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Crowned the #1 selling Techno artist on Beatport for the second consecutive year in 2021, abounding French producer and undisputed man-of-the-moment, Space 92, is the name on everybody’s lips right now. Following a slew of chart-topping releases on the likes of Filth on Acid, Perfekt Groove, and 1605 (to name just a few) the prolific, in-demand Frenchman now turns his attention to a label slightly closer to home, as he makes his eagerly-anticipated EP debut on POPOF’s long-standing Parisian imprint, FORM Music.
Hailed by critics as “one of techno’s most sought-after acts of the decade”, Space 92 now takes the next step in his already star-studded career as he joins head honcho POPOF for an incredible new three-part EP, titled ‘Insomnia’.
We caught up with both artists to talk about their new collaborative release.
Electronic Groove: Hi Mathieu, welcome to Electronic Groove. How are you today?
Space 92: I’m very well! Thank you for inviting me today, I hope you’re good as well!
Electronic Groove: Where in the world are you right now?
Space 92: I’m currently at home in Toulouse, France. I just came back from Maastricht, Netherlands where I spent the weekend. I was part of the Complex Truck and performed in support of the Unmute Us peaceful demonstration. It was awesome by the way.
Electronic Groove: Talk to us about your new ‘Insomnia’ EP on FORM Music, your creative process, and the inspiration behind the record.
Space 92: Concerning the creative process behind this new opus, I wanted to explore new directions while retaining my musical identity. As a result, ‘Insomnia’ combines all my influences and the creative style I’ve been using since the beginning. At the same time, my collaboration track with POPOF allowed me to add a lot of details and musicality. The track ‘Pluck’ was inspired by a festival’s atmosphere while with ‘Kerosene’ I wanted to make a linear techno track with a melodic touch during the various breaks.
Electronic Groove: How did the introduction to POPOF come about?
Space 92: He reached out to me at the end of 2020 because he really liked the productions I was working on at the time and we got along very well. In fact, I’d met him when I was much younger (I must have been 16) in Spain at one of his performances, so it’s an honor for me today to collaborate with him because I have so much respect for his work and for his career throughout the years. Our collaboration happened very naturally: he suggested I release on his label Form Music and I said yes immediately!
Electronic Groove: Have you released on FORM Music before?
Space 92: I have; I made a remix for POPOF in March 2021, for his ‘Skylighter’ EP.
Electronic Groove: What was it like working with POPOF on the title track? Was this your first time collaborating together?
Space 92: It was a great experience. It allowed us to create a unique track combing our two trademark musical universes. It’s our first collaboration and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to work on more later.
“It’s our first collaboration and I hope we’ll have the opportunity to work on more later” – Space 92
Electronic Groove: What roles did you each assume in the studio?
Space 92: I came up with the overall idea, then POPOF took it and expanded it, adding his style and influences.
Electronic Groove: You’ve been the #1 best-selling Techno artist on Beatport for the last two years running. What do you think it is about your productions that have resonated with such a large audience?
Space 92: I must say, I’m still very surprised and honored by this. I could not have dreamt of a better outcome. I’ve worked for many years but I never thought I’d reach this level one day so I am very proud. I’m even more surprised by the number of streams that my music generates! That’s, I suppose, because my style can easily be understood by people who don’t need to be Techno music aficionados or specialists. It conveys a musicality that, in my opinion, appeals to a lot of people. And I think it’s this melody/ techno combination that’s behind my music’s success.
Electronic Groove: Do you have any other projects in the pipeline that you’d like to mention?
Space 92: I’ve been working on launching my new label and I also am currently working on a new EP for Filth On Acid.
Electronic Groove: Thanks Mathieu, wishing all the best for the rest of the year!
Space 92: Thank you very much for having me here today, it was a real pleasure!
Electronic Groove: Hey Alex, thanks for taking the time! How was 2021 been for you so far?
POPOF: Hey there, thank you as well! For me, 2021 has been a rather a constructive and productive year so far. I have a lot of projects coming up. I’ve been working on a bunch of collaborations, organizing events, my label’s development, setting up a new live performance, and more. Also, activity has resumed since July and it is a pleasure to witness this. Let’s hope it’ll last; fingers crossed!
Electronic Groove: Congratulations on another huge EP release on FORM Music. Can you tell us how the ‘Insomnia’ EP came about?
POPOF: I met Mathieu, aka Space 92, a while ago and we immediately got along really well. When I offered to release his EP on my label FORM music, he immediately accepted! From there we came up with the idea of working on a common track together and here we are today!
Electronic Groove: What was it like working with Space 92 on the title track?
POPOF: Working with Space 92 was quite intuitive and easy. We objectively have the same musical vision so we easily came up with common ideas. In fact, we agreed from the beginning to end on the track’s creative process and we are very happy with the result.
Electronic Groove: This is the 99th release on the label. A remarkable achievement. Do you have anything special in store for the milestone 100th release?
POPOF: Actually, I’m working on FORM’s 100th release as we speak. So I’m next!
Electronic Groove: FORM is one of the longest-standing, most influential techno labels in France. Looking back over the past 10 years of the label’s output, are there any particular releases or moments that really stand out for you?
POPOF: There’s quite a lot of them!
First, there was the release of ‘Serenity’ – it was FORM 001 and it really changed the game! Then there was NTO’s ‘Trauma’ EP, which is fabulous. Let’s not forget Julian Jeweil’s first release on the label, ‘Techno Corner’ which was a huge success. And many other releases were so special, like Sam Paganini or Umek ones.
Honestly, there is a story behind each EP and each artist so it’s a bit complicated to make choices.
“Working with Space 92 was quite intuitive
and easy” – POPOF
Electronic Groove: What are your hopes and visions for the label over the next 10 years?
POPOF: As time passes by, we’ve increasingly been wanting FORM Music to be a family. The goal is to build a real identity and generate an osmosis between all the label’s actors. Ideally, it would also mean releasing as much good music as possible and organizing good events with the people we like.
Electronic Groove: What else do you have in store for the rest of the year in terms of releases, touring, projects, among others?
POPOF: So…I’ve been working on a bunch of things. I’ve got a new EP out in October, ‘Revival’ EP on Dense & Pika’s Kneaded Pains imprint. Then FORM Music 100th release is due to be out in December. I’ve also got a collaboration with Vezi on Filth on Acid, and a remix for Dubfire, and a remix for NTO.
Electronic Groove: Any final words before we sign off?
POPOF: Thank you all for your constant support; I hope you will enjoy the ‘Insomnia’ EP!
Space 92 & POPOF’s ‘Insomnia’ EP is out now via FORM Music. Grab your copy here.