Photo QUENTIN STRAUSS
There’s a reason a piano’s on fire in the middle of To Kill a Heartbeat’s spare record sleeve. Julien Haguenauer’s first effort under the name HBT—a slight riff on the DEMENT3D co-founder’s old Heartbeat alias—started with two hours of improv on an old set of idiosyncratic ivories. The Parisian producer then used samplers and synths to reduce the recordings even further, bringing out the beauty in bewildering rhythms, trippy drone tones, and chopped-up chords.
“My intention here is to make up music from both very sincere, unapologetic live improvisations and quite elaborate compositions,” explains Haguenauer, “then hurl it as a provocation to the experimental/drone and techno scenes. A kind of statement, allowing myself to break a couple of codes in order to achieve a kind of hybridization that sounds a bit more radical to me.”
Have an exclusive listen below, and look out for To Kill a Heartbeat on Dawn Records this week….