Gene Serene’s new album ‘The Polaris Experience’ is set in the future, where two star crossed lovers engage on a journey across the Solar System, abandoning their home planet to set up a new colony. This is after the technological singularity – so technically, the lovers are fleeing killer robots. Here’re ‘Weightlessness’ and ‘Singularity’…

Hi Gene Serene how are you?

I am good thanks for asking.

Who is Gene Serene and where did the your name come from?

My name is Louise – a UK electronic artist – but I have been called Genie or Gene Serene for over a decade now.

How would describe yourself musically in three words?

Harmonic, Electronic, Songwriter.

You have an interesting sound – electro, pop, indie, experimental – how do you go about the writing process for your songs?

Thanks! I tend to draw from a lot of influences over many eras, as does Bob (co-writer and producer). Writing depends on the situation and I definitely go where the music takes me. If I don’t like the sound when I go down a certain path, I’ll try to take it somewhere more true. Sometimes the beat comes and spells out the words, while other times it’s the rhythm of the lyrics propelling it. That’s why I wrote this album with the intention of a building a theme and a story relevant to where we, as a species, embark upon a journey if you like. If it’s possible, listen from beginning to end in order to experience the theme in full.

You worked with Bob Earland formally of Clor on this album. How was that experience?

Bob’s great! We hadn’t met before I contacted him but I discovered his work on a compilation we were both randomly featured on. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I had just learnt how to drive, was listening to some great CD’s in the car from back in the 00’s and something resonated with me. It turned out we liked each others music.

The process for this album was quite interesting as I had not been involved in the programming of my music releases prior to meeting Bob but he really facilitated my involvement in this…The Polaris Experience1…To begin I had a library of his creations – synth, bass and drum samples and loops – and I worked on logic and based my writing around one or two of these loops, working in the necessary bass or synth accordingly and adding in what I felt the song needed. Laying down the vocals, cutting it up and generally reworking, while Bob was really patient. He could so easily have just done it himself in about 2 seconds, but he very much let me create the kind of sound I wanted to.

When the song had reached a certain point of no return I would send it over to Bob so he could work his magic and he would then send it back and it all made sense. I re-recorded vocals and edited bits and pieces until we met up and recorded. We then went into the studio and finally finished the album. It was really fun to record the last track, mix the album and dream a little, I really enjoyed the process.

Currently Bob is involved in making a big noise with The Radiophonic Workshop as well as building, composing and performing with his own modular synths – he’s very good at all that stuff…

’The Polaris Experience’ is out now. What can people expect from the album?

It’s a vision, a cinematographic sound, a journey that’s for sure. It’s the first solo album I have released and I’ve had such big dreams for it’s live performance. I think it’s a really strong beautiful album and I am really proud of it.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Clor and Clinic? Would you say this is representative of your sound and where would you say your sound fits in todays landscape?

That’s an astute question. Some would say Bille Holiday!

I think everything seems to fit within everything these days to an extent.

So, I think it’s important to make the music you love, the kind of music you want to hear, and try not to copy another artists sound because it’s popular.

I don’t like to be overly formulaic when writing and arranging, if its different, doesn’t fit and it’s really good, then it becomes something else, that can be simply unique and beautiful.

Clinic is a comparison I haven’t heard for a long while although…

Clor, to me, were more of a proper rock band – guitars, drums, synth – all pretty uptempo so, I am unsure if it’s truly representative. It’s also all quite a while ago – nearly ten years now I think.

I respect the talents of other powerful female artists like Ellen Allien, St Vincent, Crystal Castles and Bjork, but I also adore the big musical chorus’s and crescendos that can be heard in the work of Karin Park, Broken Bells or Polyphonic Spree.

For those who haven’t seen you play live, what is a Gene Serene live show like?

I am rehearsing the songs now. As it was a studio creation, I am feeling my way into the live interpretation of the record and trying to get to grips with the new software, as well as adding harmony etc. I am more involved in the full sound than before – I am not only singing now. This isn’t a party performance for sure, it’s an audiovisual experience if I do it correctly. I have some real talent onboard to work with me, it should definitely take you somewhere. I hope to perform it in some beautiful spaces over the year but all in good time. You will have to come and see… It’s going to be pretty.

If you could support one band in the world who would it be?

Probably Mini Mansions.

What can we expect from you for the rest of 2015 and beyond?

I am still finishing the video for my 3rd single.
I also have a couple of shows booked…
Once the album comes out in July I head out to Berlin for a bit.
Mainly I really am looking forward to performing the album – live shows are where it all comes alive.

You can expect me to write more music too in the near future that’s for sure…


By Frank Bell ©