Once a charming student, trying to reach the upper end of society, until the night called and for a brief period, he lost himself in South Berlin, dancing, talking, philosophising and cooking his way through the dark parties of Kreuzberg and Neukölln.
Here, he worked as a booker at Berlin’s, Arkaoda, played records at sweaty Malka Tuti parties, danced the night away at Sameheads and deepdived into music.
At this time, he also joined the Fribourg, Switzerland-based band Reymour, singing on two tunes of their acclaimed Knekelhuis Synth-punk album “Leviosa”. He also played the drums on “Poetic Fame”, one of three enthralling tracks of “Uma”, the debut solo single of Swiss musician, Marcel De Sie.
Besides making music, Low Bat curated the compilation “Endlich Normale Menschen“ for the Lyon-based label, Ear Clip Series, featuring feverish grooves by underground artists like Kashual Plastik boss F. Æmbient, mysterious trio Jauche and Barcelona-based tribal industrial duo Dame Area.
Eventually, over time, nightlife lost its appeal for the spry Frenchman and he decided to make a radical life choice. After leaving Berlin’s nightlife behind and spending a few months of recreation in the South of France, he became a school teacher in the North of France, doing the march through the institutions to distribute some wild libertine spirits to the kids of today.
It's only when the holiday season arrives that Low Bat can really get back on the music track.
As always, we sat down with our host for a little chat, talking about his life as an educator, his musical upbringing, future releases, and other pending adventures of sound.
Q. Hey Louis, for a long time you worked in Berlin’s nightlife as a DJ, programmer and more. Now you've settled in the North of France, working as a school teacher. How did that come about?
A. Indeed, now I’m located in Valenciennes… You should have seen the faces of my friends when I told them that. I’m living together with my sister and her partner, that are behind the graphic design studio, Structure Bâtons, and with whom it is terrifically beautiful to live. The region where I live is next to the Belgium border. It is an insanely economically poor region of France, suffering from the same pain due to a joint effort from the state and firms since the beginning of modern times. In 1883, already, Émile Zola came to the place where I live now in order to make his ground-breaking observations before writing “Germinal”.
Q. Can you tell us a bit about your musical background?
A. Well, I’m glad to have an older sister and an older brother, who strongly gave the initial shape of my background: firstly, my sister, pressing in my hands some CDs of French rap, such as “La Rumeur”, with some strong political texts, not the righty gangsta shit “I wanna be the best of my hood and get money”. I still have puns from this ensemble popping in my mind when I’m walking around. And, on the other side, my brother made me listen to bands such as Electralane, Nick Drake, and Elliot Smith.
I also was learning violin in a music school at the time, but my teacher was such an elitist idiot that he made me hate music for some time, so I wasn’t listening to that much music for a few months after. After came the time of the punk, listening loud to Crass while having blackouts induced by cheap cognac.
I also need to mention two more triggering moments. First, the first nights spent in the Wagons of Nord-Bahnhof of Stuttgart, jeezing all night in a container with Thomas Zehnle, Moritz, Og, and Reinhold on space rock until the morning and sipping irrationally gin and tonics. And secondly, the input provided by Jérome, one of the childhood friends of my brother, inviting me to play some music when I was 20 at Radio Zinzine. This radio is a very old free radio, initially and still located on a hill, lost in the Provence, where at sundown you can listen to the shepherd bringing back his sheep. He also popped by at the radio at some point, bringing fresh cheese and homemade flavor-ish rum.
I really stepped into electronic music when I met Judaah and all the family around him in Lyon, Guillaume, Manon, Louis, Marine, Simon Debarbieux, and so on … However, without really ever letting go of these first influences of mine, between conscient rap, melancholiac late-night listening sessions, and with some punk attitude on top.
Q. What future projects are you working on right now?
A. I have a few things cooking here and there. We are still in a creative process with my beloved gentle thugs, Luc and Ariel, in order to put out a full-length album under our band named Jean-Luc. More info to come.
