We speak to one of 2006 electro's figureheads about his seriously long-awaited album and the future of his label Marble
For all that may have been recently underwhelmed following the respectively delayed/hyped album offerings of ’06 electro’s star players (we’re looking at you Justice, SebastiAn and Teenage Bad Girl), do not worry. Surkin the shining White Knight is here. Now, we don’t mean to be mean, but Surkin (aka Benoît Heitz) is the only one to have provided material that’s been instantly (and vigorously) validatory for years of waiting.
His debut LP ‘USA’ will be released October 26th on the wings of Institubes’ phoenix; Marble, and having already listened to it over and over, we’re certain this bad boy is going to soar. Heitz’s inspired concept of conjuring a long-lost radio in 80s Brooklyn, simultaneously infusing it with his signature synthesizer stylings, is achieved to maximum effect. This album truly is a body-popping and time-travelling return to form for Surkin. U-S-A! U-S-A!
Dazed Digital: If you could choose to be born at any point in history, when would that be and why?
Surkin: In prehistoric times, when the only way to make music was by hitting a saber tooth tiger skull with mammoth bones.
DD: What's the story behind the title of the album?
Surkin: Gaspard always loved the pun, even wanted to make a Surkin USA t-shirt parodying the Beach Boy cover with me surfing. I thought these three letters had a vey powerful image and naming the album USA was such an extreme thing to do, it brought back fantasies of 90s US radio and the Latin freestyle, Miami bass and Chicago house influences prevalent on the LP so I decided to roll with it.
DD: This album has been a long time coming - was it a difficult process or did you just feel it was the right time now?
Surkin: Making an album is a very different process than producing singles or remixes, I tried many approaches before finding what I wanted to do. I had a lot of tracks that where good but would not fit on an album. My priority was for it to be cohesive, like a cool block of out-of-time, kind of alien music made of short songs tailored for an imaginary radio that could either exist in the 80s or in the year 3050. The end of Institubes slowed the process of the album down a lot, USA went through many phases but the recent founding of my own structure Marble gave the impulse I needed to complete it and give it to the world
DD: What are you most excited about next at Marble HQ?
Surkin: A lot is happening right now and we don't plan to slow down. The next release (the 10th in six months) is Sam Tiba's first EP called Black Eyed Weed. We are also working on collaborations between the Marble artists. A new High Powered Boys EP is on the work, and we'll release the second album of Para One next year. Expect more Marble Players tracks too, a Marble compilation… 2012 is going to be hectic. We also own a big part of the Institubes back catalogue and we want to compile it in a way or another.
DD: What secret DJ weapons have you been playing out recently?
Surkin: Sam Tiba - Zig Zag (Marble) a futuristic version of Jersey Club music. French Fries - What 2 Do (Clek Clek Bom): great rework of Thomas Bangalter's classic. Panteros 666 - St Louis (unreleased): Definitely a future hit. Noob - Protein (Sound Pellegrino): Next release from the best French label.
DD: What was the best party you've played in the USA?
Surkin: Check Yo Ponytail party in LA, 2007. The last gig and climax of an epic North American tour we did with Para One, Drop the Lime and DJ Orgasmic. A lot of people in the US were discovering European electronic music. Exciting times. Para One documented the whole thing in his movie "One More Song" that should still be available on the internet.