Armed with an impressive catalogue of critically acclaimed career releases on the likes of Bedrock, All Day I Dream, Sapiens, REDIMENSION, FORM Music and his very own Diversions Music (to name a few), iconic French DJ, producer and label boss OXIA now readies the latest weapon in his ever-expanding musical arsenal with the announcement of a huge new remix for Dense & Pika’s immense techno cut ‘Apache’. Out now via Dense & Pika’s burgeoning Kneaded Pains imprint, Oxia’s remix sees the Grenoble-based producer offer up his own resplendent interpretation of the mind-bending, six-minute original, as he puts his inimitable stamp one of the biggest techno records of 2019. We caught up with the formidable Frenchman to find out more.
Hello OXIA! Thanks very much for your time to talk to us. How are you today?
Hello, it’s a pleasure, and thanks to you. I’m fine, hope you too.
Where are you answering this interview from?
So I started this interview in an hotel room in Santiago, Chile, where I had 3 gigs, and I finished at home in Grenoble.
How has 2022 been for you so far? Any highlights?
The year went pretty well, especially from March onwards, after two years that were a bit complicated for everyone, we were really able to resume gigs… And since then everything is going well, I did a lot of good gigs all over Europe, but also in South America (Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Chile).
As far as production is concerned, I haven’t released much, except for the remix for Popof of the track ‘Serenity’ at the beginning of the year, because I’m working on a new album, and that takes a lot of time, because I don’t work very fast 🙂 But there’s a remix for Dense & Pika that’s coming out on the 14th of October, we’ll talk about that afterwards. But there’s also a remix EP of one of the first tracks released on our label Diversions Music in 2016, with my sidekick Nicolas Masseyeff. We made a new version which is accompanied by 3 other great remixes by Super Flu, Black Circle and Kiko. It will be released on October 21st.
We’ve just checked out your amazing new remix of “Apache”. Can you talk us through the remix and how it came about?
Thanks, glad you like it. Well, actually Dense & Pika did a very good remix of one of my tracks ‘Fate’ released on Diversions Music in December 2021, and so we just decided to do a swap, so I had to remix one of their tracks, and that’s the one they chose, and I was immediately excited, because I knew that I could take this track in a different direction, but still keep the base, so I added an extra melody that wasn’t there in the first place, that’s what inspired me.
Is this the first time you’ve worked with Dense & Pika?
Yes it was the first time. They are artists I like, so I was happy to do this exchange with them.
How does your creative process start when making a remix, as opposed to an original record? Creatively, do you prefer one to the other?
There are no real rules when I do a remix. It also depends a bit on the original, if all the sounds inspire me and so I keep them or sometimes I replay everything with other sounds… But yes it’s different from an original track, because for a remix you start from an existing base, whereas for an original track you start from scratch, so you really have to create everything… I don’t really have a preference, I like doing both.
More on production – what are some of your favourite pieces of studio gear? Are you big into hardware?
Since a few years I use a lot of software to produce, especially since I started to make music on my laptop, so since 2017, before I only worked in studio, with of course hardware (Virus, Nova, Juno 106…). But by working on my laptop, I was able to make music on the plane, in the hotel when I’m on tour… This has saved me a lot of time and above all, it was frustrating when I had an idea and I was far from my studio, whereas now I can quickly put it into practice. I use a lot of different plugins, so it’s hard to tell you which ones I like best. But for synths, Arturia are my favourites, Waves and the UAD plugins for all the sound processing.
Are you planning some other new music and projects soon that you can tell us about?
This Friday, one week after the release of my remix for Dense & Pika, there is the release of a remix EP of one of the tracks from the first release of our label Diversions Music with Nicolas Masseyeff. And so ‘Connivence’ remixes will be released on October 21st with a new version by ourselves and remixes by Super Flu, Kiko, and Black Circle.
For later, I’m working on a remix for one of Nicolas Masseyeff’s album tracks, his album is out on Systematic in November, and my remix probably early next year.
And I’m also still working on a new album, but I don’t know when and where it will be released yet. I’m still working on tracks for a new EP in parallel.
If you could put on your own show anywhere in the world, where would it be and who would you have joined you on the lineup?
Good question, I’m not saying I’ve never thought about it, but I would have to think about it for a few days before deciding on the line-up. And it could be in a lot of places, either places I’ve played before and found great, or just a place I’d like to play. But honestly, it’s too hard to give you a spontaneous answer. But on the line-up, there would certainly be my friends, talented artists as: Agoria, Nicolas Masseyeff, Kittin, and others, plus of course, other artists that I particularly appreciate, but I think that they would be artists whose work I appreciate, but also that I appreciate humanly.
Where can we see you perform over the next few months? Any special gigs planned?
I want to slow down the gigs a bit in the next few months, so that I have more time and energy to finish my album. But I still have some gigs, in Brussels, Morocco, Lisbon, Avignon, Frankfurt, Berlin… And we are waiting for some more confirmations.
Any final words for our Techno Station TV readers?
That I hope to see them soon on the dancfloor of a club or festival somewhere in the world to share my music with them 🙂
Dense & Pika — Apache (OXIA Remix) is out now via Kneaded Pains.