French techno par excellence.
Start slow, build to a crescendo and gradually bring things down: it's a familiar formula, but one that works particularly well on this week's RA podcast, from Parisian techno artist François X. François is part of a recent wave of producers who have stirred fresh interest in the French capital's techno scene. He's been DJing in the city for around 15 years, and started to gain recognition outside of Paris when he released his debut EP through DJ Deep's Deeply Rooted House label in 2009. François describes himself below as a "slow producer," and indeed there have been only a couple more EPs since his debut. The Storm Cycle cleverly played with Detroit techno tropes. The Countdown, which featured a killer Marcel Dettmann remix, was the sort of record that slips down nicely at Berghain circa 2 PM. François has had a few chances to show his wares at the Berlin techno institution, and is a regular at Concrete, a party that's quickly gained a reputation as one of Europe's best.
Dement3d Records, the label François co-founded in 2011, is also a vital cog in the French techno renaissance. It's fostered the careers of artists like DSCRD and Polar Inertia, and has been the home of François's collaborative work with Opuswerk as Hiss:1292. Suspended In A Stasis Field, the next François X solo record, dropped on the label today, and it's arguably his strongest release to date.
What have you been up to recently?
I have just got back from Argentina where I had a great time (thanks Mr Kopp :)). I have been also quite busy finishing up music with my friend Opuswerk for the next HISS:1292 record scheduled for September on Dement3d Records.
A funny thing is that my solo EP is out today on Dement3d. I am very happy with it because it is my first solo EP since three years. I am a very slow producer, so it is a relief, and I hope to find a better way to produce more and more.
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded in my studio with the usual DJ stuff. Not very fancy.
Can you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
I was not so sure of the track selection, because one hour sometimes is a very short slot to show your personal taste. But I didn't want to bore people with old school tracks and abstract selections to show them my so-called culture. If there is a particular idea behind this mix, I could say it represents my own way of mixing: starting very slow and moody, blending atmosphere, emotions and building a "voodoo" journey. I love to get lost in the music and to bring people with me. I hope I did good on this one.
There has been lots of talk of a Parisian electronic music revival over the last couple of years. How do you view the situation in the city right now?
As you have probably heard and watched in Real Scenes Paris, since two or three years the dance community has been very healthy and productive. A regular weekend in Paris today is as busy as in Berlin. So we could say Paris is electric and alive now! Production-wise a lot of strong producers and labels have emerged and are recognised internationally.
People like Antigone, Zadig, Polar Inertia, Birth Of Frequency are becoming acknowledged by their peers. Concrete is still on top. They just launched their Friday and Sunday parties, which are always packed. There will be a busy summer in Paris with the second edition of the Weather Festival, a bigger one, and the SIGNAL FESTIVAL organised by the new talented promoters Jeremy Exploration. You have also a lot of young and inspiring collectives all over the country, which are throwing great events. From my point of view, Paris will be an electronica mecca very soon.
What are you up to next?
I have a new Hiss scheduled for September on Dement3d. This one will be massive and far better than the first. I teamed up with Antigone this summer and we produced some really nice music: a remix of an ambient track for DEMENTeD, scheduled for May / June, and a record soon to be released. And plenty of DJ gigs across Europe.