There is no set aesthetic upon which the framework of French electro-rock duo Neumodel‘s music is built — they create and sustain a mesmeric blend of industrial rhythms and ethereal melodies that tumble, echo, and clatter in the low evening shadows that haunt countless urban wastelands. Split between darker, denser material and something a bit more gauzy and translucent, their songs rummage through a ramshackle collection of influences, adapting and reshaping these inspirations into musical movements that best reflect their amorphous creativities.
“Lost amidst the thousands sounds coming to life each day, it’s not easy to know where our music taste stands,” the band reveals, “and to know how to exist — not in the public eye but in our own eyes. We were born in the 90’s and we grew up with Korn, Rammstein, Slipknot, and Marilyn Manson albums…”
The band deals in a fluid equilibrium, managing to balance their more rough-hewn influences with fragments of electronic experimentalism, offering their audience a glimpse into a future where genres are blurred beyond recognition and music become more than just a passive preoccupation. Their forthcoming record, Rock (which is due out April 17), is the realization of their efforts to focus their attention toward more rock-oriented fare, using the experiences they’ve accumulated over the years to illuminate their desire to reshape rock’s current landscape.
For the band’s new single “Faster”, they collaborated with English multi-instrumentalist AKA George, whose penchant for genre deconstruction matches their own. Blending reverb-washed guitar with bass heavy beats and vocals courtesy of AKA George that encircle the music and rise up into the lower atmosphere, Neumodel have fashioned an ingenious glimpse into the internal mechanics of their creative processes. Sounding like nothing else you’ve heard lately, the track pulses and breathes, an organic mass of muscles and tendons and melodies that slowly envelopes your nervous system.
Alongside “Faster,” the band has also shared their latest DJ set entitled ss20, an hour-long collection of club bangers, ambient soundscapes, warped electronic movements and experimental passages that reveal the depth of their knowledge of these genres. Steeped in unexpected rhythmic lay lines and various tonal connectors, this set doesn’t simply hold your attention; it possesses it. Moody atmospherics give way to dancefloor euphoria and a voyeuristic revelry before the last notes escape the confines of your speakers.
Recently, the band took time to answer some questions regarding the creative circumstances surrounding “Faster”, their hopes for how their forthcoming album might alter modern rock music, and how they approached their latest DJ set from a new perspective. Check out their thoughts and insight below.
How did the collaboration between you and AKA George come about? His voice melds perfectly with the alluring bass line and fills the spacious production. What was the process in creating the song with him?
It was around 3 am while watching TV that we came across a spot for a car brand. We heard a song called “Stone Cold Classic”. We loved the voice. We had a production on the side that was supposed to be an instrumental, called “holo.” We immediately understood that it was THE voice we needed on it. We shazamed the track and then discovered the famous “AKA George.” Very quickly, we contacted him and he sent us a demo with an awesome intro and verse. We had everything. No need for a second verse or chorus, the track works on an instrumental drop, with a lead guitar. We loved the vibe. “FASTER” could not have been done faster.
Your upcoming album, Rock, aims to potentially revolutionize the music establishment. What are current aspects of the music establishment you are working to change and how has the current climate affected them?
We are not crazy; we’re in the rap, hip hop scene’s era. It’s great and it’s a culture that we enjoy, but not a one that we recognize ourselves in, in terms of image and lifestyles: it has become nonsense. RAP SUCKS. We think that, like disco, rap/hip hop is a genre that will vanish in the years to come. Artists inspire people. A good album, like a good film, is a work that upsets first, then overturns the soul. It makes us evolve. A work is linked to an era, and by definition revolutionizes its era.
We don’t have the recipe of coca-cola. We are not trying to overturn an established order, but even less to make it profitable. Our music comes from the heart. It sounds silly to say it like that, but it’s the way it is. It’s that simple.
Your set ss20 was created in a time where you hadn’t been performing in many clubs, how did leaving and coming change your live sets, and how has performing your new sounds been?
Our last DJ set went “wrong” since we were fired by the organizers. We have had enough of Parisian clubs’ sanitized culture. No room for expression. They are selling gin tonics, not music. It’s like in movie theaters, selling popcorn and not a movie. This quarantine away from clubs (we stopped in 2018) has allowed us to free ourselves from our chains regarding music production. There is no longer a question of format, style, consistency; we have a real whiteboard. You can feel it a lot in our album, no song is like the other. It was enjoyable for us to compose without constraint. Rock is a revolution in our lives.