Interview: Portax

With a slew of hard-hitting releases clocked on the on the likes of Perfekt Groove, Infekted Records, Biotech Recordings, Krafted Underground and Beenoise Records over the course of his career, hotly-tipped French techno talent and Panik label boss, Portax, recently returned to his burgeoning imprint for the first juggernaut release of 2021, A Lucid Dream.

Out now via Panik, A Lucid Dream is everything we have come to expect and more from the French artist, who has been going from strength to strength with each passing release since he burst on to the scene back in 2019.
As he gears up to release his next huge EP ‘An Invisible Game’ on Ramon Tapia’s esteemed Say What? Imprint, we caught up with the prolific Frenchman to find out more.

Hello Olivier! Thanks for your time.

Hey ! Thanks for having me, it’s my pleasure!

Your musical background is really important for me to mention to our readers. What was the techno scene like where you grew up?

I grew up in the south of France which is where I spent a lot of time in festivals or rave parties during my 20’s. The techno culture there shaped my own vision of what is techno music. Then later I travelled to Australia for a few months then New Caledonia. It’s in New Caledonia that I started producing and learnt everything I know now and lead to what my PORTAX project is now.

How would you describe your brand of techno?

My techno is dark, most of the time aggressive, with always huge kicks and massive sub rumbles. I love to work with vocals and always in a melancholic or eerie way

You recently released you new single ‘A Lucid Dream’. Can you tell us more about that please?

Sure! This one is really nice. I started producing “A Lucid Dream” with the intention of making an illustration of what could be a real lucid dream if I had to have one. You start the journey with the basics aka a huge low end and a sick vocal. Before the break, a simple but deep melody come through. Like an old synth, the melody leads to a break, the part where the dreamer realises that he is dreaming and so everything is possible. The drop let the second part of the melody continue to the peak of the track! A great video clip is out, check out my YouTube channel!

How does your creative process start when producing?

When I start producing, I spend a lot of time on the atmosphere. When the atmosphere is done, I know where I want to go. If the setting is chilling, I know what kind of lead I have to select, same if it’s more industrial. Sometimes, I start a project with the vocal and I dig around and create the rest of track. But one important thing: always have a good kick!

What’s your opinion on the current livestreaming trend among DJs?

Livestream was the key to keep enjoying your favourite artists over the past twelve months. When they started to spread on the internet, at the beginning of the pandemic, it was so beautiful to see how supportive people were. But it can’t be a permanent solution and to me, we can’t properly feel the music through a computer. You need the experience to be real, in a real place, with people, with an energy. So, for the short-term, livestream is a good solution, but I think, we all just can’t wait to be able to dance together again!

What is underground to you?

Underground is wide. It can describe dark, industrial, secret, hidden. So, to me, it’s a kind of music that can be played or danced in atypical places.

Tell us something about your Panik label.

PANIK is my second showroom. I started the project thinking it will be just my label to release tracks that don’t match with main labels, later I realized that young and fresh artists are out there, and I wanted to give them a chance, like small labels did with me. PANIK is seeking people who think outside the box and don’t want to sound like another artist.

Could you tell us something more about you upcoming project on Ramon Tapia’s label?

Sure! My next EP ‘An Invisible Game’ will be out early June on Ramon Tapia’s label, Say What? This one will be very special, because I worked super hard on vocals and the story. I can’t disclose more for now but be ready for 3 fresh bangers.

What are your plans for the rest of 2021?

For the rest of 2021 I’m planning a few gigs and more if COVID let us enjoy life again… Also, I’ll be back in Europe, in Montpellier, in a few months to start a new life, closer to the ‘music industry’

Thank you!

Thank you for having me, It was a pleasure team!

Portax – An Invisible Game will be released on June 11 via Say What?


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