173 Dissemblance


01. German Army - Delay Worship (Yerevan Tapes, 2015)
02. Dissemblance - L'Aigle Mort (Mannequin Records, 2019)
03. JFK - Sexodus (Fourth Dimension, 1992)
04. Michael Giles, Jamie Muir, David Cunningham - Ghost Dance (Piano, 1995)
05. Black Seed - Nul (Phormix Tapes, 2017)
06. Bruce Roach - Zoblin 07 (June, 2018)
07. Cienfuegos - Slipping Venus (ENTRO Remix) (BANK Records NYC, 2019)
08. Somnambulist - Facing The Moon (1983 / Reissued by Walhalla Records, 2011)
09. Tuxedomoon - What Use (Heinrich Mueller Technik Mix) (International Deejay Gigolo Records, 2011)
10. Dissemblance - Over The Sand (Mannequin Records, 2019)
11. Creepy Autograph - I Wanna Fuck You (Valentine Connexion Records, 2008)
12. Tapa Paha Tapa - I Love It (EDIT) (1983 / Love Records, 2005)

Paris based Dissemblance aka Mathilde Mallen has a wide and enduring love of music. Classically trained on the cello from the age of seven Mallen went on to teach herself bass guitar playing in rock bands such as Fessée and Wild Horses. A musician first Mallen has been collecting vinyl for almost twenty years whilst her writing, arrangements, performances and productions have witnessed release on variety of labels over the past fifteen years. Dissemblance is the latest personification of Mallen’s talent and hears the work of the previous years distilling into something distinct and hauntingly beautiful. Dissemblance has constructed an idiosyncratic podcast for us which can only be born of someone with such depth of musical experience. We managed to swap electronic signals to discuss a little of Dissemblance’s musical background, dream collaborations and the inspirations behind her new album, ‘Over The Sand’.

Digital Tsunami: Hi Dissemblance, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and when you began making music please?

Dissemblance: The beginning is always the end of something. Ten years ago, I was ready to get on stage with my rock band. I put on the side unfinished electronic projects and other collaborations that mattered less to start a new adventure with friends and my electric bass guitar. Another band emerged but without ever deciding to record anything properly in a studio. We lived in the moment. We liked to pour out our music in an intense live setting. Time goes by and gradually our interest went somewhere else. It was the beginning for me to bring out again my prophet-606 and TR-505, and start my solo project. This is the year 2012.

DT: Your album, Over The Sand was just released on Mannequin, this draws on a number of musical themes including 80s pop and coldwave. Have the aesthetics heard on your new record always been present in your music or do you think the album is a departure from your previous work? Can you give us any insight into how you think you have evolved as an artist over time?

D: It is indeed by walking through different aesthetics that with time, we can refine and be more personal. It takes time to compose an album of any sorts. If it comes out today on Mannequin, it is because the time has come where I think my music sounds mature enough. I achieved this album from a long process and I am happy that it has resonated with Alessandro Adriani to find a place on the label. Through those ten tracks, I tried to create a form that came to life from my imagination by keeping enough traces of my past. With the time, by fixing some tracks, adding and removing layers, I did what I really felt inside.

DT: Where do you draw the inspiration for the emotional qualities of the album? It’s not a bleak record but there is a certain melancholy, and (I feel at least) something of a latent menace hiding within the melodies. Are you trying to achieve a particular sound for example, or simply channeling influences acting upon you and this is what comes out?

D: The starting point is often a raw sound. A bass line that is crawling in my head, a distinct metallic and squeaky rhythmic (ULT-SOUND), something that starts from a movement, an urge, a direct response to my urban environment. From there, I add more with other sounds and more melody, a synth (Polysix), a vocal or a second bass line. The texture is always there to set up the landscape with distortion, delay and reverb processors (OTO Machines). I try to work like if it is a round trip between shadow and light, from an impetuous state to a more calm and nuanced feeling, trying to find the right balance from diving into an alternate world so the music comes alive.

DT: The mix you have created for us is diverse in a number of ways, what elements do you think are important for a good DJ mix?

D: In this case, because the mix comes with the release of my first album, I wanted to play music that moves me with diverse influences and artists that I respect. A good DJ mix should be a flow, one wave of energy that lives through you at one particular time. It is a challenge to yourself, a way to go further and discover more about yourself and the music, present your own tastes, and to cohesively arrange the music together.

DT: I particularly enjoyed the JFK tune, how did you find this record and what does it mean to you?

D: I discovered JFK through the album “Assassin” that he did with the Grey Wolves. His different incarnations sometimes with a band or as a solo project, arouse my curiosity. I like how the guitars sound, embraced with layers of noise. His voice rises like one pure strength, an ultimate challenge that reminds me also of the industrial/EBM musician, Dive. It is a good example of not being afraid to push the limits of a pre-existing genre and make it your own.

DT: I understand you’re based in Paris, if we were visiting and wanted to hear interesting music where should we go?

D: Paris can offer you what you’re looking for depending on the time of the season you’ll be in town and who you’ll be with. It is probably more about the people who organize parties and build the sound than the locations. I like to see noise shows from Le Non-Jazz, or going dancing with ex Concrete crew or Fusion Mes Couilles parties. La Toilette collective is interesting also because it mixes genders, art and techno. Sonic Protest festival invades different singular places as Saint-Merry church.

DT: You’ve fallen through a rip in the space-time continuum and find yourself with the opportunity to collaborate with any artist you choose, living or dead. Who would it be and why?

D: If I let myself dream, I would have loved to work with a lot of people as Goblin for their energy and their connection with movies soundtracks, Throbbing Gristle for their sound experimentations, Black Dice for their craziness and their rage against everything that is conventional, Beta Evers for her dark and sensual matter, and even the Brazilian Baden Powell for his incommensurate talent.

DT: What’s next for Dissemblance, are there any upcoming projects and adventures you wish to share with us?

D: In the next months I have planned to start working on my live set. This is a challenge for me to be able to adapt to diverse situations in different venues, to face an audience again but this time with my solo project. I will continue to compose some other music and maybe work on a follow up record.


Dissemblance’s new album ‘Over The Sand’ has just been released on Mannequin Records, you can listen and purchase the album here: Bandcamp Mannequin Records

Interview: Sam Mee, Published: 2 Dec 2019
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