Ahead of his appearance at WYS! this Sunday, the Berlin based, Parisian producer Alexkid speaks to the guys directly about his history and his musical preference.
We are really excited to welcome you back at the club this coming Sunday and very proud to also on the same night launch WetYourSelf Recordings 7th EP which is of course your solo debut on the label. First up, we would like to get a little more on your background. For those that don’t know you, you’ve been dj'ing and releasing music for almost 15 years now. How do you feel the dance scene has changed, for better or worse and are you still enjoying it as much as when you started?
Yes, I was young(er) then (!!!), not that I feel old or anything, but I have to admit that the dance scene has dramatically changed for quite a few reasons. I believe that unfortunately there's a lot of producers who are doing this for the glamour and the fame, and not because of the music. Of course, it is cool to be a DJ, and to release records, I would just like more artists to be doing this for the sake of music, and not because of the cool side of it.
Back then, if you really wanted gear, you HAD to spend money to buy it... it was a commitment. Then learning the skills to have your hardware sound proper wasn't necessarily easy. Labels also were more picky, because releasing a vinyl wasn't - and still isn't - exactly cheap. DJs were also more picky about the music, as buying a vinyl too wasn’t necessarily cheap. Now, there's people who play music downloaded on the internet, often on pirate sites, playing them on cracked software... or even producing with illegal software... I'm not blaming anyone, of course there are some exceptions and it has definitely allowed some beautiful music to appear, but it also has diluted everything. It becomes harder and harder for a good young artist to stand out, just because people don't really know where to look... there's too much out there... too many labels, too much music.
The lack of commitment is a problem to me. I want people to be passionate about what they do.
We, here at WYS! of course love you and your work and are very excited to release you next EP ‘Yemsa’ on the label. Would you like to tell us a bit about you work process in general?
I have no real work process, I very often kill the flight hours with my laptop, making beats... then I let them sit... I listen to them again, and if I think that there's something , I just finish them at the studio. Lately I love just doing ‘toolish’ tracks. I became a bit tired of too much music. I know that eventually I will come back to more melodic things, but that's my phase at the moment, I just want to dance, and I'm still looking for the perfect beat. As it most likely doesn't exist, it keeps me going!
You are, as we see it, a DJ that get's booked, at least in new venues, very much on the back of your productions. What do you personally prefer and if you HAD to choose to either only to DJ or produce for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
I would choose production. I like to sit in my studio with my gear that I have been collecting since I was seventeen. I sold a lot of machines, bought others, sold them again. Lately I've been a good boy, and I haven't been spending money... I found a balance. I will just get an MPC60 again. I really miss my 3000 and my 60. I sold my MPC3000 to Daniel Bell, so I know it is in good hands, even though... I really regret doing so... but we all make mistakes!
I love DJing, but beat making is my trip. I would miss the traveling for sure!
Coming from Paris I know you have moved to Berlin some years ago. Has that had any major effect on your sound?
It definitely has had a major impact on me. You can kick in a trash can, and five cool DJs will fall out of it... so it is more challenging than Paris. Also there's a bit more concept to the music. The main effect on my music is that it stripped down to something a bit more raw than before. The club scene in Berlin also is really outstanding... I just love it being here. It’s a relaxed life, but there is more pressure when it comes to what you have to do. It takes more to make a difference, and I like challenge.
At the moment there's a new up and coming scene in Paris that I'm following quite a bit. "New" guys like Yakine, Varoslav, Mlle Caro, Molly, Seuil or Okain to name a few are really making it happen there. All the others left! But thanks to them, something new is happening. They're a good team and good guys, plus they're excellent DJs.
We loved the DJ sets you played at our parties both at fabric and at Sonar in Barcelona.. Have you prepared something extra special for us for this Sunday?
Mmmm... I don't know... should I? I could go old school all the way, maybe? No, I don’t know... I think I will just freestyle as usual...
You must have played some pretty amazing gig's in your very impressive career, tell us which ones stand out in your mind as the strongest?
Ouch... that’s a hard one... quite a few stand out for different reasons. Playing after Garnier in the open air in front of 18,000 people is one of them, just because it was impressive to see that - and fun to do. Also, playing this after party by the sea in Montenegro, just playing weird dub and electronica in front of Russians on acid, whilst the storm was kicking off in a beautiful decorum is also one of them. Playing a Garage House set - totally New York gay - in the open air last December in Cairo, and seeing a non initiated crowd (70% of men!) hands up in the air going wild... Last time at Panorama was really good... Argh, there are so many memories! It’s so hard to say. I usually really enjoy the parties!
On a lighter note we would love to know what you are into except from techno… Any hobbies?
I love cooking, mostly Thai food. I'm getting really good at it, and I make it very, very hot! I bake also a bit, but less often. I love watching movies. And because I'm a nerd, I sometimes do patches on Max/MSP to create my own plug ins. Ableton is releasing one of them anytime soon. It is called Instant Haus and it generates beats automatically – it’s quite a lot of fun to play with.
Also, what would be you non electronic favorite album at the moment?
I haven't been buying non electronic lately due to a lack of time. Even though I listen to a lot of non-electronic stuff as I play guitar I’ll have to pass. Next thing I'm buying though is the latest Radiohead album. I heard it the other day, and I think I will like it. I buy everything from them as a rule now.