. On October 30th, Ele Ypsis released their third studio album, the first one on the french label m-tronic, where they present a slow and striking celestial aura, alternating with some fast and powerful rhythms. In this interview the duo – marked by a fusion in the fields of neoclassical and light electronics – were asked about the origin of the band, the making process of Meiosis, perspectives on the music industry, the ironic description on their Facebook’s page and plans for the future, among other things.
The full interview can be read below.
1 – Let’s start with a trivial, yet important question to get to know the origins of Ele Ypsis. So, I’d like to know how did you get to know each other and how did you get to form the entity known as Ele Ypsis?
Ele Ypsis – A common sense of interest and disinterest for a surprising amount of things, music being the first one. One of us sang very well, the other not so much, things took off from there.
2 – “tortured child of distant artistic lovers” is the way you describe Ele Ypsis on its bandcamp. Why did you choose that specific description?
Ele Ypsis – We’re living a couple of seas from each other, and rarely got to meet to work together. We were lucky enough to start Meiosis in the same room, but soon after went back to our respective shores to work around the initial concept for the album. We tend to feel like an album is like giving birth to something, adding from both side into a new recipient, tortured by each insights to what it should sound like. Lovers because we do love it, and artistic because we are.
3 – You released your first two albuns, EKSÜ (2013) and SPIRALIS (2015) under the label of 561743 Records DK, yet two years later you return to m-tronic in order to release Meiosis. What do you feel has ocurred for that change to take place?
Ele Ypsis – That number label only refers to an official release accountability, in fact, it’s a self release process, Meiosis is our first album being released by someone other than us. What made it possible was the interest for Laure’s talent shared by the label M-Tronic‘s co-managers. (http://www.m-tronic.com/)
4 – By the way, congratulations on the release of your new record Meiosis. How long was it in the making?
Ele Ypsis – Thanks a lot for your kind reception and loving words towards it, we’re both very happy to finally be able to confront it to the world and letting it live by itself. Regarding the time of making, I’d say about a year of squeezing time between other projects. There was no rush, so we didn’t.
5 – Meiosis is the third record you release that happens to have a total of eight tracks. Is there any related symbology to the number 8?
Ele Ypsis – You mean, the fact that Eksu our first album is also 8 tracks, 4 letters, that Spiralis is also 8 tracks and 8 letters, that Ele Ypsis is an 8 letters word, all containing 8 tracks? No idea what you’re talking about… 8 sounds lovely though, a lot more elegant than 9 or 11, what kind of apathetic monster would release a “9 letter album”…?
6 – ËKSU was released during the Winter of 2013, SPIRALIS during the Spring of 2015 and Meiosis was released during this year’s Fall. Is the next record to be released during the Summer of 2019?
Ele Ypsis – That’s an excellent idea! We’ll finally get the long awaited opportunity to do a summer hit song, something about bikinis under the sun, or soda ice cream or something, we’ll figure something out, grab some money out of it. A clip maybe…, something on the beach with a dance, a catchy hook, guitars and techno kicks, thanks for the suggestion, you’ll be credited!
7 – At a personal level, I feel that with this new release, when it comes to the musical composition, you entered a more explorative approach on the electronics. In this record, this enormous cohesion between Stélian’s instrumentation and Laure’s voice is very palpable, and so is the evolution on this electronic approach, in comparison with your previous work. I can’t help but feel that your music was made by a single soul, seeing how your style feels so balanced. Meiosis could be Ele Ypsis’ highlight. Would you agree?
Ele Ypsis – That soul is the very person you’re talking to right now, Laure speaks for Stélian and Stélian speaks for Laure by addressing an unilateral ambition to please each other’s expectation of the other’s creative qualities. I’m the punctual expression of that combination, thank you very for noticing and putting it the way you did, we hoped of succeeding in this regard, and thank to your attention, we did. What made this record different is the initial creative direction suggested by Laure at the very beginning of it and a new working process suggested by Stélian in the making of it.
8 – Similarly to other projects from Laure, there’s also a tendency to use a language that isn’t neither english neither your maternal tongue. I think that one of your objectives is for the listener to focus on the result of the composition and not only on the lyrics’ meaning. What do you pretend to express while communicating without words and/or imaginary languages? Is there any relation between the language used on Ele Ypsis and the ones used on Öxxö Xööx or even on Rïcïnn?
