Labtonic is a music styling team that works with fashion, design and entertainment companies. Co-founded in 2002 by businessman Nima Abbasi and DJ Laurent Vacher, Labtonic has worked with high profile clients such as Karl Lagerfeld, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Issey Miyake and Fendi.
As ‘music stylists’ Abbasi (left) and Vacher (right) realized that the sound for runway shows and publicity events had to go beyond a typical DJ playlists to really support a designer’s unique aesthetic.
DJ Vacher layers different pieces of music together with vocal samples and sounds from unexpected sources including rare international tracks, cultivating a multi-sensory experience.
The Y&Kei Show, Fall 2008.
Metallic Falcons "4 hearts"Encre "Flux""Beautiful Boys"Skatebard "1000 years of loneliness""I love you""Many Lives"
The BCBG fashion show at Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, Fall 2008.
All from The Pierces new album "13 Tales of Love and Revenge"– Boring– Boy in a Rock and Roll Band– Kill! Kill! Kill!– Lights On– finale: Boring
QUESTIONS FOR DJ LAURENT VACHER
Q: Describe the artistic process of creating custom music for a fashion event.
A: Everything is initially communicated through a meeting with the designer. Their description of what they want is usually abstract, such as "Indian rappers in pyjamas,” Galactic train," or "White wall".
One year a designer gave me a kaleidoscope and said "this is the collection." That was the end of the meeting!
I am either inspired by the collection or the designer’s personality. The soundscape should always tell a story, but never be too literal or obvious. Music is an accessory, and should be used to build just enough emotion without distracting from the most important thing, which is the collection.
Q: What are some of your favorite projects and why?
A: My favorite is the silent show we did for Duckie Brown this season, because I had to build an extreme feeling of tension with a 15 minutes mix, right before the show started.
It was a very interesting process to build a crescendo, touching the border of where the music became noise. The result was that the attendees began to anticipate the aftermath of silence at just the right moment. I also loved creating the soundtrack for the launch of the Louis Vuitton / Takashi Murakami collection, because the mix was full of details related to childhood, with a pinch of Japanese references that probably nobody noticed. For example, a baby spelling L-O-U-I-S V-U-I-T-T-O-N, the sound of the ice cream truck, an English-Japanese tape lesson. It was very playful.
Q: Tell me about the customized playlists you are creating for designer’s personal music collections?
A: You are a DJ for two reasons: first you love music, and secondly, you love to share it. So for busy music lovers who don’t have the time to research tracks, including fashion designers, we started to extend the concept of music styling from the fashion show to their life.
Technically, this is a matter of opening some iTunes-type accounts for them and filling up their iPods. The most interesting part of it is the process of getting to know the people, to understand what they like and to open some new doors for them musically. It is almost like building a friendship.
Photos and video courtesy of Labtonic.