Sound of the Week: Compuphonic

Hot out of Belgium and a collaboration with Tiga already under his belt; Compuphonic is back with his latest EP titled  ‘Metropolis’. Being released on Berlin super label Exploited, ‘Metropolis’ is a well oiled piece of electronica mixed with house beat influences. Having grown up surrounded by music, Maxime Firket (aka Compuphonic) studied music theory and classical music. But it wasn’t long before the allure of bands like Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, and Detroit techno took hold. And the transition from being a cellist studying classical music to electronic Dj and producer wasn’t an easy one:  “The transition was quite brutal. When I was 18 years old I played in a rock band with the cello. I was never heard; the cello could not compete with the power of electric guitar or drums. At the same time, I started to mix techno music… The energy that was released was very crazy to me. Afterwards I started playing at parties, bought myself a computer and some synths. It came very naturally too. I was making my own music, was playing at parties, an electronic live set and so on. One day, suddenly I realized I hadn’t played the cello for years.” These days the attune nature of Compuphonic’s tracks is unmissable, with ‘Metropolis’ effortlessly gliding between the melancholy of melodies, dreamy vocal harmonies, and the grinding energy of beats. If you are awaiting those ‘out with winter in with spring’ vibes, like we are, then ‘Metropolis’ is definitely an EP not to miss.  

KALTBLUT: Hi, Maxime. We just had a listen to your new EP for Exploited. How would you describe it to us?

COMPUPHONIC: This EP came very naturally to me. I found inspiration in the moment. All the pieces were made this way. Without looking for a specific result or style to achieve. I believe we’re lost somewhere between house, pop, and deep house…

KALTBLUT: How do you gather your inspiration to create a track like ‘Metropolis’?

COMPUPHONIC: I adore music with a house beat, a 4/4 beat, but at a slower and more relaxed tempo. Like George Fitzgerald’s album “full circle” or the easier stuff in the albums of David August, Gold Panda, John Talabot… Those kinds of things have inspired me. Being a DJ in addition to being a producer has the great advantage you can listen to a lot of music and let it inspire you every day.

KALTBLUT: You studied music theory and classical music; what drew you to studying classical music specifically?

COMPUPHONIC: I started the cello at the age of 8. Strangely it was I who asked my parents I could start to play. I remember having flashed on the instrument and on classical music and I took a classical course at our local music school. The cello is the perfect instrument to learn how to compose music. It stimulates you to make better melodies and try to find the note that kills at the right moment.

KALTBLUT: How did your transition from a cellist studying classical music, to electronic music producer happen? Was it a natural process, or were there any challenges along the way?

COMPUPHONIC: The transition was quite brutal. When I was 18 years old I played in a rock band with the cello. I was never heard; the cello could not compete with the power of electric guitar or drums. At the same time, I started to mix techno music… The energy that was released was very crazy to me. Afterwards I started playing at parties, bought myself a computer and some synths. It came very naturally too. I was making my own music, was playing at parties, an electronic live set and so on. One day, suddenly I realized I hadn’t played the cello for years.

KALTBLUT:  You are from Belgium; how would you describe the music scene there?

COMPUPHONIC: Very rich, she always has been very rich. Especially when I travel I realize how there are many talented artists here compared to how small the country is. There is a very strong electronic culture, especially in Flanders, the northern part of the country. Twenty years ago, there were dozens of clubs in Belgium that passed along very good electronic music. Therefore many Belgian producers often have a very rich background. People in Belgium know a lot of different electronic styles and qualities. It’s a good electronic country.

KALTBLUT: You seem to ride the wave between underground electronica mixed with hints of club beats. How did that come about?

COMPUPHONIC: Very naturally actually, we are the music that we create. I didn’t try to get there. This is the music that I like to listen to and the music I like to produce. I have always loved to associate the energy of the beat with the melancholy of the melodies.

KALTBLUT: How long did it take you to record your EP?

COMPUPHONIC: I think a week for every part. Half a week for creating the sounds, beat and structure. Then the other half for mixing and mastering.

KALTBLUT:  If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

COMPUPHONIC: Cinnamon, Countryside & Moog.

KALTBLUT: Who would you love to collaborate with in future?

COMPUPHONIC: I love Kiasmos, it is the best thing I have discovered recently. I love to collaborate with good singers the most. For example I am a big fan of the voices of Pional or Anohni.

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