Hi Alex, a very warm welcome to Techno Mood. Great to have you with us for the first time!
Hi! Thank you very much for having me, the pleasure is mine!
Please can you introduce yourselves to our Techno Mood readers?
My name is Alex, I’m a French producer and DJ who makes electronic music. I play several music instruments like the piano or the guitar.
Note: POPOF was a member of French cult Nineties hardcore collective Heretik System before going solo and producing minimal techno hits such as “Serenity” and “Do You Want Me. A few years ago he also released a House music album on Hot Creations before switching back to the Tech-House and Techno genre. He has remixed iconic artists such as Depeche Mode and Moby.
Despite everything that’s going on in the world right now, how has 2020 been for you so far?
It’s all good. The situation allowed me to take a break from touring and focus on making new music. I’ve been feeling very creative!
Congratulations on the recent release of your remix for Abstraal and Teenage Mutants on Family Piknik. Can you talk to us about the record and how it came about?
Thank you ! The Family Piknik founders are good buddies and they asked me to do a remix for Abstraal & Teenage Mutants. When I heard the track, I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it and the ideas came to me instantly. I bolted to the studio and did it quite quickly.
We understand you have a brand-new EP coming up on Solardo’s Sola imprint on June 19th. Exciting stuff! Can you talk to us about the record and what our readers can expect from the release?
The lead track, “Open Head” is a cheerful, dancefloor-oriented track. There’s this main synth in it that’s very catchy and groovy; it comes with small, sort-of chopped, Housey vocals. On top of it there’s this enormous break that slows down before taking off again, with a minimal vibe. I loved composing this EP! I’m very excited about the release.
How did the introduction to the Sola crew come about? Have you worked with them before?
I briefly met Solardo for the first time on the Resistance stage at Ultra Miami in 2019. Following this, it made sense to me to send the crew a demo comprising these tracks because I thought they were original enough to match the label Sola. They liked what they heard and replied quite positively.
Let’s talk a bit about your label FORM Music. It seems you’ve had a very prolific year, with big releases from the likes of Christian Hornbostel, Simina Grigoriu, Klaudia Gawlas, Dustin Holtsberry, Julian Jeweil and The Reactivitz over the past 12 months alone. How do you go about choosing talent for the label and its releases?
I’m very proud of my label Form Music – it’s just celebrated its 10-year anniversary and it’s as prolific as ever. In terms of selecting the artists we want to release, honestly, we keep what we like. We don’t care if the artist is famous or unknown as long as what he or she does matches our taste and quality expectations. Anyone is welcome to send over demos at Form Music. We aim at providing a platform for everyone.
We loved watching the two charity livestream events you put on in May. Was that the first time you’ve done something like that with FORM? Do you think you will do more of these?
It was indeed the first time! The French electronic music channel Clubbing TV and our label manager came up with the idea and we thought it would be brilliant to entertain our fans (and ourselves of course. We were missing playing in front of an audience …). Then our friends from Cercle suggested we try raising funds for the charity they support, Music Against Covid-19 – a group consisting of Doctors Without Borders and Hospitals of France. Both livestreams went extremely well and were crossposted by 70 partners around the globe, from Secret Solstice festival in Iceland to VH1 India to clubs and festivals in Northern and South America, the Middle-East and Europe. We managed to raise a few thousand euros as well for Music Against Covid-19 so we’re all feeling very proud.
Do you have any releases / artists coming up on FORM that we should keep our ears peeled for?
I actually do. Our sister Simina Grigoriu is going to release an EP very soon; afterwards it’s our good friend and Form regular Julian Jeweil who will release an EP in August, featuring a remix by yours truly.
With large parts of the world still suffering the effects of COVID-19, and with large-scale events cancelled across the board, what have you been doing to keep yourself busy during this period?
My hometown Paris was one of the most affected areas in France, so the lockdown was very severe. We needed to fill a form just to go to the grocery store. Some people close to me got sick too, so it was very scary. But I took the opportunity to make new music and I wasn’t deeply impacted by the situation.
Presumably you have a lot more time to spend in the studio at the moment. What are your favourite pieces of studio equipment right now? (Please name at least three)
There’s a lot of them but my favorite pieces at the moment are Access Virus TI, Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol and the ever-so-good Moog Subsequent 37.
Any final words for our Techno Mood readers?
Really looking forward to see you all on the dancefloor! In the meantime, stay safe, respect social distancing and take care. Let’s hope it’ll be over soon.