Chain D.L.K. is proud and pleased to present an interview with Patrick Codenys (producer, Front 242, Maleorfemale) about Front 242′s latest side project Speed Tribe.
You may also read our review by clicking here.
If you would like to buy the DVD/CD please click here.
Front 242 producers in surround sound!
Front 242 side project
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Visually stunning. A surround sound masterpiece. An audio-visual concept album that sets the standard for the future of entertainment.
Since 1923, scores of people from around the globe have journeyed to a town in France called Le Mans, to witness a 24-hour spectacle of speed, endurance and technology.
Dance.com presents Speed Tribe, a unique immersive audio-visual concept album which brings the thrilling action of the Le Mans 24-hour race to your senses. The DVD features Le Mans like you’ve never seen it, creatively filmed and edited to electronic beats and soundscapes that push the limits of surround sound. The companion CD soundtrack provides a re-scored and re-mixed listening experience.
Dance.com presents Speed Tribe, a unique cinematic/audio journey through one of the most grueling races the world has ever known. Features hard-edged techno, ambient and urban beats, created specifically for multi-channel, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS Surround Sound.
Created by legendary electronica producers Daniel Bressanutti and Patrick Codenys of Front 242, and digital filmmakers Rod Chong and Sharon Matarazzo.
List Price: $24.99
Buy Direct: $14.99
SAVE $10 (40% OFF!!!) WHEN YOU BUY BY NOVEMBER 30th! Award-winning DVD sets new standard for entertainment
48-minutes surround sound release from 242 producers music edited to films featuring fast cars of Le Mans 65-minute companion remix CD soundtrack 40 minutes of extras including exclusive interviews ID code to access Internet-only Speed Tribe releases Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Surround Sound double-disc luxurious Digipak package NTSC Region 0 (all regions, PAL-compatible) BUY ONLINE includes: 1 DVD + 1 CD + access code for Internet downloads
Chain D.L.K.: Hi Patrick. So what lead you and Daniel to Speed Tribe? How did this evolution take place?
Patrick Codenys: Daniel has been in contact with Rod Chong (one of the directors) since the eighties. They got in touch through Front242. Lately, Rod came to us with a multimedia subject based on speed which was interesting to challenge for us on the musical level.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you consider this your new band or just a F242 side project like "MaleorFemale"?
Patrick Codenys: I don’t believe that every project needs to be called "a band". People can do music and present their ideas as individuals; it is a matter of a personality’s work within a certain context. A collaboration can or cannot be a band.
Chain D.L.K.: You probably hate to answer questions about F242, but I must ask: whatever happened? We have heard you’ve been working on a new album but not much information seems to be available… Are you still working on something new as F242? We know you are playing festivals so the band does still exist, right?
Patrick Codenys: F242 is preparing an E.P to be released by the end of the year and an album for March-April 2003. The band has never stopped.
Chain D.L.K.: It’s been a long time since "Front by Front"’s single "Headhunter"… What do you get out of all these years and what do you think about the way electronic music has changed and evolved?
Patrick Codenys: I’m disappointed in electronic music in general. This is because in the 80′s when that kind of music was developing, there was a lot of research and people, musicians and non-musicians, were looking to create a new aesthetic, find new forms, de-construct the song format, etc… to try to find a proper life to this new kind of musical approach. Unfortunately, a lot of English bands took over and transformed electronic music into "Rock" music with machines; and in countries like Germany, they would just stick with certain electronic recipes without exploiting the genre anymore. I’m looking forward for new fields coming up.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you like the current status of the electronic music scene? What would you change if you could?
Patrick Codenys: It needs to explode, take risks, develop a real concept. Most musicians "play" with a computer… are happy with quick results and do not question themselves about the meaning of what they did. Also, the record industry doesn’t help; they lost so much money lately that they want sure values, money makers, no time for discovery and research.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you have anything you like to listen to in particular lately?
Patrick Codenys: Yesterday I watched a DVD from The residents, really fun and cool.
Chain D.L.K.: As a electronic music producer, do you think the way electronic music has been more widely listened to has made it any easier for you, Front 242, your side projects and Speed Tribe?
