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Pascal Asselin, (Millimetrik, Chat Blanc, Below The Sea, Le Chat Blanc Orchestra)


ImageLack of time - and every sensible person of today must be aware of that - is one of the curses of full-on modern living. Huh, it is such a shame and pity, because the many, many worlds in the minds and imagination of some artists stay un-discovered ! Fortunately, some of them find one way or maybe another to appear before our eyes and ears, and some became parts of our life.


Multitasking is one of Pascal Asselin's middle name. This Canadian artist from Quebec City is an integral part of instrumental combo Below The Sea, one half of beautiful floating Le Chat Blanc Orchestra, and works under the moniker MILLIMETRIK, but also makes it his mission to provide shelter for music, which he states " that we thought was good enough to not let it on some abandoned laptops or 8 tracks".


"WE" is in fact Pascal (in the role of musical director) together with Geneviève Garneau (artistic director) and together they formed CHAT BLANC records. The catalogue of this open-hearted label is very, very nice and there are such dramatic and thrilling acts like Port Royal, Televise, Staefren Hakon, Thisquietarmy, Electroluminescent...


ImageMileta Okiljevic (Plastelin): Pascal, when exactly was CHAT BLANC founded?
Pascal Asselin: Chat blanc was founded in fall 2004, which is the date of our first release.


What was the initial idea?
- The idea is to put out music we like that wouldn't have been out in other ways as the composers where too shy to try to find a label or whatever reason.our releases are mostly from friends. We also wanted our cds to be a piece of art and a collectible object same time as a disc of music. That's why we have limited runs too, as its fun and becomes rare.


How are the duties between Genevieve and you shared?
- It was quite simple.we are a couple in life and Gen is not that much into music. So we knew right at first that she would be in charge of the packaging. I'm in charge of the rest. We first put 50-50 of all the money and it took 11 releases to break even.


What is the main criteria for both of you to "sign" or just release bands or artists?
- Like I said, since its mostly friends, its easier. I never need to 'look' for the next release, I always have stuff waiting to be release. But the main line is to keep it around ambient music. Even its a friend I don't think I would release metal or world music. Chat blanc is more in the ambient-electro-hip-hop-post-rock area.


ImageHow and when was your Millimetrik started?
- Millimetrik started in 2001, slowly experimenting with tape decks and a sampler. Then came the computer in 2003. The main idea was to write and compose ambient base songs working the way hip-hop DJs worked, with samples. I was also very inspired at that point by Biosphere, Stars of the lid, and Boards of Canada. Now, 4 albums later, the sound evolved to a more straight forward instrumental hip-hop, with touches of shoe gazing and ambient.


Did you have any musical experiences before it?
- Well yes, right before doing electronic music, I'm a drummer. So I'm involved in bands since 1998, mostly in the indie-rock and post-rock scene. I'm a part of post-rock outfit Below the Sea, who haves several releases and tour a little.


What are your plans for the future in both ways? I mean, as artist and a guy who runs the musical direction for the label?
- My plans are just to continue release and compose music, and always keep the focus on it. Chat blanc will always remains a side thing, maybe with fewer releases. Millimetrik will continue as well as my life as a drummer, as I'm planning to start some new projects in bands.


What is the biggest inspiration for your music - artistically and from things from everyone life?
- I'm influenced from both daily things and weather, also cinema a lot. Kieslowski and stuff like that inspired me a lot. Last year I wrote 2 songs after seeing the movie 'the lives of others'.


ImageAre there any name(s), artist(s), you'd be glad to appear on yr. label?
- Of course! I love lots of artists that it would be cool to have releases from. Deer hunter or atlas sound, Stars of the lid or Dead Texan, Auburn Lull, Sixtoo or even Battles!


What is your opinion of today's scene in Canada - Montreal have constellation, alien 8... Is there a sense of community or do people work separately..?
- People unfortunately worked mostly separately... and there is this unwanted wall between the French people and English people in Montréal, that often separate the music scene. But threes exception in some bands!


Author: Mileta Okiljevic