FX909 ARTIST SPOTLIGHT SERIES INTERVIEW:
Hello, how are you?
I am good thanks. These last months have been very busy. I am very happy with what is going on with our music right now and in particular our collaboration with SCOTT ALLEN and SOUL DEEP.
Give us a little background on yourself…. Where are you from? How long have you been producing?
I am french with some old russian roots from my mother. I grew up in the northern suburbs of Paris and I live now in the west suburbs, close to Versailles. It’s quiet there and it’s very near Paris when i want more action.
The first time I played with a keyboard and a computer more than 25 years ago. I was around 16, an older neighbour was kind enough to leave a DX7, a ROLAND R8 drum machine and an ATARI with studio 24 in my bedroom. I tried without success to reproduce the music that I bought at the time (Dance music, belgium new beat and early acid house). A sampler was my dream, but too expensive for most of us. I owned turntables and I used to make mixtape for school friends. My intro and outro were made with these little experimentations. At the same time, I learnt music basis with a guitar teacher. Retrospectively, I spent years DJing techno at rave parties, stored many unfinished techno tracks and meanwhile, playing bass in a signed rock band. I met the parisian jungle scene around 1996. Things became serious in 1997, I lived few months in London and went few times to the Metalheadz Sunday Sessions at Blue Note. When I returned to Paris, I knew what I had to do. My first track in collaboration with my old partner in crime DJ VOLTA from RADIO NOVA came out in early 2000 on a french label. We made a lot of thing together (promoters / label owners / djing / production) until my DEFUNKED signing in 2005 as a solo artist.
Youʼve had some solid releases on some of the most iconic labels in the game. What keeps you going in this crazy D&B game?
This music is just so anchored in me. I spent so many years living for it 24 hours a day. DnB is the combination of so many influences, you can not be fed up. When I started, we were few guys in a room, sharing our equipment. Every week end we tried to understand how it was made. Every break or bass sound sample were gold. Internet, tutorials & messengers were not there, we were in a cave. But we were together doing it, with that feeling of making a bit of something fresh and very special. I still have these memories and great feelings with me when I am making DnB. I also met so many good people. Like the house music scene, the people involved are passionate and don’t care about what is cool or uncool to listen to. They just deeply love that music and it’s the soundtrack of their life.
Did you take a little break from production? Or were you producing all along?
I stopped making Drum and bass almost for 8 years. Not because i didn’t like it anymore. That break came at a very difficult time of my life. When you are not lying with your music, with who you are and the way you are living, your music is the reflect of your soul. And at this moment, my soul wasn’t musical at all.
After a real stop with music during 4 years, I slowly get back to music production in different styles, just for fun. HIP HOP, HOUSE, TECHNO and finally DRUM AND BASS, it’s been a long road but I learnt a lot from these years of experimentation without any serious goals.
Who are some of your biggest influences as a producer?
I will say BREAK and TOTAL SCIENCE in any style they go. CALIBRE when he injects some dubby vibes, SUB FOCUS and CULTURE SHOCK when i want some big leads and my frenchy NAIBU and his sublime music anytime.
What is the purpose of this album?
When Scott offered us this opportunity, I begun to collect some very simple piece of music to see where I could go and a choice was made. Keep an eye on the dancefloor and be DJ friendly without loosing musicality. Scott Allen helped me a lot to choose which tracks will be good for this project. I like that mix of deep and stronger vibes we have. I had fun to play at the border of several genre by adding some flavors but with a real desire for homogeneity beetwen each track. It’s subtle, sometimes it’s in the beats, the atmosphere, the bass, some selected sounds… It’s not one hundred percent liquid or atmo, or jungle or whatever you want. As the album title says, it’s ‘undefined’.
When youʼre not listening to D&B, what are your favorite genres & artists to listen to?
It can be weird for someone who is making music but i am not listen that much of music. But I am very concern when I am listening to it. I have to be alone. I like old things with vocals. It depends on my mood but i am very open minded. These are the CDs I have in my car at the moment and it’s very eclectic : a JANIS JOPLIN compilation, LED ZEPPELIN first album, MICHAEL JACKSON thriller, Metallica black album, a ELLA FITZGERALD compilation, Some old good reggaeton mixtape, some punk Hardcore bands, two 2006 drum and bass mixtape, a bit of Angola and Portugal with Bonga and some fado, THE DOORS L.A womenw album, DR DRE 2001, NTM (famous french rap), a batucada band and a LINVAL THOMPSON compilation. In my opinion, music can be great in any style when you’re curious enough. When i want some fresh music with vocals, i go to COLORS SHOW on youtube. I am into 80% of what I hear there.
