First of all thanks for answering our questions!
You’re most welcome, the pleasure is mine. Thank you as well !
Michel Amato (The Hacker) and yourself are also coming from Grenoble. The city is a perfect destination for skiing but we don’t know much about the club scene. What is the nightlife like in Grenoble and the region?
Yes indeed, Michel and I are from Grenoble; so is Miss Kittin. It’s true that most people, when talking about Grenoble, immediately think about the ski slopes and the stations that are above and around it; some are less than 30 minutes away from downtown. This said, I’d like to underline we don’t actually ski in the city itself (a lot of people think that!) since it’s not a station
As for the electronic music scene, there were many eras. The first happened during the early Nineties, with a number of more or less illegal rave parties taking place, and clubs starting to show interest in Techno music. I was myself resident in one of these clubs at the time, around 1994. Then there was a flat period due to the authorities issuing bans and problems with the police … But slowly things went back to normal and parties started happening again. There was a club named Vertigo back then; during the early 2000s I was a resident there and a lot of DJs came over to perform (Laurent Garnier, Jeff Mills, Hot Since 82, Josh Wink)
Nowadays there are other places that organize really nice events, such as notably La Belle Electrique these last 4 years. They’ve welcomed several headliners like Maceo Plex, Nina Kraviz, Ben Klock, Agoria, Marcel Dettmann… Usually there’s at least one big night per month. Then, you’ve got nearby cities like Lyon, which is about 100 kilometers away, where many people from Grenoble also go to.
Techno music has been rising for years now. You are also coming from a more dynamic and groovy background. The style was changed a lot in the previous decade and you’re style remain more smooth and deep despite of recent techno’s hype. How would you describe Oxia as a producer / remixer?
I agree, big fat Techno has really made a comeback these past years and has become more and more popular with the new generation, which is cool. As for me I’ve always liked several electronic music genres. Our first EPs (I’m saying “our” because initially OXIA was a duo until 2000) released in the mid and late Nineties were quite Techno-oriented, but as you said always quite groovy because we were initially coming from Funk music. I also made a few electro tracks at some point because I was very influenced by the Detroit people like Aux88, Drexciya and so on.
I’ve always been very open to new things, and so since I like lots of different things, I enjoy creating many different things as well, without staying confined to one genre only. So basically I’ve made deep stuff, more melodic stuff, more rhythmic stuff … I’ve also made some “Techno-ish” stuff, like notably some tracks I released on my label Diversions Music (with Nicolas Masseyeff), like my track “Moodulations” released last March, or the track “Consequence” also out on Diversions in 2016. The remix I made for John Digweed and Nick Muir’s track “Satellite” (out in May on Bedrock) is also a little bit “harder”.
But once again since I like so many things, there is no preset mode. When I start working on a track I follow my instinct and my mood of the moment so it’s really tough to accurately describe my style. Let’s say I’m an electronic music producer
What do you think of the techno scene recently and where do you see the genre in about five years?
The Techno scene is still very active and there are lots of interesting things going on. Of course, it’s heavily influenced by the Nineties so we tend to catch a lot of old-school sounds made-over through present-day modern production means. There are so many people making music nowadays, whereas when we started back in the days it wasn’t the case; we had to purchase gear and it was very expensive. Today, a simple laptop and a couple plugins can actually generate a good track. I actually think it’s really cool because it’s allowed a lot of young people to express themselves through music; a lot of them would not have had the means to do so back then.
As for where Techno will be next in five years, I think it’s always quite hard to say; I’m not sure I can answer that. These last five years have seen more and more festivals and parties so I guess there’s no reason it shouldn’t continue.
In case you have any special one, what is your music making procedure? What kind of equipemnts do you use and where do you take inspiration from?
I don’t really have a special way of working or making music, even if I generally start making the beat – hence determining what sounds I’m going to lay on top of it. But I also have done the opposite when working on melodic tracks. It has also happened that I’d found some sounds that weren’t going together with the rhythmic section, therefore changing the rhythms. I have often drastically changed an entire track chunk even though I practically had it finished.
