VIDEO. Techno, house, trance, in Caen, electronic music is developing, but still lacks resources

In twenty years, electronic music has left the margins to become a popular culture. In Caen, this translates into significant growth in the number of artists and collectives and strong public expectations. Spotlight on this scene, on its vitality and its difficulties.

A handful of weeks after the start of the school year, for more than twenty years, electronic music lovers have converged on the freighter or the exhibition center for the Nordik Impakt festival, now renamed NDK. An unmissable event for many, which has brought many young artists and collectives in its wake.

Overview with those who bring this culture to life (or have brought it to life), each at their own level.

Mad Brains, Senary, Vunion, Super4, Ladacore… Names that surely mean nothing to you if you are over 30 and for you the 12 strokes of midnight sound the time to return home. However, they are a sign of the incredible vitality of the electro scene in Caen, which also has many other players that it would take too long to mention here. From the first confidential electro evenings in the 2000s to the many concerts and evenings offered every weekend in recent years, in twenty years, the Caen scene has developed considerably.

“Today we speak of a “Nordik generation”. This festival, which is now called NDK, is a structuring event that has led an entire scene to develop. Today we have a scene that is very young, older, new. There are a lot of artists and collectives and it’s thanks to this highlight.” Emmanuelle Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of culture – Caen

“I lived in Caen until I was 20, it’s here that I discovered electronic music, with the Nordik impakt festival, it’s a city that has a history with this music” Superpoze – Musician – Paris

There are a lot of collectives that organize a lot of things. There are also labels that are springing up to produce local artists. On our side, we try to offer quality events and we are going to release several records this year” Thomas Franco – President of the MAD Brains collective – Caen

When we see the number of collectives who ask us to organize evenings in our room, we realize the liveliness of this scene.

Gabriel Legrand – Portobello Rock Club – Caen

“When we see the number of collectives who ask us to organize evenings in our room, we realize the liveliness of this scene. Unfortunately, we are not a room specializing in electronic music, and we have to refuse a lot of proposals. Here we schedule electronic music once or twice a month.” Gabriel Legrand – Portobello Rock Club – Caen

It is therefore obvious, and no one will say the opposite: the Caen electronic scene is in full expansion, but according to Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern, who is part of the Vnion group of collectives, this effervescence is still fragile, for lack of means. notably.

If nothing is done, I fear that the movement will run out of steam.

Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern – DJ/producer – Co-president of the Vnion association – Caen

“It’s not going so well… There are a lot of artists who produce electronic music in Caen, we have to cultivate that. But there is a real lack of places and means to distribute this music. If nothing is done, I fear that the movement will run out of steam.” Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern – DJ/producer – Co-president of the Vnion association – Caen

Between the organization of NDK (which is part of the specifications of the concert hall), the evenings organized throughout the year, the rehearsal infrastructures and the support it offers to artists, the Cargö an important place in the development of the electro scene. But the structure which is at the center of municipal cultural policy must support all contemporary music and cannot devote itself solely to electronic music.

For me, the Cargö has a very important place, I first went there as a spectator, then I found there a place to work, to experiment.

Superpoze – Musician – Paris

“Obviously, the Cargö is open to electronic music collectives, but our specifications require us to program all kinds of current music. We must make room for all aesthetics. On the other hand, the Cargö is not just a concert hall, it is also studios, an accompaniment for electro artists. We also try to connect local actors with national actors, that too is a major challenge.” Jérémie Desmet – Director of Cargö and NDK Festival – Caen

Le quartier libre” in Rouen, the recent opening of the “Club Calypso” in Le Havre prove that the emergence of independent places dedicated to electronic music is possible in the cities of the region. However, in Caen such an initiative is sorely lacking when the vitality of the scene is no longer in doubt. After the closure of several night bars, it is becoming difficult to find places to perform more regularly and in good conditions for the different collectives. A statement shared by all.

“There are a lot of collectives who want to organize events, and few places that can host them. There are several places that have closed in recent years. It’s a shame and it creates a traffic jam phenomenon.” Thomas Aguirregabiria and Ludovic Jumel – Ladacore Collective – Caen

Today, the number one problem for us is the absence of a place managed by people who really understand our sector of activity and our artistic challenges.

