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Auriént Talks About His Debut Album, Cookie-Cutter EDM, And The Pitfalls of Sampling

Last month LA-based producer Auriént released his debut album ‘Aura Bath’ via Stockholm-based label Van Drumpt. The producer’s debut full-length is ode to all things French, taking inspiration from France’s most imitable artists, and the unique way they created their music using sampling.

The album’s release marks the end of a four year journey for the producer. “I think it would be coming up on 4 years to make the album to be honest,” explains the producer to us over Skype from his LA home. “But that’s not 4 years solid work as that would be really long. For the real meat of the work I’d say two years, because I’d be lying if I said it actually took four years in total, but there were some breaks in between.”

Taking inspiration from Ed Banger Records’ staple of artists – namely Justice, Breakbot & SebastiAn – and Daft Punk, Auriént decided early on that he wanted to try and replicate the French way of making electronic music, namely sampling. “In the beginning I knew I want to do a lot of sampling, Daft Punk-style sampling, so from early on I was experimenting listening to a lot of old music and cutting it up, making musical collages of Todd Edwards and stuff like that. So, yeah, that then kinda developed into finding 70s funk and disco samples and combining them with you know messing around on the keyboard, with chord progressions and melodies. So half of my music is just traditional songwriting, and the other half is just digging around for rare samples.”

“Two of the tracks that were going to be on the album had to be cut because of sampling issues.”

Despite his love of sampling he found early on that getting samples cleared can be a minefield. “Two of the tracks that were going to be on the album had to be cut because of sampling issues, actually two of my favourites, so yeah that’s a bummer, but they’ll be put out for free, so that’s cool that people will get to hear them later in the year.” But despite falling foul of antiquated copyright laws that hasn’t stopped the producer from searching of those long-lost forgotten gems. “Often it’s a one-off record at a funny record store, but most of the time it is off Youtube to be honest, you’ll be on Youtube, and you’ll type in rare 80s soul, and there will be some rare hit from back in the day that everyone has forgotten about, and then you find the high quality rip of it, and then just cut it up, and that’s my style. But you do get people who like to find the original vinyl, for me I’m more about the sound, if it sounds good then it’s good enough for me.”

His style and sound is born out of an appreciation for how Daft Punk made their first three albums – blending hardware, sampling and song-writing together. “When I first heard Daft Punk, I was like wow this is amazing; one or two people can do all this on a computer, this is incredible, and I kinda took that idea, and ran with it, and have been inspired by it ever since, the fact that they been able to do what they do on a computer – obviously they use analogue hardware and that’s part of their sound – but it’s just so inspiring, the fact you can use all these elements from different music and really create something new – it’s really fascinating.”

“I don’t engage too much in the popular nightlife in LA, because of that very reason, because they’re playing tracks that I can’t really get down to.”

Despite living in the epicentre of EDM, namely LA, the producer is rather apathetic towards boom in dance music in his home town. “I don’t really pay attention to it. It’s very cookie-cutter, it’s very instant gratification and that’s the motto of EDM in my eyes, I didn’t grow up in LA, I grew up maybe two hours away in Santa Barbara but I’m glad to be in LA now, I don’t engage too much in the popular nightlife in LA, because of that very reason, because they’re playing tracks that I can’t really get down to. There are some underground clubs, there’s this place called Honeycut, where you can hear good disco and house, so that’s cool. If you know people and you’re on Facebook you can find good underground nightlife, but the popular stuff, where they have a packed clubs and good soundsystems they just play whatever is on the radio.”

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Auriént’s ‘Aura Bath’ is out now via Van Drumpt now and you can stream it in full below.