Well after seminal indie kosmische act Stereolab dissipated and its members parted ways, long-term keyboard player Morgane Lhote started releasing music on her own as Hologram Teen. This electronic motorik disco project has produced several 7″ and an EP. Her debut album Between The Funk and The Fear was released at the end of 2017 on vinyl and digitally this year. Morgane lives in Los Angeles.
How did you decide on the name Hologram Teen?
I actually just put my first and last names in an anagram generator online and Hologram Teen jumped at me, it was so perfect. And it does sound better than Gloom Teheran or Hooter Legman, don’t you think?
When did you decide that it was time to release a proper album?
My producer Rich Bennett contacted Dom Martin from Polytechnic Youth in London and Dom said he would love to put out a 7″ on his other label Deep Distance in 2015. That was the ‘Post-Apocalypteacakes’ single. It felt so rewarding to have someone really like your music and put out their own money to release it on a cool label. It was a huge confidence boost. I can’t remember if Dom or I mentioned releasing a LP, but we agreed on it and I spent all of 2016 and 2017 working on it. That turned out to be ‘Between the Funk and the Fear’.
What do you love about living in Los Angeles?
That’s easy: the warm weather! No offense, but I lived in England for 12 years and the weather got to me after a while.
Your lifestyle in five words?
I wish I could make this sound glamorous but I work too much. Apart from music (my third job), I also work for Netflix and PlayStation. So the five words would be: Coffee/Work/Music/Movies/Betting on sports. I love watching sports and I’m pretty decent at predictions so why not make a few extra bob from it? On a side note: Allez les Bleus!
Do you have a technique for recording your song ideas?
Most of my music collection is digital nowadays and I create playlists for parts I like in songs I listen to. So there’s like a “drums” or a “brass” list and so on. I take that one part I like as a building block and write something new around it. I have a backlog of hundreds of songs to comb through so I better get cracking!
What inspires you?
Music, coffee, the creative process, visual art (graphic design and comics), and kindness.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of a perfectionist are you?
8? When I work on a song I can go over it a hundred time in a day to make sure it sounds good but you also have to avoid analysis paralysis or you would never put anything out there!
What’s your motto / life philosophy?
Be kind and friendly to others, laugh a lot, be open and don’t judge, stay optimistic even when times are dark, listen to a lot of music, and most importantly have fun!
How do you feel is the LA music scene different to NY and London?
Things are way more spread out here so you need to travel more to get to the venues, and there is maybe a little less going on than in NY or London. But that said, LA does have a vibrant music scene, it’s really big on electronic music and bands or musicians here tend to be a little more quirky and trippy.
What spells adventure for you?
Road Trips or going on vacation with friends. Friends from NYC were visiting two years ago in December and we took a day trip for my birthday to see the Cabazon Dinosaurs. It’s hard to believe but it’s this museum/roadside attraction that features life-sized dinosaurs made of steel and concrete. You can even go inside of one and climb up to the top.
What in this world breaks your heart?
Our current administration, racism, sexism, homophobia, and children and old people in distress.
Are you more or a rule breaker or rule follower?
I’m equally as rigid as I am rebellious. I loathe authority and people telling me what to do but I do also need a lot of boundaries and rules in order to feel safe.
Where are your top three record shops in LA?
First would be Gimme Gimme Records in Highland Park (east LA), run by Dan Cook and Joe Gaer. It used to be based in NYC for 18 years but Dan relocated to LA and has been offering a great selection of vinyl records at a very reasonable price ever since. I had the release party for “Between the Funk and the Fear” there. Vacation Vinyl round the corner from me in East Hollywood is also very fun, it has a more of a darker, heavy-metal vibe and is run by the ever friendly Mark Thompson. They also sell a lot of cassettes. Lastly, I’d have to pick Amoeba Music in Hollywood on Sunset blvd. It is to be seen if you’re in LA and it’s got a huge selection of vinyl, video & CDs.
What song(s) are you currently playing non-stop?
At the moment, I’m really into “Automatic Dub” by Wolfram, “Loving You” by Jonathan Wilson, “Feel Good (feat. Khruangbin)” by Maribou State, “Blurred (Bonobo Remix) by Kiasmos, “The Noisy Days Are Over” by Field Music, and since we’ve had a pretty intense heatwave in LA recently: “Hot Fun in the Summertime” by Sly & the Family Stone.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2018?
A few remixes, I’ve already done one for C.A.R. on Ransom Note Records in London earlier this year. I’m also currently working on my second LP, which probably won’t come out until next year but most of the songwriting will be done durimg 2018. This is going to be a much more light-hearted, dance-oriented affair and also very influenced by African music at large. Also, thanks for a super fun interview!