Tepr is the stage name of electro producer, remix artist and keyboard player, Tanguy Destable. Fans of Justice, Major Lazer and electronic dance music in general would do well to familiarize themselves with this modest French gentleman. Although Tepr is most well known internationally for his work with the French electropop band YELLE, he has definitely established himself independently as a consistent producer of slamming dance tracks and remixes. Tepr has released 3 LPs and 3 EPs to date, with many more on the way.
Taylor: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions about YELLE and Tepr for Flash Flood Media. My first introduction to Yelle was a remix of “Ce Jeu” featured on the free “Supermotives” EP by LA local musician D/A/D. When I began researching Yelle, I was struck by the high sense of artistic fashion and coordinated visual branding presented in the music videos. You guys really had your finger on the pulse of the times! What are some sources of inspiration for the style of YELLE’s new album Safari Disco Club and the current visual style of your own website?
Tepr: YELLE is an entity made of three people. Yelle herself, GrandMarnier and me. Yelle and GM started together and I joined them when they needed a keyboard player on tour in 2007. Im now part of the producing process with GrandMarnier but at first he’s the mastermind behind everything. Regarding the music, the lyrics and the style/fashion, he’s the one giving the impulsion. Then we discuss the ideas all together and we make it happen. But the first thing is the music, really. That’s the inspiration for the visuals and stuff.
For Safari Disco Club (Coming out in March) we sat in the studio for a year, did 12 tracks, kept 11 of them and then we listened to the whole thing and realized there was a lot of percussion rhythms, cold synths, of course a dance feeling but also a little bit of melancholy… from all this came the idea of the cover picture, the video (soon to come) and the stage outfits.
Taylor: The music video for Tepr’s remix of the YELLE song “A cause des Garçon” is noted as being one of the first popular videos to incorporate the European dance craze known as Tecktonik. Tecktonik dancing received a lot of attention from the media in 2007 and is particularly interesting as a social phenomena because of it’s well thought out and relatively controlled branding. How do you feel about this kind of fan created content and being historically linked to the Tecktonik phenomenon?
Tepr: It’s cool, because when this music video came out, the Tektonik movement was just about few kids dancing like weirdos in Paris streets. A friend introduced us to this new dance movement and we were amazed by how these kids were killing it. We had a low budget video to make with the YELLE’s “A Cause des Garçons” remix and we thought about these guys. It’s the only thing we made related to Tektonik. Then press and TV jumped on it and killed it.
Taylor: Your dance remixes are known for their mix of fresh sounds and irresistible dance groove. How do you feel about the art of remixing?
Tepr: Actually, I stopped doing remixes 2 years ago (even if i just did one for French band “Jamaica”). Remixing is cool and it allowed me to explore many club genres (also it helped to pay the rent for a while) but it got me lost in my own production. It’s something I find weird, to do a track that gonna exist for a month in clubs then it will be forgotten like tons of other remixes… I felt I was doing some junk food music so I stopped. Also I want to be known for my own tracks, not just for remixes. But remixing is fun when you like the original track.
Taylor: What are some key inspirations for your dance production style?
Tepr: Well, that is hard to answer. For the past 3 years Ive been really technical in the studio, learned a lot of things. Now all I know is that I dont want to spend hours on a track anymore, I want magic and mistakes to happen. I dont want to lose time by cleaning tracks, doing tons of EQs and processing, it’s the best way to lose yourself and never finish any track. The key word is FUN! When I open Logic, I start from scratch, try to pick the good sounds and trust my ears.
Taylor: How do you feel about the interplay between DAWs like Logic and plugins versus traditional hardware synths and effects?
Tepr: I use both. But having tons of hardware doesn’t increase your creativity, it might even get you lost at some point. I love my analog synths, but I also love plug-ins. I’m a little bit tired of the “analog sound” that everyone tries to get. Don’t get me wrong, I love all these fat analog synth sounds and will always love them and use them but there is so many things to explore with plug-in synths.
I just bought Reaktor and it’s really incredible what is in there… Of course it has tons of old synth emulator in it but also some pretty unique synths that allow you to shapeshift one sound to another. The Sculpture synth in Logic is pretty cool, I love it’s coldness and unusual sound. GrandMarnier used it for the Safari Disco Club intro, the can top’s sound, it’s from there.
Regarding the analog gear, I have a Prophet 5, PPG Wave 2, Jupiter 8, TR 808 and few others that I love to use without even recording them sometimes. It’s fun.
Taylor: Any words of advice to producers?
Tepr: What matters is the idea, not the gear; trust your ears.
Taylor: Your website offers fresh materials to members (sign up is free), including a monthly mixtape and free downloads of new tracks. I love this active approach to connecting with your fans. What kind of interesting fan oriented things and TEPR merchandise do you have in the works?
Tepr: Yes, the website is a new thing for me. I always thought that because of all the great social networks on the web, a website would have been old fashioned. And now, mainly because there is too many of these networks, a website is a really good thing! It allows fans to gather in a place where there is everything they need, bio, pictures, posts, music etc… All the tracks I give on the website are tracks made for my 2009/2010 Live set. They are not released at all so I thought it was a cool way to give a new life to them!
I would love to be more active but I can’t manage to post daily stuff like “I’m wearing green boxers today” or “I love pastas”, it makes me uncomfortable… Some artists can, not me. That’s why I only post when it regards my music or Yelle’s. It’s the same with my facebook fanpage and private, I don’t post that much because sometime I find it gives an arrogant tone to what you have to say, even if it’s not. But it’s a great tool and I couldn’t live without it, I guess.
The next thing on the website would be to broadcast some live studio sessions but the only problem is that I can’t play music from the speakers, even a little bit, cause I live in a tiny apartment in Paris and my neighbours are about to kill me because of bad sound isolation. I do most of my things with headphones on. I’m used to it but it wouldn’t be easy for a broadcast. I’d love to get a proper studio.
Taylor: Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
Tepr: Yelle’s album “Safari Disco Club” is out soon and we’re about to start a huge US tour, all the infos here www.yelle.fr
Stay tuned for a new Tepr EP, and go visit www.tepr.net for free tracks and mixtapes. Thank you very much for the interview!
Download a free mix from Tepr here: http://www.mediafire.com/?y7zd0jswy5ya9sdLast 5 posts by Taylor Shechet
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