From art direction to photography, sound production, art exhibitions, all the way through to personal music projects and more. French multidisciplinary artist Dehn Sora, known from musical ventures such as Dark Ambient project Treha Sektori and Black Metal Throane, has always been a person who has impressed us with his great talent and his immense inner world. One of those artists that you are glad to have discovered and who becomes a creative reference. And we are even more proud to be able to say that in the past we have collaborated with him, Dehn created for us a super illustration many years ago that we had for sale on a limited basis. Do not miss this interview!
OBNUBIL: Hi Vincent, how are you doing today? Could you give us a brief description about yourself and your work?
VINCENT: Hi, thanks a lot for your interest and questions. I am doing pretty great, some life changes occurring and keeping myself busy. I am a french visual and music creator, trying my best.
OBNUBIL: How would you describe yourself in three words? And what three things would you consider essential in life?
VINCENT: Hard to describe myself, but I would say I'm persistent, doubtful and do my best to be reliable. I'd say, I consider hard work as essential, might sound a bit cliché, but the road is definitely the more important. It's what reveals you. Caring and questioning are also central.
OBNUBIL: Where does the name Treha Sektori come from? And Dehn Sora?
VINCENT: I use some kind of instinctive language in Treha Sektori, and on my personal projects sometimes. Something that comes from my childhood, when I could not express some feelings. Was hard to put on words from my mother tongue, things I can not even understand. This language came up instinctively. It was, and is still, connected to certain states of mind. Extreme emotions maybe. Treha Sektori can be translated as "the place where they fall". Dehn Sora, in the same language, would stand for "Win a battle". My name is Vincent, coming from Vincere in latin. That's a connection to that latin translation. A reference to a"never give up" spirit I nourish.
OBNUBIL: At the composing time, which are your biggest influences?
VINCENT: Pretty cliché, but really honest, what put me down, the urge, the instant. I recently slided on a very down period. It was hard to be focused on anything specific. My head was spinning all day. The only thing I was capable of achieving was some music. And it turned out to be totally different than usual. Something I might never use, or release. But, still cliché it helps. And was a watermark of a life period. What influences me is what I live. Everyday.
OBNUBIL: How is your creative process? What about the language you use for the titles/lyrics?
VINCENT: The language I use in Treha, is coming from the emotions I could not express when I was a kid, first. It came by instinct, and I used to express a lot through it when I was confused. And when I started to work on Treha, I tried to put voices in my mother tongue, French, or English, and it didn't feel right. And this language came naturally, back. It is a part of myself I have to deal with it. I can write automatically with it, for hours. A structure came with the ages, but this is a language everyone can have. As for my creative process, I must say, it is always changing. I can sometimes have a precise idea and go straight on it, work details for hours. Sometimes, everything's done in 10 minutes, from the idea to realization. Depends on my environment, on the conditions I want to create.
OBNUBIL: Can you tell us more about where you have been recording and the mastering work?
VINCENT: I actually do most of everything at home. I record all instruments live with my DIY way of working and gear. I do some field recordings, or go to rooms or studios to record some specific sounds, when it comes to Treha. I actually feel more and more to skip my "comfort place" for recording. To be fully connected with it. I am someone that enjoys being but can easily be stuck in my own "full circle of thoughts". Leaving a bit of my shell, being confronted to other visions are good for improvement, or not repeat itself. Lately, I have been working a lot with way more talented people in these fields. I think of Sam Vaney from Switzerland and Tim De Gieter from Belgium, who helped me a lot to shape sounds for the greater good.
OBNUBIL: We've read that you only use "real" instruments for your recordings. What equipment do you reach out for? Is there any instrument that specially keeps your attention?
VINCENT: Not one in particular. I am not a good technical musician, at all. I use instruments as they shall not be used, in a way. I am just constantly looking for how things will turn, when I take an instrument in my hands. I seek what's not supposed to be played. Wrong parts can turn into interesting ends. But I mostly use my voice, my main instrument is guitar. And I also dig into banjo, theremin, percussions, mandolin.
OBNUBIL: Best and worst gig you've played?
