No need to talk about success of the electronic music that came from France in 2000s. Rodriguez Jr. who has started music with the piano when he was 6 years old, now continues his electronic music journey in one of the most magnificent music home Mobilee Records. Before his performance on the 6th March in Kloster with the RAW organisation, he answered our questions about him and his opinions about the stages.
First of all, Olivier thanks for giving the time out to answer our questions. How about we start off your background? How did you start making music?
I started piano lessons at the age of six with a fantastic teacher who gave me this love for practicing an instrument. Though, it was not so exciting for me to play classical music at this point. I was actually much more excited by stuff I could hear on the radio, such as Depeche Mode, The Cure, Kraftwerk … After a couple of years, my parents couldn’t stand my complaints anymore and offered me my first synthesizer! I was so excited about creating weird sounds which could exist only beyond reality. Years after years, my set-up got bigger and I began producing proper electronic music in the 90s with an Atari, a couple of machines. It’s actually been quite a basic and natural process in the end.
How did you get into electronic music scene? Can you tell us something about that?
I’ve been lucky because i met the right people at the right time! In the late nineties I moved to Montpellier – a city in South Of France – in order to study mathematics at the university. I had quite a cool setup in my student beroom: a computer, a couple of second-hand synthesizers, a 4 trackstape recorder / mixer combo… I was fascinated about everything coming from Detroit and Chicago so I use to hang out in a record shop listening to everything I could. This is actually where everything began. I met my Gil who was my partner in my former band The Youngsters, we released some records on our own label G-Funk and ended up signing with Laurent Garnier’s label F-Communications in 2000. It’s been such great opportunity to get into the scene with such a prestigious imprint.
Have you found that your taste in music has changed quite dramatically over the years?
No it hasn’t changed, really. I am still in love with the deep roots of dance music: Detroit, Chicago… By definition techno and house music are fusions of genres, so it makes sense to keep on being open minded and grab new influences in anything.
If we would walk into your studio, what would we see? Do you have any favorite piece of equipment you can’t do without?
I am still using quite a lot of hardware equipment, so you would see my collection of synthesizers on your left and everything digital, converters, monitors and effects racks on your right. I use to record everything inside Logic Pro and Ableton. My favorite piece of equipement in this epic mess are the Roland Jupiter6, the 101 and the Moog Voyager – they are at the core of each of my tracks. It’s not only about the sound, but also because of the physical connection I have with them.
What are your main influences these days, while performing or producing?
Once again, I am influenced about anything, really. There are so many interesting acts these day. Talking about live performances, I love Henrik Schwarz, Ame, but also Plastikman or the Chemical Brothers! As you can see, that’s quite a wide spectrum of influences. Production wise, my mentors are not proper dance music producers. I would rather take inspiration into stuff from Brian Eno, Trevor Horn, Georges Martin or even mythic sound engineer such as Bruce Sweden, Michael Brauer…
Tell us a bit about Mobilee Records?
That’s my home label and my music family. It’s such a pleasure to work with such a creative and motivated crew. It’s all about talking, sharing artistic ideas, inventing new concepts… I have a special connection with Anja and Ralf as I met them ages ago and they have also been awesome music advisers – they really helped me finding my own artistic path.
Any record you listen.. What should be the specialities in it to get your attention and make you think it is valuable?
First, I am very sensible about the emotive side. A track needs to have something strong – either a melodie, a beat, a sound… whatever. Also, I am very sensitive to production depth and details. They are so many bedroom producers releasing loops and stuff these days. But nothing could replace inventiveness and proper production skills.
According to recent numbers, vinyl sales has reached the higgest number in recent years. What do you think about future of vinyl?
I am very happy to see the vinyls coming back. As a real object, it offers a great alternative to music dematerialisation. Furthermore, its uncompressed analog format has a sound that no digital format can get. Though, that’s still a niche market and we are far from the sales we used to reach 15 years ago. I guess sales will keep on growing, but we should also focus on improving quality of digital formats. We are living quite a paradox these days: the sound quality of studio gear has never been so high, but it ends up being compressed into bad quality audio files for iTunes. All platforms should sell uncompressed 16 or 24 bits formats in my opinion.
Can you tell us a bit about your plans for the forthcoming 2015? Are there any new EPs or albums in the schedule?
I am currently finishing new material for my forthcoming EP on mobilee. I have also been approached by several labels I really appreciate so I might release a couple of EPs with them. And I am also collection ideas and sounds for my next album which I would love to be ready for early 2016. It’s gonna be a hectic year for sure!
Already an early highlight of the year was completing a remix for the legendary Defected label. Tell us about that experience and whether we can expect more along those lines.
That’s such an awesome experience to collaborate with such a label. Defected is part of house music history! We had some good feedbacks about this remix for Miguel Mig. So, you can definitely expect an original EP from me soon. I am currently working on it, following the sound signature I established with tracks such as ‘Persistence Of Vision’. Very excited about that.
Istanbul is a unique city, which provides so much inspiration for many artists. What do you think about Istanbul? Do you know any Turkish producer/dj?
Oh yes, Istanbul is so inspiring! It’s really at the border of two different as. I have been lucky enough to perform over there a couple of times, and it has always been beautiful experiences, with a nice enthusiastic crowd. I am so much looking forward to this night at Kloster!
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