Oscar (aka Levantine) surf sur la vague French Filter House Nu Disco avec brio. Ce jeune Dj et producteur nous vient tout droit du continent Américain et puis précisément d’Amérique centrale, à Mexico. N’en déplaisent aux amateurs de mariachis, nous tenons là l’un des éléments les plus prometteurs de la French House. Il enchaîne depuis un an et demi les sorties de qualité sur le label COC4INE, l’italien LOVESEXDANCE, NotMadefordance ou encore Disco Motion Records. Coup de cœur particulier pour Temptation EP sorti il y a un an sur DIscoMotionRecords pour son groove dynamique et maîtrisé Nous remercions Levantine d’avoir répondu avec grand intérêt à nos questions.
MiXiT : First, the most basic question, can you introduce yourself to those who do not know you in France?
Levantine : Well, I’m a Mexican electronic music producer, I’ve been on the french touch scene for a year and a half, I’ve released three EP’s, I’ve remixed some great artists as I’ve been remixed by great artists from the scene, too. I’ve appeared on a few compilations, and well, not much to say other than I’m a guy living in this, our “underground” scene, having fun.
« I’ve remixed some great artists …
… as I’ve been remixed by great artists »
MiXiT : “Inspired by New Order, a blonde ex-girlfriend & Schopenhauer.” Seriously?
Levantine : (I love this one) New Order’s been my favourite band since I was thirteen, it’s hard to explain what their music makes me feel, I’m in love with that band. About my ex-girlfriend, well, that’s a long-dramatic-love story but let’s just say she’s an important part of my life even though we’re not together anymore. And Schopenhauer because my philosophy fits on his words, I don’t share some ideas, but I enjoy so much reading him, it kind of makes me stay focused. I think these three elements act on me when I’m making music.
MiXiT : Could you tell us more about your everyday life, and what you’re doing currently?
Levantine : Not much, I’m really boring to be honest. I´m studying music production, I live at a nice flat, I adore longboarding and watching old cartoons. I’m not really fond of hanging out; I prefer staying at home with my mates just being foolish. I just go out when I have to play. My life’s nothing special, but I like it pretty much.
MiXiT : What are your main influences? Which music do you listen at home ? And what is the music that influences your creations?
Levantine : I listen to a lot of things, from Bauhaus to Erasure, from The Smiths to Kraftwerk, from Bob Dylan to Joy Division, from synth pop to acid house; I’ve never minded the style or genre of a song as long as it’s good and provokes something on me. I think all music I listen to influences and makes an effect on my productions in some way.
I really can’t see myself doing something that’s not related to music.
MiXiT : Name your top 5 influencers in music…actually name your top 5 favourite producers? Actually, out of the 5, who is on your top 10 on Beatport?
Levantine : My top 5 favourite producers are from the bands I like the most: Daniel Miller, Martin L. Gore, Martin Hannett, Arthur Baker and Flood. On my Beatport’s top 10 I’d include Quarion, Urulu, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Session Victim, Nicone, Leftwing & Kody, Sante, Cera Alba, and Agoria.
MiXiT : What’s the place of music for you in your daily life? I mean, when you listen to it, not when you product! What is an average day like for you?
Levantine : Music it’s my favourite thing in life, it’s my own world. An average day for me is basically going to school, longboarding and making music, I love being locked in my “home studio” (laptop & keyboard controller) all nite. I’ve got a discman, so I chose one record to listen all day, doesn’t matter how many times it repeats.
MiXiT : Does your life consistently revolve around music? What would you do if you had to stop it?
Levantine : I really can’t see myself doing something that’s not related to music and I couldn’t say I’ve got something else that means so much to me as music does, but if music stopped I’d be an all nine to five office job guy, I guess.
MiXiT : Your music has that “feel good vibe”, I love to feel like this…so positive! And what do you want people to feel when they are listening to your music ?
Levantine : Thanks. I just want people to take my music the way they want, if they wanna dance to it, or listen to it on their way to work, making homework, I don’t know, music is memories, people, situations, words; I mean, many things in our lives get sealed for ever with a good song.
MiXiT : The artists you mentioned before as influences, Bob Dylan, Joy Division, are essentials for anyone who loves music. To be more original, is there any kind of music or artist you hate?
Levantine : Essentials for anyone who loves good music, there lies a difference. I hate lots of bands, singers, styles and genres, things like LMFAO, Foster the People, Lil’ Jon, Mexican tribal , underground latin hip hop music, psytrance music, happy punk and many more stuff (I could make a long list), they all make me sick.