Guillaume, from Pilotwings, was patient enough with me to record an album within the last year. We still don’t have a name for the project, but it will see the light on the awesome insert named Themes For Great Cities, the label run by Arne for the last few years and illuminating the cities nights with the great vibe of his sensibilities and the sound of Düsseldorf. This will be an only German-speaking album. Somehow, it’s like a free therapy session about my few years in Berlin, counting stories about the first and the last time where Felix (Blech) took me to a yoga session in Kreuzberg on a winter morning, at 7 a.m...\
As well, at some point and pretty very soon, Thomas and Daniel from Phase Group are soon putting out two jam sessions I did once in a time with Hannes (Henninspace).
I’m also trying to keep up with a very important side of me, programming. After having the opportunity to be part of Heiners community in Berlin, and then taking care of the programming for some time at Arkaoda, Berlin (two main spots full of incredible people, such as Marc Kull, Martha, Frans Æmbient, Augustine, Elad, Sophie, Micky, and BABA K), I’ve been a member of Mutant Radio for a year, co-curating the programming of this radio station. I’m currently writing these sentences from the Mutant Radio courtyard, located straight in the middle of Tbilisi. The wagon is located in an old electricity station and it is surrounded by colorful heritage buildings, with an open-air bar covered by three insane huge veils. Tata and Nina, the two co-founders, were kind and trustful enough to let me jump into the magical process of this community radio. I can barely express how wonderful they are, giving 100% all-in of their life for this insane venture.
Through this radio, I’m trying during the current times to work with people I love and trust, according to the spirit of mobile radio. Acephale, this amazing bar located in Cologne, hosted a first episode of talks and live streams. I then organized two first streams together and on the Urbanboat, located in the north of France. This is also another incredible venture, launched by Alex and Nico. A barge located on the north canal from France. I’m very grateful to all these people for giving me a bit of their time and trust in order to keep jeezing around.
Q. Last year you compiled the sampler "Endlich Normale Menschen". Can you tell us a bit about the record?
A. The compilation is due to the trust of Gaétan, running this label named Ear Clips Series and old head of Chez Émile Records, a record store based in Lyon and which is now sadly closed. He basically offered me the possibility to work on a double LP compilation. This first edition is mainly a compilation of people I booked in Arkaoda to play. This is how I chose the artists. I’m slowly finishing the second opus of this series which is based on the same wish to give musicians a way to get featured and listened to. Since Gaétan is giving me this chance to publish music through his insert, I want to keep this spirit alive and give the chance to not-that-well-known people.
Q. Can you name us some newcomers that you feel deserve more attention?
A. I will try to keep it short. I can firstly name Naomie Klaus (yo la caille!), French artist based in Brussels who is doing a terrific insane job and as well Simas Okas, that I put out on my first compilation, who is soon to be released on Nose Job’s insert. Keep your ears on them. I want to sneak in here as well the work of DJ F16 Falcon and the one of P.A.L. Follow the white rabbit and cool you in …
Q. What‘s the most immoral offer that has ever been submitted to you?
A. The same that everyone gets, to work for money in order to survive.
Q. In July you curated a little exclusive festival in France. Can you tell a bit about it and how it was to plan a festival during the pandemic?
A. Actually, the festival was made together with two wonderful modern times beatniks, Clyde and Aki. There was also the help of a magic cook named Noé, the significant input of the one and only OKO DJ, and the smiles and incredible support of basically everyone who came. I still have goosebumps when thinking about it. The process stayed a bit dada since it was thought and made for only 250 people. We were looking at the developments of the regulations in France, but somehow, we were only thinking of organizing it, preparing very chaotic schemes. And if the regulations were not allowing us to do it, then we would have kept the schemes for the year after or the year after. The mainline in our heads was to do a festival with more live bands than jockeys, and the main slogan was the one and only: “Rock and Cry” for the YLOD.