Portrait : Halès
Halès (KALT / Mercure – Strasbourg)
DJ and illustrator from Strasbourg, he joins the Merᴄure collective in 2014. His sets form an atmospheric and noisy soundscape combining ambient, techno-mental and EBM.
How and when did you start the mix?
I started mixing in 2014 when we created the collective Mercure with Robin Dupont, with the will to share our musical vision, we were able to invite artists like Dax J, Matrixxman, Skee Mask or Shlømo to our Apollo events at Studio Saglio.
The key points of your journey? – Is there one or more artist(s)/person(s) who has/have inspired you or is/are currently inspiring you? Other inspirations?
My influences are multiple, I’m looking for the essence of several currents: hypnotic techno very representative of the Italian scene, the Swedish ones with the Northern Electronics label or the post punk or EBM sounds for their energies. At the same time I have always been inspired by drone and ambient as well as film music.
Your favorite settings?
3 CDJs, a technics a Xone, smokes, strobes and a smoke machine, all in a club that shares notions of respect with its audience, a delirious and open-minded crowd inevitably!
How do you prepare your sets before each show?
I’m never fully satisfied with my selection, I’m always digesting a few hours before playing.
I first classify my music by genre, BPM and then subcategorize it.
> POST PUNK
> 145 – 155
> LA TRACK
Your balance between DJ/prod career, your private and professional life?
In general I take a morning off every day of the week to look for music, my job as an illustrator allows me to listen to music while I work. So I’m very influenced by my listening in my job. I’m very lucky to be able to combine these two passions.
Your vision of electronic music and what you like about it?
I am certain that music must convey a message of tolerance, bring people together, connect. I am more and more willing to bring an ethical dimension through music, I give importance to the ideals and positioning that artists and/or labels wish to share.
Techno is essentially a music of anti-conformists, but above all a committed movement, a notion we tend to forget.
What do you expect to find in the music? Yours and other people’s?
A moment of escape. Going to a club is to cut short with reality and enjoy the present moment without worrying about what’s bothering us, it’s to become one with the music and the energy of the audience. I hope I can bring something similar to the public that comes to the club.
How would you like to see the electronic scene evolve in Strasbourg, France and/or in general?
Reopening clubs and concert halls would be a good thing to start with (COVID obliges). With the arrival of KALT, the electronic scene has found its club in Strasbourg. In terms of need, finding a place like the Mudd Club was would be a good thing in order to discover and hear more diversity in the city?
A few words about your KALT podcast or your recording at the club (styles, important tracks?). Can you tell us about the idea behind this mix ?
I made the podcast at home on a pair of CDJs. I wanted to share a club rather than an atmospheric vision of my world. The mix is based on EBM, Techno, Post-punk sounds.
With the events that we are living in this period and especially the #BlackLivesMatter which touches me particularly, my mix is a willingness to assemble the ideals of post-punk music with those claimed by the BLM movement. The frantic rhythm and power of EBM is reminiscent of the violent turn of events.
A lot of titles are claiming this will like The Escalation, Mass Deception, Change Your Mind, or The Modern Desire.