SAE London Audio student delves deep into human experiences with Migrations EP

04 Jun 2019

Vincent Cantelauble aka CIV, is a French producer and sound designer studying Audio Production at SAE London.

We spoke to Vincent about his latest EP, Migrations, which was released on 3 May and is being promoted with the assistance of SAE Music Business student Pedro Vera.

You describe the EP as ‘a mix between anthropology, history and archaeology’. Could you explain what you mean by this?

The album is a story about a city that becomes an uninhabitable place that the population have to move away from. It portrays the feelings of the families that leave everything behind, to hit the road and fill their bags with hope but also a lot of fear. ‘Dusting’ is more about the work of an archeologist finding this city, years later, trying to reconstruct these people’s culture and identities.

I guess the primary point of it is to give some empathy to everyone who might be concerned with these people or will be at some point in their lives. Even if big cultural differences can exist between two people, the feeling of losing everything is the same for everyone and giving them help is mandatory. This story is expressed by violent variations, syncopation of rhythms and the tension developed through the album. It is also pictured by the different possible ways of listening to the songs, which I enjoy incorporating in my work, playing with my dance music background but adding a lot of variations and vivacity.

What were you inspired by when creating this EP?

I was moved by the issues concerning migration that are currently happening all over the world; we are entering a very important phase of the movement of large groups of people due to the climate crisis and globalisation. That is something we need to be aware of and educate ourselves about. It is a call for governments to take the right decisions about these issues, and for the people to open their doors so this transition could happen the smoothest way.

With that interest growing, I have been watching documentaries about the subject. I recommend watching Human Flow by Ai Weiwei and my Aunt Chiara Sambuchi’s documentaries that are very well documented and raise a lot of questions about the matter. Musically, I was mostly inspired by Ilian Tape’s work, as well as Djrum, Blawan and Surgeon - some extremely visceral artists but with a massive dance side.

What process did you go through to create the record?

My approach to production is pretty straight forward, starting from a lot of jams. I like the feeling of being able to control everything with my hands, so I produce mostly with hardware. I come from a house and techno background as well, so I guess I have this flow in my productions. It needs to be intense and lively, then I compile all my recordings in my DAW and rework the arrangement. I am always composing a lot of tracks, but this time I felt like I wanted to tell a story with them.

How did the EP make use of SAE’s facilities?

I mixed the whole EP at SAE Bankstock Studios; it’s been great to be able to use analogue equipment to mix the EP. It is a great chance to have access to these studios and the teaching that comes with them.

Who did what tasks in the creation of the EP?

I recorded, bounced and mixed all the recordings myself, then got it mastered via a mastering studio in Canada (Cyrcular Mastering). My flatmate Maxime De Sadeleer, with whom I already work on several projects, took care of the photography and the design of the cover artwork. Jordan Bourzig made a short video for the pre-release and is currently working on the movie clip for the first track ‘Moving’. Pedro Vera from SAE has been a huge help for all the marketing part, he created a website, the Facebook page, an Instagram account as well, and helps me with all the promotion.


Pedro Vera recently launched a new student society at SAE London

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How have your studies at SAE helped with the promotion of the release?

I met Pedro Vera who is a Music Business student at the beginning of the second trimester. We partnered up as he was looking for an artist at the time I wanted to release my EP so the calendar was really in our favour. I hope this interview will create some interest for my music as well!

What instruments did you use in the creation of this record?

I mostly used my modular synth to create the synth lines as well as two drum machines: the DSI Tempest and the MFB Tanzbar, and a few software instruments. I really love working with the DSI Tempest, it is an incredible drum machine with so much sound design capabilities. The MFB Tanzbar is slightly more simple but has a huge sound quality. I went from producing with Logic Pro to Ableton this year since Ableton fits way better with my workflow and makes this easier for me.

Have you got any live shows in the pipeline?

I am starting to record some DJ demos at the moment. I am also developing my modular to make it more interesting for live shows, as my setup currently doesn’t fit what I’m looking for.

Visit Vincent’s website, which was created by Pedro.

Listen to Migrations on Spotify or Bandcamp.