Colder: The ‘Monday Is Okay’ Mix
Many an artist has faded into the abyss, lost forever, remembered only by one or two records which they left behind. In 2005, Marc Nguyen Tan, aka Colder released what would be some of his final music for the next ten years. A notable absence grew and expectations of a return had begun to fade: some waited impatiently, others presumed it to be a lost cause. However, in 2015, an unprecedented buzz began to build amidst talk of a new album. Now one year on it is with some delight that we can discuss the emphatic return of the enigmatic Colder. In April he released a 12" EP and now his latest collaboration with Mutado Pintado, 'Save', has been unveiled. We caught up with him as he contributes to our Monday mix series. Listen and read below:
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF…WHO ARE YOU, WHERE ARE YOU AND WHAT ARE YOU?
My name is Marc Nguyen Tan. I live in Barcelona and I am an electronic musician and / or electronic music producer.
WHAT DOES YOUR MUSIC SOUND LIKE?
Many Colours, my previous LP, was – what I would call – a sophisticated lofi electro pop record whereas these next two LPs are more primitive somehow, oscillating in between a kind of 70's rock and some kraut ambient influences. There's also this other project I'm doing with the singer from Paranoid London (Mutado Pintado) – called "Save!" – which mixes downtempo electronic soundtracks with his spoken words …
CAN YOU DRAW WHAT YOU THINK IT SOUNDS LIKE FOR US, AN IMAGE FROM THE OLD INTERNET IS ACCEPTABLE?
WHERE DID YOUR INTEREST IN AMBIENT MUSIC EVOLVE FROM?
From my parents probably … while they were listening to a mix of Pink Floyd and Ligeti at home, while I was a child.
WHERE WAS THE MIX RECORDED?
At my home studio – in parts – there has been some additional production done by a French sound engineer called Patrick Rouillon with whom I worked a lot on Colder.
WHAT WOULD BE THE IDEAL SETTING TO LISTEN TO THE MIX? WHAT SHOULD WE BE WEARING?
While driving a car – crossing big cities at night, vast and empty residential areas, industrial suburbs, dry landscapes, deserts … clothes don't matter, the simpler, the better.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM SETTING TO RECORD A MIX: LOCATION, SYSTEM, FORMAT?
I don't have any particular dream studio setting. I like mine because I know its routing by heart and how it sounds, so I work faster, I am more focused on music, not on technique. I tend to find big recording studio sometimes distracting, intimidating … sometimes I even wish my studio could be smaller, stripped down to nothing, to just an instrument or two. Regarding the mixing question, I'm quite happy with all the released material I mixed as they translate my original intentions well. It if it didn't, then I wouldn't have released it … but most of the time, it's not so much the mix which is to blame, but more the original idea which wasn't good and so, doesn't sonically translate well. As Nicolas Boileau said, clear ideas express themselves clearly (and words to do so come easily …).
IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO BACK WITH ANY DJ FROM THROUGHOUT HISTORY, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I very rarely DJ …
WHAT WERE THE FIRST AND LAST RECORDS YOU BOUGHT?
First one, I don't remember – but it's probably one of these 7 inches vinyl audio books for kids, last one was Maoupa Mazzocchetti – Laugh Tools.
IF THIS MIX WAS AN EDIBLE THING, WHAT WOULD IT TASTE LIKE? IF IT WERE AN ANIMAL WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I don't know about taste or animal – I prefer to think it in terms of landscape or places. In this case, it could be that abandoned hotel where you spent some holidays a while ago in its heydays. Memories, dreams, past and present reality converge and blend into each other while you walk across its empty rooms and corridors …
ONE RECORD IN YOUR COLLECTION THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MIX INTO ANYTHING?
I think that you can mix pretty much everything with everything … Whitehouse with Bach, Glenn Branca with Madonna … then there's maybe a lot of music which needs space, air to breath and a special attention in order to be fully understood, while mixing them with other material could undermine them, weaken them, give them another meaning, sometimes a wrong one.