living the unorthodox life on a boat in paris, the smooth french dj and producer remain flourishes through life by feeding on culture in both the literal and figurative sense, whether that be through art, family, music, food, or literature in whatever city he may encounter. this constant fuel of inspiration is what manifests, in turn, through his dj sets and productions. “this life is about sharing a passion, and although people might not know what you’re made of, they want to experience that passion.”
he was born in a very classical family to baby-boomers, where his doctoral mother and executive father encouraged him to receive a top education and hard work with the goal of stability that could counterbalance the inevitable complications in life. he even received a degree in finance, initially using it as a backup in case music didn’t work out. after leaving that safety net many years ago, it’s taken some time for his family to accept and understand his musical career choice. “I would rather pursue my passions and live a more humble life, but I needed an artistic side. . . the apple never falls far from the tree, except for me.”
playing guitar in several bands during his teenage years, remain accredits these early indie rock bands as huge impacts in his life, but it wasn’t until his early 20’s where he gained insight and unearthed the meaning behind his pure inspiration, venturing off to a venue where artists like jacques lu cont, slam, and ellen allien were performing. “I encountered this small room at a big festival-style event in paris, and at some point, for no reason, the crowd started cheering for this later-to-be worldwide renowned, tiny german girl [ellen allien]. . . it’s about moments – the inspiration behind the moments and the story, not sonic influences.”
not remembering exactly how or when, remain felt that he couldn’t connect with the image that indie rock ‘n’ roll was portraying any longer and fell at a crossroads. this led him into the world of electronic music and later into the processes of djing and production. performing at renowned parisian clubs and co-founding his own label, meant records, have both acted as a springboard and enabled remain to travel across the world, where now one half of his solitary life consists of reading books and journeying mostly on planes and trains. these reserved times are what propels him up to the moment of performing that’s so full of raw energy and communion with the audience. some places that have sometimes surprisingly enchanted him are hong kong, st. petersburg in russia, and of course, new york city.
as for his hometown of paris, the electronic music scene is huge nowadays and more mainstream than ever. digging deeper into the definition of “mainstream” through superstar dj’s like david guetta, remain is definitely not a fan of the music and values, but he does respect his ability to create tracks that speak to millions of people. “for the major club scenes, which are all about big room house and techno, we tend to be the underground and will always be the underground. not like the berlin underground warehouse scene, but we have more tension in our music that doesn’t consist of big explosions and loops all the time.”
people can’t necessarily classify remain’s music very easily, for it’s a blend of many things that somehow works to create his original and spontaneous energy. the enthusiastic dj finds the need to play his music with a twist. “the groove gives you the legs, but I need something that will catch you and take you by surprise – something for the mind. for me, that is what commercial music lacks – it’s not for the whole body. . . where’s the hook?” coming from the vinyl era, remain sees a vicious cycle that takes listeners back, not forward, when kids only connect to itunes and top 10 charts. “they’re getting fed with garbage, and it’s like you’re reducing music to its worst selection into one finite space.” the only positive thing is that once they mature, they then tend to “dig deeper through the crap to find the good stuff.”
everyone has their unique point of entering electronic music, for it’s about the momentum of sharing: giving energy and getting it back. for remain, it was definitely not euro dance, but josh wink’s higher state of consciousness that first hit him in the face during his early partying days, which definitely has a different connotation to our society’s current version of partying. “you’re having fun with people, understanding the music and purpose of the music. if there’s any place in time I could experience, it would be england in the ’60’s and usa in the ’70’s just to see what really happened. . . if it was just as messy and grimy, and conscious of its impact at the time as it has gone to be perceived that shapes our current state of music.”
about 3 years ago, remain took a refreshing turn on a side project called “slow porn,” a dance party in marseille, france, that played slow motion electronic music around 100-110 bpm in small, dark rooms, creating a sensual, dirty vibe for dancers all night long. the party then became a production duo, where they’re currently working towards the evolution of the project, including commissioned tracks in a compilation of that slow porn tempo that will be released later this fall. the easily intrigued dj also plans on releasing a travel series on meant records this year that revolves around constant inspiration and creation of music abroad with fellow producers like max pask in nyc, vosper and mike mind in canada, and click box in brazil. see what the zealous artist is up to around the world on facebook and soundcloud.