It wasn’t that long ago that when you’d ask French electronic musician Chloé Herry, aka CloZee, to describe her music, she’d say “glitch-hop,” referring to a mashing together of hip-hop and glitch music. Those days are passed, as is immediately obvious upon listening to her EP Harmony, released earlier this year. Glitch and hip-hop barely register. In their place is a blend of bass and world music, simultaneously spiritual, hypnotic and cutting edge.
“It’s becoming very hard to define the music of an artist in only one genre now. Mine oscillates between trip-hop, tribal trap, dubstep, future bass, and downtempo,” Herry says. “So when people are asking me, I just call it ‘world bass.’”
Her current interest in finding the lines where bass and world music overlap is a much more natural space for her. Herry’s first instrument was the guitar, which she picked up at age 11. As a kid, she would listen to music from all over the world. Her tracks are about 50/50 in terms of computers and live instrumentation, but it’s hard to determine where one ends and the other begins.
“I couldn’t stop listening to flamenco, gypsy jazz, so I started to play the guitar,” Herry says of her childhood. “World music is the kind of music that makes me vibrate the most. When I listen to it, I’m transported.”
Years later, she developed the same fervor for electronic music, and would go down YouTube rabbit holes of artists she discovered, like Bonobo, Amon Tobin and Eskmo. These artists weren’t the standard EDM big house producers that pressed play on their laptops. They used an array of instruments, and created dynamics within the electronic space. (“Real instruments are what makes the music more vibrant and colorful.”)
She recorded her Harmony EP after coming home from her summer 2016 tour, during which she played festivals in multiple countries, including Japan. Herry has always gotten inspiration for her music from a multitude of sources. Her 2015 record Revolution was inspired by a dream, and her song “Collapsed Purity” by a dancer named Mansour.
The festival vibe spoke to her on Harmony, especially the diversity of music. She wanted to create a “harmonious musical story with all kinds of sounds and elements.” She also drew from the sounds of nature. In some cases, she inserted ambient sounds from the natural world into the songs. “It gives the listener an atmosphere and an idea of where I want them to travel through: next to a river, on the beach, in a forest,” Herry says.
The festivals were particularly inspiring for her because in France, she felt like she didn’t have room to fit on. The festival scene is huge, but focuses on trance and techno music, and books mostly famous names, not emerging artists.
In the U.S., there’s a lot more interest in bass music, as well as an open-mindedness to experimental artists that whip our guitars and violins alongside their bass-thumping laptops. However, unlike when she plays locally, and is able to bring instruments and other musicians along to add live instrumentation, for this coming U.S. tour she’ll be only bringing her computer.
“I don’t have enough hands to carry everything, so I’m only with the machines,” she says. “I’d like to bring more soon though.”
Herry has already had the opportunity to collaborate with a bunch of different artists. There’s one artist, Scarfinger, also from France, with whom she has an ongoing project called CloZinger. He’s an MPC (Music Production Controller) master and brings an element of hip-hop and electro-soul to the music. Folks in the U.S. could get a glimpse of this project very soon.
“We will be working on that project when I’m back in France with the idea to bring a live show in America. It’s very exciting.”
INFO: 8:30 p.m., Aug. 9, Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way. Santa Cruz. $15/adv, $20/door. 479-1854.