Strawberry Spotlight is a weekly feature on Strawberry Tongue Radio hosted by Lady Audio. She chats with the bands you hear, here, on Strawberry Tongue. In this edition, Lady Audio chats with Morgane Lhote, formerly of Stereolab, about her new project Hologram Teen.
This is a transcription of that interview which airs November 9, 1:00 EST, only on Strawberry Tongue Radio. You can also catch the re-broadcast of this show on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm EST. Be sure to tune in!
LA: Hey everyone and welcome to Strawberry Spotlight! I’ll be your host and I am Lady Audio. Today’s guest is Morgan Lhote of Hologram Teen. Thank you for joining me, Morgan. How are you?
ML: I’m good, it’s a pleasure to be on the broadcast, thank you.
LA: Yeah, I really appreciate your time, thank you.
ML: No problem.
LA: My first question is what attracted you to the realm of music.
ML: Oh, I’ve been playing music for a really long time now. When I was a teenager like I was playing guitar and drums and stuff like that. So I was playing live instruments more. Then I moved to London and I joined Stereolab and then they played in some bands in England. Then I moved to the New York and then I wanted to start my own project so I discovered Ableton and Cubase. Now I only use Ableton for making electronic music which is much more fun for me.
LA: Yeah, yeah that’s cool. What is it that you like the most about music ?
ML: I don’t know. I don’t really think about it like that. It’s just part of my daily life. I don’t know for me it’s like it’s more like a need – like eating or sleeping. It’s so ingrained in my life. I like thatthe emotions that it makes you feel like changes your mood.
LA: That’s great is there anything about music that you dislike?
ML: Not really. I never really thought about it. I guess what I dislike is people who do music and take themselves seriously because I don’t think you should. I think you should be into what you do. I don’t like music snobs I don’t know if that answers your question.
LA: No, no, that’s a great answer actually. So how did you come up with the name hologram teen?
ML: Oh that was really easy, actually. I wanted something fun and quirky that but kind of reflected the music. So I put my first and last name into an anagram maker on Google and I went through the list and I went through the list and Hologram Team that’s perfect. It took like five minutes. (laughs)
LA: That’s great. My favorite tune of yours right now is Marsangst and I was wondering if you could talk about it.
ML: Sure like now I’m working on an album for a British label that should come out next year. It’s like working on horror on some tracks and it’s it’s fun but it’s a bit dark. So I was like I need to do something a little more upbeat and dance oriented. So I was going to do something techno and I wanted to experiment with inter-ducking where you compress the base and the drum together. So I was like I am going to use a sample on that to have this techno kind of a beat effect. So I used a sample from John Carpenter and I built the ducking effect on the drum track. I just wanted to experiment with some techno audio settings that is more upbeat and I came up with that.
LA: That’s a really fun song. Another one I really like is Scratches En Série I think that’s how you pronounce it.
ML: Scratches (laughs) that one that was one like hip hop. I really like hip hop and stuff like that. I think of mix a lot of different genres together into my music, so that was like a bit funky.
(Play Scratches En Série)
ML: Yeah, I like that one too.
LA: Yeah! (laughs) So you mentioned yeah you were working on a new project right now for horror – horror movies and stuff?
ML: Well it’s not a new project. I guess my projects are kind of divided into two things: more like horror like sounding soundtrackstracks and then more dancey stuff, so I try to mix the two together. So like right now I’m working on it darker sort of a progrock-like soundtrack and that should be introduced next year. Tthen after that I want to do something more light-hearted and dance oriented.
LA: So what was the inspiration to do something darker?
ML: I don’t know I don’t really like horror films that much but I really like the soundtracks.
LA: me too
ML: I mean like I was a really big fan of Goblin and Italian prog rock bands bands from the Seventies that did horror soundtracks. I really like the way they construct the atmosphere and the tension and I wanted to experiment with that and then also maybe like put something more playful about it. So like put weird samples, that doesn’t take itself too seriously like sometimes horror film soundtracks with a twist.
LA: Great yeah that’s the cool inspiration. I, too, am inspired by soundtracks of the older horror films from the seventies and eighties.
ML: So what’s your project called?
LA: My music project? My music project is called Maheekats abd we just write our own kind of music. We are not signed or anything like that right now, but, like you mentioned at the very beginning, it’s just a need, like eating and drinking. You just have to do it – no matter if anybody is listening or not.
ML: You should send me the link, I want to check you out on Soundcloud!
LA: Okay, so now is time for a little scenario and and I’m going to go ahead and give you the scenario and we’ll go from there okay? It’s late in the afternoon, the shadows are long, the air is silent and you’re standing by a pond. Using the items you might find near you what would you use to play sound on the silence?
ML: So I can use any item near me to play music?
ML: Okay it’s like a video game, I like it! I should work for Disney testing video games because this is right up my alley. Okay, I think I would take a gold key that I find in the fountain, and turn it around on a vinyl planner and create some some percussive sounds out of it.
LA: So what would that sound like?
ML: It would sound like kind of like, let me think , they would sound like….I was able to create different sounds, so I’m trying to think of the correct term. It would sound like a scraping, rhytmic kind of sound.
LA: That would be a really cool sound.
ML: Yes, yes.
LA: Okay and last but not least what is your favorite flower?
ML: Favorite flower. I think the poppy – something simple that’s quite loud visually.
LA: Well that’s nice I love puppies. There’s so many different kinds of poppies. There’s the California poppy and then there are those other ones that are big and come in different colors, too.
ML: Oh really? I only know the ones in France and they’re only simple and red. I think there’s only one species in France.
LA: Oh okay, well I think you are in California now right? I think you said, Los Angeles so you must know about the California poppies.
ML: Not yet but I’ll pay more attention.
LA: I’ll send you a picture of the California poppy you wouldn’t believe it. When you drive through the middle of the state in springtime the hills are covered in orange flowers they’re really really pretty.
ML: Send me a picture!
LA: I will!