Listen to the Little People Echoes Interview Here.
In the world of electronic music we sometimes forget that that description also embraces Hip Hop and Rap music. That is, those of us on the space and ambient side of things forget. But Laurent Clerc grew up listening to American and English Hip-Hop and even played it for a while. But now he’s gone into more downtempo directions, recording ambient chamber music under the guise, Little People. His latest album is a statement release called We Are But Hunks Of Wood.
Laurent Clerc is sitting in his studio in Brighton England, essentially a room in the house he shares with his wife. “Mostly it’s pretty simple,” he says. “Basically it’s mostly a laptop and I’ve got a few synths, and bits and bobs and you know, a few kind of like glockenspiels and bells, other little sound sources. And I’ve got quite a lot of vinyl and a turntable. So that’s it.”
The vinyl and turntables are important because Clerc started out in the world of Hip-Hop and he thinks of the music he makes as Little People as Hip-Hop without the rapping. “So when I say hip hop it’s more the sampling and the use of typical Hip-Hop drums and things like that,” he explains. “That’s the aesthetic I like and it’s what I took with me. So. there’s no rapping.”
Laurent Clerc was born and raised in Switzerland with Swiss and English parents. It was there that Hip-Hop changed his world. “It was quite bizarre because I was in Switzerland and our local radio station had this one DJ who basically got all his records from New York,” remembers Clerc. “It’s mind blowing to think that this one guy just formed the tastes of all these kids growing up listening to that radio station, just because he liked that particular music coming out of New York at that time.”
A Tribe Called Quest, DJ Shadow and DJ Krush were some of the artists that Laurent Clerc heard. He confesses he tried his hand at rapping for a minute. “I did dabble with MC’ing, but we’ll try and keep that quiet,” he requests.
Instead he was drawn to sounds, textures and moods. “My love of music extends beyond just melody,” he says. “For me, music is about texture, is about sounds, so you know, a record usually is a kind of a combination of all the different sounds I’ve created and come across and meld those into one.
You can hear Laurent Clerc talk more about the music of Little People, and hear some of his beautiful, ambient chamber music in the Echoes Podcast.
~© 2012 John Diliberto ((( echoes )))