As part of our 9 Years Of T.H.E celebration features, we caught up with Portax who discusses 9 topics with us, including skydiving, upcoming releases, production tips and more.
T.H.E – Hey Portax! Welcome to T.H.E – Music Essentials. How has 2021 kicked off for you?
Portax – Hey team! Thanks a lot for having me. For me, 2021 is a new opportunity to restart the machine and work on new projects I 100% trust in: music !
T.H.E – How’s life in New Caledonia been for you?
Portax – New Caledonia was a COVID free place for almost a year. The airport was closed at the beginning of the pandemic and the local government did a wonderful job of taking the necessary measures to protect our quality of life.
I run a techno event company here and when everything started shutting down around the globe, I was still able to organise parties in idyllic places with hundreds of people dancing close to each other.
We were incredibly lucky, and we have lived without restrictions for a year. But now, it’s different, we have had local cases and have been in strict lockdown for almost a month.
T.H.E – What can you tell us about your upcoming releases, especially “A Lucid Dream”?
Portax – “A Lucid Dream” is my interpretation of what could be this kind of experience if I had to have one. I really wanted to take the listeners with a simple but really deep melody and drive them down another dimension during the break.
Because of the synths used in that track, a lot of people would find old school vibes. The drop is massive: a huge combo sub/mass and the second part of the melody prepares for the upper stage of darkness.
This track is really special and will be released with an incredible video clip. I’m really proud of that one! It’s going to be released on April,12th and you can pre-order the track on Beatport !
And following this, rendez-vous in June for the release of my next EP on Ramon Tapia’s label!
T.H.E – When it comes to music production, the culture of one’s city is very important? Could you share an example of how the culture of a city has helped you in the production of a track?
Portax – Not just for a single track, it has influenced most of my production. The culture of a particular city shaped the producer I am now. Montpellier – south of France, was my playground for years when I was younger. This city is incredible in its diversity, the importance of the street art and the lifestyle of good living. It’s a young & dynamic city with a historical cultural heritage. A lot of well-known artists came from Montpellier area.
I discovered dark techno and minimal there and I attended a lot of raves and underground parties in the area before producing my own sounds.
The mix between music that you can hear in clubs and music listened in the bush shaped my perception and has driven my productions that way: huge kicks, dark vocals, and deep synths.
T.H.E – For all upcoming producers, what production tips do you feel you can share, which can help them?
Portax – If I go back 6 years ago when I started producing, I would have loved to have someone to tell me 2 things:
Don’t try to modify the low end of a kick. A kick needs to fit in your production without any big modification. If It doesn’t, this is just not the right one!
Use an automation on the mono/stereo balance: on Ableton, I use it to take the full signal from stereo to almost entire mono just a few seconds before the drop and I release the full stereo straight at the drop. Just try it, and you will love the mono to stereo effect
T.H.E – What do you feel lies in the future of the music industry, with COVID?
Portax – Honestly, I’m a bit worried about the future. I can’t imagine a festival with thousands of people wearing masks and social distancing. We are going through a tough time and I hope everything will soon return to some sort of normal. So to me, hopefully, proximity and fun will be the future of music.
T.H.E – Could you tell us a bit about your favourite cuisine and beverages?
Portax – I’m the typical stereotype of the a good French living:: cheese & wine! Everything looks better and tastes better with a slice of French cheese (especially the south of France ones) and a good glass of red wine! So if I had to choose a cheese, I’ll say “Pélardon” (google-it, best cheese on earth ) and a red wine: Beaumes-de-Venise
T.H.E – You’re also a fan of skydiving. What have been some of your favourite locations to skydive and why?
Portax – I’m a huge fan! I didn’t jump that many times but every time felt unique! The one-minute fall is the best feeling I had my entire life. And weirdly, I’m always relaxed and peaceful when I’m going to jump, no stress, only pleasure.
My favourite one? New Caledonia of course! Imagine jumping over the most beautiful coral reef on earth. During the flight ascent you can spot rays and sharks. During the fall, you have the mountains on one side and the ocean on the other. The dream!
T.H.E – What can you tell us about your 2021 plans, including the ones for your label – Panik?
Portax – In a few months, I’ll be back in France, in Montpellier, for a new life. So by the end of the year, my 2021 plans are to live from my music. For that I’m working hard on new releases and my mixing skills as well. The plan is to shoot out EPs on the best techno labels and keep publishing single on my label PANIK.
Regarding shows, I just signed a few tours and gigs for this coming summer, so I can’t wait to play again!