Paradis Artificiel quietly released their self-titled debut LP in November of 2019. Slowly but surely, it’s reaching the ears of listeners who will treasure their music for years to come– mine included. Made up of Montreal musicians and DJs, Odile Myrtil, Ourielle Auvé and Victor Bongiovanni, Paradis Artificiel is a project born out of friendship, and the desire to make music with no reservations. I met them on what was to be one of the last summer evenings, and we sat in a flowery nook to discuss the making of the record, sonic landscapes, and the art of doing it yourself.
Don't miss them LIVE on POPMONTREAL.COM from the roof of The Rialto at 3pm on Saturday, September 26th co-presented by MUTEK.
How did the three of you meet?
Odile: We had mutual friends and we were collaborating on each others individual projects. Ourielle and Victor did a song together, I did a song with Ouri… We were also all DJs so we were trying to get out of the vortex of mainstream electronic music and do something that felt organic.
There’s a real mood to your album, how would you describe that mood?
Victor: It really represents the period of time we were in when we wrote it––
Ouri: Almost hopeless…
Victor: Like a snapshot of our psyches from that moment in time.
When was this record written and recorded?
Odile: Between 2015 and 2016. After it was recorded we sat with it for a long time.
Victor: I was in Europe with the long edit of our jam, listening to it repeatedly.
Odile: We didn’t know what we were doing with it for a long time… It wasn’t for anything specific so it was hard to edit and know where to put it. It was a new kind of process for us, one that we grew from. We learned that we didn’t have to compromise any aspect of our music and visual identity. When it was released in November 2019, it felt like the right moment, and the time that we decided to take paid off in the long run.
So it was made over a long period of time…
Victor: The music was made in 2 hours–
Odile: Then the post-production was really long… But it’s because we weren’t rushed with deadlines– The organic feeling is reflected in the music.
Ouri: We didn’t want to be associated with any type of institution, we didn’t want to fit in the industry, we just wanted to be totally free in this project.
How do you feel when you listen to this record now?
Odile: It’s really easy for me to get over something that I make… but this project really has a special place for me.
Ouri: Because we never put any pressure on it, it’s never a pain to listen back.
The record is self-released– are you going to continue to work this way?
Victor: We made the choice to use the abilities that we have, and release the music ourselves.
Odile: This is our baby, I don’t feel like sharing the ownership of the music, because it’s so personal and so visceral. It’s nice that we also have our personal projects so that those can be more industry-oriented, but then we have a space that’s more natural. It’s nice to not be in the industry mindset when we’re creating which I feel like is rare nowadays.
Victor: It’s a conscious decision to keep doing it.
Ouri: Yes– I don’t want to make any compromises.
What kind of landscape do you see when you listen to your music?
Odile: Ouri is an air sign and Victor and I are water signs; I feel like it’s very steamy, very watery– water in different forms.
I’m so transfixed by your album cover–– and you carried that visual over to the music video for “You’re Like the Sun”–– where did that idea come from?
Ouri: We were inspired by deconstructed landscapes. This image is like the healing of a broken part, and the smile is a nicer side to that…
Odile: The image was taken by Gab Bois. When we chose that image, it became the centre of the world of Paradis Artificiel. We don’t know what that world is yet, but it’s more of a feeling.
What were you listening to around the time of recording and mixing your album?
Ouri: So many…
Victor: I was obsessed with Daniel Lanois at the time…
Ouri: We even waited for him at the end of one of his concerts to give him a USB key!
Odile: We thought we were gonna make it, Daniel Lanois will hear this, but I’m sure he just threw it in his pile of USB keys…
What’s next for Paradis Artificiel?
Ouri: Uplifting iconic music.
Odile: I feel like we used to be quite depressed… but the music we’re working on now is happy, it reflects where we are now. We’ve been sampling a lot, and trying to challenge ourselves in the production of the second record.
Victor: We didn’t jam at all for two years, and we got together this summer and it was–
All together: Instant.