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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.

Muttonheads - Interview

Through a new exclusive interview, Actualités Electroniques presents you a French DJ and producer bearer of a young and fresh generation of artists who revived the electronic music scene in France in the mid 2000’s. He is Muttonhead and hit the chart in France with such iconic tracks as "To You" or "Make Your Own Kind Of Music" that I’m sure you know. First, I wanted to thank Muttonheads for the time he gave us. It is even more a pleasure, as he is an artist I’m following from his debut. So with a kind of apprehension, here is the interview.

"Hi Jerome,

I don’t know if it bothers you, but I prefer to call you by your real name, it is friendlier. Some days ago you released "Moment of happiness" with a remix of Dr. Kucho! that we reviewed on Actualites Electroniques some days ago. In order to know your news and before we returns to the heart of the subject, could you please tell us what will be your next release?
> "Moment Of Happiness" is the first single extracted from my new album that is coming out soon, the second will be published in January. It is called "Trust You Again" with a brand new featuring of a young and motivated female singer. I can already tell you, it's gonna be huge! Meanwhile there will be surely new remixes available ;)

Let’s get back to your roots. If I think there were some waves of performances in your music career, including 2004 with the outstanding lineup of productions "To You", "Smashing music" and "I'll Be There", could you please tells us how was the beginning of your career?
> It would be a bit long to explain everything, but I’ve been producing for almost 20 years now with some “empty” moment of inspiration. "To You" is clearly a production that puts me back on track, I felt some potential, so I sent it as a demo to Serial Records who signed it immediately. In 2004, I was in a sampling mood and "Smashing Music" and "I'll Be There" where born from that. It has been quite a success. Thanks to FG (a French radio station), everything truly started.

What a coincidence. Indeed, Concerning "I'll Be There", I stumbled across "Back in My Arms" from the Pointer Sisters by chance some days ago, which is quite close. Could you please tell us more about this track?
> "I'll Be There" revolves around a sample from the track you’ve just quoted above, so it's normal they look like each others! Concerning its story, at that time there was a hit of Dave Armstrong "Make Your Move" with a sample of the Pointer Sisters. So I started to listen to the discography of the three sisters, in search of a new sample, and it was a jackpot with "Back In My Arms" :)

As I mentioned earlier, 2004 was probably one of your most prolific years. How do you explain that? Where did you get all these brilliant inspirations?
> I think I came out of a long slump, musically speaking. I began to have new idea when I began to use the software Reason and I must admit that the tracks chained really fast! The inspiration was, is and will be about italo disco melodies that are very close from what I love.

Then, around 2006 there was this project Serial Crew, with Mathieu Bouthier and Demon Ritchie. It gave birth notably to "Make Your Own Kind of Music" and has been a second breath of oxygen for you. This track has definitely made you one of the best producers of the moment. How this project was born?
> The idea comes from Mathieu, who is a hysterical fan of the series Lost. Therefore the track which opens the season 2 (Mama Cass Elliot - MYOKOM) caught our attention and our ears! We’ve tried something, without really believing in it, but once we’ve got the loop, we thought it was nearly perfect! I think it's the fastest song I composed. After a few hours and 2 evenings, the track was done.

Especially, how would you describe your creative process which often takes its influence from disco and funk songs? There is something immediately recognizable in your compositions and it's rare enough to emphasize it.
> This is one of the most important points: to have your own musical identity, your own sounds. In my music, I like to mix both disco and oldskool sounds with a more contemporary style and electro rhythms. In my new album, I wanted to get my touch on different styles (Techno, Dance, House, Electro...). It still remains consistent because as you said, I have my own way to create specific sounds.

It's been quite a while that I follow you as an artist. I think we can say that it is thanks to the forum of Joachim Garraud, where you shared your tracks that your reputation steadily raised. You broadcasted most of your tracks for free. Are you ok with this statement? Tell us about your adventure on this forum?
> I actually continued to distribute my music for free (with my remix contests for instance), and I have my way to promote new artists on my label concept (Partouze Records). The Joachim's forum is a great place to share ideas between producers and to promote his music. But even before the forum, I met Joachim because he did a remix of “Smashing Music”. He is the only one actually. It was like a reward that for me. To have in your second EP a guy like Joachim Garraud who trusts you and makes a remix of one of your composition ("High Energy" in my case) is exceptional!

