I first stumbled across Ulrik and Ketil, the two creative minds behind Lemâitre, last summer completely by accident. I know what you’re thinking (oh cool story, Hansel), but something struck me when I first heard these two from Oslo, Norway months ago. A combination of unique, original vocals with new age synth and creativity. I have yet to find another producer or duo out there with such complex, yet relaxing melodies as these two – exactly why it was my civic duty to ask them a few questions so you fans can better know them. Continue reading to check out Lemâitre‘s interview inside and to listen to their ‘Relativity 1′ and ‘The Friendly Sound’ EPs directly below.
What is Lemâitre, how did you start and what got you two interested in electronic music in the first place?
We are two guys from Norway, and we make electronic music. We started collaborating after high school. Diversity is probably one of the main attractions we have to this type of electronic music. The borders between electronic music and other stuff is slowly fading away as technology progresses, and thus makes it possible to record stuff at home with a quality depending mostly on your skill, not the price tag of your studio. We both find this very inspiring.
You have such a ranging sound that makes it difficult to categorize your music. How would you describe your sound?
As the sum total of all our inspirations, some more obvious than others. However, that does not help the unfamiliar ear, so an easier/more ambitious way to say it would be music that sounds like the dreams you hate waking up from, soothing as dreams are, with an every-so-often chapter of relentless action. That’s what we’re going for anyway.
Name of few of your favorite tracks at the moment. Are these tracks similar to what you play in your live sets?
Playlist is usually 50% old stuff we haven’t heard in a while. Favorite tracks atm includes but are not restricted to:
Feist – Metals (whole album, but ‘Graveyard’ in particular)
Phonat – Intimate Confessions
Koan Sound – Funk Blaster
The Strokes – Hard To Explain
Uppermost – Obey The Rules!
Beastie Boys Feat. Nas – Too Many Rappers
Beach House – Walk in the park
We strictly play our own tracks in our live sets, but then again, our music is similar to a lot of the music we are currently listening to in one way or another.
Do you two have any particular pre-show rituals? Maybe a favorite drink?
Not a whole lot, some last minute adjustments and practice are usually present though. Ketil is mostly a red wine and beer guy, while Ulrik is fond of the odd mojito or three…
If you could collaborate with any 3 producers right now, who would they be?
Damn that’s tough. The Daft Punk guys and Deadmau5 probably. Daft Punk are an obvious choice, but it would be cool to see how they work. Say what you will about Deadmau5, but his productions are supreme.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen while playing a live show? Do you two have favorite memories of particular shows you have played?
Probably when a buddy of ours (not a musician) came on stage and rocked the drums (not mic´d) behind us at a festival last summer during an encore. That one goes for both strange and favorite.
What would you attribute your success to and what advice would you give to young, aspiring producers?
A lot of hard work! Totally cliché, we know, but it’s not without reason. We have been pretty active on social networks as well. In regards to the music, we think it’s related to the fact that we put a lot of thought into it. One song often consists of several different ideas. At the risk of sounding a bit elitist, we think a lot of today’s music follow a pretty dull format where you have a breakdown with four chords and then a drop/chorus. The drop and the breakdown switch back and forth a couple of times until the song sort of just ends. We do it ourselves sometimes, but we try to stay away from it.
As for tips; one of the things we hold dear in our music is sound design. Basically a musical rendition of “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Recreate tracks you like, and you will find you learned more than just how to make that particular sound. Often you will end up with something entirely different as well.
What equipment do you use during production and while playing live?
Over time, we have now got quite a bit of equipment, but our production essentials are Komplete 8 Ultimate, Ableton Live, microphones (in general) and a Fender Stratocaster. In our live sets we use Ableton Live, an iPad (running Lemur), Moog Slim Phatty, a Prophet 08, a midi keyboard, a Fender, drum pads and an AKG D5 mic.
Do you have plans of playing in the US soon? In your opinions, how do Norwegian women compare to American women?
We will hopefully be going to Florida in July, so if that happens we will probably play some other gigs there too! As for the women; what can we say? Scandinavian girls are known for their looks! You can find pretty American ones too though, but mostly on tv.
What’s up next for Lemâitre?
Next up is a lot of gigs, mostly in Norway, and completing our new EP (Relativity 2, out in April 2012). We are well on the way, and we are pretty stoked for this one!