Pierre Delort has been on the French electronic music scene since the mid 2000s. The Marseille-native has been a part of different projects, including the psy-trance duo Principles of Flight and his current solo project Moteka. Today he discussed with us traveling the world as a DJ, his decision to switch musical styles, and his upcoming plans to tour as a solo artist.
Delort is currently making solo music under the name Moteka. However, an important part of his musical history comes from the relationship with his good friend Remy Maurin. Back in 2004, the two had already been producing trance music on their own before eventually meeting on an online psy-trance forum. Maurin was living in Sweden at the time but moved to Southern France near where Delort was living. They met in a studio and immediately decided to put everything they had in common and merge it into the Principles of Flight project.
The duo got their first booking at the end of summer in 2004 in Belgium, at the Rhakti Dei Festival. After a couple of releases, Principles of Flight was recognized as a well established international trance act, touring in parties and festivals all over the world.
Delort said that he did not think the music he helped create would allow him to travel the world.
“Though we were serious about it, we never thought it would take us from the beaches of Greece to the bush in Australia!” said Delort. “At first, I was just producing for fun in my bedroom. I had no intentions of being a professional DJ. I was deep in my studies and music was just a way to get away from the pressure. Remy on the other hand had a little more ambition, it’s clear he wanted to live out of DJ-ing. He’s the one who pushed the whole thing to another level.”
At this point they decided to push their collaboration a little bit further and started producing intensively as well as releasing tracks on various compilations. Maurin worked on orchestration and film music, which influenced the music coming out of Principles of Flight. They merged hard-techno, psy-trance and classical orchestration together. In 2006, they started working on their debut album and after almost a year of intensive work, they finished their debut album “Night Time Lullabies.”
“At this moment, we started developing our own style, with the use of cinematographic ambiances and interludes,” Delort said. “We then started working on an album, which was ready in 2006, but was released in 2007 because we were not happy with the first result and started all over again.”
In 2009, the group released a second album “Chaos Opera” on South African label Timecode Records. Although both records were received by the public, it was time for a change. In the summer of 2011, after a few days in the studio, Delort and Maurin agreed to try something else other than psy-trance. Delort said he didn’t like the scene anymore and found the music too boring.
“I needed change,” Pierre said. “I had been doing a little minimal on my own under the name Stualtik, but never really got serious with that project. I showed Remy some of my tracks and we started making a few techno tracks, just for fun. Once we had a few tracks ready, we sent them to a couple of labels and immediately got some positive feedback from the French label Skryptom, which is still my main label.”
The two started releasing a couple of EPs and playing in a few clubs but found it hard to get attention because they essentially started from scratch rather than touring under their previous and well-known moniker Principles of Flight. Moreover, the two could not agree on which direction to take with the music. Delort preferred dark, industrial, and atmospheric techno, while Maurin preferred groovier, dance floor techno.
“In the end, we decided to stop Pierre Delort & Remy Maurin,” said Delort. “This is when we started Moteka. Remy collaborated on the first few releases but then had to stop making music. I decided to continue the Moteka project on my own and I invest 100 percent of my free time in it.”
Delort said he has learned everything he knows now from previous projects, saying that production techniques are all the same across all styles of electronic music.
“Once you’re in the studio facing a track to mix down, you apply the same rules whether it’s techno, trance, electro or even acoustic music,” Delort said. “The way to program a synth is always the same, so once you know it, you can apply it to everything.”
The one thing that has changed for Delort is that he is starting to use more and more hardware such as drum machines and synths, focusing less on making music entirely through digital means. One of his favorite pieces of equipment is the MFB Tanzbaer analog drum machine, used for creating huge sounds. He has also switched from Cubase to Bitwig Studio last year, which has increased his workflow immensely.
However, going away from working with a partner to now working on his own has presented some challenges. Delort said that working alone is both easier and more difficult.
“It’s easier because you can work faster and you don’t have anything drawing you back,” Delort said. “Once you get your idea, you can follow it freely without any constraints. Alone I can also explore the style I really like and really want to do. The problem is, alone, you often get lost on the way. Nobody is there to tell you you’ve been doing shit for the past few hours, and once you listen to your work a few days later, you just want to start over.”
Despite the hardships, Delort plans on touring as a solo artist and has a few planned releases for fall 2015. He hopes the EPs will bring enough exposure to start touring seriously. He is also preparing live sets as well and wants to try to do something really interesting with the shows.
Moteka’s raw and rough ambiances is sure catch the attention of many in the upcoming months. Stay up to date with Moteka on Facebook, Bandcamp and Soundcloud.