For its new compilation, as zany as it is enjoyable, the web media Météo revisits the soundtracks of Nintendo NES games
METEO “Age of ASD” genesis and design of the compilation
Météo, the hilarious and delightful “socio-cultural web media with variable geometry” will soon release its long-awaited new compilation:METEO “Age of ASD”.
A little background: Météo was founded in 2016 by Witold Langlois, a journalist based in Geneva. At the beginning of 2018, Météo hit hard with METEO DIC PROJECT, a first compilation where producers were invited to remix some themes of cult animated series produced by D.I.C (Diffusion Information Communication) in the 80s: Inspector Gadget, Blondine in the Land of the Rainbow or The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Among the producers are those who make the hybrid club music of today: Sunareht, Moesha 13, De Grandi, or BJF.
For METEO “Age of ASD”, Witold invited the best of French and Swiss “post-club” producers to reinterpret video game soundtracks edited by ASD. ASD stands for “Audio Sound Distribution”, a company which was the first distributor of Nintendo‘s NES console in France in the 1980s against its competitor Bandaï. Unfortunately, the company quickly went bankrupt and the ASD adventure lasted only a few months. The games published during this period would later become rarities sought after by collectors. For example, the game Gyromite (which we are talking about today) can be found for no less than 8000€ on eBay.
Regarding the genesis of the project, this is what Witold told us: “I had been trying to get the rights to the Nintendo music for almost two years. Nintendo Switzerland, France, and Germany were ok but once the request went up to Japan it was refused. Nintendo has a reputation for not giving up any rights. But I tried!” The journalist did not give up and will follow the formula of his previous compilation (METEO DIC PROJECT): a free distribution on SoundCloud with a limited physical edition which, this time, will be a 33 rpm 12″ vinyl.
Work seriously on playfulness without taking yourself too seriously! :)
Witold, founder of Météo
To talk about the compilation, Witold met and talked with Eve-Lise Blanc Deleuze, the person who “quite simply launched Nintendo in France”. The interview can be listened to as a podcast below (French only) and excerpts can be found on the compilation as an intro and interludes.
A tracklist composed of the best artists from both Swiss and French electronic scenes
As for the tracklisting, the compilation features Swiss and French artists from Geneva, Paris, Strasbourg, Grenoble, and Lyon, both men and women. “As METEO wants, we mix the Swiss-French scene with the French one. The past and the present/future…” explains Witold.
The artists invited to remix the video game soundtracks are: BJF, DARIA, CLASS COMPLIANT (a new duo from Geneva composed of Narnox and Lazzylife who present their first track on this compilation), VOIRON, KELYBOY, DIE KLAR, ESTEBAHN, OWELLE, FASHION ITALIA, PULGASARI, SOUHARCE, and CINDER.
Before the release of the compilation on April 7th, Witold and Météo gave us the reinterpretation of the Gyromite soundtrack, performed by DARIA. DARIA is a duo formed by M-O-R-S-E and Gaia Barella (better known in our columns under her alias ma gda). The perfect opportunity for a crossed interview between the two protagonists who told us more about their new duo and their vision of the METEO compilation “Age of ASD”.
Interview : DARIA (M-O-R-S-E + Gaia Barella)
CxC | How was DARIA born and what were your influences for this project?
Gaia | With m-o-r-s-e we started doing featurings together (especially me singing on his projects) in 2017. We had been wanting to form a band for a while to put our craziness together and push it further. Our influences for Daria are vast, but we are mainly interested in making danceable songs, so I’d say mostly electronic pop and all the plethora of varied club music genre we both listen to, from iconic 90s tracks to recent stuff like PC Music
M-O-R-S-E | Gaia and I have been hanging around each other for a long time (musically speaking), and it was inevitable that a duo project would eventually come to life. Without thinking too much about it, we recorded the first song to test ourselves and in the process, we recorded the remix of “Gyromite” for the Météo compilation, because Witold had suggested that we could do this track together without knowing that we had a duo project in mind. It was a nice correlation.
The trial was successful and DARIA was born.
As far as our influences are concerned, I think that our common ground and our first desire is to make songs that make you dance. For the rest, it doesn’t matter, we feed off a lot of different things. Italodance, UK Garage, PC Music, The Neptunes. All that and a lot more !
What does the new Météo compilation mean to you?
G | Quite honestly, I’m too young to have known most of the games in the compilation when they were released, and besides that, I’ve always been a tourist in the world of video games, so I don’t really have any nostalgic energy which I would have drawn inspiration from for the compilation. But I love 8bit music and “musical by-products”, so for me, this compilation was a great opportunity to have fun writing a song from an imposed universe.
M | As is often the case, Witold / Météo’s projects are based on nostalgic geek stuff. Some kind of Proust’s madeleines. And that’s probably one of the reasons why I’m always up for it when he offers me to participate in a compilation or anything else affiliated with Meteo.
I find Witold’s intentions often touching and behind it all, I can clearly see myself as a 10-12-year-old fan of Japanese animation, video games, merch, etc.
And it’s also a culture I share with him. We are almost the same age, we both grew up watching Club Dorothée and filled our school notebooks with drawings inspired by Saint Seiya or DBZ.
How did you choose and approach the remix of “Gyromite”?
G | It was m-o-r-s-e who chose the piece before inviting me to participate, under Witold’s advice. I said yes because I liked the loop he had already started to work on and as I didn’t know anything about the game, we red a bit about the history of the game. Most of the information we found was on wikipedia.it, because there wasn’t muchon the French page. It’s funny to think that if I hadn’t thought of looking for results in Italian, the lyrics I would have written would have been completely different !
M | Witold offered me the complete list of games that could be remixed for this compilation. I chose “Gyromite” because musically it was the most malleable soundtrack.
I had already worked on the beginning of an instrumental part when I showed it to Gaia and she liked the atmosphere it gave off. We also knew that we wanted to make a song, so in order not to tell anything meaningless, we did some research on “Gyromite” by watching videos, game tests, the history of the characters, etc.
Is the NES more of a childhood memory for you or a new discovery at the time of the compilation?
G | For me the NES and also the Gyromite are UFOs from another era. It was funny to have to work out of my comfort zone !
M | The NES was my first home console. I bought it myself and super late compared to my classmates who had already switched to Super NES or Sega Megadrive.
I only had Mario Bros at the beginning which I played alot and which I honestly know by heart.
From time to time one of my neighbours would lend me his old games that he was no longer interested in, like Ninja Turtles, Castelvania or Mario Bros 3 for example.
Finally, we have already seen you involved in other Meteo projects in the past (notably the METEOké if I’m not mistaken), any anecdotes or kind words about Meteo?
G | Witold managed to get me on a bus from Lyon to Geneva just to get me to sing “Moi, Lolita” at a karaoke bar, that’s how much I love Météo.
On a more serious note, Météo does something really valuable for artists like me, he really gives us room to do what we want. I’ve rarely met anyone so open minded, curious and playful in the music world, especially in the electronic music world where people tend to shut down everything except technical discourses and other various snob behavior. Météo’s identity can be very sharp and universally recognized, and also as wtf as it could be. It’s destabilizing and in the end, I found myself at the right place in it !
Beyond that, Météo is always there when I have musical melancholia, to remind me that basically, we’re doing all this to have fun and to question ourselves, so there you have it, it helps to keep the right spirit which feels so good !
Météo is surprising, caring and artistically ambitious. I love this atmosphere, it’s family!