Ears from both within and outside the hardcore electronic music scene have been pricking up since the mysterious Chloé came to prominence with The Waiting Room in 2007. Alex Lawson caught up with the DJ to discuss bringing her bedroom out to the watching world
It’s 4am in an aeroplane hangar of a building outside Barcelona and Chloé Thevenin is making a lot of people incredibly happy and dancing like they are nursing an ingrowing toe nail simultaneously at Sonar festival in the summer of 2008. She flicks up eyes up for a second from her precious vinyl, surveys a crowd dancing inside a giant igloo and blinded by the giant blue lights that accompany her triumphant set, allows herself a flicker of a smile and gets back to work.
Two years later these same eyes stare out from the cover of new record One in Other, a record hotly anticipated thanks to performances like the one in Catalonia and the underground success of her full debut, The Waiting Room. The French DJ’s passionate intensity is portrayed in the cover image captured by friend and photographer Bruno Staub and in there is a sense that Thevenin has stepped up a gear in the interim, upping the tempo of her electronica which falls somewhere in between the chasm separating Ulrich Schnauss and Clarke. So what’s changed? “Between the two albums, I started to play live. It was a new experience to me on the top of DJing and producing in the studio,
playing live meant bringing my studio in front of the crowd and get a direct feedback. It gave me a lot of new ideas like on how I wanted to record my next record, like recording my music live, to be quicker, more spontaneous.” Thevinin first appeared on the scope of many minimal electronic producers and DJs with her first EP, Erosoft in 2002, but with no avenue to see her live it has been slow going for the undoubtedly talented noise inventor until signing to the ultra cool Kill the DJ records and playing out. Her new record, with its subtly humorous pun and flurry of heavy, teasing beats which bring the listener to the brink of frustrating such is there psiren-like promise, reflects this evolution into a fully fledged live entity. “I wanted to be the closest of the feelings I get from my DJ set during the weekend,” explains Thevenin. “I wanted to give back this great energy I receive but give it back on different tempos to build this new album, probably this is why you get this positive atmosphere.
“I build the track playing it live in my studio to keep something spontaneous. I use what I know to do as a DJ, I play with the dynamic, play with the music, the people, give or hold, I really like the idea of performance, as a DJ, in the studio or playing live, it's a good game which is very inspiring.”
Growing up on an aural diet of Parisian club and rave DJs, Thevenin has released material on labels like Karat, Gomma and Bpitch Control and her status as a minimal techno figurehead is growing. With a series of gigs lined up from September through to December culminating in a performance backing a contemporary dance show, Pandora Box by the tres chic Fabrice Ramalingum, there can be little doubt Chloé’s quirky material is turning heads. And those live performances, can we expect the same intensity? “When I DJ I play club music – I can equally produce an EP or a remix for clubs – for me it's the same mood, it's just not the same tempo.”