Le Motel: The ‘Shine a Light On’ Mix
Through his DJ sets, a monthly residency on Brussels’ Kiosk Radio, and newly-founded label, Maloca Records, Le Motel celebrates the diversity of club music forms from across the globe.
After taking a hiatus in his own production career to pilot some of Belgium’s biggest hip hop artists, January 2020 saw Le Motel return to his solo work, also marking the inception of a new creative outlet. Maloca Records was inaugurated by the 6-track ‘Transiro’ EP: Le Motel’s first solo release since 2015’s acclaimed ‘OKA’ album and a manifesto for the label’s hybrid and global-reaching identity. Since then, Maloca Records has seen five more club-ready releases from the likes of Oakland don Farsight, Beijing fusion music extraordinaire Howie Lee, Gqom originator Griffit Vigo, and eight more artists from across the globe whose productions compile the weighty ‘Maloca Vol. 1’ V/A album.
Fast-forward to the present day and Le Motel plays gigs alongside the likes of Darwin, Simo Cell and Addison Groove; holds down a residency on Brussels’ Kiosk Radio on which he showcases the talent of Maloca affiliates and friends; and is currently anticipating the release of his latest EP ‘Sueños’ which features Clara! Logan and Bryte.
In between these many endeavours, he’s somehow found the time to record a mix for us: 65 minutes of global club music goodness, beginning and ending with the amorphous acoustic sonics of Indonesian collective, Uwalmassa, and making stops along the way at the polyrhythms of Welsh producer Duckett and the crystal-clear sound design of Tokyo’s Oyubi. So without further ado, we let Le Motel take the spotlight.
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
I’m Le Motel. I’m based in Brussels and I run a label called Maloca Records. I make music for films, clubs and
plants and I’m graphic designer.
What does your music sound like?
I guess it looks like this drawing from one of my favorite book called Codex Seraphinianus by Serafini. I see my music as something hybrid. I’m really interested in the blend of organic and electronic elements, by associating field recording with synthesis, or real percussion with drum machines for example. I listen to a lot
of very different music and of course it has an impact in the music I wanna create. I really avoid putting « labels » on music in general. I like to associate elements or genre that are not supposed to work together and I realize a lot of musicians and producers share this vision. This is the starting point of creating Maloca Records.
Where was the mix recorded?
It was recorded at 254 Forest. It’s a transdisciplinary creative place based in Brussels where I settled my music studio.
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
The set is mostly club-oriented but my most powerful memories of listening experiences are in transit. It could be in the nature, in the street or in a train. I hope it’ll bring you somewhere unexpected.
What should we be wearing?
Just some good quality headphones with low ends
What would be your dream setting to record a mix?
On the vinyl of Temporary Music by Asa Tone, which is one my favorite record of 2020, there’s a picture of the setup they had in Indonesia. Looks like a dream creation place, especially for composing music. Definitely something in the Nature
Which track in the mix is your current favourite?
Se Rompen from the mysterious producer, Waleed. It has the perfect amount of emotional and physical elements. I remember a set this summer where I played a lot of drum tracks for 45 minutes. Everything was really focussed on the percussion which I really like but when I played this track it sounded pretty magical, almost like a release.
What’s your favourite recorded mix of all time?
I’ve chosen two: one of my own and the other from someone else.
First, this a very condensed and unique mix by my friend Samuelspaniel he did in 2019. He put all his soul into those 15 minutes and I love it 🙂
This is a recent b2b I did with my Japanese friend Yuto Takei recorded at 254 Forest. It’s mostly ambient, with a lot of Japanese music. I met Yuto in Tokyo few years ago and we had a very nice time there. I was super happy to see him back in Brussels and this was the first time we played together and it was very natural flow.
If you could go back to back with any DJ from throughout history, who would it be and why?
Ben UFO. I respect him a lot because I discovered so much good music thanks to him and he really brings you to unexpected places. I’ve been following him for years and I’ve seen him play so many different kind of sets, from very contemplative music to heavy jungle and I really like his open-minded vision. What he did with Hessle Audio with Pearson Sound and Pangaea had a huge impact on me and my music.
What was your first DJ set up at home and what is it now?
I never DJ at home, I’m just listening to my vinyls without mixing them. I prefer to keep DJ-ing experience for specific events like my radio show on Kiosk, gigs in festivals or clubs or specific mix like this one. This way, it stays something very exciting and special.
What’s more important, the track you start on or the track you end on?
Both. I started the mix and ended with 2 different tracks from the same record : Uwalmassa – Malar. Uwalmassa is project from Indonesia, released on the fascinating label DIVISI62. They shape their relationship with various forms of musical heritage into technical and stylish forms, marrying acoustic sonics with a contemporary outlook that reflects their Indonesian identity; evolving, mutating, and scavenging traditions to draw parallels to dance music, and to test the adaptability and flexibility of those sounds.
What were the first and last records you bought?
Last one : Popp – Devi. This is the second album of the German drummer Simon Popp. ‘Devi’ features eight tracks of bold organic grooves, uplifting and hopeful in one moment, sinister and dark in the next. This dualism is reflective of the ups and downs in Simon’s own life, making the album a brutally honest and deeply personal record.
First one : Board of Canada – The Campfire Headphase. My Dad made me dive into Board of Canada. It was an instant musical love and it’s still one of my favorite band 17 years after.
One record in your collection that is impossible to mix into anything?
Duckett – The Asian Songbird Crisis. It’s a track I found recently that I really love and I wanted to include it in this mix but I found the polyrhythm pretty hard to understand. And I love this feeling of not understand everything and getting led by emotions.
What’s upcoming in the world of Le Motel?
I’m gonna release a 6-track EP on Maloca on the 25th February, featuring Clara! Logan and Bryte.
Anything else we need to discuss?
We just released a video clip of the track Sueños directed by Romain Tardy. In a space that seems infinite and devoid of obstacles, a virtual somewhere in between a desert and a 3D simulation, a movement takes place: a small childlike figure walks toward an unknown destination in the distance. In his wake, a few people at first, then a group – the numbers continue to grow. The walk becomes a run, then a race. Finally the immense crowd rushes forward, collectively reaching the edge of the world. The individuals then launch themselves into the void.
This fictional and metaphorical story is an artistic proposal about the ambivalence of collective momentum, that it can be as unifying as it is destructive when free will and individual thought cease to be expressed. The clip of Sueños functions like a dream with indistinct contours and powerful sensations.