In France, we are famous for our vine, our cheese and our techno/minimal scene.
Talents such as Laurent Garnier or Agoria have shown the way to thousands producers & djs. This popularity has also helped democratising electronic music, first widely judge on the illegality of some events and the drugs you could find there. Now, as everywhere else in the world, Dance Music is for us what rock’n roll was for our parents (for those who were lucky ;)
But it looks like the success of what we call « Bass Music » belongs more to some countries than others. Of course, UK is the dominant one, thanks to pirate radios and loads of very popular bands such as the Prodigy, the Chemical Brothers or Massive Attack. But now i think we can definitly add other countries like the US or Germany, where you can easily find huge regular events, from hip hop, to dubstep or garage.
In France, we have loads of good artists evoluating in this scene. But even if they have heavy supports from abroad, it’s really difficult to be noticed inside of France. For years, national magazines didn’t talk about this movement, more interested in more « german-influenced » kind of electronic music. Now mentalities are slowly changing and owing to blogs, people are now free to discover & listen what they want.
That’s why i am now REALLY happy about this new RUMBLE FESTIVAL happening in a couple of weeks in Lyon. The line up is killer, it looks like a party at Fabric London, but it is in my own city, Lyon. What a nice symbol!
This is quite risky: all these names are huge for some of us, but not for the majority…
So this week, i’m gonna post you music from each artists playing at the festival. Listen, enjoy & spread the word. This festival deserves loads of party people.
Uk garage appeared in the early 1990s and was mainly a UK thing: in France, some people tried but all of them failed, especially cos this style sounded too commercial for the underground french ears :)
But music works by cycle and it’s really nice to see that this style has turned in another sound, merging with loads of other influences such as techno, oldschool house or afro beat. The fusion with dubstep has also been very important.
Today, i wanted to talk about a french future garage producer, who deserve some noise: NEAT. In only one release (see the label attached) on the very respectable label Aiflex Labs Neat recieved massive supports from the dubstep scene. And has now licensed one of his track to a Ministry of Sound compilation. Well done guy :)
Hi Neat. Can you please introduce yourself to the ones who never heard about you ?
— Hugo, 24. I’ve started as a drummer at the age of 12 and have progressively switched to electronic music at the age of 16.
Your tracks sounds really « techno », is it your musical background ? what do you used to listen to while growing up ?
— I’ve mainly listened to classical music, jazz or rock while i was a kid, but my dad made me listened to electronic music quite early: Kraftwerk « Autobahn », Laurie Anderson « Big Science » et Radiohead « Kid A » of course. Then i’ve discovered Atkins, Robert Hood, Derrick Carter…. it was really a shock. Even if i am always trying to search other interesting source of influences, there’ll always be this Detroit/Chicago touch in my production i think.
I’ve seen of another interview (here for the froggies only) you were also very inspired by photography or painting, can you please tell us a bit more about that ?
— Yes, it may sounds a bit cliché, but i’ve noticed this had a huge influence on the way i see things in music. For example photographers such as Koudelka or Boubat, painters such as Schiele or Braque give you an instant view of their world/perceptions. It is sincere and very spontaneous, establishing the way they see things and the way to demonstrate them.
So you were first a drummer. How have you switched to the digital world ? when was it and how do you usually work ?
— It all went very fast, i’ve started to fiddle beats, samplers and so one…. Now it’s all about the digital solution, Cubase + plug ins. I do it in the techno way – again – trying to use a minimum of sounds (usually wave basics such as white noise etc…) and put lots of effort on the effects/spatialisation side. It is easier for me to find interesting textures like this than using synths everybody has… it is important to have his own touch…
So what’s coming next ?
—My next release is a collaboration withSubmerse, « Close » (available in both vinyl & digital), with Falty DL &Jack Dixon remixes. This will be available on Airflex on the 28th of March. « Lime & Sugar » has just been signed to aMinistry of Sound compilation, i also got very nice gigs alongside Roska, Untold, Scuba or Lorn. There’ll also be a Airflex Labs Stage at Les Nuits Sonores (Lyon/FR)in june. I’m actually working on a remix for Hybu, and also another EP i’me very happy with, but unfortunately my hard drive has just crashed. So now i need to make it repair… Got a busy schedule …