"Sounding different is an obsession": Viken Arman on his inspiring club music

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Time Out contributors

Go to any club or festival these days and you'll find a smorgasboard of electronic music DJs spinning their music, from house and techno through to EDM and trance. Much of it can sound pretty samey but there are musicians out there who strive to stand out from the crowd, to make music that is unique and emotive, music to touch your soul. Viken Arman is one of those artists, in fact sounding different has become a relentless quest, the driving force behind his productions. The Frenchman hits Switzerland this weekend, with gigs in Zurich tonight and Lucerne tomorrow. We caught up with him for a quick chat before his performances.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it before?

It's always hard to describe your own music in a few words but I would say I’m trying to combine ancient melodies with electronic beats to bring together techno and club vibes with jazz, classical or traditional songs and all other textures or instruments coming from my roots and influences. Sounding different is like an obsession. I like to get out of my comfort zone and try to take people every time on a journey with a whole range of different landscapes, sharing various emotions and feelings.

Have you played in Zurich or Switzerland before, and if so what do you like about the club scene here? If you know Switzerland, do you have any favourite places you like to hang out after or before the club?

I already played a few times in Switzerland, in Luzern (Südpol), Zurich (Revier, Kauz), Basel (Nordstern) or Bulle (Globull). I’m not surprised anymore to see an amazing club scene and crowd there, I had fantastic nights in Zurich where the energy is always super great. I was not excepting that the first time I came but I can definitely say that Zurich is an important city for the electronic music scene with always a nice crowd in warm places. I’m looking forward to playing live there this Friday at lovely club Kauz as well as in Luzern this Saturday at ROK Club.

When you're not DJing, where can we find you hanging out?

Being on the roads is always exciting for me but when I have some free days you will easily find me in my studio at home in Paris, producing some new music, working on improving my live set or finding new ideas for my sets. I’m also focusing on my label Denature Records and our events SOUQ. Paradoxically, when you travel a lot and have some free days, it’s good to stay home to recharge and get ready for what’s coming next. I took some free weeks in October to travel again to Armenia, where I visited the TUMO Center where I’m fortunate enough to be able to teach music and exchange ideas with students later this year.

Viken Arman plays Kauz in Zurich Friday 20 October and ROK in Lucerne 21 October 

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