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Guillaume Laidain and Andrew Claristridge. They met in Grenoble in the 90s. Raves, squats, during the birth of a movement... A long-term friendship. Separated for life. 25 years later, their reunion gave rise to this project. HLM High levitation muted. We have had the pleasure of interviewing them and this has been the result.

How would you present your work to someone who doesnt know you? Andrew: Haute Lévitation Mutée is a French duo which mixes all their influences in order to create their music. We have a punk, experimental & pop approach in order to write & compose songs.We always try to be on the edge with using interferences and electronic sounds combined with guitars, drums, voices…etc… My main focus is to keep it dynamic, raw, edgy, interesting… Guillaume: H.L.M is a hybrid combination of musical influences. Sung in French. H.L.M has its own style.

And your last project? How did it come to life? And do you see it evolve? Andrew: actually H.L.M. could have been a 25 years old project… I always wanted to do some music with Guillaume since we met in the 90s in Grenoble. We always had a great connexion and I have always been a fan of his previous project called The Garçon. He is also the one who made me discover Silver Apples. But when I left Grenoble in 2004 we lost track of each other for almost 20 years… Few years ago while I was playing in Bordeaux, where Guillaume lives, we got in touch again. It felt like we last met a day before like nothing changed during those 20 years. We right away decided to start to record music and started to think about a new project… And yes H.L.M. will evolve into one album and more recordings. Guillaume: yeah H.L.M was born following our reunion… 20 years later. It was already obvious at the time in Grenoble that we were going to do something together. It took a long time!! Today the wish is to continue this project, play live and to continue producing music which drives us.

What message to you want to share with the audience? Andrew: Love is the message!!! Hahaha well… I am not sure if we have a defined message. We are speaking about things we live and lived. The message is maybe: « expect the unexpected » or « enjoy the accident ». Guillaume: There are not necessarily messages, rather personal emotions which seem to be shared. And my message could be: "The album is not out yet! My close friends were lucky enough to listen to our music and I can't wait to share it with the rest of « the world ».

What is the concept behind it and what do you want communicate with it? Andrew: H.L.M. (Habitation à Loyer Modéré) is a form of housing in France and Switzerland. I have been always fascinated by the architecture of those places. We transformed the name into Haute Lévitation Mutée. We imagined how frequencies can be recorded in those place… thinking about buildings, concrete, metal, electricity, structure…etc… Guillaume: The concept is to merge our diverse musical influences and communicate with it in an aesthetic, personal & experimental quality.

What do you have in your studio at the moment Andrew: really? Well… this will take few pages :) You know I am collecting gear for more than 25 years and the list is a bit ridiculous! Let´s talk about what I use the most nowadays. I use a Korg Monopoly, a Roland SPD6, Boss DD7, SEM Oberheim, Korg Polyphonic Ensemble, Moog Grand Mother… etc… And the last amazing piece I bought is a microphone remade by Kerwax: the Melodium!!! Guillaume: I work and compose with various equipments and materials. An MS20 (Analog Synth), a PUSH 2 sampler, a computer… I use also interferences & field recordings. A vocal microphone. And paper and pencil for the texts!

What instrument or piece of equipment would you never give away, no matter what happens? Andrew: My Korg Monopoly!!! Guillaume: My MS20 !!

Which was the last record shop you visited? And what did you find there? Andrew: I became an online buyer (Bandcamp, Discogs...). I buy a lot on Bandcamp because I like the feeling that most of the money goes to the artist or the label (indie labels!!!). Discogs is great because you can find almost everything. But back to your question, the last time I was in a store I was in Paris at Gibert (they sell also books) with my dear friend Morgan Navarro (also from Grenoble and I bought Alan Vega « Jukebox Babe » on a pink 7 inches. A reedition by Sacred Bones. Do not ask me if I have the original home… I am obsessed with this song!!! Guillaume: Here where I live in Bordeaux, France, there is a famous record store called TOTAL HEAVEN You can find anything there! It is a shop which brings resistance & quality in their music selection. Last record is Pita « Guest On » on Mego.

Do you have hope for the future of music? What are your wishes for the future of the music industry? Andrew: More freedom and less control. I wish that musician could take less of their image and more about their art. Guillaume: Music is life! That some Majors could leave more space to the independents who seem to me to be more interesting; less musical crap!!!

Can you share something about your future projects? Guillaume: Yes! The release of a new title: GRENOBLE on Milk Me our label including its exceptional experimental video clip in 16 mm by French artist Gaelle ROUARD. And of course the upcoming release of our very first album. Andrew: Well I guess I have almost nothing to add. Ah yes our album will be released next year (2023) on Berlin based label Le Petit Signal. And also I can tell you that GRENOBLE EP will be released on Milk Me and it includes great remixers. One remixer is a legend from Grenoble (you can start guessing…). What makes you happy? Andrew: my sons! Having the chance that my music gives me work every day. Creating makes me happy. Eating makes me happy. Sharing time with my friends make me happy… H.L.M. & Guillaume make me even happier! Guillaume: This! H.L.M.! To finally have reunited with my dear friend David after 20 years. That I met Cath and Josh from Milk Me. Having finally seen Berlin! This adventure. These adventures.

What bothers you? Andrew: Violence, lies & greed. Guillaume: This crazy world we live in today.

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