Who were some of the early producers who inspired your sound?
If i go back in the time, PHOTEK, HIDDEN AGENDA, SOURCE DIRECT, OMNI TRIO, EZ ROLLERS, FELLOWSHIP, BLAME are precious.
I would be happy if you find a bit of these guys influence at listening to ‘SARDEGNA’ (‘Slow Breath’ EP) and ‘IF YOU WOULD’ or ‘CUTBACK’ (‘Undefined’ album) on SOUL DEEP. I say that with humility and a big amount of respect for these artists.
Youʼve been around the D&B game for a long time. What do you think of where the scene has evolved to? And what do you think about the progression of the genre?
It’s wonderful. We have so many style now. The diversification is a real good thing for this music. Producers outside of the UK brought some nice influences. It’s an enrichment for this scene. We are now all playing around 170 BPM but anyone can find in drum and bass what he is looking for. We have producers from all over the world. Internet made things easier. I can’t count how many CDs I sent back in the day. I had to go in UK to talk to a DJ or a producer… It’s so easier to talk to anyone in a minute nowadays. The standard production level became very high. DnB has always been something very technical to make but we can hear now how skilled are the producers. It forces us all to give the best of ourselves. I don’t know if we can expect big change now in DnB, this music has reached maturity. We just have trends for few months and we go back to the classics. This type of music sticks to the music production tools and their evolution. We can hear it along the years. Some bass type and pads were not possible few years ago. It’s intrinsic to electronic music. Changes in that music might come from the technology we use.
What else do you have coming up that we should all look forward to?
SOUL DEEP is now a home for our productions so we will drop more tracks there for sure during 2020. A new 4 track EP is now arriving in December 2019 on LIQUID DROPS. For 2020, we nicely begin the year with a 4 track EP on LIQUID FLAVOURS to come on the first day of the new year, 01-01-2020. We also have already many tracks locked with CITRUS, LIQUID LAB, TRIBE OF DUB, SHEER VELOCITY, SMOOTH & GROOVE and SUPERLIT (new EGO TRIPPIN forthcoming label). We slowly reconnect to the whole scene and are in contact with more labels so things are coming. I managed my time in a way to be able to make more music and be more focus on DnB than ever. Our own label for some more specific works could be also a possible thing for 2020. We also definitely wish to make more PODCASTS & SHOWS, so don’t hesitate to contact us thru our social media profiles.
Would you like to give any shout outs?
Too many to mention so don’t be mad at me if you dont read your name on the list. But for sure, my wife Diana and my kids who let me work on my time-consuming music production. Nothing is possible without them. I am now not alone in the FX909 project, thanks to Sylvain GALACTIC FUNK, he brings his incredible DJ skills and his passion for that music, check our podcasts, you’ll get it. I had a talk on the phone two years ago with Ian & Matt from EGO TRIPPIN, I am here because of their kind words and support. They helped me to be back at DnB and it’s priceless. Earlier I talked about DJ VOLTA, he is one of the first jungle Drum and Bass DJ with a in France, he helped me to switch from techno to DnB in my production and introduce me to some big men of the original french DnB scene (OTIS, BEN, LUTIN, ANAKYNE, ACTIV, JUNGLIST POSSEE among others). Of course, a huge thanks to all the labels who believe in our music. They offer us a shelter for our music. You can not do a thing without helps and supports from them.
Thanks to all the people who are listening, buying, spreading, and playing our music. Thanks to the ones who send us some shouts and follow us on our social media profiles. I am always pleasantly surprised when someone takes the time to write a few words to tell you that he likes your music, it’s definitely precious and very emotionally rewarding. Big up to the whole french DnB scene, we have good djs, good producers, good labels, good promoters, a good crowd, and a very talented / motivated new generation for what i can see and hear. We were few back in the days, something changed for better and it’s great. In a general way, thanks to all the worldwide DnB community, whatever you’re doing, no matter what your status, we share the same passion for that amazing music and it exists because of us all. Take care everyone and thanks for reading. You can catch us easily on the web if needed. Peace