Forums, including the one of Joachim Garraud, are a real springboard for the artists who are looking for a relevant audience to give its opinion. Other producers like Tristan Gartner, Norman Doray, Joris Delacroix, Arno Cost, have also used this forum as a place to share their music. What advices would you give to a young producer who wants to drill?
> It becomes more difficult these days, since there are a lot of networks to express yourself and share your music (Facebook, Myspace, Youtube, forums...). The crisis of the disc left traces too, labels get very chilly for new signatures, and the majors do not sign anymore artists. My philosophy with music is always the same, have fun first. When an artist is willing to share music, in contests remix or whatever it is, all the ways are good! I'm pretty proud to have help artists like Dim Chris, Arno Cost, Stephan Evans, Dumb Dan, Think Black, Hotshot, daXto, Timur & Djona, and Xantra who participate in the remix contests I organized. But there is no miracle, and if you're talented you'll quickly be spotted! Producers like me are always looking for new remixers about to explode. ;)

Moreover, in 2004, you have been signed under Serial Records, the label on which one evolved too Didier Sinclair, my favorite DJ, who unfortunately past away, it was almost two years to the day. Can you tell us a little bit more about him? If I’m right, you were pretty close and he gave you plenty of advice.
> I knew him thanks to Serial indeed. He had a very important role, a role of veteran and I have against my will replace him as a veteran now. He especially gave me a huge support by playing my tracks in his playlist, especially on Radio FG when he was the artistic director. We shared some good times together on the turntables, whether at the Techno Parade, the Gay Pride or in clubs. I can’t say we were very close, but I appreciated him, as someone who has talent and a true artistic ear.

2010 will soon be finished. What can we expect from you in 2011? Remixes, an album, parties, a remix contest?
> The remix contest is every year, for 6 years now, so there is no reason to change that! In early 2011 there will be obviously the second single extracted from my album (on Serial / Universal Records), and the full album will then follow. I keep too some surprises and I prepare a few more things, but it remains secret until…. ;)

Could you please tell us where does your stage name come from? Is there a special meaning?
> It's obviously a question that comes up every ITW. Muttonheads were born in 1996. It was a collective of three people (DJs, Graphic Designers, Musicians). We participated in demos on the Amiga scene, then our paths separated and I decided to keep this nickname. Now why "Muttonheads"? Well it was the Daft Punk’s period, so we wanted to find a nickname in the same spirit, a bit quirky, funny in English... Flipping through a dictionary, I came across this word, which means: huge pickle... That's kind of insulting, a little kitsch, but we thought it was funny.

Before we conclude this interview, is there anything you would like to add?
> Well thank you all for your support, I look forward to seeing you in 2011 with an album and singles that I hope you will enjoy and I’ll be pleased of meeting you during my evenings!


To conclude this interview, we have a few more questions. Sometimes one word is enough!

The track you advise us to listen in your discography?
> The last :) [The Moment of Happiness]

An artist you would like to work with, one day?
> Michael Jackson! Euhhhh, sorry he died (well it seems):)

Vinyl or MP3 for your mixes?
> CD, but I think I’ll move to USB key if there is a generalization of the CDJ-2000

Your next date in France?
> 20th and November 26th for two massive student parties. You will find all my dates on my official website (or Myspace / Facebook).

The software you use to produce?
> Record and Reason (I used before Logic Audio, Fruity Loops and Live)

3 words to describe your music?
> Dancing, Fresh and slightly Oldskool.

Your best memory of this summer: a place where you played or an anecdote?
> It has been quite a productive summer in studio in fact, so for me the highlight of this summer was my encounter with the singer for my second single that you will discover soon, and I’m really proud of it ;)

The best club where you played (in France or elsewhere)?
> Hard to make a choice, I mixed in so many unusual places. I’ve just came back from Agadir, where I played at the So club of the Hotel Sofitel 5 *, so you can imagine the scenery. :)

The track that runs in your headphones now?
> No particular track, I made a special holiday compilation that is the kind of stuff I listen when I walk like: "Alphabeat - Fascination", "Gym Tonic - Toutouyoutou" "Turntablerocker - No Melody","Serge Gainsbourg - Sea Sex And Sun", and so on. ;)

Some words about Actualites Electroniques?
> Of course! It's a great website with a relevant name. There are clear and useful information for fans of electronic music, damn good. I know what I mean. I worked 9 years in a web agency. Good luck for the future!

Jerome, thank you very much for your time you devoted to Actualités Electroniques. Readers and I thank you for the few minutes you have given us. We therefore look forward to your next album. Maybe we will see you soon in France for one of your mixed session.
> Thank you! See you soon.

Dj Aroy


BONUS - Free track

Written by Dj Aroy
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