An imposing figure in electronic music, Arnaud Rebotini has seen it all. A legend amongst producers who has never been afraid to walk a different path, and the path Rebotini walks usually ends up being emulated by the masses a year or so later. An analog experimentalist who has ploughed through EBM, Detroit Techno, Acid House, ElectroClash through to and French Electro and Disco leaving a trail of ground-breaking 12” in his wake.
Whether in his solo synthesizer noodlings or as part of ElectroClash come Electro-Rock pioneers Black Strobe, Rebotini continues to push boundaries and inform, rather then follow, current dance music, and even Indie, trends. He’s latest output being a return to Black Strobe for an ungodly Electro/Swamp Rock hybrid that is as grimy as it is funky.
Amidst all this pioneering and ground-breaking, Arnaud took some time to chat with us about just where the madness comes from.
ER: So, I think you came onto our radar back in 1998/99 with Black Strobe and since then played around with electronic music styles both as Black Strobe and with solo releases. But we get the feeling there’s a lot more going on in your past. Can you fill us in on your musical background, what influenced you to start writing music, and what your musical journey to the point we are at now was?
AR: I starting music in Noisy band influence by band like The Jesus And Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth, after that I was singer in Death Metal band, in the same I’m starting electronic music, I released my first 12” around 1995 it’s pretty Experimental Techno. I was influence by early Warp Records and Detroit Techno. I always listen some very different kind of music, was I was teenager my favorite records was Herbie Hancock Head hunter, New Order’s Power, Corruption And Lies, and Muddy Waters: fathers and sons. I don’t thinks that’s changed that much.
ER: From the electronic side of things, as well as the obvious House influences, we hear a lot of old school EBM in your music. What electronic styles have influenced you over the years?
AR: I like all good electronic music, from early Electro Funk stuff, to old school EBM, Detroit Techno Chicago House and Krautrock have a great influence on me. And form Techno a mix between ambient Krautrock band like Cluster or Tangerine Dream and Disco.
ER: And the, of course, there’s the Southern Blues. Especially with the new releases there is a big Swamp Rock vibe going on. There’s a kind of darkness, a kind of seedy sexuality and a kind of lost souls feeling, that this kind atmosphere. When did you decide you wanted to try to combine that with electronic music, was it something you always had in mind?
AR: This sound come may because now I listen a lot of Nu disco stuff and southern rock and blues. At I think it’s really cool to mix it with disco. Like Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson have done in certain way. And the biggest success of Black Strobe are Italian Fireflies and I’m a man, so tried to mix its all in a on one and unique style.
♫ Black Strobe – Italian Fireflies
ER: When do you tell if a track is going to be a Rebotini track or a Black Strobe track?
AR: Rebotini is pure electronic music, and a solo project in studio and on stage. Black Strobe is a band and not only electronic music, you have drums, guitars, vocals.
ER: And your style switches from Bluesy to more electronic and back again. Does that happen organically, naturally, or do you set out to make a particular type of record?
AR: I think it came naturally it’s base on classical chords and melody, everybody all ready know it, and it was funny to me have no classical bluesy production, to make some kind of electronic Blues.
♫ Arnaud Rebotini – Few More Minutes Of Love
ER: So what’s the Black Strobe studio? Do you have a favourite bit of studio kit? Any favourite synths?
AR: I have a nice studio with a lot of hardware stuff, a lot synth, and effects. May be my favorite is one of my first synth, not the most rare, but probably the most versatile, and easy to carry for the live, it’s the Roland SH 101.
ER: If money was no object, what piece of studio gear would be your dream to own?
AR: Probably a Buchla 200 series.
ER: Your music particularly, in the electronic arena, lends itself well to a live situation. What’s your preference, live or studio?
AR: I like both. Studio is the composition and production time, you feel alone with the music. Live it’s the opposite it’s the execution time, and you feel close to the ground
♫ Black Strobe – White Gospel Blues (Extended Version)
ER: Speaking of playing live. Any crazy rock ‘n’ roll stories from your tour adventures?
AR: Playing live spending time on the road, waiting for the soundcheck, waiting for to play, waiting for the next gig. And for the rest what happened on tour stays on tour.
ER: Any nightmare shows? What’s the worst?
AR: I always forget my nightmares.
♫ Arnaud Rebotini – My Life In House Music
ER: What’s your breakfast preference? Cereal or a proper continental breakfast? Would your answer change the day after a show?
AR: My favorite Breakfast is the Proper English Breakfast! After a show I need bean eggs sausage and mushroom !
♫ Black Strobe – Boogie In Zero Gravity (Extended Version)
Black Strobe’s Boogie In Zero Gravity EP is out now.
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