VINCENT: I don't have any best or worst. A good show, for me, is one where I totally forgot where I was, totally forgot eyes staring at me. Faded in the sound and visuals. Every show has its little something that makes them unique. So I don't feel I had any awful show. But to name or explain some memories: Being on stage with Amenra, opening for Neurosis, which was the first line on my "things to do as a musician before dying", hitting my gear table, on the rhythm, so hard that I couldn't feel my fingers for days. Feeling totally naked at the Iper Open Air Fest, playing for the first time at daylight, and in a hardcore festival, seeing all the audience sitting down after the first minute, remaining silent the whole show, despite some beatdown band starting in the other tent. Feeling very little at the UT Connewitz venue in Leipzig, this old theater where the place surrounds you with its vibe. Playing the Vooruit in Gent, so many eyes and hands clapping, that I felt scared by the noise that it made. All together on stage with the Church of Ra members, on the Amenra finale track in Nijmegen. Being able to play in Moscow, Athens... Some countries I wanted to visit as a traveler, and being so warmly welcomed.
OBNUBIL: Have you got any pre/after show ritual?
VINCENT: Pre show are kinda always the same. I feel the time is approaching and I'm getting more and more scared. Stressed out. Always the same feeling. Knotted stomach, so I can't eat anything before going on stage. I can only drink water to liberate my throat, knotted as well. I walk way and back near the sage, trying to remove those bad feelings from my head. Then I feel my legs shaking. Then I go on stage. I try to forget everything. When it's done, my legs won't support me anymore. My back hurts. And I feel this strange sensation. Unique. The feeling of relief. Worth all the stress and work before.
OBNUBIL: You are an associate of Church of Ra. Could you please tell our readers about this association and for what it stands for?
VINCENT: It stands, in my opinion, to be hands on the shoulders of each other. To not feel left. To constantly feel inspired by each other. To be an engine. We have all fears to deal with. Together, we can break what we want.
OBNUBIL: How important for you is the visual part of Treha Sektori?
VINCENT: This is a central part. I never thought of this project without the visual aspect. I try to put a story with all the mediums I can work with. There's a place for the audience's imagination and interpretation of course. I hope some listeners were inspired to make their own work, their own story, with a second of a track. But everything is thought in this circle, from sound to visual. Maybe I can release only a book of images for Treha once. And I am working on the next album, which will be only a video. So, it is as important as the music.
OBNUBIL: Can you tell us something about the process of shooting your video clips and what inspires you when you create videos like Ah Estereh Komh Derah for example? What is the story behind this one?
VINCENT: The process itself is always to write down a lot of ideas, and try to make them happen. But, I always have to deal with unexpected situations. I also play in those videos. Which includes pushing my body on its boundaries sometimes. Extreme weather (I almost fainted when I was in very cold water, covered in leaves, dirt and black paint, for example), tiredness, removes the feeling of people surrounding you. This video has something to deal with the fact of carrying your burden. To touch your boundaries, to reach an altered state. And while shooting the videos, I put myself in those conditions. A body experience. I will still work this way for the future.
OBNUBIL: Besides Treha Sektori you also work on other music projects. Can you please introduce them?
VINCENT: My other solo project is called Throane. A more visceral and chaotic aspect of expression. I also play guitars and ambiences in Ovtrenoir with close friends, including William Lacalmontie who is a close collaborator in photographic and video work in Treha Sektori.
OBNUBIL: Treha Sektori is usually categorized as dark ambient, which might be the closest established musical genre but still doesn’t quite encompass all aspects. Your project Throane, on the other hand, is bleak and nihilistic Black Metal. What is the current status of these two musical projects?
VINCENT: Both projects have nothing very clear planned for the moment. I am in research, taking the time to absorb emotions, live experiences that will be later translated into music. I am questioning a lot on the shape it would take for both projects. For Throane, for example, I’m considering letting go of the central guitar work, using the guitar as a tool for ambiences and noises, but intensifying the rhythmic work behind it. I have a lot in mind but it needs time to be the form I am in phase with.
