Paris’ Techno Trend with Francois X and Heartbeat
Over the last two years Paris has found itself becoming acquainted with a growing techno scene, with increasingly popular underground parties managing to recruit some of the biggest names from the genre. Despite this, Paris’ own musical output has not matched that of Berlin or Detroit, leaving people to ask whether it could just be a passing trend.
The Parisian producer Francois X and DJ Heartbeat have a specific philosophy on the music currently being produced in Paris: with the recognition that techno is very much in style right now, they are conscious that the music released from their label, Dement3d, is of the highest quality, with disregard for the sense of urgency that comes with a possibly fleeting trend.
We spoke with them about their perceptions of what is currently happening in the city and got their insight into the world of techno.
Gloobbi: What are your musical backgrounds?
Francois X: I grew up with two different cultures, a real background in black music through my father: salsa, soul, African music, Latin music, and a bunch of more white stuff through my mom, rooted in classical rock, new wave and poetic French songs. I think that techno, even if sometimes very straightforward, is a good translation of that mixed culture combination that I’ve been exposed to during my life.
Heartbeat: I’ve played piano for 15 years and I have a Jazz group, I got into electronic music very early, as a teenager.
Gloobbi: Why did you choose to produce techno music?
Francois X: Like most people in the scene, I cut my teeth in those memorable nights back in the late 90’s. I’m passionate about the music and loyal to it too. I am still in kind of an apprenticeship, so there are plenty of things to learn before being able to be comfortable with my production process.
Heartbeat: We’ve always played techno, but still today when we play a set, it’s not just techno, and it’s never formatted. I often even play jazz and experimental music. Techno is now “happening”, but we have never changed our approach, or our style, sticking to a constant point of view on music.
By finding new ideas and styles we hope that we can say the same thing in 5 years’ time. [Our label] DEMENT3D is more about a close family of artists than about signing acts and records. It’s a scene within the scene before being a record production hub.
Gloobbi: Can you explain what is currently happening in Paris with the so called ‘techno scene’ and whether these underground parties could be drawing in a new generation of people who may fuel the demand for a “real” techno scene?
Francois X: We’re talking about a ‘Paris scene’, what is a scene? For me it’s a place, where a bunch of artists create a typical and acclaimed art. When we talk about a scene in Paris today it’s just the parties, there isn’t a real scene yet.
Heartbeat: Today, in Paris, we have a new generation of young people who haven’t been properly educated [in techno]. For the last 10 years there has been almost nothing serious enough going on, so these new people haven’t been immersed in techno for years like those who are really big in Berlin right now.
There’s also a good side to it, because there’s a certain freshness, but in the end, some of those techno copycats, just looking for gigs, they won’t last very long.
To hear more from Francois X and Heartbeat you can check out the Dement3d HERE.
Francois X will be playing at 12h at this weekend’s much anticipated electronic music festival Weather.
by Jessica Saxby
Image courtesy of Francois X