An iron hand in a velvet glove

Choreographies of Ukrainian tanks have inspired Thylacine his new track « War Dance ». An engaging and powerful electronic music with a strong, even disturbing clip. Interview.

By Lisa Moumni-Barbault

Inspired and inspiring, Thylacine, 26 years old, was first saxophonist in several groups. But the young Angevin was revealed thanks to electronic music and his album Transsiberian (2015) composed during a crossing of Russia by train. He offers a melodious and intense electro music supported by strong images. He tells us about his last clip « War Dance »…

“A choreography with a tank, the epitome of an absurd estheticization of war.”

Why did you choose Cyprien Clément-Delmas to make the video of « War Dance » ?
I already had the opportunity to work with him on the music video of « Mountains ». I was really satisfied with the result and with our collaboration. At that time, I wanted to move away from fiction and I found it more interesting to go for real unknown with substance. It is a desire that has never left me since.

How did the idea of the clip came to you ? You had it together ?
We reversed the roles for « War Dance ». It’s Cyprien who came to me telling that he had discover, while one of his scoutings for a feature film, that soldiers were doing choreographies with tanks in Ukraine. I told him I loved the idea but it wasn’t the right time for me. The album Transsiberian was released since a while and I did not had music track planned. Yet the idea inspired me and I came back to him a few weeks later with « War Dance » that I composed especially for this project.

« War Dance » mixes two opposite worlds through a choreography where liberty and the esthetic of dance collide with the sclerosing and morbid aspect of war. What message are you trying to convey ?
The idea was to bring to the fore those who aesthetize war while including them in their much harder and ugly reality. Make a choreography with a char, a brutal object not easy to control, was for use the ultimate absurd aestheticization of war. The dance in wheelchair is for me a kind of answer to that duality.

According to you how are music and image related to each other ?
This project illustrates the importance that image has for me. It’s the image, or rather the image’s project that inspired me. I like when this two medias mix and feed with each other. I do not see Thylacine as a purely musical proposal. It’s a creative ground where image holds a fundamental place, as for a clip, during a show and in every visual variations of a music track.