Get to Know: Imer6ia
A clue to Laetitia Bech’s sound can be found in one of her early musical infatuations. Growing up in the southwest of France near the Atlantic, her early taste was shaped, as it was for most of us, by the music her parents favoured, mainly classical and rock. But when she got a bit older, she discovered the elegantly hazy dream-pop of the Cocteau Twins.
You could, if you liked, trace a line from the Cocteau Twins’ reverb-drenched sound to that of the music that Bech creates as Imer6ia. Her productions, much like the Cocteau Twins, are thick with atmosphere; they’re equally driven by a romantic passion, and imbued with a dreamland aura. But there, the similarities pretty much end: The Cocteaus’ output tends to be lilting and lighter than air, while Imer6ia’s material is dense, intense, and darkly dramatic. It’s also, as it happens, quite beautiful. She’s been releasing solo work and collaborations through imprints like Rush Hour, Tremors, and The Games We Play since 2018, culminating in her about-to-drop debut LP, ‘Translucid,’ due on February 23rd via the lavibe label.
Bech, who now lives in Paris, makes music that falls into the slightly arcane category of wave music — the otherworldly style, arising in the early ’00s, edges up against elements of trap, witch house, vapor wave and more, yet exists in a universe of its own. When Bech discovered wave, she felt like she had found a home. “I had already been producing, but I hadn’t dropped anything,” she says. “Then I discovered this music, and I related to a lot of the vibe when it came to the OG wave music. In the beginning, it was in the style of Clams Casino merging with witchy, dark atmospheres and trap music. The OGs, they were pioneers who did it really well, and their music evoked something nostalgic that I loved.” She’s ambivalent about wave music’s later permutations, though. “By now, what we call wave music has changed a lot. Today’s is more cyber-ish and futuristic, and I don’t really like it.”
Despite her feelings about much of the music’s direction, Bech still enjoys being a member of the worldwide wave community — but like most artists who prefer to let the work speak for itself. she resists attempts to categorise it further. When asked how she would best describe her sound, she largely deals with generalities. “I would say that my music is emotional, I would say it’s cinematographic, and it has a lot of melody — but also a lot of drums,” she adds. (She’s right about the drums — they tend to be on the formidably massive side.) A bit later, though, she comes up with something a bit more concrete by referencing an analogous style. “I was listening to music with a friend of mine, and he was like, ‘All the music you love is called body music.’ And I was like, ‘What’s body music?’ He says, ‘Electronic body music. EBM.’ So then I searched, and I think I kind of relate to that. It’s raucous, industrial, electronic, experimental, and very emotional.”