Patrick Codenys: Not necessarily, there has been a saturation of information and a lot of people find it difficult to find a product in general. On the other hand, it is true that because we exist since a long time, we became a reference.
Chain D.L.K.: You wanted and did play underground electronic music… Are you glad that electronic music has grown to be commercially successful or would you have preferred for it to stay underground? Do you think you have got good things or bad things out of this commercial success, in terms of vibes etc?
Patrick Codenys: As explained above, electronic music did not become mainstream… the market’s vision on electronic music was only a pretext to bring a revival on Rock, Rap, Disco, Reggae… take the old stuff and put some Electro on it and you are suddenly modern, hype… Machine shouldn’t be touched by musicians; they use a computer like a guitar, drum, etc… Machines should stay in the hands of non-musicians or a new generation of musicians. For that reason, electronic music the way I see it is still underground.
Chain D.L.K.: Some people used to say that everything has been done in music, but clearly they are mistaken and everyday something new sees the day of the light… It’s undeniable that trends come back and old stuff is revisited, as it is undeniable that unfortunately corporate music business leaders push the stuff they want to, but I was wondering what your take is about the future of the music… Where do you think will it go from here?
Patrick Codenys: Hey… a few questions later you came to the same conclusions.
Chain D.L.K.: You were allegedly the first ones to use the term EBM… I believe it was on the back of "No Comment" in 1983… I’ve always been very curious about how you came up with that particular combination of words and if you got the idea from somewhere or something?
Patrick Codenys: At the time, synthesiser were clumsy and stiff and the word "Body" was more used for black music, dance, funk genres. In our context we believed that the word Body was also related to the head/brain because there was a lot of thinking in the way of dealing with our music. Men needed full concentration of his senses (his body) to work with machines.
Chain D.L.K.: I heard you were on trial against PIAS (Play It Again Sam). How did that go or is it still open? Did that trial change anything for you?
Patrick Codenys: We’re still on trial and yes it has changed our vision on Independent Labels which can be worse than majors when it comes to integrity and money…
Chain D.L.K.: I won’t bother you any longer about the past… Let’s talk about the present: why Speed Tribe?
Patrick Codenys: I don’t know the signification anyone from the project puts in these words but to me it relates to those groups of motor fans who are going to see a race like a procession, a cult with a full rite like it is developed in the film.
Chain D.L.K.:…and why the cars and the whole concept and fascination for speed?
Patrick Codenys: The car is a tool to reach a sensation of speed. I’m not fascinated by cars myself but I’m by speed in cultures (especially in Japan were speed is a daily parameter of life).
Chain D.L.K.:…why Le Mans and not some other circuit?
Patrick Codenys: Le Mans cars go faster than Formula one.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you part of the speed tribe? Going to races, cheering and stuff like that…
Patrick Codenys: Not at all….
Chain D.L.K.: Are you guys speed-addicted? Fast drivers? Speeding ticket collectors? Anything like that?
Patrick Codenys: Daniel is… Rod would love to, but he is living in London…
Chain D.L.K.: What’s the speed limit in Belgium anyway?
Patrick Codenys: 80 Mph but you can do 90 without getting a ticket; and when the highway is"clear" you just speed the way you want at your (and others) risk.
Chain D.L.K.: I’ve read you like and are inspired by movies. So, did you enjoy the latest car movies such as "The Fast and the Furious" or "Driven", or is that too much Hollywood hype?
Patrick Codenys: Yes, I’m inspired by movies in general, I like cinema. "The Fast and the Furious" is a bad movie, Hollywood is not a reference when you speak about cinema. To me the concept of speed, acceleration is visually more developed in a movie like "Requiem for a dream" for intense. (among other topics)
Chain D.L.K.: This is your first 5.1 release… How was it to work with surround? What approach have you used and how do you like 6 speakers over just 2?
Patrick Codenys: Very exciting and I believe this technology has much more to offer than what has be done so far. We are very interested in the process.
Chain D.L.K.: What software did you use? DP? PT? LA? Why that specific software and not some one?
Patrick Codenys: We use Nuendo from Steinberg, easy and accurate, all you need.
Chain D.L.K.: As a producer, what is your opinion about recycling of sounds? Are you big on recycling or do you keep the original approach of creating your sounds and manipulating them?
