment in Paris, several hotels in Europe, my parents place in Mexico City and my home studio in New York where I recorded drums, guitars and other acoustic instruments. An interesting fact about the third track of the EP called Darko is I recorded the vocal on my phone at 4 am just as a sketch, then I tried to re-record it a million times in my studio with professional microphones but I just couldn’t get it to sound as good as the phone version so I decided to stick to that one and honestly in my opinion it sounds super nice.
How did you get in contact with the record label?
I wasn’t really planning to release the EP on Akumandra originally as I thought the sound of the EP was a bit different from the label’s sound. That being said, as soon as the release started coming together and transformed into a whole creative project I decided my label was the best place to release it in order to get full creative freedom in terms of artwork, PR, vinyl/digital distribution, visual content, release dates, etc, etc… Today I’m convinced it was the right move to release it there and I couldn’t be happier about it! We also have some really nice releases from a bunch of friends coming out this year on the label!
What’s up next after the release? Are you working on any other projects?
After the release I’ll be on tour for the next few months presenting the new EP in some really exciting places including WooMoon in Ibiza, Mayan Warrior at Burning Man, Kater Blau in Berlin, The Brooklyn Mirage in New York, Off Sónar Barcelona, The Monastery Festival in Goch, Horde Cruise in Paris, Akumandra x Metanoia Showcase in Istanbul and Souq Festival in Cesme to name a few (you can check out the full summer tour calendar on my page). In addition to this I’ll be finishing another EP that will hopefully come out this year on Akumandra. I’ll also be working on this years Akumandra’s upcoming releases and finally, towards the end of the year I’ll be announcing a new Sainte Vie audio visual live show I’ve been working on for a while now.
01. Sainte Vie – High Seas