French producer Remi Mazet just delivered his first album on East London’s colorful imprint, Social Joy, topping the charts shortly after its December release. Following this achievement, we had a personal and sincere chat with one of the most appreciated figures on UK’s capital alternative scene.
Electronic Groove: Hi Remi, thanks for being with us today. Tell us about the ‘Safran’ LP. What is the main idea behind it?
Remi Mazet: Thanks to you for having me. Social Joy and I were keen on working together, I regularly play at their parties and I love what they do – so it seemed natural to produce some music for them. After I showed them the ‘Safran’ track, both sides decided to do an LP instead of an EP – something eclectic, something personal, even intimate.
EG: This is your first LP, how this approach differs from a regular EP?
Remi Mazet: It’s a very different approach. I wanted it to be not only music for DJs to play out, but also for everyone to listen at home. If you listen carefully, you can follow my intention to make each track a progressive journey connecting each one with the last one. Each track is a component that works as a whole piece. Previous work from artists like Metro Area was a bit of an inspiration for that.
EG: You have a few collaborations on it. Can you talk about them?
Remi Mazet: The first one was with Dokta, a great artist just about to release an album on 20/20 vision. I share my studio with him and Clive Henry from Circo Loco. We recorded a quick jam on a Korg Triton and added it to ‘Safran’, that’s the Kalimba part.
The second one is with my dear friend Guilhem Monin, with whom I share two tracks on the album. He is the main man at Social Joy and a well-known face at the East London scene. We have been producing together for years and I released on his first label called Colors. We actually made the ‘Jammin’ track years ago, and both thought that it would be a great fit for the album, that added another dimension to it.
The other track we made together on the LP was ‘Jazz E’, it was done very little time before releasing the LP. It’s a fusion of a beat from myself, together with a collaboration between Guilhem and Leonardo Milano de Cuba, a saxophonist and genius musician from Cuba.
EG: In general, how does your work has evolved from one release to another?
Remi Mazet: Every release is some kind of dilemma. What I would like on the record, what the label wants and what’s the time we have to deliver it. Those parameters change on every release, which makes the work evolve and progress in different ways. Also, quite a lot of time passes between each release I do, so I guess my technique and maturity improves. The equipment I use differs as well as I collect more tools progressively.
“I’ve learned a different process, ways, and recipes during my career – I believe that most of them are good and relevant to me”
EG: How is your creative process behind making a track?
Remi Mazet: I’ve learned a different process, ways, and recipes during my career – I believe that most of them are good and relevant to me. Sometimes I’m very self-conscious about them, rigorously applying this knowledge when I produce music. And other times, I’m just not thinking and do it with a very open mind, even if I’m sure those processes act unconsciously within me.
EG: Do you remember the day you decided making music was going to be your way of living? Can you describe your thoughts?
Remi Mazet: To be honest, there was never a plan to do it. I bought my first computer 9 or 10 years ago. I was using it for promoting parties as all my friends were DJs or ravers. Guilhem introduced me to Logic and I got addicted from the start.
EG: You’re more of a Live set performer than a DJ. Why play Live over DJing? And why no DJing at all?
Remi Mazet: I have a couple of Technics 1210’s since I started making music but I’ve never used them, I know many great DJs and have a massive respect for them. For now, I think I better fit being a producer. Of course, I can’t deny that I’m interested in DJing, and when I have collected enough good music I’ll definitely move forward.
EG: As a live artist, are you regularly digging for new music? How does that impact your work in the studio?
Remi Mazet: Like most of us I spend enough time online, and frankly it’s amazing the gems you can find out there, but mostly I’m spoiled by my friends who always give me and recommend a lot of music. Also, people I produce with give me plenty of references on a regular basis. I think it is very important to listen to good music in order to make some decent stuff.
“I’m not going to invent a style, so mixing them is my way to come up with something fresh”
EG: There are many different influences in your music. How do you compile them to make the consistent sound you have?
Remi Mazet: I really like the crossover between styles, to pick what I like from any genre and put it together to create something I enjoy listening and/or dancing to. It doesn’t always work, but when it does I find it very refreshing. I’m not going to invent a style, so mixing them is my way to come up with something fresh and out of the regular things we usually listen.
EG: Since your early days, what have been your major influences? Also, can you name the most recent ones?
Remi Mazet: First, I grew up listening to funk and hip-hop. This was my main influence when I started producing, then I also fell in love with electronic music. Close friends – and amazing DJs – like Matlar, FB Julian, Guilhem Monin… all were playing music that has greatly shaped my sound, so big up and thanks to you to them. There have also been guys like Jonny Rock, Carstein Kleman, Craig Richards, Stephane Ghenacia and Clive Henry. All have spoiled me with great music and have expanded my mind, make my music richer – I owe them a lot.
Remi Mazet’s ‘Safran’ is already available. Grab your copy here.
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