Kurama released his Souvenir Perdu EP via Moscow’s BRAT Records on November 17. The French-born, Brussels-based producer takes the moniker from Japanese Manga series Naruto, the story of an ambitious teenaged ninja looking for recognition. That reference, along with the repeated allusions to the Kingdom Hearts video game of Kurama’s latest record points to the epic introspection of a real life mediated by electronic interfaces; an escape into the ebbing highs and lows of a fantasy soundtrack.
The BRAT name, meanwhile, can be be interpreted in one of two ways. According to creator and curator Max Zhukov (aka MAX 100PERCENT), one, is the Romanised Russian word for ‘brother’ and the other is what he refers to as the English synonym for ‘fuckwad.’ The label joins the litany of globally-oriented online labels working across social media networks, having also released the likes of Valencia’s Diego Navarro, Pittsburgh’s Airport, Russian producer Sasha Manik and more.
For Souvenir Perdu, Paris-based artist Sybil Montet de Doria — behind the core.pan creative duo (with Simon Kounovsky) and designs for releases on Vienna’s AMEN Records — contributes the cover artwork, while Kurama himself emerges from an exciting young scene of Brussels-based artists, including nights and collectives like H E 4 R T B R O K E N, Midlife, Perron Zes, and Slagwerk, as well as fellow producers Bulma, Buga and Bob Traxx.
**So the title of the EP Souvenir Perdu translates in English to ‘Lost Memory,’ can you tell me a bit about how you came up with this name?
Kurama: It actually comes from my favorite video game ever called Kingdom Hearts. In this game the weapons are called keyblades, and two of those are siblings/rivals, one representing the light (Oathkeeper/Tendre Promesse in French) and one representing darkness (Oblivion/Souvenir Perdu..). There’s kind of a yin yang thing happening. It’s about this feeling of trying to abandon some parts of yourself, while knowing it’s wrong trying to erase these things that made you who you are. Since I made this EP at very dark times, I thought it suited it well. I also intend to release Tendre Promesse as a lighter sequel.
**You also include Sybil Montet de Doria in art direction, what is the French connection here?
K: Yes, she’s one of my favorite artists and we connected very well when I first approached her in order to help me create my visual language. She has a great understanding and knowledge of the mystical worlds I’m living in, so it was kind the only person I wanted to help me with the graphic chart of my projects. I also recommend everyone to check out her work both as a solo artist and her duo core.pan.
**Can you explain to me a bit about what this quote means that comes with the record?: “I dunno. I can’t… just look inside. But I figure… if there is something in there — inside us — then we’d feel it, wouldn’t we?”
K: Haha. It’s also from Kingdom Hearts, one of the main characters, Roxas says that at the very beginning, thinking he has no heart. It embodies that feeling of being lost and senseless. I tried to recreate this feeling with the soundscape of the EP, being lost and senseless in limbo, while trying to recover who you truly are.**