I use Logic Audio and a bunch of various Logic plugins, in addition to other external, non-Logic ones of course. I have been composing a lot on my laptop for the past year and a half. It’s so practical when I’m on tour; I can work on the plane, at the hotel … This can actually stimulate me in a different manner, depending where I am, because some situations when traveling inspire me. Of course my inspiration does mainly stem from what I listen or have listened to in my life, whatever the genre might be.
I have heavy Funk music influences (I used to host a Funk radio show), and I also listen to Jazz, Rock, Pop, Classical, Soul. All of these genres are sources of inspiration.
To get back to the gear I work with, I still continue using hardware (Virus, Novation), I’ve also got old machines like the SH101 or Juno 106. They don’t work very well now
In addition to this, I’ve been composing these days on my laptop or in my studio then finishing the mixdown at my friend and label co-owner Nicolas Masseyeff’s house, because he’s got great knowledge and experience when it comes to working on sounds. And also because it’s always better to have four ears and a second opinion!
On what kind of releases working on currently? What can we expect from you later on this year?
So, as I mentioned earlier I released two EPs so far this year: “Second Mood” (Diversions Music) then “For Real”, co-produced with the Italians from Artslaves (Deeperfect), in addition to my remix on Bedrock. I have a few ongoing projects at the time – knowing that I have been on tour a lot for the last few weeks so I haven’t had a lot of time to resume working but yes, I’m working on stuff but it’s still too early to talk about this.
Back in 2004 you released your first album called 24 Heures, then Tides Of Mind, the second one in 2012. It is 8 years between those two albums. Can we expect the 3rd one in 2020?
It’s true. For the record when I made my second album, I said at the time I wouldn’t wait another eight years to do my third but it looks like we’re heading this way! Times passes too quickly. I still have the impression “Tides of Mind” was out 3 or 4 years ago. Since then, I did release a lot of EPs, remixes and have toured quite extensively though. But yes, I’ve a few tracks for my next album and I really hope to finish it quickly!
Everybody knows Domino but you have many other releases and remixes as well. My favorite product from your studio is your Ruhestörung Plattenbau remix for Markus Lange back in 2006. What do you think what is your best ever record created?
Nice one, you know your subject ; )
And yes, more or less everyone knows me mainly because of Domino. I’m happy about that because it’s never easy for most artists to produce a track that’s so popular, that’s even become a classic. Sometimes, I do get tired of playing it, but people request it every time and well… When you see the crowd’s reaction, I become so very happy. Fortunately, I regularly get requests about many other various tracks in my discography. And it’s always super difficult for me to say which track I prefer in my own catalog since I’ve made so many different things. I love specific tracks for various reasons, for me it’s too hard to pick just one. What I can say is that I’m quite proud of my album ‘Tides Of Mind’ as a whole, because it represents quite accurately what I like doing within electronic music.
With 25 years of experience, what would be your advise for young producers who are just the beginning of their career?
I’m often asked this question, and every time I don’t have a lot of things to say except for: enjoy yourselves, do what you feel, what you like, and even if you always need to listen to constructive criticism from other people, stay yourselves and believe in what you do.
We are all know some famous french house / techno artists, like Laurent Garnier, Antigone, Miss Kittin, Agoria or Nicolas Masseyeff. However we are also interested in new talents. Could you name a few?
There are indeed some artists like myself who have been around for a long time, and there are many talented younger producers in France whom I can think of. To name but a few I’d say Matt Sassari, Traumer, The Mekanism, Rafael Cerrato, Jacques…
There are many others, within various genres/subgenres. The French electronic music scene is very diverse, and is doing quite well at the moment.
And finally how would you convince your Hungarian fans in order to turn up on your show this weekend?
Ah, how could I convince them! I’d tell them to come because I’m certain it’s going to be a beautiful night, that we’re going to share this moment together, that the more people will be enthusiastic and the happier I’ll feel being with them and the better I’ll play
On a more serious note, I do hope to see a lot of people attending the event. Every time I’ve played in Budapest, it was really, really great and I’ve had a tremendous time playing everything I like, from groovy stuff to melodic, to a little bit more Techno tunes … So see you on Saturday!!!