Though he's better know as Akufen, Marc Leclair just released a new LP with his Horror Inc. project. Briefly Eternal, which is out now on Germany's Perlon label, finds him embracing not only electronics but funk and soul as well. But to hear Akufen tell it, those latter genres are where his heart has always been.
"I grew up with a lot of jazz, funk and soul music. For me, Afro-American music has been the most influential in my work," he tells Exclaim! during the recent Sound In Motion festival in Toronto. "Horror Inc. has a certain level of funk in it. It's introspective music, more melancholic but the funk is always there."
The new album also finds him not just creating music on the laptop, but using real world instruments. "I recorded myself playing the guitar, the keyboards, the bass. The strings I recorded are virtual. The result is okay but not as good as having a real string section."
He goes on to describe the next phase of the project: "I would love to bring it all on stage, with other musicians and visuals. I'm very influenced by film, too, so having that element in the live shows is essential."
While Leclair has no timeline as to when the Horror Inc. ensemble will make its debut, he says it will happen at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, the musician sounded off on the humourless state of electronic music. "[Producers] are too self-centred in the scene. They're all business men. It's so intellectualized. They need to take their noses out of their butts," he says.
Leclair's last release as Akufen, 2012's Battlestar Galacticlown showed blatantly where he stands on this issue.
"All my friends are clowns," he says. "There's a special type of humour in Quebec. It's very absurd and very refined. We love to play with words. It's like the surrealists. It's very spontaneous humour. We are able to laugh at ourselves. That definitely needs to happen more in electronic music."
The talk of humour in surrealist art led him to think about his own work as Akufen and how imagery is so important to the way he creates.
"Visual art had a big impact on my work. Akufen is very influenced by art. Visual memories. Lucid dreams. Again, it comes from the surrealists and [Marcel] Duchamp's Readymades. The Montreal Automatists. [Painter] Jean-Paul Riopelle and such."
Further sounding off on the electronic music scene, Leclair adds: "The music has become too sectarian. People tend to listen to only techno, or only house music. It's rare that I find anyone in the scene embracing music as a whole. Whatever music is good is good. That's my bottom line."