The Barcelona-based Hivern Discs label owner returns with his stunning debut album on Permanent Vacation
After spending a few years with intermittent releases of supreme quality, John Talabot finally drops his long awaited debut album, 'Fin', on Permanent Vacation. The mysterious Catalan producer is on the cusp of greatness with this record, a blend of house, techno and disco laden with molten tension and slinky euphoric tones.
Fin means things end in Spanish, it was the best way for me to summarise the album. After I finished the album, things happened in my life that told me it was the end of an age of my life. I had to move forward
Dazed Digital: Why did you choose the name fin?
John Talabot: It felt like something was coming to an end. I started this project in 2008, released music in 2009, and spent 2010 and 2011 getting this album done. And now the album is being released. Fin means things end in Spanish, it was the best way for me to summarise the album. After I finished the album, things happened in my life that told me it was the end of an age of my life. I had to move forward.
DD: How long did it take you to produce the album?
John Talabot: About one year of work. Most of the stuff is quite new, except some ideas from old tracks. I have never been used to working by myself. When you’re working on an album, you only have yourself to gauge whether it’s good or bad. In a band you can speak with others, but if you are alone, you just end up talking to yourself about the album. I found myself in the street, listening to the album, constantly asking questions about the album. Is this good? Is this bad?
DD: What was the biggest inspiration?
John Talabot: I wanted to make an album that was more like a story. All the tracks together in some kind of deep concept, I didn't want to have 12” style tracks on the album. I never listen to house or techno album, only ones I ever listened to were things like Daft Punk or Chemical Brothers. It didn't make sense to have 12 house tracks on an album. So when I was making the album, I wanted it to be darker, more like the things I’ve been doing lately like Matilda’s Dream, that kind of feel.
I wanted to make it an experience that people couldn't place in any specific time period. It could be now, ten years before, fifteen years before or maybe next year- in an imaginary age, a mixture of 80’s, 90’s and now. I didn't want to make a tribute album to anything; I didn't want to make a nu disco album, or an album of classic house tracks. I wanted to make something that had a little part of everything.
DD: Is there a live show planned? Will having an album out change the way you DJ?
John Talabot: I’m preparing a live show with tracks from the album and some old tracks. Pional will be playing with me. This will be ready in March. We have some little tours planned. I will not change my way of playing records or whatever. I still like the same music from a couple of years ago. I like house, I like techno and I like disco.
DD: Who would your ideal collaboration be with?
John Talabot: There are many people I’d like to work with. It would be amazing to work with a mainstream singer, someone like Rihanna. I think the dream would be to work with people like Four Tet, Caribou, James Holden. Theo Parrish and Moodymann. I really admire these guys because they have their own philosophy in music. It’s really important for me to have your own philosophy in what you do. The people that have this constant philosophy, they are the people that at the end, they have success and their music is solid, it’s not a fad that disappears after a year, it’s more solid than that.
DD: Are more John Talabot releases planned after the album?
John Talabot: I have two 12”s almost ready. I have to see where to release them and what I want to do with them. There are also a few tracks that I didn’t want to put on the album, and some newer stuff [Permanent Vacation] want to release. Along with some tracks with Pional. I have lots.
DD: Your label, Hivern Discs, has grown a lot. What releases are planned for 2012?
John Talabot: Many releases planned. I’m a little stressed about that, as it’s difficult for me to handle. Sorting out manufacture and spend a lot of time working on the design, deciding on the best designs. It’s been growing slowly but that’s the way to do it. It’s a good way to release, to release the best stuff you have, not because we have to.
DD: Who are you most excited about from the upcoming Hivern releases?
John Talabot: Aster. Two EPs they are releasing. The compilation and an album by an artist. The project is called Mistakes are okay, he does really strange music - a mixture of Isolé and Actress. It’s quite weird and strange, more electronic and experimental. Think Isolé for the melodies. Releasing music from people from Spain & Barcelona excites me. I think sometimes we forgot that we have people doing good things here.