This piece is part of the Algorhythms project: artists telling stories about music they discovered from humans. Because where we discover music is an important part of its impact, and not all music is discovered through an algorithm.
Rone is the nom de plume of French electronic artist, Erwan Castex. The Paris-raised producer makes soulful electro music that can accompany a variety of mood states. Erwan’s broad palette has made his music ripe for collaboration, and he’s worked with a number of luminaries, from The National to Jean-Michel Jarre. When I listen, for all his music’s many colors, the constant I hear is hope — something we need as much now as ever.
Erwan has an especially noteworthy link to the current moment. He contracted COVID himself — at nearly the same moment his tour’s sold-out shows were cancelled due to shelter-in-place directives. He’s recovered nicely, and in that time pushed forward with the release of Room with a View, his seventh studio album.
For his Algorhythm, and on the heels of Mother’s Day, Erwan remembers the birthday his mother gave him a Miles Davis record, and all the colors it’s revealed to him since…
For my 16th birthday, my mum gave me Miles Davis’ soundtrack of the 1958 French cult movie Ascenseur pour l’échafaud (Elevator to the Gallows), directed by Louis Malle. As a teenager, this was obviously old people’s music, so I wasn’t too excited about listening to the record. I was into hip hop at the time.
But a while later I decided to give it a go…and it was a massive slap in the face!
The music was hypnotic, pure, raw, and intriguing — a revelation. It is since one of my all-time favourite albums. I did some research and found out that it had been recorded in one night. Louis Malle had invited Miles Davis and a four-piece band to record the music, he played Davis the film and let the magic happen.
I’m really thankful to my beloved late mum for this precious present that is very much part of my life.
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