Photo: The Cabaret Voltaire
LSi spoke to the Australian producer on the back of his recent appearance in Leeds to hear about the French Express ethos and adjusting his music for the dancefloor.
If you haven’t already heard Isaac Tichauer’s name yet then you need to get to know it, and fast. Back in 2012 the Australian producer was signed to French Express by main man Perseus. The label’s Parisian sounding, laid back and funky releases demonstrate a truly refreshing take on house so it is little wonder the imprint has been making waves in the scene since its evolution from a blog of the same name in August 2008.
You played in Leeds for the Set One Twenty boys earlier this year and you’re back again already – you must have enjoyed your gig at The Garage back in February.
The Garage show still remains one of my all time favourites. It was packed with fans who knew my music and the atmosphere was incredible. I still remember people screaming along to ‘I Like It Raw’.Moments like that are why you get up in the morning and walk into a dark studio.
Mint Club is a Leeds institution, can you tell us what went down at the French Express takeover?
It was massive. Lived up to all my expectations. Set One Twenty always pu ton a great show but to have it within a venue like Mint Club took it to the next level. Definitely a highlight show and awesome to play in environment with great sound and lighting with the FE crew.
French Express have just announced a 10 date tour in North America. It must be very different touring with your three fellow knights instead of on your own?
Yes, it’s so much better. We have complete control of the night so music policy is in our hands we can take people on a far more calculated journey. The only problem is I can’t play any of Jonas’ records which drives me nuts!
Chris Malinchak’s success in the mainstream is a great reflection of the recent rise in the popularity of the underground house scene. Do you view this increasing exposure in a positive light?
I think all commercial success of electronic music is a positive thing for the genre. People tend to start with pretty cheesy music and then dig down from there, hopefully digging deep enough to find better quality house music. I think there’s far too much hating on people that make success out of their music. Every underground house producer should thank these guys for putting the spotlight on their genre as the success trickles down to the little guys over time.
“Every underground house producer should thank these guys for putting the spotlight on their genre as the success trickles down to the little guys over time.”
Your sound has developed over the last year or so since your debut album Devotion was released. With Devotion was it your priority to showcase your talent as a producer? And was there a heightened pressure with the Take Over You EP to produce music more for the club?
Devotion didn’t have a strategy, it was literally nine tracks I had written that we (Leon and I) chose out of about 20 and it wrapped up into the album. It started as a four track EP and the grew from there. Since Devotion I’ve kept doing the same thing, writing music that I enjoy. It is true that I’m starting to think more about club music and some of my new music is a little faster because I found I couldn’t play a lot of my tracks when I started Djing last year as the tempo was too slow. People would be yelling at me to play ‘Doing What I got’ and ‘Step Away’ and I was staring at a tempo of 125 bpm thinking “damn I wish my music was fater”. Again, at FE shows I tend to play more of my music as I feel more comfortable to play what I want. So things will be a little faster, but still warm and heavy.
What would you say is the ideology behind French Express, if there is one? By giving music away for free how have you managed to find a balance between being a business and maintaining the label’s integrity, as sharing music for free seems to be a key part of your philosophy as a collective of artists?
We all currently earn money mainly from shows. Giving away music is great in that it gets your tracks to more people and people buy tickets to shows and drive promoters to book you for gigs. More importantly, it’s a great initiative to engage and reward listeners and people that spread the word. It will continue to remain a part of the brand but fans need to treat each free track as a gift and remain open to buying from us in the future as it really helps us continue to do what we are doing. All tracks are on Beatport so people have the choice.
Finally, your monthly mixes have been on repeat but when can we expect some new music from you?
My last mix includes a new track of mine, admittedly placed there without any mention by me outside of the track list that I put up after uploading. I have over an hour of new music that’s about to be released, including a new single and separate EP on FE and a couple of remixes that will all be out this year. Then a whole bunch of other stuff that’s waiting in the queue. My set at Boiler Room this month will comprise mainly of unreleased material by me, so I’m really excited to share it with everyone.
Isaac Tichauer – ‘Doing What I Got’
Isaac Tichauer – ‘Step Away’