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Actualites Electroniques

You will find in this category each week, an interview or a biograhpy of a Dj or artist which is breaking the news. All styles are on the “menu” of this category: minimal, house, electro, techno or even trance in some cases.

The topic will be supplemented by other Djs following the latest electronic music news.

Mr Flash - Interview

Ten years after his first EP, Mr Flash is back with his new album “Sonic Crusader”, whose name refers to an article of the magazine Dazed & Confused about Ed Banger Records debut. It will be released on June the 2nd. Composed of 15 pieces, "Sonic Crusader" alternates with dancefloor pieces, with hip hop grooves and collaborations like Action Bronson. There are also much more 80's tracks with ultra polished synths. After taking care of the productions of TTC, he met Pedro Winter (the manager of Daft Punk also known as Busy P) and then sign on the very young Ed Banger label. "Radar Rider" as his first EP soon became one of the flagship imprints of the French electronic music. So today we have the chance to interview one of the producers at the forefront of the French electronic music scene! This interview follows the one of other French DJs and producers like Da Fresh, Muttonheads, Rodriguez Jr., Paul Nazca. So firstly, I wanted to thank Gilles who answered our questions.


"Hello Mr Flash

In a few weeks you'll release your first solo album "Sonic Crusader." It will include special guests like the pop artist Cities Aviv venu from Memphis, the American rapper Arian Asllani aka Action Bronson or the English rapper Lady Leshurr on the track "Bagheera". Could you please briefly tell us how this project as born?
> The idea was to tell a story with a beginning (The Tale), a middle (Midnight Blue) and an end (The Wake), love (Domino), fury (Drill), eroticism (Venus In Furs), melancholia (Dazzle In The Dusk), speed (Motorcycle Boy) and all the other things that have filled my life with, in the recent years. The story of a man who saw people disappearing and stories ending, I almost died twice, hard time sometimes, crazy love, saw beautiful things, meet some amazing people and experienced some unforgettable moments. I created this album based on that, as if I had to make a movie. So I made a cast of heterogeneous artists that I wanted in. It was difficult, complicated, cost me some good sleepless nights but I am very proud that we have been able to bring all these people that I love. From Surahn of Empire Of The Sun, which is a friend, Lady Leshurr, Cities Aviv of Oh No. Everyone helped me to make this album as it is today.

You first piece was released almost ten years ago... Why did you wait so long for your second LP?
> To have things that I consider interesting enough to show. A somewhat coherent story that reflects what I had in mind. I'm picky and demanding and it takes time. I redid the story 12 times before I got to what I wanted. I often postponed this release because I was working on other projects with other people. And after the album I did with Sebastien Tellier I stopped everything. I threw everything I thought superfluous, built all that was missing and after a year I found myself with & hour and a half of music that helped me to give birth to “Sonic Crusader”.

And are there any remixes of tracks from your album that we can expect in the coming weeks?
> Yes. I have a list of all the people I like, some have accepted the invitation, you will hear more about it soon.

Your first track, as I said earlier, emerged nearly 10 years ago, "Radar Rider" already on Ed Banger Records. What did really change in your method of working between these two opus?
> Absolutely nothing, except that I have today more instruments and therefore I have more opportunities to create and express myself.

2014 started out with a bang, with the launch of your new album in June. If you look back to the beginning of the year, what do you think about it? What is your vision of your past few months?
> These last few months have been difficult and sometimes complicated for me. When you have specific ideas of what you want, where you want to go and most of all what you don’t want; it is dangerous because it is your own enemy. Moving forward is also about making choices and learning to give up. And give up is not part of my vocabulary. So it is sometimes difficult but we finally did it. And I'm happy. This is a great start of year. If right away you are asking me what do I think about it, I would give it two Michelin stars. The third star you’ll ask me at the end of the year and we'll see.

After giving us these infos about your latest news, we'd go back to your musical roots. Could you briefly tell us how did you become a DJ and producer?
> I became producer when I met TTC in 1998. I worked as a technician in the film industry and when I had the time I was playing music on my side. We lived in the same neighborhood, we were doing the same things, we listened to the same music and had the same desires. In 1999, we recorded our first EP (Game Over 99) and it all started.

I became Dj with time. I collect records since I’m very young. I come from a family of music. It was something quite natural. Many people in my family have learned to play an instrument by themselves. They passed me their knowledge, culture, taste and collection. I went to the conservatory for 2 years to learn piano and music theory. But I ended up getting fired because I spent my time fighting with others me or disrupting the class. I always had a slight problem with learning in general. My father decided to offer me then private lessons of battery, so I channeled this evil energy.

My older brother, who was more into it, did 12 years of classical piano. He is the Picasso of Bösendorfer. We played together with friends every weekend for fun. And then, one day it all stopped. My brother move to live elsewhere. My family, it was complicated. So I wanted to change. I started working in film industry for a few years. It was actually a desire I had for a very long time. And then, one day music caught me again. I think I as missing all this noise around me. I bought my first Akai sampler, recovered synths that my brother had left. So I started trying to do things by myself. In 1990, I discovered rap music and I started listening to almost just that. It was a very good school for me. It taught me that a solid piece stands on four measures and needs only 4/5 instruments. The rest is bullshit. Once you know that… you can do anything.

At the beginning did your family understood what you wanted to do for life? And now, are they proud of what you have achieved along the years?
> My family has not always understood what I wanted to do. My parents built everything by their own and had to fight for it. It was not always easy for them to see me taking this path, even if it as rather complicated. But they have always been proud and always tried to support me as much as they could. Without them, my brother and my friends I would not be here today. They are proud of me and I am proud to have them.

More and more readers are asking us information about the gear used by producers that we interviewed. What are the software or tools that you use to produce? Could you please give us more information about the technical side let’s say?
> I record everything on ProTools with external synthesizers and drum machines (MiniMoog, Prophet, DX 7, Moog Source, Yamaha SY-1, EDP Wasp, Akai MPC 3000 and 4000, etc.).The computer is a convenient but ungrateful and a too cold tool for me. I do not feel very comfortable with it. I try most of the time to keep something human in what I do. Otherwise, I feel that the thing becomes mechanical and boring quickly. I like things a little wobbly, not very perfect, ith defects, "blue notes". This is what makes the most touching parts and if the machine or me generate some, I keep them for sure.

The interview will be published on a website mainly read by French. Are there some French artists that you know personally or that you just love music? There are obviously Sebastien Tellier ith hom you’ve worked a lot, TTC, Pedro Winter and some other Ed Banger artists I guess?
> I admire lots of people, the problem is that most of them are dead (Coltrane, Sun Ra, Zappa...). Otherwise for those who are still living, I would say Bibio, Sufjan Stevens or Shabazz Palaces for instance.

Mr Flash, thank you very much for the time you devoted to Actualites Electroniques and especially for this full and exclusive interview. We look forward to the release of your next album and some possible remixes! Thank you very much. "

Dj Aroy


Written by Dj Aroy
Article en Francais       
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