Thee Hyphen

One of the more refreshing electronic pop albums that came out recently, was Consolidated Green by the French project Thee Hyphen. Reviewer Ikecht was quite charmed by this album and decided to find out more about Thee Hyphen. He asked its creator, Member U-0176, for some background information about this project and his label BoredomProduct.

First of all, as most of our readers won’t know Thee Hyphen, can you introduce yourself?

Member U-0176 Thee Hyphen exist for several years now, recorded some demo cd-r’s, and appeared on some compilations. I stopped my solo activity as Thee Hyphen when I created Celluloide with Darkleti and Patryck Holdwem in 2001.


You work under the name Member U-0176, does this have a special meaning?

Well, yes and no. I don’t want to reveal what it is actually, but I like to use this name because it is very ‘electro-cliché’. It sounds robotic or military, but what is funny about it, is that it has nothing to do with these kind of things…

Consolidated Green seems to be received very well, both in France and internationally. How does this effect you?

To be honest, it was strangely received in France… the album reached n°3 in the FAC, but there were only 2 or 3 reviews and very few interviews. I think that the mix of melodic pop and cold electronics was a bit surprising, especially because it is not specifically dancefloor oriented, though it has some EBM influences. So the album is going into different unexplored directions at the same time, and, for France, this is maybe too much undefinable or ambiguous. Outside France, the album continues to have good feedbacks, which is great of course!

Might this also mean you will spend more time on Thee Hyphen and less on Celluloide for some time?

No. For the moment, I don’t have any idea if I will work again on new tracks for Thee Hyphen. Celluloide became my main project and I’m happy like that. The songs of Consolidated Green were written parallel of Celluloide, and I thought the songs were interesting and I didn’t want them to be lost… But I don’t plan anything about Thee Hyphen. I have some ideas of new directions I want to take, I also want to re-record some old tracks, but I don’t know if I will ever have the time to do so.

The music of Thee Hyphen is not easy to describe, as you blend so many different styles into one of your own. When trying to describe it I get stuck at retro-synthpop nostalgia in a modern coating. Can you agree with this and how would you describe your music yourself?

Well, I like many different styles in electronic music, I like many different bands and I have influences from Clock DVA, Lassigue Bendhaus, Depeche Mode, Autechre, Kraftwerk, Eyeless In Gaza, Klinik, Tangerine Dream, Front 242, OMD, Covenant, Orange Sector, Nitzer Ebb, DeVision, Fad Gadget… I could tell you an unlimited list of names and they all leave a mark on my influences. So yes, it mixes modern and

retro, analog and digital, melodies and mechanical electronics. Usually I think that ‘intelligent electropop’ is a good word to sum up all of this.

What are your lyrics about?

About everything that surrounds me. I talk about politics, society, emotions, television, everything that affect me at a moment. But I don’t want to deliver a message, just express my opinion, that’s why lyrics are not always clear at first.

Though there are always keys inside the text or the music to understand what it is about, if the listener wants to know.

Consolidated Green is released by BoredomProduct, a quite new French label. It’s a label that already surprised with some good releases, what can you tell us about this label?

The label aims to give a chance to French electronic pop artists. In France, though things are starting to change, it is very difficult to play electronic pop music, this is not considered as ‘serious’ by the underground scene and not ‘dance’ or pop enough for the mainstream. I’m pretty sure that Thee Hyphen would never have released an album without BOREDOMproduct, this is too ambiguous and risky.

What can we exect from you in the near future? New work, or a chance to see you live in The Netherlands sometime soon maybe?

As I told you, I don’t plan anything about Thee Hyphen… I didn’t want the songs to get lost, that’s all. If I have some proposal to play live I’ll probably accept, but I didn’t look for opportunities to play live actually.

Finally, can you tip us on some new music from the French electro-scene the readers should listen to?

I’ll advice you to listen to all the stuff from my label of course, and especially to look out for the next release: Dekad, a band from Paris. I did the mixing for their album SinLab, and I like their tracks very much. Also a very interesting album is the debut CD by Komplex. I don’t know if it’s still available, and it’s maybe hermetic for non-French speaking people, but it is a really great album.