Exclusive Mix :: Arches on The Mixing Bowl
June 3rd 2014
Two Belgian lovers of chunky basslines had a chat and a mix with Sandro Dallarmi on The Mixing Bowl.
Arches is a relatively new name in electronic dance music, but the men behind the project have been making eardrums buzz for years. Official remixes of Gorillaz and Moby grace Sebastiaan Vandevoorde‘s resume as part of his work with Villa, and his long-running, disco-tinged solo project Moonlight Matters is nothing to sneeze at either. The other half of Arches, Jochen Sablon,is the polar opposite of Vandevoorde in some respects. He’s pushed violent bangers for years alongside Vincent De Boek as Sound of Stereo, and has toured the world many times over in the process. However the beautiful thing about Arches is that these two producers meet right in the middle of their disparate influences, resulting in the uncommonly slick belligerence of ‘There’s A Place’.
That track is reason enough to keep an eye on Arches, but you can gaze a little longer right now with this exclusive mix and interview taken from FBi’s The Mixing Bowl. Peep the full tracklist down the bottom of the page, but expect everything from Hudson Mohawke to Adelaide’s own Motez, and even some unreleased material from Arches in the shape of their Tove Lo remix. While it plays out you can discover the creative and very humble (how many times can you paraphrase “our success is not up to us”) minds behind Arches. Enjoy!
- Arches :: FBi Exclusive Mix
Sandro Dallarmi :: Starting Arches required you two to take a little step back from your other successful projects, Moonlight Matters and Sound of Stereo. What made you want to take that risk?
Jochen Sablon :: To be honest, I never saw it as a risk. It’s a case of planning well and when you do what you love it doesn’t feel like work. That being said, I personally had the urge to start really writing songs rather than making straight forward club music only. I am very proud of what we did and are still doing with Sound of Stereo but it was time for me to explore a side of making music that was aching for a long time.
Sebastiaan Vandevoorde :: Rather than seeing it as a risk it’s seemed more like an opportunity to me. Just like Jochen I see it as an extension of my musicality, another opportunity to grow and share. It’s obvious there is a musical “click” between Jochen and me, giving the both of us the possibility to explore more of our respective musical personalities and the subset of those.
SD :: You said in an interview with HarderBloggerFaster that the long history of electronic music in Belgium has given your scene the courage to be “a little bit more avant garde”. What is Arches doing that pushes the envelope?
JS :: I think we tried to really mix proper (old school) house sound and feel with contemporary house music and add a bit of both our backgrounds being disco and club music. I don’t want to call ourselves avant garde at all, but us Belgians have such a small population so I think we always try harder.
SV :: Calling yourself avant garde would obviously be rather pretentious, that is up to other people to decide, but I believe at least we’re trying to be brave, creative and just that tad bit different to set ourselves apart from our colleagues, and try to have a fresh approach on things. Whether we succeed in that or not, is not up to us to decide. The customer is always right.
SD :: Looking to the future of course requires references to the past, and I hear you two are influenced by new beat music from the 80s. Why was it so impactful on you, and for those who don’t know – what is new beat?
JS :: New beat is a genre originating in Belgium at the end of the 80s by accidentally playing a 45 rpm track at 33rpm +8. People loved the downtempo chunky basslines and started making music that sounded like the pitched down records that started the genre.
SV :: Bassline driven music is definitely key here, that is where we relate to new beat and the “less is more” principle could be very relevant as well in this case. New beat was not just a new style of music, it also represented a new way of thinking, reinvention. We like to think we’re a small part of a new way of thinking as well. Whether we succeed in bringing that to reality is not up to us to decide, but we do our best.
SD :: You clearly don’t mind digging up more recent history either, with previous Moonlight Matters collaborator Gustaph (from Hercules & Love Affair) getting the call to feature on the second single of this new Arches project. How did you guys initially hook up with him?
SV :: I made a single some years ago for Moonlight Matters on Kitsuné with Gustaph called ‘Come For Me’, and I had always been a fan of him. That was quite a bit before him joining Andy, Rouge and Marc becoming what is now the current setup of Hercules & Love Affair. We had so much fun recording this single. It was obvious I wanted to do a lot more with Stef, who’s so extremely talented and a great personality. In the meanwhile he joined me living at my farm for a big year, and we came up with this Arches track.
SD :: Can people expect to see Gustaph performing the track live with you guys? In fact what are your general touring plans?
JS :: We dont want to make bold statements about live shows, but when a top-notch performer like Gustaph does vocals for you, it would be a shame not to bring him sometimes. There aren’t specific plans yet but it is certainly something we want to evolve to.
SV :: I think by the time we’re ready to do a full-on live Stef will definitely be a part of it, that is when he’s not touring the world with Hercules & Love Affair. We’ve done some semi-live shows with him already which turned out great! Apart from that we’re proud to have just joined the Primary Talent roster and we’re excited to be going on the road with this baby.
SD :: Finally, I read that you guys have been vibing on Sydney producer Lancelot, who seems to be making some ripples in your area of the world now. I’m interested to know which other Australian producers have come across your radar.
JS :: Lancelot is amazing! There are many amazing producers coming from down under, for me personally Flume is obviously ridiculous. Everything he does sounds super fresh and powerful. LET ME HAVE A THINK WHO ELSE!
SV :: Yeah Flume obviously, but if we can skip continents, who’s been rocking my boat lately is Kaytranada. Btw, Did you guys check the Whatever zip that’s been going round from him?
[Ed: Yes we did; Kay is bloody excellent]
Bipolar Sunshine :: ‘Where Did The Love Go (A Minor Remix)’
Gorgon City :: ‘Here For You feat. Laura Welsh (Dub)’
Mickey :: ‘Sweet Baby’
Simion :: ‘You & I (Darius Syrossian Remix)’
Florrie :: ‘Seashells (Preditah Remix)’
Youan :: ‘Take It Slow’
Thomas Schumacher :: ‘Hush (Catz N Dogs 2013 Remix) (Arches Edit)’
Sage the Gemini :: ‘Gas Pedal (Motez Edit)’
Armand Van Helden & Herve :: ‘Power of Bass (KC Lights Remix)’
Tove Lo :: ‘Habits (Arches Remix)’
Dave Hollister :: ‘Keep Lovin You (Kartell Edit)’
Arches :: ‘There’s A Place (Sunset Dub)’
Just Kiddin :: ‘Thinking About It (Main Mix)‘
Duck Sauce :: ‘NRG (Hudson Mohawke Remix)’