“From talc to diamond” – Interview with mohs.

mohs. is a jazz quartet formed in 2017 by Zacharie Ksyk (trumpet), Erwan Valazza (guitar), Gaspard Colin (electric bass) and Nathan Vandenbulcke (drums). mohs. compose music that moves in contemporary jazz, incorporating influences from Hip hop and electronics – they play on March 20 at Studio Foce.
14 March 2023
by Silvia Onorato
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You are four musicians with independent careers. How did you meet? How did you decide to play together?
We met at the Haute École de Musique in Lausanne. At the origin of mohs. there is the desire of trumpeter Zacharie Ksyk and guitarist Erwan Valazza to create their own musical universe. To do so, they included the talented Gaspard Colin on bass, and Nathan Vandenbulcke on drums. What we play is a mixture of contemporary jazz, electronica and improvised music with influences of folk and repeated minimalism.

Minerals and dreams: how do they relate to mohs.?
The name of the group is inspired by the Mohs scale, which classifies the hardness of minerals. Our music, between writing and improvisation, is as if it ranges from talc to diamond: it draws inspiration from the living and contemplates the forces that surround us, through haunting textures and organic melodies. We like to think that our sound invites you to dream.

Cited as influences Hip hop and minimalism. How do they condense in your music?
Hip hop and the minimalism of electronic music is something we grew up and evolved with; their influences are present both consciously and unconsciously. The search for a phrasing that navigates between the binary and the ternary can be recognized in the drum grooves; minimalism and repetition are present in the use of synthesizers and pedal effects.

What role does improvisation play in your music?
There are different forms of improvisation in our music. One can find, as in traditional jazz, solo trumpet or guitar parts. But our writing leaves room for improvisation in interpretation: despite a predefined structure, a piece will never be played exactly the same way in one concert or another.

What are your next projects?
Our new album, “Mirage”, will be released on March 31st and will be available on all platforms, on CD and on vinyl. We will be releasing several music videos in the coming months. This album is the beginning of new collaborations – such as the track “Heartbreaker” with Fang the Great. The band is thinking of other guests for the future.

mohs. play at Studio Foce on 20.03 at 21:00.
More information: foce.ch

Translation performed

with Google Translate.

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