Patrick Codenys: I prefer the pure creation process. Start a sound from scratch and try to design it to fit what you want to express. Recycling is only interesting for voices samples or if you can recycle and transform into a new sound. Most recycling in today’s music is ‘cut and paste’.
Chain D.L.K.: What do you think about the fact that with music gear becoming more and more affordable and entering everybody’s houses, more people are making more music (like punk in the seventies) but some are also assuming that they don’t need the help of producers or professional recording studios anymore?
Patrick Codenys: It is great that anyone can afford to create music; it doesn’t mean we will see more quality music but people can have fun. Like e few years ago, when anyone could afford a camera, it did not mean we suddenly got tons of good photographers… people are interested in taking a picture of grandma, the kids, etc… it is the same for music. Professional studio become also like home studios. We never invested in very expensive gear but tried to reach maximum quality in the way we were using what we had.
Chain D.L.K.: How long do you think it will take until 5.1 will be as widely spread as stereo CDs are today?
Patrick Codenys: Depends on hardware’s price; if Home Theatre gets cheaper people will by more 5.1, DTS.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you see the future of music distribution in DVDs or in the Internet? Hi speed is making it easier to distribute hi quality or even non-compressed audio online but on the other hand 5.1 is pushing its way through and distributing 5.1 tracks over the internet is unthinkable, so one pretty much would exclude the other one, in terms of mass sales at least…
Patrick Codenys: It won’t last long that 5.1 will be available through cable or whatever. But in fact, by the time this happens, a new hype technology will be there for the privileged ones who want the new stuff. Some people still want to by a CD and some people are happy with MP3. It ‘s like the food chain; although most people are fine with fast food (easy access like internet); some others look for the fresh, biological product for quality. You can inject as much junk crap in your ears as in your mouth…
Chain D.L.K.: What kind of sound sources were involved in Speed Tribe?
Patrick Codenys: 30 % of original Le Mans sounds, 20% digital and 40% analogic… no preservatives.
Chain D.L.K.: The CD tracks are more than a simple stereo bounce or downmix of the DVD’s audio, right? How exactly does it differ?
Patrick Codenys: Another medium calls for another approach. Some tracks in 5.1 did not match
a stereo concept. So we created new tracks for the stereo, to balance.
Chain D.L.K.: Why two version of the DVD audio/video track? Did you originally wanna have two musical versions or was it the directors/editors who came up with different timelines? It looks like the video has been edited around the music to achieve super tight sync… or was it the other way around? What kind of approach did you use and how much liberty did you have?
Patrick Codenys: One version is based on the pictures being "illustrated" with the music and version 2 is the opposite. Both versions try to find an harmony and synchronisation; but it was not obvious although Rod did a gigantic job with
the picture’s synchro.
Chain D.L.K.: I haven’t yet watched the third version ("V3") available online. How is that different? Is it a special cut? Is it only 6 minutes instead of 24 because of file size and streaming issues or just ’cause it’s sort of a hidden bonus track?
Patrick Codenys: Bonus, free, fun, lollipop… whatever you call it. It is a special cut.
Chain D.L.K.: The number 24 seems to be the theme here (24 hour race, 24 minute mixes, 24 tracks): it can’t be a coincidence, right? But what I am really curious about is if it is because of the name F242 or because of the fact that Le Mans is a 24 hour endurance race.
Patrick Codenys: Yes, it was a nice coincidence; we did not provoke anything on that matter.
Chain D.L.K.: Was this your first audio-to-video production anyway or did you do this kind of work before?
Patrick Codenys: It is the first.
Chain D.L.K.: Did you actually work together with Rod Chong and Sharon Materazzo (I mean in the same room, hands on) or were all sessions separate?
Patrick Codenys: They often work together; they are very complementary directors and they work together but as for Daniel and I, except for a few visits to London, we worked separately on the soundtrack.
Chain D.L.K.: What kind of gear have you used to produce and mix the music?
Patrick Codenys: All kinds of synths, samplers, softs, plug-ins, etc… we are very confortable with technology. When we look for a sound, we know what kind of gear will be more required for the job.
