It is with great pleasure we can present a new project by two distinguished electronic music artists. Fumoir is a new project that consists of Voytek Korab from My Favorite Robot and Justin Cristofaro. They have just releases their first tracks on Fairmont’s Beachcoma label and both have caused quite a stir. A&R man Ian French grabbed a few minutes with the pair to find out about their new project and what they have planned for 2016…
Hi Justin and Voytek and thanks for taking the time to talk to Decoded Magazine. Can you tell us a little about your musical backgrounds and how you first became interested in electronic music and DJing?
Justin: I have no musical background really, I just know what I like. I grew up in a jazz house with a father who was a trumpet player. His practice sessions annoyed the shit out of my mother and I. She enrolled me in sports as soon as she could. Sorry Mom!
Voytek: I got properly into music in high school when I joined a band. That started it all for me! In the early 90’s I discovered electronic music and the rest is history. Also, sorry Mom!
Can you talk about some of your influences whilst growing up in your home towns?
Strangely enough, we both grew up in the same small town outside of Montreal and we lived 3 blocks from one another. We never met then as we were 10 years apart in age but it’s a big regret of mine that I could have possibly bullied Justin on the school bus but now will never get the chance. That town (Hudson, Quebec) was very much an indy/alternative rock town so we grew up on bands like Nirvana, Pixies and Sonic Youth in between getting beaten up for not liking Metallica.
Can you tell us a little about your new project, Fumoir and how it came about?
We met back in 2010 and became fast friends. Not long after, we realised that our taste in music was quite particular while being very similar so we decided to make a go of it in the studio and see what we could muster. A short while later, the Lovedroids EP was born.
Your project as Fumoir is something that will intrigue a lot of people. Can you tell us a little about the sound and style we can expect as part of the project?
We put quite a bit of research into what we play. We play it cause we like and respect it. We pay a tribute to those we admire for setting trends before they came to be. The music we make is exactly the way we want it to be. Our taste tends to turn towards more under produced stuff that’s more musical rather than being just perfectly produced and polished. There is a feeling and emotion behind it all. We’re not making music to bang noise in a club, there is enough of that around. The tracks work well on the dance floor but there is a ‘listening’ side to our project that hopefully most people can also appreciate and enjoy.
You mention that you tend to select tracks that are not over produced and that are more musical. Do you find most tracks today over produced and if so why?
We really like raw music. It’s not that today’s tracks are over produced, it’s more that a lot of them seem to be so perfectly polished but lacking any emotion. It’s as if the artist has no initial idea but just sits down and makes some beats without any emotion involved. At the end you end up with a perfect sounding track that has zero feeling. We prefer a track that’s a bit more musical and dirty and most importantly, imperfect. That kind of music draws us in way more than banging loopy crap made for 10,000 twenty somethings fist pumping their phones in a tent.
Can you tell us about your next release which is due on Beachcoma and what we might expect from Fumoir over the next few months?
The Lovedroids EP is a pretty special one to us as it’s our first release as Fumoir. The track “This Will Last” was the first track we sat down to work on. It ended up sounding proper dirty and gritty just the way we like it and we knew from that point on that we were going to have fun with this project. Lovedroids came second and we don’t really remember how we came to put that one together actually.
Guess we were sailing in a kind of “emo” mood and just rolled with the nostalgic feeling that the first few synth lines gave us. Once it was done, we still felt that something was missing so Voytek got on the mic and added the vocal. That brought it all together for us and it’s one of the tracks we’re most proud of now. As for our plans for the next few months, well, we’re working on more music whenever we have time so you should be hearing a lot more from us in the upcoming months.
When you are both working in the studio what roles do you find each of you take on and prfer when creating an original production?
There’s really a lot of both of us in every track we make. We constantly exchange ideas while working and we don’t move on until we really work every part of a track to sound and feel as dirty and crunchy as we want it to. Yes, crunchy is a thing. We drink a shitload of tea and smoke our weight in cigarettes as well so it’s really a race against time to finish the tunes before our teeth fall out or we drop dead!
Can you both talk us through some of your favourite bits of kit in the studio and why you find them essential to your productions?
Well, Kit is this guy who used to come to our studio to hang out but he was a nail biter so he always left bits of himself everywhere. The bits of Kit all over the place would get into our gear and really take us off our game so needless to say, Kit is no longer welcome in our studio. Actually, nobody named Kit is. That is what you asked, yes?!
How did your relationship with Fairmont come about and can we expect more releases from Fumoir on Beachcoma?