OBNUBIL: Une balle dans le pied is the lacerating new EP from Throane, engaged in a particularly violent form of void surgery, as the diseased tissue of nightmarish Black Metal, wall-of-sound Doom, Industrial, Noise and Dark Ambient is ripped, reformed and reanimated into a lightless chimera of savage beauty. We have read you say: “Throane is a project based on instinct. ‘Une balle dans le pied’ translates as ‘A bullet in the foot’, a French expression symbolizing the act of sabotaging oneself. Two tracks, forming one, exploring the language of rhythm and forming a bridge for future full-lengths. As with each release, this composition is the fruit of a short time, an accumulation leading to the need for explosion.” Did you create this album during the pandemic? On a personal and creative level, how did that section of our lives affect you?
VINCENT: The tracks were ready and recorded just before the pandemic. So, the mindset wasn’t influenced by this weird period of time. But as every record with Throane, the writing process was based on wrong and difficult experiences to deal with. The COVID period was a bit rough on my end, since it broke at the very beginning, a long term prepared project. I almost got stuck at the very opposite end of the globe when the first lockdown appeared, and the previous owner of the flat I rented, decided to sell it at the same time, leading me to leave the apartment. Work also got threatened. Everyone suffered in a way during this time, I was lucky to be safe in the end. On a creative level, I had more time to refine some technical skills, especially in 3D. I took advantage of this locked time to technically improve.
OBNUBIL: We remember the time of lockdowns and live streams as if it were yesterday. We were hooked on them and they encouraged us during the days we were locked up. And right there it came your CVLT NATION LIVE. Directed by William Lacalmontie, performed and captured by you, mixed by Tim de Gieter (Amenra, Predatory Void and Doodseskader) at MuchLuv Studio, installation by Yan Arexis, structure ornaments by Melle Ocytocine... a great job for the time in which we lived. The combination of visual and sound stirs something tranquil, yet utterly savage. How has this live stream been set up? How did you experience it as an artist?
VINCENT: During the first lockdown, the friends in Cvlt Nation wanted to do a digital festival. Since I am not equipped for doing such live streams, I didn’t feel something interesting would come by doing something at home. The deadline was a bit longer, so I thought about doing something special, linked to an environment. We were able to go out of our homes, and after thinking about it, I thought it would make sense to do it with the l'Homme Sauvage festival crew. I have played this festival twice before, and the atmosphere is one of a kind, as well as they are brilliant human beings. They made it happen like I never thought it was possible. It all worked as best as it could, surrounded by the best crew. I felt right, playing at this place, humbled and felt all these forces that nature can give you. Once the shooting was done, the sun was falling down, giving an orange / ochre atmosphere to all these mountains facing the place I played. Contemplating it was a reward.
OBNUBIL: Under Treha Sektori, you managed to reinvent yourself again, creating an even darker and more brutal sound through Rejet. Released November 5, 2021, also mixed by Tim De Gieter at MuchLuv Studio in Lembeke, Belgium. The tunes themselves provide notation to mental images and help blur the borders between different sensory inputs. The music morphs from abstract inspirations to percussive pulses: heartbeats and breaths, as if beseeching external energies. The soundscape shows greater compositional confidence than before, ranging from desperate primal screams to the acceptance of wounds and the structured chaos of a trance, with disenchanted voices murmuring in the background. It’s designed to bring you to a place where your feet are stuck in the mud and grime, while your spirit soars freely through the fog. This album is accompanied by a Hardbook with 64 pages. What can you tell us about the content, the story behind and the whole creative process of this album?
VINCENT: The writing process started in 2019, and everything was ready for the Cvlt Nation live, and I felt I needed to play these new tracks for that project. The structure, the story, everything was ready in my mind. So by the end 2020, after experiencing these tracks live, I wanted to make a proper record that should not be “only a vinyl / cd” format. I wanted it to be more complete, to connect every aspect. So there’s a continuity with my previous works. It should look like testimonies of an altered world. Some kind of feeling being always at the wrong place. I’m very proud of the result. All make sense without any regrets. I always try to connect every medium, and here, the experience can be layered by the visual, the music, the text, or all in one.
