Watch: Montreal-based collective Vertige take the Milgram experience to the backdrop of heavy techno in their new music video

MOLZK, you seem to be telling a story with the tracks on “Cluster Headache”, what is that?

MOLZK: “Cluster Headache” is one of the aftermath of an accident that nearly took my life. It’s the kind of intense migraine that makes you want to die because the pain is so intense. I like music that shows pain on the outside, I find it more sincere, more intense. I tried that with this EP. I asked Cora Novoa to join to bring something less dark to the EP. Then to Ma Čka to drive the point of brutality home. They are two producers that I love for their different universes and it’s a real chance for me that they participate in the EP, I still can’t believe it.

Before talking about your visual inspirations for the clip, can you tell us about your musical or sonic inspirations?

M: My musical inspirations are mostly on the side of 90’s Neo-Metal, Rob Zombie, Korn, Slipknot. I love the energy and intensity it emanates. I find this intensity in producers like KRTM, Ansome, Rebekah or Manni Dee, whose work I admire. It’s raw, badass, but melancholic at the same time.

Do you use the same setup live and when composing? How would you describe your musical development process?

M: Yes, I use the same machines in the studio and live. I want to be able to move from my home studio to the stage without having to think about a new setup. So I use Akai Force, Peak, Typhon, Minibrute2s and DFAM to compose demos and find the structures. Then I put all of that into Ableton to add effects and finish the tracks.

Speaking of the process, I get the impression that a good chunk of the Vertige collective is involved in the project. How are you doing, who does what?

M: Yes, we say, we have understood that we need everyone’s participation for the projects we want to do. Since we have very little budget, we try to combine all our resources and skills to achieve the desired result. On this particular project, there were four of us to create the whole thing: Adrien Taret, still just as talented behind the camera. We both worked hard on the concepts of the clip and were able to implement them. Then Lucas Fiorella (aka URUBU), he was the indispensable henchman who supported all our delusions. And then there’s the genius Josué Zabeau, who takes care of the 3D design, which is a large part of Vertige’s visual identity (he notably contributed to Apashe and Vladimir Cauchemar’s latest clip, “RIP”). A summary sentence would be: “For all technical questions please contact Josué”. And he always finds a solution. Then me in all this, I produced the music and made sure that the project was technically implemented.

Whether with the Live double ! or with the clip for “Urubu Is Dead” you cultivate a strong visual identity, how would you describe that? Can you elaborate on your approach and what motivates you to put so much energy into this aspect?

M: Yes, I try to have a visual identity that flirts between violence and discomfort and keeps things secondary. I think it’s important not to take myself too seriously. With the visual on top of the music we can create a really deep universe, tell a story. Especially in techno music, where there are rarely lyrics. Also, Adrien holds on to this delirium. For example, we both love Gaspar Noé’s visual universe, which is still uncomfortable.

Adrien Taret, as a director, how do you ensure that you develop specific visual identities for each artist while maintaining consistency across the collective?

Adrian Taret: It’s while working on our previous project live twice that I started to contrast the aesthetics of URUBU and MOLZK. When I caricature I would say I try to see one as an angel and the other as the demon of vertigo. Working with MOLZK allows me to express a dark and violent side, while for URUBU I prioritize the humor, the absurd and a more touching aspect. Sometimes elements meander from one world to another, and I think it’s those passages that create a kind of coherence. It’s a bit despite me!

Tell us about the concept of the clip in a few words.

AT: With this clip, MOLZK and I wanted to show a techno performance that revisits and distracts from the Milgram experiment, in which MOLZK replaces the scientist, the music replaces the electroshock, the dancer replaces the electrocution, and the audience, voyeur and unhealthy, for Accomplices will be the “dismissals” committed both to him and to his death. Well after that, there are also many references to URUBU. To understand them, you need to delve into all of our Vertige projects.

Can you show us some strong images from the clip and maybe some references hidden there?

M: Darkness is black so we decided to make it white. In reality, we wanted the aesthetic to be white, even clinical, to give an unhealthy and controlled side to the torture. I think we did that well. Adrien came up with the idea of ​​referencing Milgram’s social experiment, which we hijacked a bit. So we had to add a scientific side to the visual identity, and that went through the ubiquitous white.

AT: Yes, then another reference for me in this project is the AIR group’s clip “La femme d’argent” shot in their futuristic studio. I really like the image of these musicians turned scientists. After that, we didn’t fully plan the clip’s sci-fi dimension, but Josué Zabeau brought that touch by 3D printing the glasses for the assistants. So they are homemade!

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M: We said we could present the torture, the pain, as a living work of art, hence the art gallery and the public. Not an easy task, but thanks to the extraordinary talent of dancer Roman Uzal, we succeeded. But it wasn’t an easy two days of shooting for him.

AT: Yes, then he gave so much during filming that he messed up his gorgeous pants designed by creator Julien Villeneuve (laughs). Marina Abramovic’s installation “The artist is present” for the live artwork concept inspired us a lot. In addition, the neon cube became one of the main characters of the clip. It was Joy Boissières who made and reviewed it during filming. We had previously worked with him on the previous Vertige project, Double Live.

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