Ele Ypsis – She always uses this instinctive langage in all she composes with her voice. It really came naturally like a sensitive thing, all she wanted to sing must be something new, like “pure”. Also, she loves the idea of really feeling the present while recording the voices, like a communication of what is really true inside at the moment and what she finds once following deeper and deeper. After which she can analyse it and choose the best and words appear. All the sensations, all the pictures , the univers she had comes into those words that she finally manages to translate into a “material” langage. She thinks that people need to understand what it is about on her songs and for her it is like a therapy , it helps her a lot to understand her own state of mind.
9 – In the “About” section of your Facebook page you indicate that some of your favourite artists are Beethoven, Stravinsky, Ikue Asazi, Ravel, Debussy, Massive Attack, Burial, Dead Can Dance, Arvo Pärt, among others. If you had to mention some of your biggest influences among these artists, who would you nominate?
Ele Ypsis – We wrote it because we had to write something into that segment, not sure how many people went this far, but since you did, I can say we wrote it for you. We could have gone a lot further in the number of musicians, not sure about the influence, but the love for each one is great. I tend to cheer for the quietest individual in real life, Beethoven is the most dead of them all, so let’s pick him. Purcell is very dead too…
10 – In the same section you also say that you “hate a lot of artists too”. Do you want to confide us some of them?
Ele Ypsis – That mention must have been written to bring some lightness to the whole thing, or not to sound like a devotee, or just to be funny. We don’t really consider hating someone we don’t know, it tends to take a lot of energy. That being said, making music too similar to an already existing artist or genre is a very recurring thing that betrays a will to be a musician rather than being an artist. We don’t praise that so much.
11 – About the musical industry and the digital panorama it is going on, in what way do you think that affects your course as a band so far? For example, with the arising of pre-orders, do you feel it’s easier to have an idea of how many sales you’ll get? What are your thoughts on both physical and digital editions? Do you feel it’s easier for potential listeners to get access to your work, or for you to get in contact with your target audience?
Ele Ypsis – We believe that the difference between the sane and the insane doesn’t reside in an opinion but rather in the position taken towards it. When things are what they are, you do you, whatever the extend of your influence. The course of our “band” is a lot more influenced by the weather outside the studio’s window than it is by the influence of internet on the music industry.
I’m guessing that pre-orders do have a great appeal for a more asserted artist with a greater fan base, so far we’re barely anybody, yet anybody is pretty likely to be found online, as long as you have someone actually looking for you, which is where the disillusion usually starts.
12 – What was the last notable record you listened to, and the last live concert you attended to, as part of a crowd?
Ele Ypsis – Laure is actually on tour with Igorrr and she is always composing or discover new bands on the road so when she finishes all that stuff, all she needs is SILENCE and maybe returning in a state of quiet to get space for other melodies, as for Stélian, he’s latest outgoing was to attend the interpretation of one of Mozart‘s mass live in Brussels and listened to the ’36 Chambers’ by Wu-Tang while vacuuming his house a couple of days back.
13 – And what about plans for some live Meiosis presentation concerts? Will it happen?
Ele Ypsis –It’s all feasible, although the ego fades, with the right formation the project would be a great live act for sure. A video of the song “Meiosis” being rehearsed live has even been released online on our youtube channel.
14 – Do you want to add anything else?
Ele Ypsis –Cigarettes are bad for you, global warming is real, gravitational waves as well, eat fruits and vegetables, avoid milk and drugs, meditate, be kind, listen to Liszt, be real, aim for wisdom, Rachmaninov too, stay quiet and thank you so much for your interest, we partially live through it.
So this is not a question, but I just had to mention that I laughed a lot when I was browsing your Facebook page. Once I read “Money, fame, drugs and yoga” on the band’s interests, and “Big cars, money, skinny bitches, and deep meditation” on personal interests, I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. Thank you for the ironic insight and this interview!
Ele Ypsis – We should definitely update those at some point because in the mean time we’ve lost interest for big cars returning to the more fundamental and pragmatic approach to materialistic value being that the most important aspect of a car remains the fact that it needs to be powerful, flashy and attractive to women rather than just being big, as you can see we’re constantly reinventing ourself, we’re such great artists…
Thanks again for this interview and allowing us to conduct it in English.