June 14, 2024
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Al’Tarba (French Producer) “La Fin des Contes (The End of Tales)” Interview

Intro by Steaming Kettle PR:

“A short four years after his last solo album “La nuit se lève”, Al’Tarba returns in 2022 with a new offering, “La Fin des Contes” (The End of Tales). This album comes after a number of collaborative LPs: Rogue Monsters with Senbeï, two albums with the rapper Swift Guad and ‘Le Cabinet des Curiosités Vol.I’. In this new album “La Fin des Contes” (The End of Tales), Al’Tarba offers us an immersive experience in a universe that is sometimes fairy tale-like, sometimes nightmarish. From the horrific bad dream to the luminous nursery rhyme, “La Fin des Contes” is already the consecration of one of his most accomplished projects.
With the release of this new opus, as well as a brand new live album in preparation, the year 2022 promises to be a theatrical one for Al’Tarba. If the previous solo opus offered us a hallucinated ballad in the underbelly of a city plagued by crime, “La Fin des Contes” plunges us into the imagination of a child who explores the magical and nightmarish limbo of tales. The artist thus draws on the ambiguities of these stories, which often leave a lifelong mark on our deepest subconscious. True to his characteristic eclecticism and in the manner of his key album “Lullabies for Insomniacs” (2011), Al’Tarba reveals himself once again through an album of flickering atmospheres – just as luminous and fantastic as dark and tortured.
During the 15 tracks of this project, we come across soft Lo-fi lullabies, pure moments of abstract hip-hop sorcery, passing through a disarticulated Breakcore and crossing powerful trap and UK Drill sounds. This eclectic mix produces an incredibly coherent whole, unfolding throughout the project like an initiatory journey. You are propelled into the middle of a tale for adults, in which the sonic spectres of another era cross paths with the golem of modern times, armed with big Bass 808s and gargantuan synthesizers.
Like characters inhabiting this contrasting universe, Al’Tarba has invited on the album several special guests that the listener will come across throughout the story: reggae singer Lyricson, rappers Mad Squablz and Dooz Kawa, flamenco singer Paloma Pradal, as well as Bianca Casady, half of the iconic group CocoRosie. Al’Tarba also contributes to the narrative, on the punk ballad ‘Little Girl’ and on the intensive ‘Festin’ accompanied by his crew Droogz Brigade – arguably one of the most impressive tracks in their discography to date. Completing the concept, we find three tales imagined by Al’Tarba and put into letters by Charlotte Vinsous and Stick, then told by the actor David Ayala, parentheses in this unusual and timeless sound journey.”


Chad Thomas Carsten: What age did you know creating music was your true calling in life?


Al’Tarba: I started rapping very young, maybe at nine or ten years old. But it was more like a child’s game you know?! Then I got into punk rock and hardcore, and then finally got back to hip-hop making beats.


CTC: What was life like growing up in France?


Al’Tarba: I love my Town! Toulouse in the south of France. The city area I grew up in was really mixed, with all kinds of social backgrounds.



CTC: Which five hip-hop records would you say influenced you the most and how so?


Al’Tarba: I’d say Necro – ‘Brutality Part One, Cypress hill ‘Temple of Boom’ and Shabazz the Disciple – ‘Book Of Shabazz’! That’s for the rugged flows and beats and the dark atmosphere. I am – ‘L’ecole du Micro D’argen’t and Lunatic – ‘Mauvais Oeil’ for the French-rap classics!


CTC: Can you remember the first track you produced for and how that track influenced you to become a better producer?


Al’Tarba: I think it was a Droogz Brigade (my own rap band) track. it’s on the ‘Terreur de Jeunesse’ mixtape. It motivated me to get a better sound mixing and making my drums punch a lot more!



CTC: Which three producers across the underground do you feel still inspire you to keep producing music after all these years?


Al’Tarba: I don’t know if we can call them underground, but I still listen to Alchemist, Necro, and DJ Muggs work a lot, even if my own work has been more inspired by producers like Amon Tobin, recently!


CTC: Some of the underground still rave about your production behind the Judge Cryptic single “House by the Cemetery”. How did you and Judge Cryptic first cross paths and where did the main sample for “House by the Cemetery” come about in the first place?


Al’Tarba: I think we connected through Myspace. Back in these days myspace was huge to make connections! For the samples its been so many years I just can’t remember and I changed my computer since then so its is lost forever. But I’m pretty sure there’s at least five different samples in this. The brass ensemble, the bass the theremin sound, the violins, and the choirs!


CTC: How do you truly feel about new age hip-hop artists becoming full on bands and upcoming rock/metal bands mixing hip-hop again like it were the late 1980’s/1990’s?


Al’Tarba: I’m a big fan of Rage Against The Machine, but never was a big fan of nu-metal. I think the best song for me, mixing hardcore/metal and rap, is Kickback “Ruining the Show” featuring Profecy.


Your latest solo record is ‘La Fin Des Contes’. Can we dive into how this record challenged you differently in regards to your past material?


Al’Tarba: Each of my albums tells a different story, I see ’em like different movies taking place in different worlds I’d imagine. This one is all about fairy and dark tales and the way they can mess up with our minds.


CTC: What specific personal life moments may have inspired the creation of ‘La Fin Des Contes’?


Al’Tarba: This one was a lot inspired by childhood memories, joys and fears, laughter and tears, all mixed in one album. I tried to express the way tales can be a fairy and nightmare at once, so inside the records you have a track for each feeling you can experience at childhood when you hear these kind of stories!


CTC: Which track from ‘La Fin Des Contes’ would you say are you the most excited for fans to hear for the very first time? Why?


Al’Tarba: “Hush Little Bay” because its a style of beat I never made before. Between lo-fi  and reggae. And also because I’m very proud to have Bianca Casady of CocoRosie on it!
Also “Back to the Ghostland” because it has a very original structure. Going from dark ambient music to strong abstract hip-hop, then flamenco, then breakcore!


CTC: How satisfied are you with the final outcome of what fully became ‘La Fin Des Ces’?


Al’Tarba: I can say it may be one of my best, if not my best, records, from mixing to quality of tracks.


CTC: Which recording artists would you love to appear on your own production in the near future?


Al’Tarba: Maybe I’ll have more tracks with CocoRosie, who knows.


CTC: Where do you see yourself as a producer in the next decade?

Al’Tarba: I’ll always try to improve my music and explore different styles and hydronation, so I can’t tell you what my next solo effort will sounds like. And as we speak I’m finishing my next album in collaboration with another beatmaker, Senbei. It’ll be called ‘Rogues Monsters 2’: Origins. Be prepared for a lot of surprises inside! Big up!!



Interviewer: Chad Thomas Carsten



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