It’s difficult to imagine how the French techno scene might have looked without Oxia. Active since the mid-90s, the Grenoble producer has put out work across essential French imprints like Ozone and GoodLife, his own label first launched alongside EBM legend The Hacker in 1998.
His career now spans more than two decades, but somehow his music has outlived many records of the mid-90s scene. His now-seminal Kompakt hit Domino is widely considered one of dance music’s biggest anthems, still played and championed by modern day heroes like Gerd Janson and Pan-Pot. Last year the same track was given the rework treatment for Agoria's sapiens label, meanwhile Oxia's been working closely with Nicolas Masseyeff on his new imprint, Diversions Music.
This weekend he makes an overdue return to Farringdon for Pig&Dan’s next Odyssey, and ahead of the date, the duo tapped him up for a mix and interview to warm us up.
Pig&Dan: Hi Oxia, it’s so good to have you on the team!
Oxia: Thank you, I’m glad to be part of it.
Firstly, what do you feel makes you unique as a DJ and producer?
I don’t really know, it’s hard to express it myself. I guess it’s up to other people to say so. But I always try to follow my instinct, what I feel, in accordance to my sensibility and my mood… and I always enjoy performing so much so I guess people must feel it.
What kind of music do you listen to when you want to get away from four to the floor?
I listen to many different things, especially jazz, funk and classical… then you have calmer genres that more or less belong to the electronic or pop spectrum. I’ve actually recently made a podcast series of this kind of stuff called Home Selection, which is more stuff to chill out to.
What are you up to next?
I’m due to play a lot in Europe, mainly in Sicily or cities like Vienna, Barcelona, Bordeaux, Brussels… Tel-Aviv will be next, then I’ve got a bunch of gigs scheduled in December across South America and Australia. Before all that, London is happening on 4th November, of course!
Release-wise, I’m working on some things, some of which are almost finalized, but it’s still a bit early to say when and where they’ll be out.
What is your mission in the music industry – where do you aim to be in the next 5 years?
I don’t really have a mission. I do what I love to do, while entertaining people the best I can and sharing my music with them. I think I’ll still be active within the electronic music scene five years from now – it’s not such a long time. 10 or 15 years from now might be more difficult to say!
What are your expectations of coming to fabric for Odyssey?
It’s been quite some time since I performed at fabric so, for a start, I’m very happy to be back! I’m also happy that Pig&Dan invited me because I’m certain that it’s going to be a great night with them; they’re really good-spirited and they’re very cool. So, like when I’m playing a party for the first time, I’m expecting something a little extra and different, while I’ll also be eager to share a nice moment with the crowd – just like any other gig.
Are you an early riser or late sleeper?
I’m a late sleeper; my friends would say I was a big liar if I had stated otherwise! I’ve always struggled with waking up very early, for example when I have to catch a flight… In fact, I’ve maintained a sort of weekend lifestyle, without necessarily going out during the rest of the week. So I go to sleep quite late at night, sometimes not before 2 or 3am because I like to make music at night. I like the atmosphere, and also not being bothered by phone calls.
What do you use to produce your records?
I work on a Mac with Logic Audio and all sorts of different plugins. I also still frequently use hardware, notably Virus or Nova, and I’ve got even older machines like SH101 or Juno 106, but they don’t really work that well anymore. I create my tracks alone in my studio, then I go to my friend Nicolas Masseyeff’s studio to mix and finalize. He’s also the co-founder of our label Diversions Music, on which his latest EP has just been released. I think it’s always better to have a second opinion once a track’s finalized; this allows me to have another perspective, and to benefit from Nicolas’ knowledge. Plus, it’s a good excuse to party when we’re done!