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Go BackALEXKID'S `CARACOL´ - New LP is a love letter to party people worldwide.

Posted: 18/10/06 19:15

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Parisian Alexis Mauri, AKA Alexkid, has been touring the globe for over 10 years.

Alexis was Born in France to a Spanish mother and raised in Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands, where he spent most of his time at the beach listening to music in his aunt’s record shop. In the 1980s he moved to France and studied sound engineering, and in 1992, he discovered electronic music, turntables and clubs to soon become part of the well known F-Com crew, home of Laurent Garnier, Llorca, and Mr. Oizoto name a few. 

Alexkid´s third album, Caracol (snail in Spanish) just released on F- Com, is the follow up to his smash hit Mint album, which featured top-selling singles “Come With Me ” and “Don´t Hide It.” The sexy abstract and minimal Caracol is filled with striking rhythms such as the tripped out “Love Letters” and “River Flow,” which includes the electronified vocals of Keith Thompson. Caracol’s uber cool “Nightshade (airing now) contains the vocals of Lissette Alea and has been remixed by Chicken Lips and Rodriguez Jr.

You must be excited about the release of your new album Caracol. What kind of reaction have you gotten so far?
Well, so far people's reactions are great maybe because people were surprised with the general atmosphere of the album. I guess that people were expecting an album full of tracks in the style of "Come With Me" or "Don't Hide It" because they were the ones that got some kind of success in the previous album, and it's not going in that direction at all! I like to experiment and I question myself everyday about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

Right now I feel that what excites me about electronic music is the freedom we have to experiment with new ways of dance music. I try to avoid classic formulas, which is what made me bored of "more traditional" house music. Of course some people think it's less "musical " in a conventional point of view, and it is if you compare it to the previous one, but I also think it is more "physical". The appeal is not only in the harmonies. Actually, I have to admit that reactions have never been so good! 

What´s the story behind the name, it’s Spanish for snail? It’s not because the album took a long time to produce is it?
There are a lot of different reasons to it. But it's not because of the time it took to produce (laughing)! One of them is the fact that some of the compositions are based on odd loops that remind me of the cycles of a snail shell. The other is that during the process of making this album, strangely, snails started to appear in front of the door of the studio. I had never seen that in Paris before, nor in the 10 years I've been going to the studio. Anyways, I also liked the name Caracol because when I was a child, growing up in Mallorca, we used to go to pick snails after the storm, my cousins and I would always have a blast doing so. And I like nonsense names. You see, there are a lot of reasons to it!  

Can you talk about some of the tracks on... 
No, not really, I think the best is to listen to it! I'm quite bad at describing and explaining the reasons I did this or that. One thing is for sure, I didn't want to repeat myself, and for once I had no "real " instruments in the album. Only electronics. It was some kind of need. A way of challenging myself. 

What kind of synths and plug ins did you use to create the album?
I've used from the cheapest freeware to some of the most expensive hardware. I'm quite a gear addict and own some very nice equipment as it's been quite a few years I've been doing so. But I have no rules. If I like the way it sounds I'm happy. My main three tools have been Protools HD, Ableton Live, and Native Instruments Reaktor. The last one is just insane... Endless! 

Did you enjoy collaborating with Lissette Alea on "Night Shade”? You’ve worked with her before right?
Yes, of course we did! The first collaborations were on my previous album, Mint, in which she sang "Come With Me " and "Don't Hide It". Both were released as singles. I think this girl is really talented and she's easy going when we work. We also toured for a year together for my album. We were a band of four on stage, and had a blast.
She's a real show on stage! She rocks! I know that we'll collaborate again in the future. We have plans to make a full album together when we both find some time. Hopefully as soon as possible! I want to do futuristic pop with her. As I think that pop is too much too stuck in clichés that I would love to break.

And how was it working with Daniella D’Ambrosio on “Back and Forth”? How did that collaboration come about?
Daniella and I have had a rock band for the past few years and we’ve known each other for a long time. Her voice and world are unique to me. Our band is Veo Veo. You can check us on MySpace, in my top eight, shameless self-promotion done! I wanted to have a track that would be electronic and with a folk side to it, but avoiding any guitars. One of the tracks she did with the band, Aswefall, has been picked for the worldwide campaign of Air France, replacing the Chemical Brothers and Hope Sandoval. 

Where are some of your upcoming shows going to be?
Next week I play with ATA's Robert Johnson in Frankfurt. After that I go on tour in Australia. I have some gigs in France and then Spain. I'm quite busy I have to admit. I can't complain. The 13th of January we do our Ghettoblaster party with Chloe and Tim Paris at The End. I love this party, it's usually total mayhem! 

Do you incorporate a lot of your own music into your DJ sets?
Now I do. I really wanted to have an album of things that I would like to play, which was not the case before. That's the reason why this album is more dancefloor (oriented ) than the others. I think it was some kind of need. I realized that when I was doing remixes for other people or even for myself, I was playing them more easily than my own tracks. So I tried to do "original" tracks that I would play. 

Do you like to mix up styles when you play out? And if so, which ones?
Lately, I'm playing almost all techno, so if you haven't seen me in the past year and a half you might be surprised. I play a blend of minimal, minimal techno, deep techno, and house. But I'm not stuck to one genre. I like to play unexpected stuff sometimes, some rock, fucked up disco, more electro. No rules, as long as I consider it makes sense and it makes people trip. When I DJ, I play mostly for myself. Whatever keeps me dancing. And if it keeps me dancing, usually it keeps the crowd dancing (smiles)! 

Do you still play the guitar? Any other instruments?
I still do. Quite badly now! I'm getting a little bit better with keyboards but not so much. I also play some bass. I like Machines! That's my thing! Give me pads, knobs to tweak, screens, and a mouse, and I'm happy! 

You grew up in the Balearic Islands, which island in particular? What was it like to be raised on such a beautiful island?
I grew in Mallorca from age five to eight and then every summer for two to three months. Mallorca has always been a great place to live. It's just been killed by mass tourism but if you know the good spots it's just an amazing island! I wouldn't mind going to live back over there at some point. The quality of life is good and relaxing. Living by the beach is quite a good life. I definitely won't complain about growing up over there. I think it's still one of my main sources of inspiration nowadays. 

What do you think of Ibiza these days? 
I can't tell. I've been going to Mallorca for the past 25 years, and NEVER been to Ibiza! Crazy isn't it?

Especially being a DJ.  I've been touring all over the world for the past eight years and never played in Ibiza (laughing)! I'm not sure I would enjoy the high season over there. But what I see from the outside is that more quality underground music is coming back to Ibiza and that's needed.

Describe the current music scene in France. 
It's very creative at the moment. For sure not the focus of electronic music, as Germany is way more creative, (I think that three records out of four I buy are on German labels !) but there’s a really great vibe here in Paris. A lot of things are going on here. There's always a good party to go to. 

Seen any good movies lately?
I rediscovered Kurosawa's "Kagemusha", what a trip! 

See you in the Balearics (Hopefully!).
Thanks Julie! Hope so too! 

Words by Julie Anna Bates