"Fujisan" EP (FAKE MUSIC)

Contact Sam McAllister about Monomotion

What happens to our dreams when we face unimaginable struggles? Where do we find the will to carry on, and how are our journeys reflected in our life’s work? Such weighty questions surround French electronic artist Erol Engintalay’s third EP as Monomotion, Fujisan. A rippling, gorgeous collection of beat-driven compositions that radiate warmth and light, Fujisan completes the thematic EP trilogy kicked off with 2015’s Behind the Moon and continued with 2017’s Leaving—and it also represents a full-circle for the artist himself, years after surviving a life-threatening accident that he persevered beyond to continue pursuing his artistic passions. 


The 29-year-old Engintalay grew up in the suburbs of Paris, enamored with the pounding house music of countrymen Daft Punk as well as Radiohead’s genre-blending rock and German techno aesthetes like Trentemøller. He started DJing at 15; two years later, he teamed up with friend and frequent collaborator Yoann Feynman to found the fakemusic. label and work on their own productions. “We locked ourselves in the studio,” Engintalay recalls, stating that his main aim as a producer was to “create the music we liked to hear in clubs.” 


In 2013, the pair threw a party to celebrate fakemusic.’s launch—but the celebratory vibes soon came crashing to a halt, as Engintalay fell off of a four-story building in Paris the day after, entering into a coma that lasted nearly two months. “I was really out of the game during that period,” Engintalay recalls regarding his incredible recovery from such a life-threatening accident, “but Yoann helped me a lot. He’s always been there when I needed me.” 


With a few tracks already completed pre-accident, Engintalay completed Behind the Moon after the accident as he recovered: “I had a laptop so I could keep working in the hospital.” The darkly shaded and emotive techno of that release, as well as its follow-up Leaving, showcased an artist in the zone when it came to their sonic perspective—but Fujisan is something else entirely, a brand new direction for the Monomotion style that reveals new layers of empathy and human connection to Engintalay’s teeming electronic music. 


Written and recorded over a year and a half, the seven-track Fujisan is a reflection on the positive aspects of life—a sense of breaking through and moving forward that imbues the project as a whole, from the evocative thump of “Ecocline Patterns” to the squishy, effervescent sway of closing track “Luck of the Mountains.” 


“It’s more shiny, less melancholic—more hopeful for a bright future,” Engintalay explains. “I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and bring some new sounds. I always have the same way of creating. We compose a lot of tracks and then look at the message I want to give through the project. I wanted to close this triptych with a seven-song EP.” 


Inspired by a warm Japanese spring, Engintalay describes Fujisan as “a life test after every challenge I’ve gone through, physically and musically. It’s very spiritual, representing climbing mountains and breaking through walls to get further in life.” And Feynman is along for the ride, too; along with contributing to sound and art direction, he lends his talents to the lusciously unfolding tick-tock techno of “Mango.” “He’s always giving me strength to put the final point on the project,” Engintalay enthuses about Feynman’s contributions. “He has sound design and texture skills that he brought to this. He’s always been there for me—he’s my brother in crime.”


And Fujisan is only the beginning of the Monomotion story, as Engintalay’s hard at work on his full-length debut as well as some enticing ideas for forthcoming live shows: “I’d love to get some visual effects to sync with my live sets.” For now, though, he’s focused on bringing his unique perspective—a viewpoint that emanates beautifully throughout Fujisan—to listeners the world over. “I’m always trying to bring some faith and hope—it’s always love,” he explains. “They told me I’d never walk again, and now I’m walking and running. It’s about going through the difficulties of life and challenging yourself to be the best. Sometimes, if you work for it, you can get it. “