Pierre-Marie Maulini has served as one of the most authentic and intriguing producers on the dance music circuit in recent years under his STAL moniker, working alongside some of the most influential figures in the pop, dance and cinematic music spaces.
Having teased a new sound profile in Kasztan last month with ‘Number Thirteen’, the French musician now continues his efforts in the post-rock/techno realm with his debut extended-player contribution to the scene. Presented in Dolby Atmos on both TIDAL and Apple Music, for a fully immersive sonic experience, the ‘Rare Earth Elements’ EP is available now across all streaming platforms.
We caught up with Kasztan to learn more about the moniker, its debut EP and more.
Aditya – Hey, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. How are you and what are you up to at the moment?
Kasztan – Hey guys, thanks for having me. I’m all good. I’m currently in Poland with my family in law, enjoying the last days of summer. I’m also working on a new batch of tracks. I love being able to work in different locations with my little home studio gear.
Aditya – ‘Post-Rock/Ambient-Techno Realm’ wow! Could you expand on that?
Kasztan – Yea, I guess the phrase comes from the press sheet ;) and yes post-rock and techno are 2 major influences for me which I kept separated but then decided to combine for this new project. They’re not that different in the end, landscape-y moods and big build ups are key elements in both genres.
Aditya – Would you like to explain your vision with the new moniker?
Kasztan – Kasztan is the Polish name for Chestnut, it’s a nod to a tree that was dear to my wife since her childhood in Poland. It’s a country and a culture that I love. The artistic and historic bounds between France and Poland are very strong.
Aditya – Starting off the project with a debut EP, could you tell us your creative process behind the EP?
Kasztan – It started during lockdown, you couldn’t really jam with friends so I found myself spending more time at home playing with synths and other electronic devices. Bedroom production, you know! Except I couldn’t get rid of the old telecaster so I had fun adding extra layers of guitars.
Aditya – What’s your message behind the EP?
Kasztan – I’m not sure there’s a message really. It’s darker than my previous bands but I hope people will still feel hints of hope and bliss here and there.
Aditya – Your track names are unique and sound very appropriate to the track titles, could you explain the ideology behind naming the tracks? It certainly catches eyeballs.
Kasztan – I tend to produce a lot of tracks and they usually have numbers instead of names. The names come later and are inspired by the music or the story behind it. Spoiler: Number Thirteen was the 13th track I made for this EP. Yes, a lot goes in the bin too!
Aditya – Growing up in France, what do you think of the music scene in France? Do you think the vinyl will come back just like the old skool?
Kasztan – The French music scene is pretty exciting these days. No matter what you’re into, there’s plenty of innovative bands or solo artists.
At the moment I listen to Joakim, whose upcoming album is very ambient and soothing. I also like Chloe, great DJ, producer and remixer (check her latest remix for french pianist Thomas Enhco). Another French artist worth checking is my mate Ouai Stephane, who builds his own instruments and makes the coolest electronic music you’ll ever hear.
Regarding vinyl, it’s been back for a little while now I guess. Streaming is convenient but people still like to own objects and to show their support by buying vinyls, (or tee-shirts). That said, I think it will always stay “niche” compared to the streaming industry steamroller.
Aditya – You’ve juggled with a few monikers/bands, I’m keen on knowing the journey in the band ‘A Red Season Shade’. Again, an intelligent name for the band.
Kasztan – Thanks! We launched this band with my older brother, it was really a teenager’s dream come true. Signing to a label, releasing CDs and going on tour in a worn-out van! You can’t really ask for more when you’re 19! I learnt so much and met so many people thanks to this band, including Anthony / M83 who later invited me to join them on stage for a whole worldwide tour.
Aditya – Lastly, what are your future plans?
Kasztan – I’m super happy with the feedback we’ve been getting on these first releases and of course it’s a great motivator to keep digging in that direction. Of course I’m eager to start touring too. I played my first show a couple of weeks ago in Poland. It was the first time I was alone on stage, which is a totally different feeling but I had a great time!
Image courtesy: Agathe Lehoux