Why do you use the moniker C_C ? Because it doesn't mean anything, or it can mean everything, and if you google it, you end up with a lot of stuff that doesn't have anything to do with your music.
c_c ... It has an history, as it is the first letters of Carl Cock, the moniker/joke i used to produce and dj breakcore and breakbeats. When I changed of musical orientation, I wanted to express it through a new name but had no much ideas (and did not care too much about...). I was back from a trip in Japan and where I discovered there the little faces you can write with letters in messages (c_c) . So it is for the history. Now, i like it to be abstract, more visual than with any meaning, everyone could have its own explanation about it. I like a lot that it sounds very different when people say it in different languages (si si, chi chi, sé sé,...).
A very basic question: why electronic music? Why do you make electronic music?
That's a quite difficult question as it has always been so obvious for me, but always challenges me... I got really fascinated by electronic sounds since i was 15 when my older brother introduced me to drum & bass and jungle. My father is into folk music and ethnomusicology, I grew up with a lot of folk music around me, and i probably got interested in electronic sounds as a teenager because I felt it was so different from anything I knew/heard. But now I think there's in fact a lot of links between those music approaches. Electronic dance musics are not so different from any popular/folk dance music. In fact, I believe that music is at the end only a matter of sound, no matter how you produce it. Sure, there is a difference in how are working acoustic and electronic instruments. Also some ideas about sound, the future, politics, outer-space, etc, some technological innovations and social and economical history led to the fact that we call some music "electronic music" today without questioning it. Techno would be one the most obvious and most influential (even if only through its name) example of this process but any electronically amplified music should be called electronic music because its sound comes out from amps and speakers!
Apart from the conceptual, spiritual, and technical aspects, at the end there has to be a periodic variation of pressure in the air that moves our ear drums otherwise it would be philosophy. I'm sure i would listen to some music because I grew up with it, but I've no idea if I would have make some at all if I'd not have met music that touches me so deeply, and was "electronic music". My life led me towards electronic instruments and I decided to follow this path, but I like to touch other kind of instruments as well sometimes.
Like a band like Lightning Bolt, you prefer playing off stage. Like an artist like Jung An Tagen, you prefer playing without monitors (just with speakers). Why?
Many reasons! First for the sound : this way I could hear exactly the same sound as the crowd. I need this because the PA is a part of my instrument as what I look for are vibrations in the room where I play. Also, ethically, it's important for me to be at the same level of the people. We all experience the same feelings, I do not like to be "above", it's a sharing, not a show. I'm often as surprised as the crowd of the sound that fills the room. It's a form of honesty for me, and I accept the "danger" of bringing my equipment in the middle of a crowd even if there are drunk people (promoters are sometimes against it but I do not accept to play on stage). I would say those two reasons are also an inspiration from reggae/dub sound systems which are traditionally playing like this. It's a different kind of musical experience from the classic concert : I do not intend primarily to show me or my practice (even if it naturally happens because I don't want to hide), I don't think I'm doing extraordinary things. I prefer people to focus on what they hear and feel : sound vibrations are amazing! Funnily, as a consequence I didn't think about before, many peoples told me they liked it because they could stand next to me and see what I'm doing. There is also another aspect : even if I do not look so much around me when I play because I'm concentrated on my machines, I can feel people around me and if it goes well i get a lot of energy from them.
Why do you like feedback?
I love feedback because it is a living phenomenon, wild. It's not possible to know exactly how the gear will react even if you've done it hundreds of time. In a way it is uncomfortable as it could go wrong or ugly, but I think that it makes it more beautiful when I find the right setting. I like to get a "living" sound from my equipment. I discovered I could find it when I plug enough things together that interact (feedback is only one of those interactions, polyrythms with different sequencers is another for example). When there are too many parameters to fully control it, then chaotic phenomenons in the scientific sense happen even if you understand how works every parts of the chain, and I love chaos. Chaos is life!
Do you still use analog stuff like the 4track and tapes?
Yes, even if I use less tapes lately I still like to use some in my live sets. Technically it's an easy way to play sounds from a lot of sources without having to bring it with me for concerts. Also I like to collect folk music tapes from travels, gifts or street founds, and I like the fact that it brings an acoustic colour into the electronic maelstrom. I do not care so much today about analog/digital, I just use the stuff that gives me some sounds I like when linked together. My set up is a mix of analog and digital equipment, but my analog Tascam 4 tracks I now use mainly as a mixer is the central piece. Again the dub approach : it has to end up as a live mix on an analog mixer.
Which artists inspired you to make your own music? Or was is just your gear, your tools that made you make music?
For sure there is a very empirical aspect in my practice, so it's true to say that my tools make me make music. But I hope/guess i use those tools in a personal way because my body and brain are full of my history and experiences.
I'm inspired by so many artists! I'm totally obsessed by music and sound and always try to discover new stuff.
Today what I consider as my strongest influence is reggae & dub productions and sound system culture. Names I would say would be obviously musicians like King Tubby & Lee Perry for production, and Jah Shaka for sound system (i go as often as i can in UK to listen him playing with his own sound system). Many aspects of reggae/dub culture influence me, probably the most obvious is the fact that it is both experimental and dancefloor, and the focus and mastery on physical effects of the sound through a sound system.
The duo NHK (Kohei Matsunaga and Toshio Munehiro) from Japan I invited to play a gig in Paris really influenced me at first. They made me realise I could summarize all my influences (not incredibly wide nor wise, just mines) in a musical process if not new, at least fulfilling. Then, playing with my machines and feedbacks, i got interested in the history of this kind of beats and noise mixtures and discovered Pan Sonic and Muslimgauze. Since I discovered them I'm very inspired by their work.
Also, I've to say I'm really fascinated by trance ceremony musics from anywhere, I'm looking for a kind of experience which i think is linked to this.
You live in Brussels right now, but where are you originally from? And how did you end up in Brussels?
I'm french, I grew up in countryside but I lived 15 years in Paris before coming here. I had the chance to play few concerts here and to meet people who became really good friends. Different friends from Third Type Tapes, a tape label we founded, moved here. I always liked this city, the people and the atmosphere, and the art/music scene is very intense. Exoterrism, Bear Bones Lay Low, Carrageenan, Accou, Ripit, Arnaud Paquotte, Loto Retina,... there are a lot of friends here that inspire me. Also, you can feel here that electronic music is more a part of the culture than in France, because of the history of the country. So all in all, I decided to move here, just another french emigrating in Brussels... I'm happy I moved even if I don't know how long I'll stay.