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Prequell: Bio



Like a prelude to creation, like an unfinished electro-symphony, like an anthem heard and remembered in dreams, Prequell is first and foremost a musician's achievement.

The genesis of this musical UFO – a harmonious compound of classically written music and mad electronics was the passion of Thomas Roussel, a very fascinating though secretive man, talented and charming, who cannot be anything but appreciated by every music lover craving the thrill of strong, intimate sensations. After collaborating with prestigious musicians, Thomas Roussel has decided to don the suit of lights of Prequell as if re-writing an overture to his life as an artist.

He has worked with classical orchestras of over 50 musicians, giving life to his compositions in such magical places as churches, theatres – and historical sites when orchestrating and co-composing Jeff Mills' famous « Blue Potential » and « Light from the Outside World » two pieces which keep evolving as they are played around the world.

Approached by Loris Gréaud who asked for his collaboration in his contemporary art project, « Cellar Door », Thomas wrote the music of  the namesake opera and recorded  it with The Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France ; Thomas Roussel also composed a number of original soundtracks for the cinema.

But more than anything else, his creations « live » for the fashion world have  put him in the limelight. Experimenting with the orchestra and a novel way to use it he defied tradition for the benefit of Chanel and more recently of Dior for whom he imagined a state-of-the-art stage design in Paris, deconstructing the orchestra and sitting the musicians in a line. Just as  creatively eccentric was the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra  playing in a circle , on a revolving platform. Inspired by the musical universe  of John Barry, John Williams, Craig Armstrong, and Massive Attack, Prequell is a variegated though non-elitist work.

 It's really the sum total of these past experiences which can account for Prequell's conception of the EP with its remarkable organic subtlety and electronic vigor. One look at the  EP sleeve and its pencil sketch by  the illustration and drawing studio « Violaine et Jeremy » and you will get an idea of the emotional intensity of the project. The analog synthesizers used for the recording (Moog Voyager, Prophet 08, Korg 700) get intertwined, powerfully, sensually, with an entire world of string instuments : sixty of them to be more precise.

Prequell weaves musical and cognitive dissonances into  redeeming  chaos. « Part V » (first piece of the EP) opens the dance and there, we're obviously listening to a masterpiece. Downtempo beats, addictive ostinati, and hypnotic loops are all harmonic weapons setting the tone. The overture's first six seconds are the organic matter that will grow and develop to the beat of a warrior's heart. This very seductive title, already sounding like a prospective classic will soon be playing in people's heads all around the world since it has been chosen to be the sound track of a worldwide advertising campaign by L'Oreal (starring Karlie Kloss and directed by Mathieu Cesar )

« Part IV » is a journey, both interior and musical. It belongs with the air and with the earth, as if beauty must need be born from a perfect balance between strength and gentleness, light and darkness. Prequell divulges his secret incentive : « I'm fascinated by space. When NASA released the frequencies of the planets, I found there an unending  source of inspiration ! The only harmonious sound being that of Planet Earth, it became my inspiration, like some harmonic DNA.

In « Part III », Prequell reinvents the concept of Ostinato, for 7 minutes and 11 seconds. It stretches the process of repetition, lengthens it, distorts it in all directions, as if to show that  the be-all and end-all is not only interpretation but also rhythm and emotion. The formula keeps repeating itself, but the ambiance evolves thanks to orchestration. The cold machine, the cold techno are warmed up by the orchestra surrounding the 700 Korg synthesizer of 1973.

With « Part II », the ambiance gets colder, the atmosphere is darker, more threatening. For that matter the chords are close to dissonance. Prequell avails himself of polytonality « à la Stravinski » to shock the ear and call for the listener's attention. Thomas tells us that he had to put a great deal of effort into the composition of this piece, which obviously testifies to his brilliant control of harmonic duality.

Last but not least,  « Part 1 » wraps up this sound experience, both sensory and emotional, with flashing energy. Like a birth, this sweet, serene piece symbolizes  spring delighting in the renewal of life.

 So, this project is both a sensory and musical experience. It's an impressionist painting as well as a star Odyssey. Forget every landmark and let yourself be guided by sounds and emotions. You won't be disappointed . Next stage ?  A « live » performance, of course, but that's another story !

1 Part XV
2 Part XIV [feat. Rae Morris]
3 Part XIII
4 Part XII [feat. Claire Laffut]
5 Part XI [feat. Fyfe]
6 Part X
7 Part IX [feat. Shy Girls]
8 Part VII [feat. Cruel Youth]
9 Part VIII
10 Part VI
11 Part V
12 Part IV
13 Part III
14 Part II
15 Part I
Prequell - Part XIV ft. Rae Morris

« Can pop music still be reinvented' Is it possible to offer an innovative sound, something we never heard before that is neither electro nor pop or rock' Those were the questions I kept asking myself as I started working on Prequell two years ago. I went back to the roots of my musical inspiration. From my orchestral training and my admiration for the great sound tracks by the likes of John Barry, John Williams to the intense creativity of artists such as Craig Armstrong, Massive Attack and Björk. I therefore started my own musical « Prequell », as I projected myself into the future, beyond those early influences. Nurtured in a fascination for space exploration, I imagined a new form of pop structure in the form of an inter-galactic journey, flying in between classic orchestrations and electronic beats. 15 songs later, the album «The Future Comes before » was born. » Thomas Roussel

Markets include: Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Fresno, Saint Augustine, Pensacola FL, Barcelona
INTER: Spain, Romania
Online: Zephyr Planet Radio Network, Musicas Imaginadas

Crossover Media Projects with: Prequell