№ 86 - Metaphore Collectif

№ 86

A new month and a new EDWIN mix adventure. This time cooked up by three members of the Marseille-based Metaphore Collectif: Vazy Julie, Shlagga and Israfil.

The latest addition to the EDWIN Music Channel brings us a variety of untraditional musical thrills that may not mix with everyone's idea of soft leisure music entertainment. Instead, they have dropped a nervous, shaking mix that holds more sound information than a submarine communication cable.

Is it techno? Is it IDM? Is it bass? Is it hip hop? Is it breakbeat? Is it footwork?

Well, it’s a 68-minute clash of styles featuring 29 tracks, specially put together for devoted open-minded spirits, creating complex metalhead music, that only digital natives can produce, linking contemporary sound styles into an ever-evolving story.

The crew from the South of France, exist as producers, record label runners, talent trackers, party promoters and ravers at large, gathering music by underground producers like Belgrade based Smetnja, Yin Yang Audio from Houston, London based Fiesta Soundsystem, Bastiengoat from Oakland, California and New York based industrial punks In Swarm, to name a few.

They all make noise in the digital infinity and create music, in which the social, political and physical digitalization resonates profoundly.

In order to gain a deeper insight into the work, vision and mission of Metaphore Collectif, we conducted an interview with the crew from the French Mediterranean coast. Check the spell below and jack heavy on their deeply absorbing futuristic mix.

Metaphore CollectifMetaphore Collectif


Q. How did you select the tunes for this mix and what story do they tell in the order you present them?

A. We took care of 20 minutes each. As we are used to playing together and know each other so well, we knew in advance that 3 x 20 minutes would fit perfectly. It was a little challenge for us to not do b2b but rather to create a party each of our own. If you listen carefully to the mix, you realize that three universes confront each other but blend together with an ease that all three of us have in real life. Israfil, Shlagga and Vazy Julie: it's three bodies, three brains but a big heart for three.

Q. Would you consider music as pure entertainment and mind-escapism or also as a political entity?

A. Let's start from the idea that everything is entertainment: music as well as politics, as well as life itself, no?

Of course, our work within Metaphore Collectif is based on music around which everything is articulated, but it is deployed in a political way. We aim to spread values: freedom, resistance, solidarity, tolerance and empathy with the music we propose in our events as well as in our mixes. Today, nothing can be insignificant, and as soon as we gather crowds, it is important to have a message to deliver. That's why music is obviously political. However, for us, entertainment is also political: working, paying, fighting...

Come on! Entertainment and mind-escapism are today some of the most militant acts you can commit. Common denominator!

Q. You run a regular show at LYL Radio. What is the aim of that show?

A. The aim of that show is to showcase the local Marseille scene, and especially the artists close to the collective, giving them a chance to express themselves in a different way than they normally would in a club. (By the way, Uglyy, a member of the Metaphore fam has finally started to put on his own show this year. 1337 FM discusses the different kinds of music in video games, featuring a really nice selection of tracks, intermixed with a talk show where he shares his own experiences. A real gem!)

The show on LYL Radio is named Le Pochon Noir. It refers to the slums of Marseille and the hashish that is sold there in black pocket. You never know what kind of head he'll have inside, but you can be sure he'll be good!

Q. On your website you show artist pictures that do not represent the artist. Is this a winking comment on today’s serious ways of being an artist?

A. OMG lol! You do good research! You were not supposed to see this, the website is currently under construction and Ugo, who took on the role of dev, made a private joke, but he forgot to make the link private. Nothing to do with artist representation as when the site is finished there will be pictures of each artist, even if we try not to take ourselves too seriously!

Q. What music are you into right now? What labels or artists trigger your mind and soul? And why do they do it?

A. At the beginning of Metaphore Collectif, 10 years ago, we were in something more radical and dark, because the collective was born in a desire to cut away from what was already present in Marseille. Over the years, and as we have evolved, the collective became more open to other influences in terms of music. Today, we've all taken different paths while remaining attached to the same base.

Israfil is in a tribe mood, old school rave in reference to the free party movement: fast, raw, psychedelic, frontal; while Shlagga is more into industrial music, which he seeks in all styles of music, as much in the trap of today as in the 90's rave, inspired in trance codes, always heavily influenced by metal, punk, rock stoner, breakbeat culture. Vazy Julie is perhaps the most futuristic part of the collective: with bass-driven music and broken beats UK base, but very deconstructed, future dancehall, pop music editing, rap, world, drum and always very eclectic.

We are inspired by so many different styles of music and we categorically refuse to tag ourselves with a specific style, so it's not easy to answer this question.

About labels, we're very attached to the French labels of our friends from BFDM, Editions Gravats, Worst Records, 99cts recording, Prr! prr!, L.I.E.S, but we also dig into the cheesiest old stuff on Discogs, as well as avant-garde club music from new labels like SVBKVLT, Salviatek, Heel.zone, Samuraï Music, Teenage Menopause and Naafi...

It's really hard to answer this question, so many interesting things are being done all over the world today in terms of electronic music. We can say that we feel connected to the techno movement because that's how we got into electronic music, but today we can see that techno music has exploded in a lot of very interesting sub-genres. There's really a reason to mix everything together, to confront the different musical styles, to offer something hybrid and new in the club.