Thomas Franco – President of the MAD Brains collective – Caen

“Today, the number one problem for us is the absence of a place run by people who really understand our sector of activity and our artistic challenges. Ideally, it would be a room that can accommodate between 300 and 400 people with a weekly opening. The town hall asked us, we responded to their request by proposing a project, but we have no news” Thomas Franco – President of the MAD Brains collective – Caen

“Indeed, there is a lack of a place dedicated to this music, we are thinking about it. Why not on the peninsula? It will remain a private initiative, but we could find an agreement on the provision or rehabilitation of a building. It is true that today, we are out of step with the creative vitality of this scene and the possibility of expression of these artists. I talk about it regularly with the collectives, but for the moment we have no solution. Emmanuelle Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of culture – Caen

“In all the consultations or discussions that may take place, the problem of a place always comes up. On the occasion of the municipal elections, the collectives also sent a manifesto to the various candidates in which this subject was addressed. There really wasn’t a response. However, artists’ collectives will not be able to carry out a room opening project alone. We really need to develop a nightlife policy in Caen.” Jean-Claude Lemenuel – Director of FAR Regional Music Agency – Caen

With a long history of underground, alternative culture, we tend to think that electronic music and institutions don’t mix. This is not completely false, as evidenced by the checkered history of the Nordik Impakt festival, but it is an assertion that deserves to be tempered. Today, techno culture is definitely out of the margins and collectives exchange more and more with the authorities.

Today, a dialogue has been established with certain collectives. The city can be a partner.

Emmanuelle Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of culture – Caen

“It’s a scene that does not necessarily have the reflex of a dialogue with the institution, given its importance, I wanted to meet them. Today, a dialogue has been established with some. The city can be a partner. Today all of our funds dedicated to current music go through cargo, after which we try to intervene “at the margins”, by making places available for example. Emmanuelle Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of culture – Caen

“On our side, the dialogue is going well. When you prepare for an event, you naturally have to do things properly, prepare the safety files well, for example. If we go into the boxes, everything is possible, we have never had a refusal of authorization from the town hall, nor from the prefecture” Thomas Franco – President of the MAD Brains collective – Caen

“We can clearly see that there is a form of attention from the municipal team, but to move from attention to understanding, there is a first step to take and then you have to go from understanding to the will to act. For me today, the action of the town hall lacks concrete projects. Not prohibiting is good, but accompanying, helping, is better” Jean-Claude Lemenuel – Director of FAR Regional Music Agency – Caen

What is certain is that dialogue with the authorities is essential. It’s still complicated, we have to win the trust of elected officials.

Thomas Aguirregabiria and Ludovic Jumel – Ladacore Collective – Caen

“We have never organized events in Caen, but what is certain is that dialogue with the authorities is essential. It’s still complicated, we have to win the trust of elected officials. It’s a step that takes a lot of time, because at first the municipalities are often reluctant to welcome us, but when we explain who we are, what we are going to do, there are no more fears or a priori and it is going very well.” Thomas Aguirregabiria and Ludovic Jumel – Ladacore Collective – Caen

To go further, find solutions and better support artists and collectives, the Cargö has partnered with Technopol, a national association that works on the development of electronic music.

“For 10 projects in Paris, there are 100 in the regions. Today we benefit from a recognition that allows us to be accompanied by institutions and in particular the Ministry of Culture. What we need today is to be as close as possible to local actors. When we open a local branch, which we try to set up in Caen, we develop a program of training, support and representation actions for local actors according to their specific needs.” Tommy Vaudecrane – President of the Technopol association – Paris

In Caen, electronic music is therefore very much alive, there are many artists and the public is present during the various events. This is also a satisfaction for the town hall:

“It shows that we have a youth that is fit and inventive.” Emmanuelle Dormoy – Deputy Mayor in charge of culture – Caen

To find out more about Caen artists, you can take a look at the Mad Brains collective website and listen to their MBPM podcast, listen to Radio 666 on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. or consult the Cave Caenem blog. To discover the musical universe of Zélie Jeanne-Le Guern, it’s here and that of Thomas Franco alias Ethereal Structure, it’s here.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *