Interview for side-line just after the release of horseback-riding through bassfields.

I have to get this out of the way first: why “Horseback-Riding through Bassfields” and what exactly does it mean?

I guess we got this one coming. The thing is that we actually went horseback riding through bassfields. The story is this. Katelijne is the girlfriend of Nicolas, the live member of implant and the guy behind empusae, and she had to watch 2 horses of people she know while they were on a holiday. My wife and katelijne both did horseback riding when they were young. So katelijne asked us if we wanted to go with her for the daily walk she promised the people she was going to give the horses. She the 4 of us drove to this place. In the car we played this little game, to translate typical Belgian small village names in English. For instance ketelijne is from ‘berevelde’, and that is ‘shit fields’ in a free translation. And we were driving to bassfields (bassevelde). It never left my mind afterwards, I always liked the sound of this one. So I kept it as the title for the new album.

It seems as though Implant’s songs were becoming more and more club-friendly as time went on. Was this a conscious decision on your part?

I think a lot more room to experiment lies in this club friendly dance music. I guess you could say that planet euphoria is probably the most club-oriented album we did. This one sometimes comes close to mainstream club music, and jenn’s voice is an import factor for this. But the new album is still club friendly, only this time it is more aggressive. It is more edgy. And the slower tracks give the darker feel to the album.
I think dance-music will always be the music of the future, because no matter what you do, young people will want to party and move their but on music. So yes, we do it consciously J

I’ve often had a difficult time describing the Implant sound to those who have never been exposed to it. How would you sum it up if you had to?

Music was never meant to be described! It is meant to listen to. If people don’t know what we sound like, use the net and download some tracks. Hell, everybody complains that people are downloading to much, use it, don’t abuse it. The only people I know that describe music are criticians, most of the time these guys are failed musicians.

I notice that the growling male vox have returned, as well as a certain hardness in the overall sound. Does this new album represent an attempt to “get back to your roots”, so to speak?

A lot of people are talking about us getting back to the roots. But the thing is that this album is the first album I make all on my own. Geert didn’t participate for the music, so there were no compromises to be taken. Geert wants to make discothèque type of trance, I want to make some goa-sounding electro. Up until the previous albums we both had to give in, this time around I could do whatever I wanted. For me this is the first time that we sound as I intended. But this album is not taking back the experience we build up over the years. In ’96 we would never have been able to create an album that comes close to this one. But it’s for sure a darker sounding disk, so maybe from that point of view; it is defiantly closer to the first album then to planet euphoria.

Implant also has a new female guest singer. Could you tell us a bit about Myriam, and how she ended up on the new album?

Myriam is the sister of yo-el, my DJ friend that introduced me to psy-trance. When we were talking about the new album, I asked him if he didn’t know a gigrl that could maybe sing on the album. He told me to talk to his sister, whom I actually knew like 10 years, but to me, she was always yo-el’s sister, that went to England for a couple of years. As it turned out, she actually went there to do dram school, tap dance, jazz ballet, and jazz vocals. She even went to the states with a piano player to play some jazz clubs in new Orleans. On top of that, she was very into this psy trance her brother was spinning all over Belgium. I played her the new album, and asked if we could try some vocals for one track. As it turned out, her voice actually fits my voice, and she has a wide range of possibilities, and she was very open to what we do. All in all, a perfect match.

Are you touring for “Horseback-Riding through the Bassfields?”

Yep, that is the plan. And this time myriam will join us on stage. We still need to figuere out how all this will happen, but we will do some gigs in the near future. If all goes well, even an American tour might be planned in the summer of 2004.

You’ve landed some high-profile remixes lately, like the remix for Suicide Commando. How did this come about?

There is always a little story behind every remix. I know johan for a long time now, and he is a really nice guy. On several gigs, we talked back stage about implant doing a remix for one of his tracks. In the end I knew about his new upcoming EP, and asked if he needed another mix. It was ok for him, but he could only release it if the quality was there. So then you give this your best shot, and as it turned out, Johan liked it so much he featured it on the standard and the limited edition. Anne clark for instance was a complete different story. Bernard from the label knows anne, and asked her if one of his bands could try and do a remix for the planned new 12”. Again, it was after a very positive reaction of anne, that the remix saw the light of day. So with those remixes half the story is having the contacts, but the other half is the music. And the good part about it is that people start to talk about the remixes, and other bands ask for remixes. There are some high profile bands coming up, and that might be interesting to finally no longer have to describe what makes implant sound different. If I invade all the EP/single/albums of high selling bands, people might maybe start noticing us J

The Belgian elektro scene seems pretty tightly knit, with many of its members working together on various collaborations. Are there any fellow Belgian artists you’d like to work with?

The thing is that people are very open for collaborations these days. At least this is how I feel it. For the limited we worked with gin devo and vidna obmana. Dirk evens is definaly somebody I would like to work with, although I guess his 2 projects are kind of far from implant to start doing remix exchanges. Still, I guess giving a dive track the implant treatment might be an interesting mixture J
But my top selection of Belgian artists would be Daniel of front 242. that is where it all started for implant, and that would really be like the snake biting his own tail for me.

What other musicians do you admire?

I’m very open minded when it comes down to music. I love psy-trance and electro. But as a musician you listen to different things in different music. Massive attack is great and incredible in the details of the sound. Junky xl latest dubble cd is almost a revelation to me. Juno reactor is amongst my all time favorites. I still love front 242, yes, even the last album. NIN, orbital, astral projection …etc. anything that is willing to stick out his neck, use a synth and make good music J

Any new releases coming for the old side project (in)ternal? Or new side projects?

No, it is save to say that internal is death and buried.
And yes, I’m working on a side-project. There is no name yet, and there are only 2 tracks finished in a rough mixing. I team up with dj yo-el for this one, and it is full-on psy-trance. It is not at all aimed at this electro scene. but if a release is imminent I will feature it on the implant web-site for the die hard fans.

What about Implant’s future plans?

Early 2004 there will be another ‘horseback riding through bassfields’ – related release. But everything is still hush hush at the moment. And then there is a whole shipload of bands that are taken in the studio-schedule for a remix. Add a few more gigs, and you’ll understand that I’ll have more then my hands full in the upcoming months.