In a slew of music; mixes, tracks, podcasts, it's sometimes difficult to stand out from the crowd. But that is exactly what Arnaud le Texier does. His Safari Electronique podcast has become one of CGNY's obsessions. With wide ranging musical tastes, Arnauds residency at OneMore and regular appearances at Fabric (London) and gigs all over Europe (just back from Moscow) he's a busy man! So we're delighted he took the time to make an exclusive CGNY guest mix. Read on! It helps to imagine a strong French accent!
CGNY: Hi Arnaud – bienvenue! Tell us a bit about yourself. I know you’re from France (Rennes in Brittany) How did you get into electronic music?
Arnaud: I have been a dj since 1989 now. I got into electronic music straight away. I was listening to techno and the beginning of house music from 87-88 and I started to be a dj around the end of 89. I was a resident in Paris for 5 or 6 years from 95-2001 in a club called Queen Club in Paris on the Champs Elysee.
CGNY: Oh la la – the Champs Elysee – sounds so glam!
Arnaud: Yes it was one of the first gay clubs where we could have techno 7 days a week. So it was quite interesting. Then I moved to London in 2005. I’ve been playing sometimes in Fabric and all the warehouse parties around London as well as mainland Europe.
CGNY: What prompted your move to London?
Arnaud: Well since the 90’s I was going there quite often. I always liked the city and I discovered Fabric in the early 2000 and it was really inspiring for me. It was also when I started my label Safari Electronique. I needed a change after 10 years in Paris. I wanted to do something else.
CGNY: What kind of music influenced you growing up?
Arnaud: Many, many tracks. It is hard to single out one that was more influential than another … I would say Detroit or Chicago sound influenced me. For my ambient side The Orb a lot. I played often ambient in the chill out rooms when it was the beginning of Rave parties. I’ve played so much music in the last 20 years that it’s hard to define what I really like. I just like electronic music in general but techno always be the sound I always come back.
CGNY: I think that’s quite evident in your sets. And what about Daft Punk? Being French – were they on your radar at all?
Arnaud: Yes I heard them play at their first gig in Rennes. I was playing after them that night. They were not even famous not even signed yet with Soma.
CGNY: I started listening and following you on SoundCloud and FB. There is so much music that comes our way…it takes something special for a set to really pop for me and for me that was the Jan SE podcast. First of all its two hours– you really get to build your set. What are you thinking about/emotions when you start to shape your set?
Arnaud: I do it every month so I have a month to make my selections. I like to listen to a lot of new electronic music but in the meantime I also like to listen to my old tracks, and try to see if they can fit in the mix, if they are still modern and they can be on my podcast. I make my selection from ambient to techno, from house but it depends on my mood. Sometimes I am falling in love with house music that month or sometimes more techno. I want to make people discover electronic music in general. I don’t want to say the podcast is only techno or only house music. It’s music full stop. I try to make this podcast as a story, like a movie you have a beginning, an end, a middle. It’s like a dj set but not really a dj set. You can dance to it but also listen to it an after party in your house, or at the gym. And sometimes to relax at home, sometime is music you can really play in a night club.
CGNY: So in London is where you started your label?
Arnaud: Yes in 2000 my first labels: Atcha Records and Kailash with my business partner James Warren feature a lot of deep house, tech house. Then I decided to change and do something more personal. In 2005 I started Safari Electronique from which I’ve got some really good feedback straight away. Then lately just launched with my friend Emmanuel Ternois a new label (Children of Tomorrow) which is more focused on the techno side.
CGNY: Who are the artists that you are working with for this label?
Arnaud: The first release we did was with Terrence Dixon. I did a solo EP also with a Jonas Kopp remix. Another EP with Antonio De Angelis and I remixed by Ryan Elliott. I signed lately Antigone who is for sure an artist to watch. Pure talent. ROD made a remix for him…
CGNY: Oh yes I heard his Invites choice podcast – very cool.
Arnaud: Yes Antigone has a personal touch that I really like. There is also a French artist Zadig who is doing the next EP. A really raw techno one.
CGNY: You obviously have performed a lot in Europe but have you any plans for a US visit?
Arnaud: We have some requests from New York and Miami but we are waiting to finalize details. But no plans immediately.
CGNY: What’s next for you there so gig wise?
Arnaud: Just played Moscow last weekend with Rod and Mark Broom, Antonio De Angelis, Outart for One More showcase it’s the party where I am resident. At the end of the month we invite Rodhad for his debut in London and Mr.G.
CGNY: What is it that keeps you inspired by electronic music – keep things fresh for yourself? What motivates you on a day to day basis? How do you stay competitive in this business and ensure people are paying attention to your sound – is it about what you’re doing – the podcast, is it about tours and gigs?
Arnaud: I think it’s about a lot of things. Making music is one of the main key at the moment, Playing as a dj or live to promote your sound. Doing some podcast! Promotion etc… As a label manager you have to find the right artists. You have to be open with all the new styles that are coming and not to repeat yourself too much and if you make music, trying to find different techniques, sounds. I think the most important thing of this job is that you always have to know how to renew yourself and be really open & creative, curious.
CGNY: Yes well your range of selection on Beatport is quite impressive – everything from ambient electronica through all the genres! How did you get in touch with the Droid Behavior crew? (That’s how I heard your music first because I listen a lot to their podcasts too!
Arnaud: I was playing the music on the label so they just contacted me and asked me to do a podcast. Really enjoyed to do this one I have to say.
CGNY: So you’ve never met the Vargas boys?
Arnaud: No never met.
CGNY: Artists and producers you admire?
Arnaud: I listen to so much music and from some many artists that it’s hard to pick one.
CGNY: Tell us about your release on Bullet Dodge – that just came out. Love the music from that label! And I saw Anthony Shakir had asked for the vinyl version of it (in comments on Youtube). Not too shabby a name to be commenting on your release.
Arnaud: Ah just saw it… Thanks for the info J what can I say! I love his productions and he’s a guy who inspires me for sure. Really happy to see that he likes this release. It’s my second release on Gareth’s label. He likes techno and I was happy to do something again for Bullet Dodge.
CGNY: Well congrats Arnaud and thank you again for an amazing mix. Hopefully we see you Stateside soon!
For more information on Arnaud visit his Soundcloud page or go to Safari Electronique.
Link to Arnauds exclusive CGNY guest mix here.