MiXiT : You are a young producer but you managed to cross the Atlantic and you’re making a place in the electronic music world. How to stand out from the impressive number of DJs and producers? What do you think about the abundance of releases for a few years?
Levantine : I’ve always said that it doesn’t matter how many DJs and producers come out, this is about quality. It’s always been like that, since the beginnings of Rock n’ Roll and Pop Music there’s been a huge number of artists, but just the most original and creative ones stand out. I think I’ve just been lucky to have the support from the labels and that people like my music and support me as well.
MiXiT : Which track are you the most proud of?
Levantine : Definitely “Addictive Relationships”. It gives me goosebumps each time I listen to it. During the days I wrote it I was listening to Pet Shop Boys a lot and I wanted to have a track that reflected my love for synth pop and new wave mixed with the nu disco sound so I think with this track I achieved that. I love the strings, the bassline, the vocal sample, the riff at the end; yes, this is the track I’m most proud of, so far.
MiXiT : Artists are all trying to continually improve themselves, what are you working on to perfect your craft? Do you think that one day your music preference will change?
Levantine : Actually nowadays I’m making tracks of different styles, learning about synths, mixing, mastering and more; I’ve never thought about just making one kind of music, it’s started with French house and Nu disco but maybe next I could be releasing house or deep house stuff, I’m always listening to many different styles of electronic music.
MiXiT : How do you imagine yourself next year and in 10 years?
Levantine : Next year I hope I’m on my tour (America and Europe), releasing tracks on new labels, playing around my country and things like that, you know, keep making a life as an electronic music producer. How do I see myself the next ten years? That’s hard for me to answer as I’ve never imagined myself in ten years, I think I’m gonna be disappeared, I don’t know, to be honest I can’t even reason it out.
MiXiT : We can understand that, but maybe you have a dream concerning music or other?
Levantine : Not really. Maybe to play with artists I’m fond of like Quarion, Urulu, Agent Stereo, Joey Chicago, and many others, that’d be nice, but I don’t have any particular dream or goal.
MiXiT : Is there one moment in your music career that you will never forget?
Levantine : I’ve had lots of great moments during my career but I think I’d choose the night I played with The Phantom’s Revenge. He’s the best (for me) of this French house’s “new era”, is a guy I admire since he came out, he’s the reason I decided to start making and releasing French house among other styles I like also. So, to be and to play in the same place with him has been the best moment of my career, for sure.
MiXiT : Mexico is not just an “emerging sunny country”, you’re a good proof of this. How would you describe Mexican art scene? Let us discover electronic Mexican scene.
Levantine : The Mexican art scene is having a revival, rising and established artists keep trying to find the way to make people get interested in what they do, they act to get what they’re looking for and not just talk like in the old days. And I wouldn’t say there’s an electronic Mexican music scene in itself, there are a few bands signed to major labels that make interesting things but they’re on their own space, there are lots of producers from different kinds of music all over the country but the lack of labels and agencies that promote and invest in them avoids the creation of something that could be called a scene.
MiXiT : Do you know some French artists and what do you think about the French electronic scene? (I’ve seen you were following Roche music for instance)
Levantine : I know some French mates and they’re really cool. I love their vibe as I love their scene; I think there’s a sort of consistency in the French electronic scene, what I like the most about it is the constant improvement of quality of all their artists, they all come up with great ideas and new sounds. They’re very creative.
MiXiT : COC4INE is the haunt of other talented artists. How this new relation with this label happened? Is COC4INE a good label to express yourself?
Levantine : They got a demo CD with my best tracks and some unreleased ones, I met Leo, the boss of the label and we had a talk and we decided to work together. I had just moved to Mexico city and I was looking for a label that I could feel comfortable working with, committed but free to work on other things at the same time so I feel really good being with them. They’ve shown me their support and interest in the project; they’re kind, respectful and professional people. It does is a good label to express myself.
MiXiT : What are your plans right now? You said you was planning a tour. What about an EP? Album ? The new most downloaded track on Beatport ? Do you have envy like featuring or remixes? Don’t forget that we’re waiting for you in Paris…
Levantine : Well, I’m working on my live set, I’m gonna be playing my best remixes and tracks, that’s what I want to finish as soon as possible, I can’t wait to be playing live. I’m working on a track for a compilation to be released on summer, no remixes or featurings, so far. I’ve made a few tracks from deep house to nu disco that I want to send to new labels but they need to be finished. If I released an album it’d be something between synth pop and house music, I don’t think it’d be Disco, I would like to make something different from my EPs. I’m saving money to go on tour next year, I’m gonna be visiting some places in North America, then maybe Chile, Colombia and then Europe, I’m definitely going to Paris, that’s for sure.