OBNUBIL: Your main activities are usually visual in nature: graphic design, illustration, video, trying to evolve as a sculptor. What creative method is the most comfortable for you to express your ideas and feelings? Where do you think you need to improve and/or what you would like to learn?
VINCENT: I would say, visual mediums is where I am the most comfortable because that’s my daily practice. I am doing a majority of video and 3D work these days. I still struggle to feel a balance with more “handcrafted” mediums. I love to draw, but these arts need a lifetime to master and I still feel bad about my skills in this field.
OBNUBIL: What media, tools and/or programs do you use? If you have to choose, do you prefer traditional or digital media?
VINCENT: I mainly work with the classical digital suites. Cinema 4D as a 3D tool for example. I don’t have any preference, it’s always up to the project, the needs, the inside calling. It varies a lot, as long as I feel to get one step further after each project, that’s what I’m looking for.
OBNUBIL: As far as we know, you were working as an Art Director at a Paris-based video mapping agency. You learned how to distinguish an artistic vision from a design meant for problem-solving. What do you think about the whole boom in creating visuals and all kinds of content with AI?
VINCENT: I still work as Art Director, but as a freelancer for a few months. I honestly don’t know what to think about the AI questions. I don’t feel much comfortable with it, since it can depreciate creative work in some aspects. But as with every technological step, it is up to creative people to play with it as the right tool for their evolution. But that’s a concern I have, I just don’t know how to feel about it yet. I don’t use them, never had to incorporate it into my work, and I don’t feel it very playful to work with to be honest. I love the road and actually, doing something, even with a digital way. Not seeing your work shaping step by step is frustrating for me.
OBNUBIL: How do you see the evolution of human beings around technology? It is clear that we are having many advances but... is the human being as a person also evolving or rather is he in devolution?
VINCENT: It’s a matter of using these tools, in my opinion. Technology can be our best companions as music as our worst enemies. Conscience of these points may vary between all of us. On a creative level, technology has made so much progress lately, that things I had in mind even five years ago, weren’t possible to achieve this far. I keep on thinking that it can be the greatest tool to achieve the most demanding ideas. Technology should not replace the thinking and the love of crafting things, that’s where people have to meet.
OBNUBIL: Could you tell us about your book The Sensation Of Being One Of Them? The whole format, the photographic work, the typographic design… is this book a compilation of your own personal concerns?
VINCENT: Even in some commissioned works, I can find personal obsessions, concerns, yes. But I tried in this book, to tell stories, to compel all those obsessions, to achieve some. I wanted to turn a page. Go on some new paths. It was a way to reach that. Was a way to write the feeling of saying goodbye from being quiet. I tried to make something humble, to put a world forever. And move to the same, with another shape.
OBNUBIL: Some years ago you worked out an art exhibition under the name This has gone too far. We felt very amazed by your surrealistic creations. Are you specially inspired by the surreal movement?
VINCENT: I think so. My art knowledge is not the biggest on earth. I remain curious of everything, constantly watching images, and might inspire me in a way or another. Vladimir Kush is a painter I used to try to interpret, dig into his work, when I was a high school student, in Arts classes. I think I have humbly some matching points with this movement. In the way of looking for symbolism in details. But I don't directly feel inspired by a movement or another to be honest. What touches me stays in my head and makes a shelter of general inspiration.
OBNUBIL: Do you usually go to see exhibitions? We suppose so. What was the last one you visited? What can you tell us about it?
VINCENT: I unfortunately don't see much. I live in Paris, there are a ton of exhibitions all year long, and I always say to myself “I want to see this one, I must go to this one…” and always delay my visits to the point that they are finished! The last one I saw was the Jean-Luc Navette “Greetings from home”. It’s a french very talented illustrator, showcasing very bleak southern gothic atmospheres.
OBNUBIL: You had a timeless photographic project called Faces and black feathers. What is the story behind it? Do you still work on it?