Chain D.L.K.: Speed Tribe’s musical direction has much more techno, trance, ambient elements to it but is also kind of minimal and experimental… Does this reflect your musical tastes and what you have been listening to or is it simply what Speed Tribe came to be?
Patrick Codenys: Those different approaches benefit the soundtrack, it gives its richness. When you play in a band, very often you better define a direction, a genre that is kind of "your" sound or a format like a song. With films it is different, variation is a good way to translate different feelings, scenes; the sound works and live with the pictures.
Chain D.L.K.: How do you feel about Dance.com’s idea of "ultimate convergent & immersive entertainment" combining audio and visuals, with DVD, CD and the internet… Do you think there will be more of these releases in the future?
Patrick Codenys: The credit I give to Dance.com is that they are some of the rare producers taking true risks in combining high-level technologies and underground Art to the public. It is a valuable effort and we know they will release more projects of that kind. This kind of attitude is rare.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you involved with Dance.com at all?
Patrick Codenys: Not directly, I know Bryan… he became a friend.
Chain D.L.K.: How is your relation with this label? What kind of distribution are you working with?
Patrick Codenys: We just try to manage the best situations for the products we believe in.
Chain D.L.K.: Can we expect Speed Tribe to be performing live too or will it stay a studio project? If yes, are you planning on getting a live drummer to enhance the human dimension of the live shows too?
Patrick Codenys: We can perform anytime, we will do an appearance in September in Belgium at the Sprint Spirit Festival. I know that we also will play London in Feb. 2003 for the release of the MaleorFemale DVD.
Chain D.L.K.: In 1997 Billboard Encyclopedia featured you in their "Top 500 Best Producers in Rock History". Have you been producing other bands lately?
Patrick Codenys: No, this was only based on our 20 years work within Front242.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you do a lot of external productions or do you prefer to make your own music or produce stuff you are directly involved with?
Patrick Codenys: We consider our studio as a Music production house and we have so much we want to do that we try first to accomplish our goals. But sometimes we accept to do remixes for bands, never a full production which would take too much time. Life is short if you just want to achieve some of your dreams.
Chain D.L.K.: Clearly you have a great musical and personal relationship with Daniel Bressanutti. Do you work a lot without him or doesn’t it make as much sense alone as it does when you guys work as a duo?
Patrick Codenys: When we work together, we create a nice dynamic where we can discuss what we do back and forth. It is enhancing the global quality of the work. Nevertheless, we both work alone on other projects. I did an "Industrial Dance" CD with Steve Stoll (DJ from NYC) called: Gaiden, as well as some remixes, etc…
Chain D.L.K.: What can you tell us about MaleorFemale and your relation with the chosen label Alfa Matrix?
Patrick Codenys: MaleorFemale is an hybrid project I released with Daniel B. and Elko Blijweert. Multidisciplinary, it explores different electronic music fields. We will release 4 CDs in total, the first 2 ones being released this Sept-October. It will be released on Art & Strategy in association with Alpha Matrix.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us more about your own label Art & Strategy? What do you use it for? What kind of stuff do you release and are you planning to release in the future?
Patrick Codenys: Art & Strategy is exclusively for our projects so far, we cannot afford to do music and playing businessmen with a dynamic label.
Chain D.L.K.: It’s a ritual to ask what the band’s future projects are, but in this case I am truly interested: will there be more Speed Tribe? Will there by any F242? What else can we expect?
Patrick Codenys: We are in a very creative period of time within the members of Front242 and I believe Front will be the priority for the next couple of months. But as we are in a synergy of working at different project at the same time; we still will extend our DVD experiences.
Chain D.L.K.: Thanks a lot for this interview and for your time and availability, Patrick… If you feel I missed something and you’d like to add anything now’s the time;-)
Chain D.L.K.: At the very moment? …I need some sleep.
SPEEDTRIBE official homepage: www.dance.com/speedtibe
DANCE.COM official homepage: www.dance.com
FRONT 242 official homepage: www.front242.com
FRONT 242 unofficial homepage: front242.host.sk
FRONT 242 unofficial homepage: Joseph Gogh’s F242 site
FRONT 242 webring: F242 webring
other FRONT 242 links: TOP 242 [interviewed by Marc Urselli]