We'll then talk about club music, whatever it is and wherever it comes from, rather than about a particular genre, because in any case, what we're really interested in is suggesting associations that speak to us and that reflect us rather than shutting ourselves up in a box.

Q. You run also a label that to our knowledge so far has only released digital content? What are the future plans and do you think music needs to be manifested on a medium like vinyl or cassette to be more than just a file in this world?

A. No, we did a physical release, it was a 12" by Empire State, a close friends trio from Marseille! The first and only release on Metaphore Industrie was pressed and it was important to provide the physical object. But we think this is not the object that defines musical sustainability. An mp3 file can also have an impact, sometimes even bigger because it is accessible to as many people as possible. We are not vinyl purists and we've been streaming music for at least half of our lives. Let’s take advantage of the internet to spread, share and exchange music!

The next one will be coming out next month on tape this time, limited edition. It's a ghetto tech-oriented EP by White Mamba, from Marseille again, a good friend of long-time, and it’s a bomb.

Acting as the logical continuation of Metaphore Collectif, Metaphore Industrie celebrates the Marseille scene, made of concrete and horizon, committing itself to broaden the fields of electronic/techno/club music in France by emancipating itself from the codes and boundaries that exist between extreme music and club music - both intended for an audience that, in any case, seeks to unleash itself.

Q. Can you tell us something about you Amour au Cargo?

A. Hell yes! Amour au Cargo arrived a year before Meta Zone Libre, our venue. We had a special residency in this place which is not made for night parties and clubbing because this is a gay sauna. That’s why it was so interesting to do something there. In the beginning, we were sceptics about this one. The people of Marseille suffered a lot from the cliché of not being open-minded enough. Yet, we have always believed that it was only a question of trust.

The first night at the Cargo was supernatural.

People arrived curious and excited to be able to take part in an event in this wonderful place located in the heart of the Noailles district, which is a very popular area in the centre of Marseille.

Everybody was kind, and as the place was revealed, people were getting stripped in a moist and friendly atmosphere. It was not a question of having a sex party or emphasizing nudity, but rather allowing people to let go, to let go in a safe and joyful atmosphere. It was a moment between humans, as one could imagine in nature, where bodies were alongside each other, to the rhythm of decadent music.

A night focused on love, in short. That night, and all the others that followed, we saw people like we'd never seen them before. It was important to create a real intimate connection with our audience, and at a larger scale to make Marseille by night a safe and warm place.

Q. Can you name us some people that should collaborate for a better world?

A. Bernie Sanders and Inzane Johnny,
 Judaah and the Holy Virgin Mary,
JUL and DJ 13NRV, hope so one day!

Q. What makes music special compared to all other art forms like literature, poetry, movies or fine art?

A. Before of all, it comes to us more than we come to music. Vazy Julie comes from the theatre at the beginning, other members of the collective from cinema or even photo, graphic design. It's not so much a choice as it is evidence. Over time, and by organising events on a regular basis we realized that music is above all a way to gather, to commune around a piece of art. There is this notion of catharsis which for us is the best expression of art, but also and above all is this instantaneity, this direct connection between music, the artist who is a creator or a transmitter, and the public.

Even if it doesn't actually convey a message in the same way as theatre or literature, for example, music delivers a strong message in the context of the party: it allows people to be alone together, to feel special vibes, to experience singular feelings in the same place and at the same time, and finally to become a whole.

There is something almost hidden in music, it provokes more than it evokes. There is a universality in the reception of music, everyone can be sensitive to it in his or her own way, regardless of class or age, illiteracy or cultural luggage. For us, this is the best way to make the world of ideas sensitive in a festive and human context.

Q. What means fashion to you and how can fashion - in your eyes - represent a lifestyle or attitude?

A. Fashion is very connected to music. Look in history books, each musical trend has been accompanied by its own fashion and way of life. We were often asked to define our respective clothing styles, and each time it was difficult to answer. We will simply say that fashion, clothing, is for us the means to convey the codes of the world we try to create every day but also a means of expression within the world to which we belong. It is a mixture of influence and fantasy, a way of saying who we are and who we would like to be.


Smetjna - Drum creek [Minor Adjustments]
Jk Flesh - Rub Me Out [Pressure]
Leviathan ft. Kamaara - The Virus & Antidote [Multiplex]
Yin Yang Audio - DD [Trax Cltr]
HSXCHCXCXHS - Bun [Rosten]
33emybw - Induce [SVBKVLT]
DJ Nick Jersey - Mach [Puppy Tapes]
Iceunderworld – Ice DNB [Self Released]
Peow Beow - Pour la vie [Abribus]
Galtier - Mind Aggregate [Human re]
Fausten - Punishment [Ad Noiseam]
Bone Head - Peace Keeper [Arcola]
Dubrunner - Zoya’s trip [Scuffed recordings]
Fiesta Soundsystem - M4 Energy [Unknown]
Anz - Loa [Chow Down]
SCH - R.A.C [Maison Baron Rouge]
Mars89 - Strack (Low Jack remix) [Undercover records]
Personnage - Canyon fear [Mask Music
DJ Genderfluid - 909s on the nude beach [Wet trax]
Kush Jones - Back up your Hard Drive [Juke Bounce Werk]
DJ Loser, Xiao Quan - On The Loose (Helmets Off) [Unizone]
Bastiengoat - I H8 U [Wav Length]