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EB Exclusive: Yvein Monq – Post Apocalyptic Codex X EP + interview

EB Exclusive: Yvein Monq – Post Apocalyptic Codex X EP + interview Yvein Monq is a young and promising producer based in Budapest, definitely one to watch. His very first album Hookers in My Strings was released in 2010 but he’s stepped it up a level with his conceptualized record Post Apocalyptic Codex X on newly debuting Budapest label 8ounce. Lost in time and space, this is a memory capsule telling you the history of a fallen mankind as seen from the future. Inspired by sci-fi movies, Yvein Monq’s experiments are exploring the far boundaries beyond massive bass music, ethereal electronica and instrumental hip-hop. His dark melodies are about deep thoughts on an after-human era creating a surreal atmosphere.

Yvein Monq’s highly anticipated sophomore release is available for exclusive stream below. Have a good trip and enjoy the post-apocalyptic vibe!

You’re a graphic design graduate and musician; how would you introduce yourself?

I’m graduating as a graphic designer from Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest and my diploma is actually about a music project as well. I’m trying to connect these two things as much as possible. Well, it might be a bit of exaggeration to call me musician. [laughs] I wouldn’t call myself musician I prefer to define myself as a beatmaker or producer in last case. My approach is about what I’m really interested in and these are music and musicality as well as visuality. My diploma work is an example for this connection. It’s about data based city auralization which roughly speaking means I transform European metropolises divided by river to parameterized soundscapes. There will be an interactive exhibition with abstract 3D city maps presenting some capitals and you can play kind of music on them generated originally by the city’s organic structure.

How did you come to music?
I grew up in a family with a lot of musicians, and since my childhood there was music around all the time. I learned playing on some instruments, but forgot a lot. Learned playing piano, drums and some more I was into that time. But lately I’m playing piano sometimes. I like to play on random instruments I borrow from friends, maybe sometimes not even in the proper way, just kidding. But I usually create a lot of samples this way. This is my kind of classical music background, then typical story as I started making beats as I was 15-16.

What and who inspired you that time?
That time I was basically inspired by the big classic hip-hop producers like DJ Premiere. I like him, he was the first I was listening to and then all around Stone Throw Records and J Dilla. I felt Madlib close to me, but later I preferred Jay Dee’s direction which was so strong, it was impossible to pass by. DJ Krush, DJ Shadow, DJ Vadim, couple of stuff from Ninja Tune and DJ Cam, too. Then I came over this a bit and got into how I can make beats complete without texts on it, however it’s rooted from rap based context. Then started to make music which were ready to release. Then my first album came out, which was really a very eclectic first stuff what I tried to put all my ideas into, classical music stuff with jazz and lot of live music samples.

What are you listening to lately?

To be honest I’m not a big music collector, however, I try to catch up and listen to what’s going on out there around the world. This is important to know where you’re positioned. I’m talking not about copying or being obsessed with someone, just to understand the big picture.

I’m listening a lot of music from Alva Noto aka Carsten Nicolai, founder of Raster-Noton Records. I like his stuff very much, it’s so sensitive. I’m also listening to Steve Reich usually like I was always doing. I have so good memories related to his music. As for contemporary stuff I’m digging How To Dress Well, or the new mixtape from Lorn [with Dolor] called Drugs. Then bigger names like Rustie’s Glass Swords. Just name a few suddenly.

You said visuality is important for you. How did that influence Post Apocalyptic Codex X?
I‘m very often inspired by images, I’m totally excited about how abstract things would sound like for instant strange lights or likes. This might be a kind of approach of a sound designer, but it influenced the whole EP. The concept is that you’re listening to the resonance of the atoms in the space after an enormous catastrophe, whilst mankind is able to make music only with stones and sticks. This is a kind of trip for me.

Each track has a short plot related to the post apocalyptic atmosphere. That’s why the cheesy title, because it came to my mind, that the entire stuff is like an old comics with stories related to an era or time period but you’re not able to connect them to one coherent story. I find the title very important anyway, it’s essential for me that even I’m trying to explain deep thoughts through my music, I need a hint of irony to avoid clichés. And this is articulated on the EP as well.

Where is the sci-fi influence coming from?
I had a huge collection of VHS’s, even my father had a notable sci-fi book and album collection. Then couple of years ago I totally fell in love with B or C category Italian sci-fi movies from the 80s, really bad films, even though killer sounds. Like closing a door sounds really shit. Sick but inspiring.

What kind of samples have you used on the EP?
I usually record sounds from my very close environment, I don’t use samples from other artists. Also, I have recorded live instruments, for instance percussions, various drums and played with their sounds for a while. I realized that our environment is so rich of sounds that you can twist incredible sounds even from a spoon and a cup if you take your time experimenting.

Do you have contributors on Post Apocalyptic Codex X EP?

Yes, I have contributors. There is Stefanie Barz. I got know her in Rotterdam while living there. I think she is an unbelievable talent, she plays psych-rock and I fell into her voice, so I used it in the first track ‘Epiclesis’. As a matter of fact the long talks with her inspired me to find out this milieu around the EP. I also have the vocal of Martina Király in the last track ‘Godess of the w_01D’. Then a guy called Lucrecia Protellor has also contributed on ‘Ode To Vulture’ song, they both make good music by themselves as well.

What does 2012 hold for us?
I’m currently working on the next EP, I have a couple of tracks working on and I’m on my diploma work, which I want present as an interactive exhibition. I got in touch with Origami Sound, they liked my stuff and they will release one of my tracks on their compilation. And I have some project ideas, so we’ll see.

Post Apocalyptic Codex X EP is out February 29th on 8ounce (limited vinyl and digital).

Photos: Hargi Csik & Lili Zoe Ermezei

Published February 23, 2012. Words by Andras G. Varga.