It was love at first listen when the Parisian Paul Seul (of Casual Gabberz) heard the voice of Mathilde Fernandez on her track Oubliette she sent him to remix around 2019. Soon after, their duo ascendant vierge was formed and some 5 years later they just played their second ever set in Czechia the weekend before last for Telekom Electronic Beats’ Summer of Joy that continues into August. Bursting with more promising acts that have garnered cult followings these events hosted in Eastern European cities are set to make a mark on the cultural scene.
With buckets of rain, lightening and severe weather warnings the event ascendant vierge was set to play alongside horsegiirL had a significant downsize from the vast outside area of Letná Park, where you can find the Prague Metronome that exists on a pillar where Stalin’s likeness once stood, to the stylish Fuchs2 nightclub. Inside, Mathilde’s voice soared over the hyper beats of Paul’s production and dancers pulsated with a wild energy. A majority gen-z crowd trained their phones on the duo and swathes of hopefuls queued outside the venue to catch a glimpse. The temperature was high and so was the sound and atmosphere.  With a new record due out in early September titled Le Plus Grand Spectacle De La Terre, we can confirm with Mathilde clad in a lilac Mugler bodysuit and leggings, supported by Paul’s driving beats theirs might just be one of the greatest shows on planet earth.
Your name has a sublimely religious feeling to it, ascendant vierge means virgo rising in English but if you translate vierge by itself it can also mean virgin. The name itself came from a conversation between you both about your star signs, but do you feel a spiritual connection with the club?
Paul: I started music with hip hop and beat making and wasn't at all into the club culture. I’ve been to a proper techno night quite late and had my spiritual experience and this special connection with music both introspective and shared with the others still drives me until today. I think it was Ben UFO at Fuse (Brussels) circa 2011 or 12. Also [I] had the chance to experience Trouw Amsterdam and the legendary Clone x Delsin x Rush Hours nights. I also have shamanic memories of the old Griessmuehle. These are my Top 3 religious club moments.
Have you ever found astrological predictions to be true or significant in your lives?
Mathilde: I don’t really use astrology as a tool to read the future but more as a way to understand the present or who we are. I can tell now after few years of knowing and working with each other that we are so close to the description of our sign Virgo. We are very dedicated to our work, pretty well organised, loyal and absolute control freaks.
Paul: I try to see and take the signs of the universe, not especially astrology but I love what's manipulated in these kind of writings (and also in Mathilde’s lexical) Destiny, faith, love, death, rise and fall.
Danny L Harle’s On A Mountain is reworked on your album Une Nouvelle Chance with you both. How did you connect with the artist and decide that it was right for this project?
Mathilde: We had connections already as we’re working with the same sound engineer in UK, Geoff Swann. Danny knew Paul’s work through Casual Gabberz and we knew he liked our music because he put us in his big playlist. we were very honoured when he invited us to cover one of his songs on the reeditions of Harlecore.
I was lucky enough to catch your performance in Glasgow December last year. Your sets are high energy and packed with plenty of sweaty, dedicated fans. Coming from being both established artists before creating the duo I imagine your first performances were equally as well attended. Can you tell me more about your debut as ascendant vierge?
Mathilde: Our debut was very fluid, before knowing each other we were living both in different cities (Paris and Brussels) when we met, we clicked [straight away] and decided in a few weeks to create this new project. Then Paul went to live in Brussels. We had a great time building this world and had like our 3 first shows in late 2019 then it was Covid and lock down.
Journalists can categorise your music at their peril. I read when labelled as lyrical gabber you responded “ascendant vierge is lyrical gabber from a distance, but it’s a distance from being lyrical gabber”. Are there any descriptions that you’ve particularly liked of your sound?
Mathilde: I think we’re kind of evolving with all this as there is no receipt and even if we do a reggae inspo song or a hard dance one, you can recognise the touch, the vocals, lyrics, the beats or Paul’s melodies. We’re happy to say that the style is postmodern in the sense that it is ultra-modern leading to the movement of deconstruction.
Your Spotify bio indicates you are “encapsulating the essence of the post-modern world”. What does it mean to be in the post-modern world?
Mathilde: I didn’t read the question below (laughs)! A post-modern world would be in my sense a world where everything has been done already — but there is still some ways to create, by digesting, mixing, glueing, it’s pretty fun actually. Post-modernism is the funniest part of this very dystopic era we live in.
Influenceur is still one of your most listened to tracks, even though it was released first as a single in 2019. It talks about the emptiness of this arguably superficial pursuit singing, “Un suiveur parmi les suiveurs”, a follower amongst the followers. How do you weigh in on the significance of influencers today?
Mathilde: Well, at the time we dropped Influenceur it was not really judging anything, more like a funny [nudge] to the influencers, seeing them like people that don’t really succeeded to have friends in real life and finally make it in the digital. Today they have taken an important place, these days it’s very interesting to see some of the biggest French influencers taking position politically, even if it means losing followers.
In your last interview with METAL you listed Virginie Despentes, the French essayist, as an inspiration. I’ve only read her King Kong Theory, which explosively interrogates marriage comparing it with ease to prostitution. How much do you share ideologically with Despentes?
Mathilde: She is a figure. To be honest I have read most of her books when I was around 16 years old. She is a radical punk feminist, enraged, she chants “no future” since 20 years. She has her vision, her life experience has led her to some radical positions, the marriage thing as an example. I do not especially stick to everything but I love this woman and the character she plays in this absurd society, she is right. Do you see an evolution in this landscape? Luckily there are artists like her.
By the time this interview is published we will have seen you perform (for free) at Telekom Electronic Beats Festival in Prague. Music is for everyone and free shows of artists like yourselves are few and far between. Where would you go for good free live music?
Mathilde:  This is a good question! La Fête de la Musique in Brussels would be cool!