(INTRO BY EMILY SLUPECKA / PHOTOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEW BY MONA CORDES)
London is a place where you easily can become obsessed with music and end up either going to the shows every single night in Dalston or start your band.
VOGUE NOIR is a very new project of Dominique Cologne. Former SATO SATO Dominique wanted to keep the machine based approach to writing his music mostly inspired by the synth music scene in the 80s. Dominique is breaking all the boundaries with his creativity and is not afraid to mix elements of Italo Disco, Minimal Synth or Synthpop.
Cologne released his EP in early July this year, featuring songs like full of darkness ” Crush.” VOGUE NOIR is full of melancholic and reflective sounds with the high increase of energy to dance.
What was the first tune you learned and on what instrument?
It was Nirvana, Smell Like Teen Spirit, on guitar. It was the coolest chord change I knew and relatively simple one to learn, still took me few weeks to do it properly.
What are your all time inspirations, most recent ones? Where do you get those from f.e from attending to gigs, reading lyrics, listening to tapes?records?
I don’t really have new musical inspirations, but there have been plenty of semi-recent stuff I’ve been listening/following, like Soft Metal, Xeno & Oaklander, TR/ST, Led Er Est, Black Marble are the ones on top of my head now.
My production is inspired by 80s synth-based music, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, DAF, Philippe Laurent … some Italo Disco for sure and I often draw concepts for songs and lyrics from movies or books, can be anything that catches my imagination..I m watching a lot of Space Documentaries recently.
As a pretty new solo artist, how does it feel having a very self-oriented project going that is only nearly a year old?
It feels good to have achieved this. Honestly, when I released my first single, I couldn’t see how I would have been able to do it all by myself. I mean to write it and then perform it on stage. But it fell all nicely into place, and it does feel like it’s the most natural and functional course for the project. I also to collaborate with different artists and that’s a break from the solo mode. I’m keen to keep developing as a musician, and that is my aim.
How many and what music projects have you been involved in yet in life and can you see a musical journey? How would you describe it in short words?
90s Punk and Grunge was what started me. My first two bands were a sort of reproduction of our musical heroes at the time. Then it was more Indie based when I moved here( London) in our band we had keyboards and synths. And I remember having a Gary Numan moment; I realized how easy was to press a key on a synth and get a massive sound out of it. I slowly got into more and more electronic based music, also a lot of synth punk from the 70/80s.The last project I was into (Sato Sato) was a bit like that, New Order kind of thing combined with more abrasive elements. EBM also. Vogue Noir is nearly all electronic based. I went back playing my guitar a bit, it was the direction maybe Sato Sato was taking, and it felt like the most natural path for me to take.
When did your heart fully blush for music and how comes, when did you decide to start making music?
It heard Green Day Dookie first track for me; music took a whole different meaning, it acquired more and more depth as I got more into its entirety. But while listening to it I felt like I wanted to be part of it, I wanted to be able to play those sounds, those guitar riffs, the idea felt pretty good. Deciding to create my music is like an impulse, it’s an intimate process with yourself, it’s a choice that I made because I wanted to give voice to that desire and see what I could do with it.
In our digital age/generation how do you feel having the internet, connection worldwide – is it helping you in getting your music out to the people?
It’s definitively making it easier for an artist to be out there online, and it is working for me because I have a platform available anywhere. There are countless blogs and webzines dedicated to artists/music, and also the platform for labels to develop. I think in this sense, we are lucky to have the opportunity to record music and publish it without having to find someone that does it for us.
What would you change within that topic – what is good, what is bad?
Its good to have the means to connect with people easily; I don’t see any bad side to it.
Culture seems a bit diluted now, it’s harder to find something with ‘soul’ in it, and I think technology is taking over our lives for sure.
Is that mostly listening online, not paying for songs affecting a lot of musicians you think?
The music industry already shifted from selling records, to Merch and gigs.I heard that music service like Spotify gives little to artists, so perhaps it would not make that much difference. I think about the good sides about this, because if some of your songs are on youtube, it’s easier that someone will check it out, maybe buy the record in the future, or come to the show.. But it’s also hard to make a living out of music, but hasn’t it always been like that?