Tuesday, 11 August 2020

2020 - The Year when Time stood still

2020 - for all of us a year we will never forget. 

We ended 2019 with the fantastic memories of Space Mountain still in our heads, where we were offered a great chance to play alongside some of the greatest artists in Andalusia, Spain. Had anybody told me then, that this was our last gig before the apocalypse I would have told them they're nuts, but hey, who would have expected what started in Wuhan just a couple of months later and soon fucked with humanity in every corner of the planet would bring everything we know to a standstill? Well I wouldn't. But more about the impact of Covid-19 later in this story.


Back in London, we happily started work on what was meant to be our first full length album to be released in early 2020. Yet, the ghost of 2020 haunted us as early as Christmas 2019 when a feral cat, keen on expanding his territory to that of our resident kitties Minnie and Tuxie, pissed all over our recently custom built computer. My friend Steve, who built it for us in the first place came in the new year to replace the corroded motherboard, the fucked power supply and whatever else was destroyed, and basically got it up and running again. We had to start anew as we lost quite a few plug ins that used to be essential to our workflow. The licenses simply stopped working on the refurbished machine and there was nothing we could do about it. When that was finally dealt with, we got to work hard on editing and mixing this debut album again, we also re-recorded takes, wrote some now lyrics, sung many of the vocals again and in the months of January, February and March we knew we were on to something hot, a monster of an album, an electro-psychedelic-post-punk masterpiece! We were feeling blissful, and to celebrate we even planned a massive art and electro jam called "e-Dada" to take place just before the release of our album.

The poster for the cancelled e-Dada designed by WE ARE REPLICA and Jorge Torres

None of that happened.

By the end of March we found ourselves separated on two sides of the river Thames. The virus was on a killing spree taking thousands of lives in the UK and its capitol, that was now under lockdown. It was fucking frightening and being unprepared for remote work another break was forced on us.

After eight weeks of doing our solo projects we caught up in Greenwich Park to talk about the future of our album and a week later we got together and started again. The release timeline however, now obviously delayed by many months, would be different than originally planned. Instead of releasing a single and having the album follow a month later we were to release something like a double A-side single made up of "Angel" and "Parellele Universen", and have more releases to follow before the album would finally come out.


Even that changed when the Black Lives Matter protests kicked off in all major cities of the western world. We rushed to finish the mix of our song "Africa", an antifascist statement that seemed just right to be released at that time. 

So, "Africa" was first, soon to be followed by our French and German language tracks "Angel" and "Parallele Universen", released on the same day. People need music in 2020! The album wasn't fully mixed, so releasing singles and remixes of the same tracks seemed to be the way forward. We got Pauline Mongarny to take some apocalyptic photos for all those releases to make them part of the same family, and went to Blackheath for the shoot. 


We released extended remixes of the second and third singles as "Parallel Angels" to keep more material coming. The whole concept of single/album/gigs does not make any sense in "the new normal" so we decided to simply release new material all the time. 

With the prospect of doing online gigs and even some kind of "real" underground gigs towards the end of the year (regular gigs as we know are not exactly happening anymore these days!) we have also upgraded our live rig. As opposed to our earlier shows we now got rid of most of our backing tracks and will from now on trigger mostly analogue synths and samplers via midi from a laptop, and... the new set up looks absolutely awesome!

Our new live rig. Gear porn of another dimension!

While Nadège, with much better ears than mine (sigh... the age!) has been busier as a sound engineer than me in the mixing process of the album (both of us of course still work as co-producers) it has now been my sisyphos-task to program all the midi to be sent into an array of Korg Volcas. The idea is that, while we sing and keep playing our keyboards live, the laptop now plays sequences of drums and synths that used to be backing tracks. I always found the idea of relying on pre-recorded backing tracks rather gruesome. You, our audience, probably never cared that much. Yet, I am sure, that when you see our new live shows you will definitely hear the difference.

We are now about to shoot two videos for the "Parallel Angels" tracks, that will most likely be in different versions again, but that's another story. There is nothing better than being busy, and 2020, the year when time stood still, turns out to be one of our busiest from a creative point of view, and... we love it!

- Martin Kinz 11/08/2020

All cover photos by Pauline Mongarny

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

The Story behind "B Baby", our Debut Video


We are a visually exciting act, a stunning extravaganza! That goes without saying. Hence, we always wanted to make a video which is out now. "B Baby" is the track that made our debut on the screen. We are proud of the result and grateful to all the people that contributed to its making. So, here's the story how it happened.

The original plan was to visualise "I Really Want To" from our eponymous first EP in 2017. We considered working with a couple of friends to direct and film. For some reason however it never happened. Since we wanted to shoot a clip that's using sunny outside locations we had to wait another year but by then our next EP “Emergency” would be out. 

