Text by CLOT Magazine
For our next mixtape set, duo Auf Togo will be taking us into a session of Pop, Funk & 70’s Cosmic Disco, filled with hypnotic grooves and absorbing melodies.
Auf Togo is the long-time collaboration between Sasa Crnobrnja and Clement Cachot-Coulom, inspired by the Cosmic disco sounds of the late 70s/early ’80s. Sasa Crnobrnja originates from the deep, disco-laced house duo of his duo alias In Flagranti (Kitsune, Phantasy, Gomma & more) and Clement Cachot-Coulom from bands The Fabulous Penetrators and Big Girls.
With the Auf Togo formation, they present a sound that echoes the richness and flavour of vintage recording equipment and instruments whilst holding the edge and sharpness of modern studio techniques.
The duo presents a loose, almost improvised sound that works very well within the rigid confines of house music. Psychedelic echoey guitars clash with probing synth lines and live-sounding rhythm sections, and their heavy kicks and singing cowbells, their deep basslines and spare guitar licks blur the line between rigid, quantised sounds and the duo’s refreshing human touch.
Auf Togo recently their new album, Movements (SaS Recording, 2021). The record, unconventional in its production, stems from samples extracted from Clement’s riffs and jams on guitar, bass and keys, all of which are then ultimately sown together by Sasa’s expert production.
For this mix, we can expect…well all that has been said before, abstract sensuous grooves, well-crafted melodies, avant-garde Kosmiche and space disco sounds which hopefully take us away from all that January wintery blues.
You have both been long-time collaborators. How do you complement each other’s work/practice? Also, what role do your individual backgrounds and previous projects play in this one?
Sasa: Clem is mostly composing music with a guitar or Wurlitzer, and I do it by sampling. Sometimes he plays me a tune he recorded at home on the guitar, and then I start finding something that goes with it; sometimes, I play him a sample or a loop, and he will come up with a bass line or guitar part… then we build from there.
I think that the previous collaborations and releases help me work more efficiently with Auf Togo.
Clem: Our process has been the same from day one. Either I have a melody already worked out or Sasa has a bit ready when I arrive at the studio. And we build loads of layers on it and see what sticks! It’s quick and easy, though Sasa always has a big puzzle to solve.
You have just published your first LP, Movements, after a series of singles and EPs; how do you think your sound has evolved from the previous productions?
Sasa: The sound is very consistent, although I never use the same drum sound. On different tracks or put the same effects on the recordings, it always keeps the ’70s-inspired sound and a relaxed vibe… nothing is rushed, no exhaustive build-ups or massive crashes. It’s elegant with a bit of roughness.
Clem: I wish we could say it has evolved, but the truth is I believe it’s been the same since we started. It worked immediately, and we haven’t changed any of the processes once.
What have you technically been exploring in Movements (have you used equipment you haven’t used before)? And what were the challenges during its production?
Sasa: No challenges… that’s the beauty of Auf Togo for me. We just come up with something every time we meet. We don’t put any pressure on ourselves, and that reflects on our music.
Clem: I agree; the reason why we both love working together is because it’s so easy and pleasurable. Smooth sailing!
Apart from the most obvious cosmic disco and ’70s influence for Auf Togo, what are your main inspirations for your productions these days?
Sasa: The inspiration comes from anything… really. Auf Togo is all about how Clem and I vibe together and has nothing even to do with music styles, what era the sound etc… It just comes out as it does. We don’t do anything special. It’s really basic. Plug in the bass record, then plug in the guitar record, add some drums… do a bit of mixing, and that’s it.
And where would you like to be taking Auf Togo’s sound into?
Sasa: I don’t know; I’m watching where the music takes us.
Clem: There’s never any master plan. We’re not following any trends, and I doubt we ever will. But of course, like any music lover, we get excited by new or old sounds we’ve discovered. And that keeps us inspired.
What is your relationship with technology nowadays and how do you use it for your practice? And how do you cope with technology (screen/digital) overload?
Sasa: Love & Hate
Clem: Well, we use it constantly, it’s simply part of the creative process, and there is no way around it, especially for the music we do when I’m the one person playing multiple instruments.
But I hate screens in general and wish we could go back in time and do everything on tape. It’s just too costly these days, unfortunately. (I’m off to send a fax.)