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Drum ‘n Bass Artist Alix Perez Returns to India for Bass Camp Festival

British producer-DJ Alix Perez has stitched together a musical, moody sound that is all his own

Kenneth Lobo May 16, 2014
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Alix Perez.

Alix Perez

Alix Perez made his way to the top of the drum ”˜n bass scene on a skateboard. From the legendary skatepark of Grammont in Montpellier to producing crisp melodic tunes and unleashing dancefloor bangers, Perez (born Alix Depauw) is one of the genre’s most celebrated wunderkinds. “Skateboarding for me was a family thing,” says Depauw. “We’d get together, share new music and skate. From teens (ourselves at the time) to adults, we all shared the same passion and mentality. I guess it’s something similarly related to music which I always thought went hand-in-hand. I discovered a lot of new music through skate videos: from hip hop to punk, soul, funk and so on. It was an integral part of growing up for me.”

Today, Depauw boasts two critically and commercially lauded albums (1984, released when he was just 23 and 2013’s Chroma Chords) and a slew of singles and EPs, which mash all his influences. It’s a musically rich, diverse and experimental sonic palette that speaks as much for himself as for the health of the drum ”˜n bass scene. Says Depauw, “I’ve always experimented with other genres in music to keep myself on my toes and develop different production techniques and such.” The producer adds, “More recently, there’s definitely a lot of that shining through my music. Halving the tempo to 85bpm definitely lends itself to hip hop territory. It’s something I’m really interested in pushing, alongside other fellow producers such as the Exit camp [Perez is signed to UK label Exit Records]. It’s a really exciting time at the moment.”

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India’s bass music fans had a glimpse of the French-born British artist’s talents in 2012, when he played two shows in Delhi and Mumbai, for Croatia’s Outlook festival launch parties. And this time around, artist management and booking agency Krunk will host Depauw for the twelfth edition of the quarterly Bass Camp club festival series.

The genre’s steadily growing contingent of producers, DJs and listeners might be interested to know that Depauw is an avowed synth geek. He invested heavily into German makers Access Music’s Virus TI synthesizer series for his first álbum and has since extended his range considerably, acquiring the Roland Juno 106, Roland JP 8000, the Moog Little Fatty, Roland SH-101, and more. Says Depauw, “I rely a lot on hardware”¦ but that’s not  a necessity for everyone. [Producers should] work with what they have and when the time is right, invest in something that will extend your production capabilities and creativity.” However, the producer adds that a couple of years ago, he scaled down his studio. Says Depauw, “I found I was accumulating gear as some sort of addiction. I now rely on very specific things that all individually give me what I need in terms of production.”

Depauw also makes the case for signing on with a right label. “Writing an album is a very different approach to writing a single entirely,” he says. “There’s no right way of going about it. I thought I’d learnt from 1984 when doing Chroma Chords but how wrong I was! You have to work with people who will let you express your creativity as opposed to try and manipulate your sound or direction as a producer. Thankfully, I had this with (DJ Friction’s underground independent label) Shogun.”

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Another unique pillar of support in Depauw’s mansion of success is his mother. Mrs Depauw had a recreational interest in DJing and introduced him to the craft as a teenager. “My mum discovered jungle and techno through a friend in London, who owned a huge production studio including thousands of records. That was the breaking point, which I eventually had access to myself and started playing around with. She was a really good mentor at the time and still is. The Britisher says that “if it wasn’t for her interest and discovery of the music, I’m not quite sure I’d be doing what I am today. When I first heard it, that was a turning point. Aside from skateboarding I’d never really found a passion for something like music before.”


Alix Perez Bass Camp Festival XII Tour:

May 29th ”“ Pebble, Bengaluru (with Vachan Chinnappa)

May 30th ”“ Blue Frog, Mumbai (with Ox7gen, Sandunes, Ez Riser and Zokhuma)

May 31st ”“ Blue Frog, Delhi (with Pippin, Lusid, Ez Riser)

June 1st ”“ High Spirits, Pune (with Sickflip)



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