VINCENT: It first started as a way to try to improve in photography, try to tame my camera. And I realized that when I put the crow beside someone, it kinda reveals its own fragility, or true self. Some people don't care, some are really uncomfortable. So every person that comes to my place, and we share good times, I ask them "pretend it's not here, let's just make a portrait" and I catch it. And I like to watch this line of people on the webpage. It reveals them a lot I think. I don't pretend to be a good photographer, that's just instants I tried to catch. Has been a while I haven’t done it, when it will make sense again, I’ll probably engage in a second chapter soon.
OBNUBIL: You also designed a lot of movie covers in the past. Are you a cinema fan? What kind of movies do you look at and which ones would be your classics top 3?
VINCENT: I use to design a lot of movie covers and posters at an agency I worked at. But yes, must say that I'm a cinema lover. I grew with what we call "genre cinema". The feeling of some "forbidden" movies, that you have to make a quest to look. A feeling that kinda disappear with the easiness of streaming. But I still buy a French magazine about the kind of cinema, every month. And I'm looking for the next big thing in their pages, mostly. But I love the challenge on designing such posters. Try to sum in only one image, a full story, 1h30min of development, a full concept... I don't know if I have "classics", but right now, when I'm writing, I think about The Seventh Seal from Ingmar Bergmann, Testuo from Shynia Tsukamoto or Enter the Void by Gapar Noé.
OBNUBIL: The most recent work of yours that we have discovered was your work done for Nostromo, the realization and assembly you did for their newest video clip KATABAΣiΣ. We have been impacted by the tremendous advancement of your knowledge in the field of video. How much time has it taken for you at the design level? Has the entire graphic and aesthetic idea been devised by you or has it been a collaboration between all of you?
VINCENT: Thanks a lot. I think the whole process took over two months and a half. I had full creative freedom. Since I worked on the cover, I kept on going that way, wanting to draw an extension of what we started with the album artwork. 3D videos are a very long and sometimes painful process. It opens so many doors and breaks some creative boundaries, but the road is paved with technical difficulties, computer issues, etc… That makes it hard to deliver in such short deadlines. It’s always a technical challenge that I love to feel achieved in the end.
OBNUBIL: Since we are talking about videos, that reminds us that we have read that you almost died in several film shootings. This comment surprised us a lot. What happened? Can you tell us?
VINCENT: On some video shootings, I faced the elements, let's say. Once in a pool full of mud, that turned out so cold, that being exposed in such cold water for so long, left me without feeling anything in my fingers for weeks. I felt I vanished in that water and started to not feel my heartbeat anymore. Strange sensation. A second time was shooting near cliffs in France, where rocks started to fall on us from a very high point. We had to run very short moments before it fell on our heads. Not to mention, manipulating animal hearts that rotted, strong sun burns. All of these shootings were strong physical experiences.
OBNUBIL: You have worked with many musicians from various genres, like Blut Aus Nord, Deathspell, Omega, Amenra, Jarboe, Terra Tenebrosa, Misþyrming, Antaeus, Manes, Ulver, Nordvargr, <code>, Ephel Duath, Karyn Crisis and more. Which artist, no matter the genre, alive or dead (in this case resurrected), would you like to work with if you had the chance?
VINCENT: I actually can’t really answer that question now. I guess in my personnel heroes, Magma would be one of them. Miles Davis for the dead personalities. So many to name a few.
OBNUBIL: What are you looking forward to the most right now? What are your next future plans?
VINCENT: A personal balance that I’m seeking and hard to achieve now is what I’m looking forward to the most. I feel in the middle of a fracture in my personal life, and nothing is really interesting to feel until it has healed at least a little. Beside, still working hard in the shadows, a lot of video I think, and hopefully more music.
OBNUBIL: Thank you very much for taking your time answering our questions and for giving us more information about you! Is there anything that you would like to say to our readers and your fans?
VINCENT: Thank you very much for the time, and interview. I feel honored to have caught your attention. I will try my best.
All photos taken by Melle Ocytocine & processed by Vincent, a.k.a Dehn Sora.
Which of our t-shirts is he wearing in the pictures? Do you like it? It is... THIS ONE