The quartet of Mickael Karkousse, Dave Martijn, Tom Coghe, and Bert Libeert together are the Belgian electronica outfit GOOSE. Now a decade in the business churning out albums, singles and working with huge names like Fatboy Slim, Digitalism and Hot Chip, it’s safe to say they are a mainstay of their respective genre. Since their telling debut a further two albums followed with the third four years ago. With that slightly long gap, the eminent release of their fourth album, What You Need has been eagerly anticipated.
The first single from said album is the slightly ambient, electronica sounds of the title track which draws you in, grabs you by the hand and leads you into a sumptuous number that builds in intensity. It has that Daft Punk sound in truth but it is most definitely a GOOSE production as Mickael’s vocal punctuates the number.
So with that #itchysilk got to talk with one quarter of the band Mickael Karkousse, about fashion (you will understand why) , Stanley Kubrick and everything GOOSE.
Great new single but before getting onto that-in brief chart your musical journey to this current point.
We released our first album Bring It On (2006).We toured for quite a bit surfing on the New Rave wave together with MSTKRFT, Digitalism, Hot Chip, Klaxons, Soulwax, Justice. In short: one big party that lasted 2 years. In 2010 we realized we needed to release an album Synrise (2010) in other words to keep on doing what we like best: play live. We had the honor to work with Storm Thorgerson, most famous for the Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) album cover. Control Control Control (2012) was the first album we didn’t self produce. We got help from Noel Gallagher’s buddy Paul Stacey and rock legend Dave Sardy. The following years we designed a multimedia installation DeReConstruction, wrote film scores, remixed Daft Punk’s Son of Flynn which got rejected by Disney, but hyped by Pedro Winter (Ed Banger Records). This year we finished our fourth album What You Need and it feels like it’s our first one all over again.
For those that do not know what is the Belgian music scene and how well is it translating to other markets like the UK and US?
The Belgian music scene seems to have shifted from a cool indie scene to a cool indie scene that sees to influence a lot of artists. Soulwax/2manyDj’s, Stromae, Oscar and the Wolf-all very different from each other and that sums up the strength of the Belgian scene. It’s not one sound, it’s a state of mind.
Breakdown your discography what tracks, albums or ep really made you know ‘we can make a career out of something we love’.
Audience and Black Gloves were the first songs that got picked up international, by both club promoters and synch agencies. It made you want to dance all night. When we play the song Synrise during concerts you feel the energy of the crowd. It’s not about us playing it, it becomes something spiritual in a way and that is what music is supposed to do.
Please explain your connection with fashion indeed fashion and music has a great synergy.
We love minimalistic, well cut, well designed classic pieces. People who make that kind of fashion, can sort of relate to our music. Again, it’s about emotions. We try not to overthink stuff like that too much. Best collaborations have to overcome you. Like one day I received an email from Raf Simons atelier asking if I wanted to have dinner with Raf Simons. Up to this day I can feel the excitement and the stress I felt throughout the evening as I sat there in front of one of my biggest inspirations.
Your new single and title track explain a bit about it, themes, concepts and indeed why you chose this to spearhead the campaign for your forth coming album.
It sums up the vibe of this album. It’s melodic, adventurous, rough, and mostly it has a positive vibe. It says: Hi we are GOOSE, come sit with us, we’ll have a good time the next 45 minutes.
And the album with personnel on board like Falkner et al explain the Genesis of the album and the processes and challenges in putting it together-I know you were in LA.
We have been great fans of Jason since his work with Air on the 10000hertz Legend (2001) album. Through a mutual friend we started to talk about working on music together. Him living in LA was a plus to us. We needed to escape from Belgium/Europe. We felt the need for both isolation and new worlds. By changing setting we created a whole new spectrum for GOOSE. The nature, the sea, the city is widely represented in this album. Also the filmic aspect of our music has always been a big part of our work, but this time it seems like everything fell in place. The soundtrack kind of moods, the storytelling, the production.
Let’s talk cinematography-Stanley Kubrick, Larry Smith-great video.
During the album proces we started to imagine who the visual representation would be. We realized we didn’t want to make another video with ‘a’ director for the sake of uploading another video on youtube. We saw the opportunity to create something wider for this album. We wanted to invite the viewers into our world, our album. We discussed this idea with our dear friend Director/photographer Willy Vanderperre. He completely understood where we were heading with this new direction in music and image, so he started to write a scenario. The video that we had in mind as a reference was All I Need (1998) by Air. Especially how the music and dialogue work together inspired us. Not by coincidence our favorite video for both of us. Later he introduced Larry Smith to the project . His sense of working with light and color really made this video complete.
Break down a bit of the promotional campaign for the album-remixes, reworks.
We are not the biggest fans of remixes. We love them when they are great, but most of the time they exist only for promotional reasons. So for What You Need we asked producers who we know deliver good work because they are passionate about what they do: Digitalism and Mumbai Science. The other 2 remixes on the ep are by fans who won a remix contest hosted by Belgian’s radio station Studio Brussel.
Last time you had a music conversation which affected your musical processes.
In the studio the other day. Listening to each others demo’s work very inspiring because although we are very much ‘one’ when it comes to GOOSE we still have our own influences and ideas for the future. These are moments to church when you feel like you don’t need any more outside triggers to create something new. Just the 4 of you in a small room.
Is there anything you want to say that may not have been covered?
We are dying to go back on tour, especially to places where we can escape from the winter in Europe. Call us. Thank you, M,T,B&D.