The radical enthusiasm of Ideal Corpus (interview)

Ideal Corpus b II

Ideal Corpus is a French duo formed by Ciel and Fructify. Stemming from the net generation, their musical universe is a hybrid of tropical-future-bass-ghetto-jersey-footwork-EDM-happy-hardcore-pop evolving at the speed of the internet as well as according to their desires. Their purpose is to represent the post-internet musical scene by approaching the questions of hyper-cultures. Their philosophical stance is one of radical enthusiasm as a way of surpassing oneself and transforming dreams into raves. Ideal Corpus are playing at Prague’s MeetFactory on 3rd September alongside DJ Nigga Fox, Torus and Pavel Karafiát and at RIAM Festival in Marseille on October 24.

Are you at home now in Marseille?

Fructify: Yes. We are now on our balcony.

Ciel: I come from Paris, but now we live in the middle of Marseille.

F: I’m born and raised a bit in Germany and then I grew up in France.

C: We moved here 7 years ago because of the sea and the lifestyle, we met in Paris.

At the dance school?

C: Yes. I was into African dance, dancehall, tap dance, house and, of course, hip hop too.

F: I was into hip hop and house.

C: When we met we were talking about philosophy and our vision of the world, and that’s how we thought we should really make something together.

What was this philosophy and view of the world?

F: Lots of things. We were talking about music and the openness in music, and the way how we could explore new genres and styles and mix them.

C: We formed the group to make new ideas we needed to hear but hadn’t. Always go forward.

So for you it’s important to innovate?

C: In any case, it’s important for us to concretise what we have in our minds – regardless of whether it’s IRL or URL. Future, present or past are the same for us. It’s just about what we have to do at the moment.

How does the dichotomy of URL vs IRL influence your music?

F: We started to be influenced by URL in 2012. We discovered that the internet had a lot of energy in music and aesthetics and we were on the same wavelength so we started to really live URL.

C: In real life, in Marseille, for example, we couldn’t see it, we couldn’t feel it, but our real home was on the internet and that’s how we became connected at the time. Later on, we thought we should really translate all that energy and inspiration into real life. We were connected with a lot of people all around the world and we always thought we should do something together. We organised one big exhibition in Marseille, which was called La Fongâterie, with a lot of internet artists. That’s how we started to share internet culture with Marseille.

How would you define internet music?

C: It’s an energy. It’s like a flow. You can’t stop it.

F:  Maybe let’s just say that there are some big movements that started the internet music movement like witch house, seapunk or vaporwave, PC music, meme music. And then the thousands of subgenres.

How would you describe that energy?

C: It’s about subgenres, doing music with computers. This concerns memes and viral stuff, things that have a common memory. It starts from a lot of actual facts, Youtube, Facebook, the news.

What about post-internet art?

C: Well, at this moment, I like clean aesthetics, for example, a pink background with one thing only – let’s say a pineapple, that’s not seapunk, because seapunk is about a lot of objects, details and chromatic energy. Today, it seems to me that less is more in post-internet aesthetics. The 3D, 2D, HD aesthetics have a lot of influence.

But you consider yourself internet artists, not post-internet ones.

C: In 2014, the word “post-internet” was much more present, now we prefer just to keep the word internet to speak about our art/social environment.

F: For example, we’ve seen some exhibitions in Paris with post-internet artists who are not very much related to the internet ‘movement’. So now this kind of post-internet art is institutionalised. Internet art still is here, and it’s not so institutional and still goes forward and doesn’t really call itself “post-internet”.

C: Also, lots of artists like to reappropriate the codes of marketing. To illustrate, you can see an artist take an energy drink, like Red Bull, and call his or hers album “Red Bull”. In our case, we like to take the Nike logo and replace “Nike” with “Ideal”.

F: Lots of artists appropriate brands and big companies before these brands and companies appropriate them.

Like McDonald’s licensing Sophie’s “Lemonade”.

F: Exactly.

Everyone was confused with this and how it was meant.

C: In the beginning, everyone thought it was a joke until we realised we just entered a new era. It’s not new that artists reappropriate codes from the society, and it is funny when they do it. But when Sophie does it, he really sets up what we all thought was second degree. Somehow, I do approve doing real collaborations and not just as a joke, but ethically speaking, it raises other questions.

F: Also, witch house, before seapunk, was really serious and dark with that underground feeling, same as genres like techno, trance etc. There were not so many movements in the underground electronic music scene which were actually ‘happy’. Today, PC music took happiness to the next level, and moreover, worked with big companies providing mainstream products/content.

How do you look at it? With irony?

F: Life is fun, right?

C: As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone and it’s positive, I enjoy it. Life is not always happy. Sometimes, to accept something about yourself takes time, you have to work on it, see the thing differently and that’s not easy. It’s not easy to be happy in circumstances like Charlie Hebdo here in France, but you have to work on being happy and making other people happy.

F: We want to be constructive. We are not thinking anymore like punk used to with ‘There’s no future’.

C: We also give workshops to kids in India, France, Morocco. We want to instil self-esteem and happiness in them. We use a lot of techniques like music, dance, theatre, writing…

Does this also influence you in the artwork?

F: Ciel comes from a background which is rooted in philosophy and self-development, I come more from art-school background. So, it is something that is present in our art.

When you make music, are you conscious of all of this?

C: Yes, our new song is called “Make Your Dreams Come True”. The idea that inspired us is that it is up to you to create magic in your life.

In one interview you said that your dream is to play an underwater show. Has it already happened, or do you have some other dreams?

F: Actually, we really want to do it.  Joel Cahen and Michel Redolfi, who live right next to us in Nice and with whom we would like to do something, already have done underwater concerts. We would also like to tour the world and go to countries where some of the music that we love comes from like kuduro from Angola or baile funk from Brazil.

C: And we have a lot of internet friends whom we want to meet in real life.

When it comes to music, you have just released a new track, what else do you have in the pipeline?

F: In October, our new album will be ready. We will also tour East Europe from September on.

C: We’ll have a new video which is set in a church in Marseille. It’s like a flash mob, a hardcore rave. The idea is that the priests have superpowers and give energy to people and everybody goes into a trance.