So, in 2018 we put an ad up on “London Film Crew Network”, looking for a director and a cinematographer. So, we got a reply from a cinematographer called Martine Wolff, confirming that she'd be happy to do it with her friend and director Lefteris Parasyris.


We met at Wapping Station in East London and went for a site visit on Thames Beach and in an old, abandoned, undisclosed, yes top-secret factory somewhere in the Docklands. Over coffee we finally decided on the track we would use. I remember “B Baby” got two votes out of the four. Democracy had spoken, so that's what we went for.

Original unedited cover photo by Mar Álvarez Revillo
We thought of using the “Emergency” cover photo (in fact shot on the same Thames Beach in Wapping) by Mar Álvarez Revillo as an inspiration for much of the video, while there would be two characters in white masks as our alter egos following us through the whole of the story, something resembling the glory days of MTV when music videos had plots.

We also had plans to include a couple of dodgy cops to watch the whole story on CCTV from an office in Canary Wharf but yet another pair of old friends we tried to get as actors turned out to be rather unreliable, so the cops were scrapped!

With a slightly revised storyboard, shooting commenced on what must have been the hottest day of the year.

Now, wearing the same white and gold outfits as on the EPs cover would have been an obvious choice but Nadège could not get hold of her friend who made the trousers so we decided for a sort of "negative image" in black. 


What seemed like a great idea actually meant Nadège was sweating in 35C in the shade wearing a corset, while I was melting away in my black vinyl jeans that turned into something resembling hot tar on my skin, well... whatever you do to look fabulous! 

Once the beach was wrapped up we moved on to the factory. Lefteris had the idea that we drink red wine in one of the scenes, brilliant – we got pretty pissed on the set after all.

A week after we shot another few scenes in the office building where the missing in action cops would have been, had things gone according to plan. We ended up using an empty space in the building which acted as a pretty good sound-stage where we could experiment with projections from the beach scenes and lighting effects. In fact all of the effects in the resulting video were actual projections and various torches and lights moved about in a randomly controlled fashion by Lefteris.

It took a while to get the post production done. Soon Lefteris got Natalie Green to edit. The colour grading however took a bit longer. Nadège worked in a bistro in Shepherds Market where she met Lionel Kopp, a legend of a colourist. He worked on the French Cinema classics Amélie and La Haine and is now a big name in Hollywood. Needless to say that having a big name like that on board would take a little longer but in the end he did it!

We finally premiered the video on Youtube on the 21st of May 2019, over three quarters of a year after shooting it but the result was amazing! On the day of the premiere it was introduced by Chi Ming Lai on “The Electricity Club” and has so far performed rather well for an unsigned act without a publicist.

Thanks to Lefteris and Martine for filming, Natalie and Lionel for post production, Mar for taking part in developing the early concept, Chi for the feature, and, last but not least my dear friend Nadège for being my partner in crime through this from the start.  We could not have had a better start into the world of moving pictures. Rest assured there's a lot more to come in the future. 

- Martin Kinz 12 June 2019

Photos © Lefteris Parasyris, Mar Álvarez Revilllo (as credited in caption)

Contact us via e-mail: replica.hq@gmail.com 

or visit us online: 

Friday, 25 January 2019

We Are Replica... but how and why?

Photo © Mar Álvarez Revillo

WE ARE REPLICA are a UK based French/German synth punk duo. We, that's  Martin Kinz and Nadège Préaudat met in Cable Street Studios, East London in 2015 where we started to record and produce what would become our two releases "EP" and "Emergency".

Since the release of our first EP we have been developing our live set which is now a mix of our EPs and intense electronic jams. 

Both of us share synthesizers, electronic drums and vocals on stage and in the studio.

Photo © Arcadia Noir
Photo © Arcadia Noir

Our sound, a mix of new wave, post industrial, electro punk and cold wave with psychedelic and experimental overtones that is routed in post punk and electronic music from the late 1970s shall take you on a journey into the future. By using vintage synthesizers, industrial samples and some heavily processed vocals we created our own textured sound, which is heavy and melodic at the same time.

Photo © Thomas Henry Saunders
Photo © Neil Anderson

In 2018 we teamed up with director Lefteris Parasyris and director of photography Martine Wolff to shoot a video that will very soon be released for our next single.

In 2019 we present a new live show that adds vocal effects, live sequencing and an even expanded synth rig to our heavy electro punk set that is still largely based on playing as many instruments as we possibly can while delivering a non conformist, hot, eccentric show, enticingly sinister and sexy.