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Interview: Arnaud Rebotini/Black Strobe

Dec 5 2012

Arnaud Rebotini is one of those names that’s deeply etched into your musical repertoire, both because of his longevity and also because of his talent as an artist. Not only has Arnaud been there from the beginning with the Detroit techno scene, he’s also been influential in shaping the electronic music genre. A legend among producers, Arnaud Rebotini has lived through the techno, acid house, disco, and electroclash and come out as relevant as ever. Aside from a solo project under his given name, he’s also the leading member of Black Strobe, a three piece electro-rock group that has a new EP titled The Girl from The Bayou set to be released on his own label.

We had a chance to catch up with the man himself to chat about both Black Strobe and his solo project and what’s happening with each.

Nancy: Can you describe what “frozen Balearic gay biker house” is?
Arnaud: It’s the original Black strobe sound… et a joke…
Frozen: For the Dark influence, like EBM and Goth.
Balearic: Because I love to spread the darkness on this paradise island.
Gay Biker: Well because I love Disco and motorcycling.
And House for House

Nancy: What made you decide to resurrect Black Strobe and is it different in its reincarnation?
Arnaud: I never really stopped Black Strobe, I released 2 solo albums of proper electronic music [‘Music Components Vol. 1′ and [Someone Gave Me Religion’] but Black Strobe was always still on my mind. The new sound is a synthesis of all the different sounds of Black Strobe over the years and simply it’s the music that I want to do now, a kind of modern boogie, a Bayou Disco.

Nancy: You have both a Rebotini and Black Strobe release coming out within a month of each other. Did you work on these projects simultaneously or finish one before starting the other? I can imagine that could get a little creatively confusing.
Arnaud: Some times I do the projects simultaneously, but right now I’m focused on Black strobe, still it’s possible I might have some ideas for Rebotini so if I do I can record it. I never get creatively confused as both project are so different in my mind.

Nancy: Can you tell me what your writing process is like for Rebotini vs Black Strobe?
Arnaud: For Rebotini most of the time I start with an idea that I find when I’m actually on stage, as I’m jamming a lot when performing live. For Black strobe I start from an idea of melody and lyrics, with Black Strobe it’s more of a classical “song writing process”.

Nancy: Electronically speaking, what styles and artists do you draw inspiration from?
Arnaud: Early Warp records, Murk, Nitzer Ebb and Front 242, Detroit Techno, Krautrock. Early house too… and Herbie Hancock!

Nancy: I’m curious about your musical progression from death metal to acid house music – when and why? Do you miss the tactile feel of playing instruments when performing live?
Arnaud: To be honest I feel that I never really moved from death metal to acid house as I still always listen to both, and I don’t miss the tactile feel of playing instrument when performing live. For both Black Strobe and my solo live show I don’t use any laptops or software. So I’m playing a lot of keyboards. Playing live with a laptop has bored me to death.

Nancy: What can we expect from your live set for Black Strobe?
Arnaud: We are touring with Black Strobe now, we are playing this weekend at les Transmusicales de Rennes,  and we have a lot gigs to come. On YouTube you’ll find a taste of what’s to expect in the live show.