Jake is an artist that we both really respect along with the other Beachcoma boys Side Le Rock and Metope. As Jake and Sheldon are regulars on MFR they have also become close friends of ours. We’ve always kept an ear open to what they’re doing. You should have a listen to “Flight of the Albatross” after this. As for more releases, we have more tunes that we have been working on, some cool ideas that are close to being a go. Let’s see if the Beachcoma boys like them. In any case, we’ve been huge fans of Beachcoma for quite a while so releasing our first EP with them is already something we are very thankful for and we remain honored to be among such great company.
Your project, My Favorite Robot alongside Jared Simms and James Teej has gained many fans over the years including myself. Is this project going to run alongside Fumoir or are you going to be taking a little break from this project?
Voytek: My Favorite Robot is definitely not taking any breaks and will remain my first priority as it’s a project that I still very much enjoy being a part of and we’ve managed to bring it quite far already in just a few short years. Fumoir is a project that will run along side MFR and it’s just a different approach for me to making music and lets me experiment with fresh ideas and strange directions alongside my best friend.
A lot of producers these days work on their tracks when travelling around the globe? Is this something you both do and if so how do you find this works when you are a production duo?
This is our first release together so we haven’t gotten a chance to tour as Fumoir yet. We will soon and we’ll surely find that it’s better to work when not traveling. Outside of little ideas here and there or some field recordings, we prefer to be in the studio with a cup of afore mentioned tea and just really focus on the task at hand. Few distractions and full control of our environment is a rare luxury for musicians these days and therefore must be milked.
Moving away from music for a second… When you guys get some time to yourself what do you like to do to kick back and relax?
We like to watch ice hockey of course. We are Canadian after all. We play ice hockey on playstation pretty well also. We talk on the phone often enough. Every time we get a new like on our fan page, one of us calls the other, we smoke a butt and talk about how good we are for a minute or two. Either that or we bitch about people posting videos of their laptop music sessions and such.
Where are some of your favourite places in the world to visit and why?
Justin: I bounce back and forth to Berlin more often than not, there are a few dear friends of mine that live there. The music scene in that city speaks for itself, I always end up overstaying my welcome.
Apart from that, Rome is like a second home. Having spent a few years living in Italy, that place is pretty special to me.
Voytek: Hard to name a favorite really but I love Beirut as the gigs there are really special every time as the people just go nuts and the parties are just amazingly put together. Anywhere in Mexico is always amazing too for the same reasons. Just seems like the people really get it there and the energy is always great. I love playing at La Dame Noir Dancing in Marseille as it’s one of those places where you can really play what you feel and always brings out the best in me. The people are all very original, total music heads and get the fuck down unlike some places where everyone looks the same and dances the same.
Getting back to the music can you tell us 5 (each) of your current favourite tracks and why?
Instead of naming tracks which is definitely hard as there would be too many to mention, we’d rather name some artists that we really love at the moment. People like Kassem Mosse, Kezokichi and his Blindetonation label, Chloe, Slow Porn and the whole La Dame Noir crew from Marseille, our fellow Beachcoma artists and of course the My Favorite Robot Records crew, are people we truly respect for pushing electronic music towards new and far more interesting directions than most other artists these days. We say this humbly of course ;)
Let’s talk about the mix you have put together… Can you talk us through the vibe you have created and some of the tracks that you chose to select? Is this your ideal Sunday vibe when kicking back in your home?
We opened up the mix with a cool tune from Anthony Rother, someone who we have a lot of respect for. “Welcome to my Laboratory” kind of sets the mood for what is our little “experiment.” The tracks we chose came easy to us as they are all tunes that we love to play. Keeping it raw, keeping it dirty and introducing stuff that is kind of under the radar. The mix travels some and we’re both really happy with it and it was a lot of fun to make. Sundays tend to be a bit of a blur more often than not so the sound we tried to create is that Friday through Sunday vibe on very little sleep… Thanks Decoded!
01// Anthony Rother – Welcome To My Labratory [Telekraft Recordings]
02// Truncate – Control [Truncate]
03// Bryan Kessler – Tak [Low Hanging Fruit]
04// Cormac – Narcosa (Jennifer Cardini Remix) [Wetyourself Recordings]
05// Massiande – That Feeling [M>O>S(Delsin)]
06// Fumoir – This Will Last [Beachcoma]
07// Jonathan Kaspar – Cross Pendant (Red Axes Remix) [Pets Recordings]
08// Northern Lite – What You Want (Martin Buttrich Remix) [1st Decade Records]
09// Robag Wruhme – Fuf02 [Vakant]
10// Rework – What Are You Doin’ [Loveyeah]
11// Raudive – Nothing [Wires]
12// Daniel Bell – Baby Judy [Accelerate]
13// Phil Kieran – Bells And Spells [Snork Enterprises]
14// Fumoir – Lovedroids [Beachcoma]