Alan Braxe Talks The Moniker Stardust, Daft Punk and The Presets
Stardusted and ready to party, Alan Braxe, co-producer of what might literally be the best dance record ever made, "Music Sounds Better with You" is in NYC for one night only - tonight (Friday, May 10). The fact of the matter is that if you're at Lil Charlie's this evening, the music will indeed sound better with you there. Before the party, here's your chance to learn about Braxe's new EP and how the influential Frenchman hooked up with half of Daft Punk to change the lives and ears of many young disco dames and dawgs.
VIBE: When was your last gig in New York City?
Alan Braxe: I played a few years ago in Brooklyn at Studio B and it was a very good night. I play a lot in the states, Chicago, Washington, Miami, etc.
Are you still living in Paris?
No, I’m actually living in the south of France now, I am married with kids and I need more space so we bought a house.
Are you still touring a lot?
I do about one gig per week. The most difficult thing for me is to tour and make music at the same time. My main goal at the moment is to make as much music at as possible.
You just finished an EP, what was it and who did you sign it to? You also had a recent remix that is doing some damage, which was that?
Yes, the EP is titled "Moments in Time" and I signed it to Scion A/V. The remix was for The Presets and is forthcoming on Modular Australia.
Are there some label nights you are doing for your label Vulture Music at the moment?
We have a label residency in Paris at Social Club for many years and we would love to expand the night in London, LA, and New York City, but to tour with the label party is our goal. We just want to play our music and it’s not about the hype or the artists, but just about the music.
You are about to come to NYC and play a very small but very intimate club at Lil Charlie’s, what shall we expect from you this Friday?
I never know what I'm going to play and it depends on the room and of course the people and what I'm feeling from the room, but it’s always a party. I love to play the smaller rooms even though it seems a little more difficult but I actually enjoy it more because I really have to focus on the people. It's not my style to play deep, I enjoy playing music to make people dance.
Everyone here obviously still loves Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You". Do you still play this record?
Absolutely, I play it often.
Can we expect anything more from the Stardust production name with you and Thomas Bangalter?
Stardust was a very successful name but I think we will end up creating a new name down the road just to keep the mystery, and we actually like it this way.
How did the collaboration and the relationship between Thomas Bangalter, the co-founder of Daft Punk, begin?
I met Thomas about 20 years ago at a club through a mutual friend and we began speaking about music, the studio and we naturally became friends. He came to the studio and I started to play some things in the studio and he liked a lot of the stuff and ended up signing my first single "VERTIGO" and releasing it on his own label Roule Records, he also remixed this record too.
How did "Music Sounds Better with You" come about? What is an accident?
I was just beginning to produce and Thomas always had a very big input in my music and it was just a good chemistry between myself, Thomas, and Benjamin Cohen the vocalist, and it really just came naturally but we certainly didn't feel it was going to be as big as it was or become one of the most successful dance records of all time.
How does it feel to play have recorded arguable the #1 Dance Single ever made?
It's an honor.
Have you had a chance to hear the new Daft Punk album?
No I haven't heard the entire album, just the first single and its very good. I recently met with Thomas and he explained to me the creative process of the album and how excited they were, and just to catch up, but I haven't had a chance to hear it quite yet.
Daft Punk has been making a big point with this album going on the record that this album was and not in a hotel room or an airport, how do you feel about that?
I think it's good to create an album that has a very live feel to it and it seems we have reached the maximum level of input with electronic music with recording so to come back and do things with live instruments is very good and very interesting but this is a very complicated subject and is endless. You can do a lot with just a synthesizer and a 909 as well, so doing what feels good and natural to you is what I suggest.
Is there an artist or a track that you are in love with at the moment?
Yes, I really like this song, Ali Love’s “Emperor”, it has a lot of energy as well as some melodic pieces as well. I will be playing this on Friday for sure but I don't really pay a lot of attention to the names of people, there is so much good music out and I'm all about the music, not the names so I play anything that’s good, to be honest.
It's Friday night, so don't waste it on whatever you think you're doing. Alan Braxe is here for one night only, and it's free with an RSVP!
You're welcome, people of New York.
Interview and Additional Reporting: Steven Lee