One of the most popular DJ/producers around today, Englishman Alex Metric has actually been active in the scene since 2006, when he signed with Adam Freeland’s record company, Marina Parade. Since then, he’s remixed tracks by many mainstream artists like Depeche Mode, Phoenix and Bloc Party and served as producer for the Infadels and Adam Freeland. Last month, he released his new EP ‘Ammunition Pt. 2’ with the OWSLA label, featuring three new tracks as well as three remixes of ‘Rave Weapon’.
How does your latest EP compare to your previous releases?
In terms of the creative process, I guess it was no different to previous releases. I really have no set formula for making a track, so the creative process can differ greatly each time. Sound-wise, I think there’s a deliberate simplicity to the tracks: one idea done well rather than filling it up with lots of unnecessary production clutter. While the genres often differ, that’s the common thread through each track. ‘Rave Weapon’ is a ‘90s-inspired track, while ‘Motion Study’ is more disco/house and ‘Prophecies’ has a techno vibe to it.
We hear you’re currently working on your debut album. When do you plan to release it?
I’m always writing, but whether for an album or not I’m not sure at the moment. I’m enjoying doing EPs right now because it means I can get a body of work out quickly. The process of making an album for a year then waiting for it to be released then touring for a year is pretty unappealing. I want to put music out quickly. The worst part for a producer is the time you’re forced to wait between finishing a track and releasing it. So I have another EP ready to go, out around March, then a single out around May, which is a collaboration I did with Jacques Lu Cont. It’s exciting having so much music about to come out straight after this EP.
You’ve been involved in production, remixing, creating your own songs, singing and DJing. Surely one of them is more satisfying than the others. Which is it?
My main love is being in the studio; whether that’s remixing or creating original material, I don’t mind. I love all aspects of being in the studio. I guess writing an amazing original can be more satisfying than doing a remix, but if you choose well and love the track you’re remixing, that can be an amazing buzz too.
In 2011 you collaborated with Steve Angello and Ian Brown on the track ‘Open Your Eyes’. What was it like to work with the legendary Ian Brown?
It was amazing to work with him. Not only did we do the session, but I got a chance to hang out with him after and listen to his stories. He was a lovely guy, everything I hoped he’d be. I’ll never forget the moment when he walked into the studio for the first time and I thought, ‘f*cking hell! It’s Ian Brown!!’
You’ve played in many places all around the world. Where was your favourite performance?
It’s hard to pick a favourite gig; there’ve been so many great ones for different reasons. I think it’s a tie between a gig I did in the Dance Arena at Exit Festival and a recent show at XOYO in London, where I got to play for three hours – very different to the festival sets but hugely satisfying.
In terms of producers, who are your heroes?
Daft Punk is an obvious choice, but they’re revered for a reason. They’re way ahead of everyone else, and every time they release a record it changes the musical landscape for the next few years. I can’t wait to see what they come back with.
Stuart Price is another big one for me. From Les Rythmes Digitales to Zoot Woman to Jacques Lu Cont to his production work, I’m a fan of everything he does. The way he can go from producing a mad techno record to doing a pop album like Take That, for example, is the sort of versatility and open mindedness that I strive for. It was great to work with him on our forthcoming single. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
From a performer’s perspective, what do you think is necessary for a DJ set or a live performance to stand out?
I think a live show is a lot more work than a DJ set, a lot more can go wrong! But I love both. I miss playing live actually; it’s something I’d love to do again. The satisfaction of pulling off a great live show is unbeatable.
What’s your biggest dream for your career?
So far in my career, I’ve managed to achieve many things I only dreamed of. Sure, there are a few things left but if you say your dreams out loud they don’t come true! I’d rather keep them to myself and keep working hard.
Five tracks Alex Metric’s bound to play:
Scuba ‘Talk Torque’
Cassian ‘I Love It’
Duke Dumont ‘The Giver’ (Locked Groove remix)
Alex Metric & Jacques Lu Cont ‘Safe With You’
Alex Metric ‘Rave Weapon’ (Aeroplane Droid remix)
Alex Metric spins at The Hall on Jan 5. Warm up and after party courtesy of Saint & Swing