Skryptöm regulars, Wlderz, weigh in with the 40th edition in our hallowed Waveform Mix series. The Waveform Transmitter’s Ste Knight takes time out to shoot the breeze with the French techno titans.
Those of you who have been with us from the beginning will know that we have championed the sound of the French techno scene from the off. In particular, the wonderful work of Skryptöm; the Parisian imprint headed by Electric Rescue. It was through this that we first encountered the work of French techno duo, Wlderz, who have seen their impressive material released by the label on several occasions.
The pair have recently featured on the label again, this time with the release of their debut long-player, Swimming in a Plastic Ocean. The album sits on the darker side of the sound, with the haunting atmospherics of the opening track, Heartbeat, setting the stall for the remaining eleven tracks. Synths rise and fall in intensity, which segues us nicely into the rest of the album.
Algo and Freeze both take on a classic four/four techno groove, and are packed with peak-time promise as tidal-wave soundscapes dominate the mix, punctuated by piledriver kicks that send shockwaves across the sonic ocean. Oreela interupts this vibe with a broken beat, interspersed with some lush padwork that places this track in an ethereal expanse. This transitions nicely into the stark, minimal-beat production of Rupture, which swells and throbs as if some gigantic aquatic life-form was looming just beyond the inky blue.
The sentient being arrives before us with Kaïros, a track which growls and heaves, heralding the arrival of the giant water demon, huge droplets of agua viva raining down onto the terrain below with almighty force, invigorating all that it touches in Mélatonine. Crumbs drops the listener right back into the thick of a pulverising beat, synths chirrup and squeal with equal regularity.
Sea takes the sounds of the ocean (literally), sending waves of sound crashing against a frenetic breakbeat and acid synth, before the 4/4 returns with Working Mass. The title track, Swimming in a Plastic Ocean, is heavy on the atmospherics once again, as we find ourselves submerged back in the ocean deep. The album closes on Based, an energetic workout which features euphoric synth swells and stabs to finish on a high (albeit one that retains the darkness of the rest of the album).
Overall, Swimming in a Plastic Ocean is an excellent debut, and one which conjures some serious imagery (particularly if you are synaesthetic like this writer). We certainly look forward to further long-players from Wlderz. We took a chance to have a quick natter with the pair to see exactly what makes them tick…
Waveform: Hi Jérémy, Hi Cyril. Thanks for taking time out to talk to us. Let’s start at the most sensible point…the beginning. You’ve both been DJing since the 90s; how did Wlderz come to fruition?
Wlderz: At the start, we each had our own projects, but sometimes we could make ephemeral live act together and compose songs. We didn’t take it seriously at all. Then one day, we said, “What if we set up a joint Techno project?” And from there, Wlderz was born!
Waveform: So, you’ve just released your debut album Swimming in a Plastic Ocean. How does that feel?
Wlderz: After more than 2 years of work on it, we feel satisfaction and pride! But also relief of being able to move on to another project.
Waveform: Did you have any particular rituals you followed when you were recording or was it a case of just getting in the studio and cramming as much production in as possible?
Wlderz : No, no special ritual, usually the first thing we do is trying to create a good KICK!
Waveform: A fairly standard question but it is only fair that we satisfy the gear-sluts; what hardware/software did you use to record? Any favourite pieces of equipment?
Wlderz: We’re working on Ableton live, with mostly Native Instrument and Arturia VST. We have some synthesizer and Hardware effects yes but not very much.
Our favorite equipment? Surely, our MIDAS 320 Venice; everything goes in!
Waveform: Your new album was well received by Laurent Garnier – was that a surprise to you? He features on and supports Skryptom releases regularly.
Wlderz: We are lucky that Laurent supports a lot of our projects. It is always an honor to receive support from him!!
Waveform: You have put together a killer mix for us here (which also happens to be the longest in the series – YEAH!). Can you talk us through the thinking behind the track selection?
Wlderz: Behind each of our sets, there is always the will to tell a story and not to make a ‘Highway’ set; to scan several techno styles but in a coherent and structured way.
Waveform: Do you find there is a difference when structuring a track to structuring a mix?
Wlderz: Not really, for us there is always this notion of travel and will to tell a story, it is the same principle.
Waveform: We are partial to French techno here at Waveform Transmitter. With that in mind are there any up-and-coming artists we may not have heard of who you would like to recommend?
Wlderz: You should throw an ear on Skryptom’s last signature: DYSPAL
Waveform: And finally, the question that aaaalllll DJs we interview complain about! Give us your top three clubs to play in…
Wlderz: BERGHAIN / FUSE / REX CLUB!
Waveform: Thanks again guys for chatting with us and good luck with all your future releases!
Wlderz: Many thanx to you and your readerZ 😉
1 Blyant (Original Mix) – Kjæreste
2 Hentam (Original Mix) – Dialect
3 Latitude from Vang (Original Mix) – Drafted
4 Tungsten (Deepbass Remix) – Bohdan
5 Majime (Original Mix) – A Brehme
6 Riye (Original Mix) – Nørbak
7 Echoes (Original Mix) – Alex Randial
8 ModusOperandi I (Original Mix) – Nørbak
9 Metamorphosis (Original Mix) – Franz Bush
10 Anrine (Original Mix) – James Bong
11 Old Europe (Joton Remix) – HD Substance
12 RSPX12 B1 Countdown 1644 PM (Original Mix) Hemka
13 Dr Steven’s Perfect Family (Original Mix) – Temudo & -2
14 Duvido (Original Mix) – CRAVO
15 Randomness (Lars Huismann Remix) – Moddullar
16 Studio 5 (Original Mix) – Skryptöm collective
17 Voronya (Original Mix) – CRAVO
18 Nördik (Original Mix) – Skryptöm collective
19 Modus Operandi II (Original Mix) – Nørbak
20 Modus Operandi I (Pursent Remix) – Nørbak
21 Sublimazione (Exilles Remix) – Manuel Di Martino
22 Contraste (Original Mix) – Wlderz
23 Plebiscite (Original Mix) – RobertoClementi
24 Trappist (Original Mix) – Skryptöm Collective
25 Another Platform (Original Mix) – Kaiser
26 Solitude (Original Mix) – Kaiser
27 Riad (Original Mix) – VIL
28 Sadistic Business (Krenzlin Remix) – Duellist
29 K002 (Original Mix) Kuss
30 Crumbs (Original Mix) – Wlderz
31 Broken Lullaby (Original Mix) – Dyspal
32 Table Mountain (Original Mix) – JoeFarr