Juno Plus Podcast 55: Zaltan
Antinote Records founder Zaltan offers up an hour’s worth of Parisian thrift store gems for our latest mix.
Zaltan is the record playing alias of Quentin Vandewalle, who along with fellow Antinote founder Gwenael Jamois was responsible for one of last year’s most remarkable label debuts. The Tapes 12″ presented a long overdue airing to some mind-bendingly ahead of it’s time techno that Jamois recorded under the Iueke name whilst working as an engineer in a Brixton based recording studio in the early nineties.
Sat in Jamois’ mother’s loft for some twenty years accruing inches of tape dust, this unreleased material was finally given an impeccable looking release after some concerted wine infused badgering from Vandewalle and made for the perfect debut Antinote release, a label with a stated focus on unearthing unreleased material from bygone eras.
How to follow a record like Iueke’s is quite the quandary, and Antinote elected to go for something completely different in the shape of the luminous and languid charms of the Sphere & Cylinder 12″ from French soft rock troupe Syracuse. Such immediate diversity is a reflection of Vandewalle and Jamois’ respective wide musical tastes, and coupled with some truly wonderful sleeve design has marked Antinote out as a label whose output will always be a pleasant surprise.
In advance of the label’s third release from Albinos dropping, Quentin donned his Zaltan robes and dug through the last few months of his record finds for a hour long mixture of second hand curios and personal classics as well as answering a few questions we sent his way.
What were you doing before you decided to start Antinote?
Music wise, I always have been looking for records, reading discogs and trying to get to know it by heart and of course I have been Djing since a while now. I also used to have a radio show on the student FM radio in Paris and writing some thematic articles for la Gaité Lyrique webzine. I worked for Audiofamilies DJ booking agency too.
You must have been happy with the reaction to the label’s debut release from Iueke?
Yes it’s incredible. This record is so radical! it was a super good surprise indeed.
Did Gwenael’s story regarding this Iueke material take a lot of convincing?
Iueke is a very good friend and I learn a lot from him. We spent a lot of time drinking Muscadet, trying to make things happen with those tracks. Gwen always has a lot of crispy anecdotes about these years who are largely considered as the golden age of techno. He’s a record secret agent. Always hunting the record that may not even exists. So yes he definitely has got loads of fun stuffs to say. Anyway, when I finally got to heard those three tracks I was a bit messed up. It was new, very hard and I had no idea of how people would welcome it. At this point things went upside down and I finally dug out his old cassette tapes and got to put it out on the label. It was my turn to be the secret agent. We are now working on the next Iueke release.
The second Antinote release from Syracuse couldn’t be anymore different – where did you find them?
After a first release like Iueke’s Tapes what can you do? You’re screwed! We, Antinote, love every kind of music and never we wanted to run a techno label. Syracuse was actually the perfect project at this point. Antoine from Syracuse is a good friend of mine. When I listened to his demo it was clear that we had to work together. In a way, it was a natural process and I did not really foresee a precise artistic direction, I do what I like, the way I feel it. This second release says you can expect any twist in my artistic direction because I love a wide range of music and to me they are all at the same level.
You’ve been touring with them recently – how did that go?
We did a few gigs in France and it’s the beginning so it’s super exciting. I guess you know the story. All day driving (under the snow), Isa and Antoine playing synth in the van, then concert, then me DJ then party… check out this video in Bordeaux with Syracuse doing a kind of Spring Rain Mash Up.
You have a new release from Albinos due imminently, what can people expect?
Albinos yes! Very excited. Lo-fi-tribal-bleep-house I would say. He works very quickly, one take recording with some cheap hardware and an old Atari. It sounds very special to me. He’s not really a house head, that’s why his house sounds pretty different I guess.
Antinote has some truly distinctive artwork too, who is responsible for the label’s artistic direction?
For Iueke and Albinos and for all the next releases Check Morris (Nicolas Motte and Mathias Pol) do the artwork. Nicolas is very involved the label and I guess he’ll also make record for us soon.
What’s the idea behind this mix Quentin?
It was more a pile of records I dug these past few months than a proper idea or a concept. I simply wanted to share some tunes of the moment or some of my classics in an unpretentious mixture. I would say there are about 50% of French productions and mainly records from the 80’s. If you need a track ID feel free to ask me.
You are clearly a fan of record digging, which second hand places in Paris do you recommend visiting?
Antinote’s HQ is Vinyl Office at Ledru Rollin – Paris 11th. Iueke, Bertrand (Sotope on Discogs) and Pal will be there for the next two weeks with a loOOot of great gems. If you need big records and if you have money to spend then go to Superfly. If you have time and less money then go to les Puces de Clignancourt, Boulinier and all the record stores in Saint Michel (Democracy, Crocodisc etc). If you are into old house & techno my friend Xavier from DDD just opened a shop with a great second hand section. You can also check www.vide-greniers.org for a listing of garage sales.
No tracklisting was provided.