KA One & St Sene: "Our inspiration never fails us, nor our thirst for musical creation..."

Words by: Paul Corey
Posted: 30/11/15 10:20
Interview with French duo KA One & St Sene

French duo KA One & St Sene have risen to prominence recently, mainly due to contributing tracks to the first four various artists releases on their own Flyance Records, and a couple of releases for other labels: ‘French Connection’ on Finale Sessions, and the ‘Inside Silent EP’ on Ornate Music. One of the defining motifs of their sound is a deep, fluid, almost aquatic take on techno, which has a groove-based trance-like quality.

In the meantime, when we mention the city margins, or industrialized areas, there is more to it than just precise, identifiable locations...Their releases straddle the deep house/techno divide with ease and have a cinematic quality that lends them an extra dimension. Relatively little is known about the pair, so I sent a few questions over to Paris and these are the results.

Let's start with the description of your music " ...as a reflection and an impression of the city margins". Are we talking about Paris, and how important is a sense of place to you both?
We met and live in Paris, so obviously it is the background to pretty much everything we do with our music. In the meantime, when we mention the city margins, or industrialized areas, there is more to it than just precise, identifiable locations, but also the idea that our music is entangled with a web of more general/ diffuse trends which pertain, to put it rapidly, to urbanization/urban life aesthetics.

Does your love of graffiti, precede that of making music, and is it in any way integral to it?
This is a rather vast question (smile), but lets say that graffiti, or street art in general, are precisely the type of things we have in mind when we speak of our music as something emerging from urban life...

In our view this is what a label stands for: finding the right producers and bringing them together in a coherent framework...Your sound seems to blur the lines between house, techno and trance effortlessly, and there's a real richness to it. Who do you think is making music in a similar vein to you, and who would you like to sign to Flyance if you could?
Thanks very much for the good words! There are a lot names out there, some especially not so well known people in techno and deep techno, that we could or would like to mention here. In our view this is what a label stands for: finding the right producers and bringing them together in a coherent framework.

There's a bit of a renaissance of French techno at the moment, with artists like you, Life Recorder and Zadig producing some quality deep grooves. Do you feel that you all draw on a similar pool of influences?
Thanks for associating us with these artists. There is definitely a good momentum going on in France, especially in Paris, with good crews and interesting labels such as the ones you mentioned. And even though we probably wouldn't say we all draw on a common pool of influences, France at the moment provides a very stimulating atmosphere to people up and coming on the European stage.

But if we were to qualify it, words like introspection, melancholia, or even trance, would also come to mind...The title track of your release on Ornate, the 'Inside Silent EP', is described as "nine minutes of smooth, techie, Larry Heard-style ecstasy house" on Juno. How important is it for your productions to have a hedonistic slant?
To be frank we never really thought about our music that way. But a hedonistic slant is quite a cool way to put it! But if we were to qualify it, words like introspection, melancholia, or even trance, would also come to mind.

Another review of the 'Inside Silent' EP, for 5Chicago, noted that your music has an emotional and energetic side, but also feels spontaneous, and the individual tracks are described as being made "as if they were dashed off quickly before the memory faded." Do you feel this is an accurate description of your creative process, or does putting a track together take a lot longer?
When we make music we have only a rather vague idea of where we want to go. It is always a question of emotions at the moment. And our inspiration never fails us, nor our thirst for musical creation. As soon as we finish a track we always feel the need to make another one.

Your track 'G.U.R.U' on the 'French Connection EP' is dedicated to Gangstarr's ex mc. How important has hip-hop been to you both, I suppose it might tie in with your graffiti?
Hip-hop has always been a huge part of our lives. Gangstarr is a big influence on us and that track is our way of paying a tribute to GURU (RIP).


Images are a defining aspect of our music, we are very interested in the idea of bringing together cinema and our techno...Concerning graffiti, that is something we have always done and it has accompanied our musical evolution. To us it can be equally linked to hip-hop and electronic music, which we don't like to distinguish between.

Another aspect of your music is that it has a cinematic feel, there's a long, unravelling ambience to it that, depending on the film, would make it good company for the drama. Do you visualise your tunes in any way, and how big an influence is cinema on you both personally?
We listen to a lot of film soundtracks (Harry Escott's work for Shame!!) and, as images are a defining aspect of our music, we are very interested in the idea of bringing together cinema and our techno. Like Jeff Mills did with ‘Metropolis’, for example. We think this is a fascinating project we would want to imitate if given the opportunity.

Interview with French duo KA One & St Sene

What can we expect from yourselves, and Flyance in the future?
We have a lot of projects coming up with Flyance Records. Among these is a special EP entitled ‘RE.WORK’, consisting of a series of remixed classic house anthems, which already received very good reviews from across the scene. In the coming weeks FLY006 will be released. It will have a Miles Sagnia track remixed by super talented Japanese duo Monotix, as well as an original track we made under our techno alias. And as producers, we will soon be releasing a techno EP on the DJ Steaw's label Steaward, and another one on Fred P's Soul People Music.

What are your all-time, non-genre specific, top five tracks/releases?

  1. The Vision/Robert Hood- Detroit: One Circle (Metroplex)
    For the hypnotic vibe and also the tremendous career of one who is a founding father to all of us involved in techno music.
  2. Seal – Violet (ZTT)
    Deepness deepness deepness
  3. Foundation & Rezidue - Boogie Down's Got the Flavor (Databass Productions)
    An extra smooth hip hop track. We must have listened to this thousands of times.
  4. Seba feat. Robert Manos - Last Goodbye (Paradox Music)
    The big chill! An instant crush, incredibly moving vocal drum & bass tune
  5. Larry Heard - Theme from Guidance (Guidance)
    One word: timeless.

KA One & St Sene Online

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