A few months ago Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau, the Montreal-based duo who record as Essaie pas, released a pretty moving document of post-millennial paranoia. Titled New Path, their latest record was conceptually inspired by Phillip K. Dick’s chimeric masterwork A Scanner Darkly. With that as the foundation they dove headlong into the grimy runoff of the sounds they’ve explored together over the last few years—using techno, darkwave, and industrial tropes to evoke the emotional devastation of addiction, loss, and post-capitalist rot, depicted both in the novel and in the world around them. “Complet Brouillé,” one of the record’s singles offered a simple summation of the emotional content: “I don’t expect to live long.”
Today, the duo are back with something a little different. Davidson and Guerineau compiled this week’s Noisey mix from new and unreleased material from some of their closest friends, which provides a vibrancy to the proceedings even if their pals also tend to favor twisted sounds and spiritual darkness. They say, via email, that they way they find hope in the bleak world their record depicts is through “kindness, empathy, humor, generosity”—which they find a way to put on display even as they bounce between grayscale ambience, blistered noise, and erratic club tracks.
It’s the sort of mix that shows they’re willing to rethink their perspectives and worldviews, underscored most evidently by a remix of “Complet Brouillé,” courtesy of the Hungarian duo Khidja, who give an ecstatic energy to the bleak track—it kicks the whole mix into a strange momentum. That track is drawn from an upcoming set of remixes of tracks from New Path, due June 8 on DFA, that also includes versions by the German producers Anthony Rother and Schwefelgelb. Alongside Essaie pas’ new mix, you can also check a premiere of Rother’s version of the title track which morphs the static of the original into a cosmic sort of electro—a collection of soaring synth arpeggios building skyward from the gutter. Check both out below alongside a brief interview with the band.
Noisey: How are we meant to enjoy the mix? What's the perfect setting?
Essaie pas: Listen to the mix in any way you’d like, it’s quite a diverse mix including club-oriented tracks as well as ambient and lyrical pieces of music.
Is synesthesia a real thing and if so, what color is this mix?
Synesthesia is a real thing though the mix has no specific color.
Was there any specific concept to the mix?
Pride. We featured strong music from people we love.
Do you have a favorite moment on the mix?
You each have been involved in the making of a lot of different kinds of music—is there a specific feeling or spirit that unites all of your creative efforts?
What are each of your relationships to dance music? Did you grow up going to clubs or anything like that? What is your relationship to those spaces?
Pierre grew up in Brittany and had the chance to go a few Free Partys. Marie grew up in Montreal and started to visit clubs at the age of 16. Clubs used to be very exciting for us and magical, it had much influence on the music we make. Nowadays, we don’t care so much about clubs anymore, we relate to them as places of work, we are more focusing on the music itself.
When we spoke around the premiere of “Complet Brouillé,” we talked a bit about the hopefulness that’s woven through your new record, amidst the darkness. What keeps you hopeful, like as people, even if that’s not the feeling you feel on the surface?
Kindness, empathy, humor, generosity.
Only R. - M9ssenger
Essaie pas - Complet brouillé (Khidja’s Hidden Formula Remix)
Motorkiller - GhostのNoのRider
Sleazy - Que Calor feat. Nat Navi (Feu St-Antoine Remix)
Ocirej - Run That
Jesse Osborne-Lanthier - Godlike Paywall
Ginger Breaker - Hard-boiled Funk For The Ruthless Lover
Feu St-Antoine - An Ode To An Ad
Cecilia - Pagliaccio
ASAËL - ???
Bernardino Femminielli - ???
Alex Zhang Hangtai - Pierrot
Marie Davidson - Mé(ga)lomane
Essaie pas tour dates:
May 19 - Ste-Thérese, QC - Santa Teresa Festival
May 25 – Cologne, DE – Gewölbe
May 26 – Oostzaan, NL – Lente Kabinet
May 27 – Paris, FR – Villette Sonique
June 2 – Barcelona, ES – Primavera Sound
June 3 – Lisbon, PT – Zé dos Bois
June 8 – Lyon, FR – La Chinerie
June 9 – Istanbul, TR – Suma Beach
June 14 – Berlin, DE – Säule (Berghain)
June 16 – Brussels, BE – Beursschouwburg
June 22 – Manchester, UK – Soup Kitchen
June 23 – London, UK – The Moth Club
June 29 – Ewijk, NL – Down The Rabbit Hole
June 30 – Katowice, PL – Tauron Nowa Muzyka
July 6 – Marseille, FR – Laboratoire des possibles