'I’m just representing my tastes, the records and recent finds that I’m digging; so it was pretty simple for me.' Alix Alvarez Mix & Interview
- Published on Friday, 20 October 2017 12:08
New York City is a city rich in electronic music culture. Clubs like The Palladium, Limelight and Studio54 are proof of the fact, and despite the fact that all three are now gone, the scene in the city is as healthy as ever. Clubs such as Output are very much indicative of the fact, while DJs such as The Martinez Brothers continue to represent the city with assurance. Aside from the superstars though, there’s a healthy underground too, and it’s here where Alix Alvarez comes into play. The Queens native has produced music for some of house music’s biggest labels, with Dessous, Ovum, Innervisions and Rebirth among those who’s hosted his music. Alix recently contributed to Okain’s Talman Records label, as part of the Frenchman’s well-received Retro Future Chapter One’ release. His track, “No Chaser” was arguably the highlight of the package too, and with all this in mind we decided to catch up with him for a quick chat. He also supplied a mix for us too, which you’re sure to love. Without further ado, Mr. Alix Alvarez…
Hi Alix, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Lets start by going back a bit. You grew up in NYC. How influential was the city on your musical tastes?
Growing up in NYC had a huge impact on my tastes. I was exposed to so much music at an early age. When I first started DJing I was buying Hip Hop, House & Techno because all of this music was getting played on the radio in NY all at the same time. By the time I started clubbing I started seeing how diverse and open minded the crowds were. You could go to different venues and hear different styles in one night. I was fortunate to come up on some iconic Dj’s in NY and theres a style which has stayed with me to this day when Im either in the studio or Im in the dj booth.
I’ve read conflicting reports about the scene in NYC right now. On the one hand, it looks healthy – there are loads of nights on. On the other, I’m being told that the bigger clubs are swallowing up the smaller promoters. Where do you stand on this?
There was a time where the NY scene seemed like it hit a dead end. A lot of it had to do with stupid outdated laws and areas where clubs once were started to get turned into condos. But NY slowly started to make a resurgence. A lot of it was in Brooklyn where a lot of dope parties & venues started popping up. Some of the best nights are happening in NY now. I try and support my friends’ events when I can and there’s definitely always good crowds attending them.
And are you still based in NYC? Would you ever consider moving to Europe?
Yes I live in Queens NY. I considered moving to Paris a long time ago. Then it was Barcelona. More recently it was Berlin. I moved to LA for about 5 years, which was great. As far as living in Europe it hasn’t happened yet but who knows.
When did you first come to Europe to play music? How do you feel it differs from playing in the US?
I started coming to Europe to play around 2004. There’s always been more support for the music there. Europe has so many options. In the US you’re hard pressed to find good venues in most cities. The main places to play in the US are NY, Chicago, LA, SF & Miami and you have a handful of good venues at that. Europe has more cities with venues and festivals that support the music.
What do you see as the future of electronic music? And do you think EDM has affected the underground in the US at all?
The mainstream EDM stuff doesn’t affect what goes on in the underground. I think the majority of people in the underground don’t pay attention to what goes on in that world of music. Out of sight out of mind.
You’re part of a recent VA on Okain’s Talman Records. How do you know Sam and what is it about his sound and style that made you thought it’d be a good place for your music?
I met Sammy (Okain) about 6 years ago at an Ovum party I played at ADE. We kept in touch since then via social media so we’ve been cool for a while. He approached me with the idea to be apart of the VA last year and included other friends (Paolo Rocco & Steven aintleaven) so I was glad to be apart of it.
Thanks for the mix by the way! What were you trying to convey with this mix? Or was it more a case of picking tracks as you go?
I’m just representing my tastes, the records and recent finds that I’m digging; so it was pretty simple for me.
Do you plan your sets then? Do you sees parallels between how you DJ and produce?
I never plan my sets. I have an idea about what I’m going to play but I just feel it out as far as what direction to go. I could get into many different moods during my set depending on where I’m playing. There are definite parallels to producing & Djing. It really comes down to style & taste. I make choices selecting music during a set almost the same way I make choices about what sounds to use in the studio.
What’s next for you that’s keeping you excited?
Im always searching for music or sounds to inspire me. It never ends. Theres a lot of great music out there. I’ve been doing this a while now but I always feel like I’m still learning & growing as I continue and that’s exciting for me.
P.S.:Alix Alvarez’s “No Chaser” is out now as part of ;Retro Future Chapter One’ on Okain’s Talman Records label
Words by Zac