With a slew of hard-hitting releases clocked on the likes of Perfekt Groove, Infekted Records, Biotech Recordings, Krafted Underground, and Beenoise Records over the course of his career, hotly-tipped French techno talent and Panik label boss, Portax, recently returned to his burgeoning imprint for the first juggernaut release of 2021, A Lucid Dream.

Out now via Panik, A Lucid Dream is everything we have come to expect and more from the French artist, who has been going from strength to strength with each passing release since he burst onto the scene back in 2019.

We caught up with the prolific Frenchman to find out more.

Hello Portax, welcome to Techno Mood!
Hey Techno Mood, thanks a lot for having me. You were the first page on Instagram to shared my very first track, so I’m really glad to talk to you today!

How are you?
Very good thank you, safe and with thousands of new projects in mind!

Please can you introduce yourself?
Sure, I’m PORTAX, a French techno producer. I started producing many years ago and now I’m finding my place in the dark techno world. As a producer, I spend most of my time in my studio, but I also love to organize techno events! I’m based in New Caledonia, a beautiful French Island close to Australia but I’m now moving back to my home, the south of France, Montpellier, to be closer of the « techno music industry.

Who or what were your biggest musical influences growing up?
My very first influence was Daft Punk. With them I discovered a new way of eliciting beautiful feelings with dark sounds. After spending all middle school listening to pop rock, I came across sounds from Maxime Dangles, John Dahlback, Paul Nazca, Paul Kalkbrenner and many others during my clubbing experience. They are the absolute reason why I’m producing now. I became a mix of my musical influences.

Congratulations on your new single ‘A Lucid Dream’ on your label PANIK. Can you talk to us about the record?
Thanks! A Lucid Dream is a real invitation to dream. Released last Monday (12th of April) this track is a real weapon! My mission with this record was to transcribe what can be my Lucid Dream if I had to have one. Leading by a great vocal, the melody keeps the dreamer alive during all the time of the track. I spend a lot of time on the kick-bass-sub production, to get a heavy industrial kick sensation, which is clearly my imprint. The vocal inside the track is your inner voice whispering in your head, reminding you that you are
dreaming. I can’t wait to play it!

What’s your creative vision for the imprint?
With this label, I want to keep a dark colour and only release underground techno. I’m not looking for a uniform style, but just something different and of high quality.

And what was the motivation behind setting it up?
My first motivation was to create my imprint so that I could release singles that don’t match with main labels. Tracks that I wanted to keep for myself, like one of my favourites: Assassins. Also, it’s like having a second showroom of your work! I think it’s important to have your own label so you can stick to your style and not having to compromise when you are producing. Another motivation was to select unknown artists and give them a chance to evolve and be known. I’m not seeking quantity; I’m only looking for artists who can convey emotions with a track.

Any exciting upcoming artists we should be keeping our eyes on?
Honestly, I can’t tell names but I highly recommend you to follow the label in 2021!

We understand you grew up in Montpellier, France. Can you tell us about the nightlife scene there?
Without COVID, Montpellier is one of the best cities in Europe for the nightlife. I mean, we have had and still have the best techno clubs. There is a real techno culture and since the city is a student/young city, culture and street art are central to the city cultural identity. Many well-known producers are from Montpellier, and there are a lot of raves around the area. We have had famous places like “La Villa Rouge” or the well-known after the club « The Bar Live «. Unfortunately, these are now closed but many people are working on opening new ones!

Besides the obvious nightlife spots, where are some of your favourite places to hang out in the city?
My favourite places to hang out in Montpellier are :
– The Comedy Place: The central place of the old city centre. A wonderful place with a famous Opéra building, the earth of Montpellier
– The old city centre: As Montpellier is a Roman City, the city centre is mainly pedestrian! And the architecture is amazing.
– There is also Le Bois de Montmaur: not far from the centre, a little piece of nature in the city, a peaceful wood.

What are your favourite pieces of studio equipment right now? (Please name at least three)
My Subpack, Push 2, Speakers: Auratone 5C

Top 3 favourite records you love to play at the moment?
– T78, Dino Maggiorana, Hardcore
– Ramon Tapia – Vibrations
– Joyhauser – Sentient

Can you tell us about some of your favourite non-electronic music artists?
Sure : Arctic monkeys, Oasis, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Metallica!

What have you got planned for the rest of the year?
Move back to Montpellier in a few months and more importantly: bookings ! I just confirmed a booking in Albania and a tour in India, I just can’t wait! And of course, new releases coming up in 2021!

Any final words for our Techno Mood readers?
Thanks, everyone for your support, without you, we as artists are nothing, so A HUGE THANK YOU!

Thanks Olivier
Thanks team for having me, it was a pleasure. Stay safe and keep sharing good content!