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Alex Metric Interview

Alex Metric Interview

Funk machine Alex Metric is one of 2008's hottest prospects.

Blending electro-funk, breaks, house and a distinctive soulful croon, his production style favours the glitched-up, ultra-processed cut 'n' paste vibe of the Ed Banger gang but offers his own distinctive twist that's been getting us all very excited indeed.

Currently working with Adam Freeland on his forthcoming longplayer, Metric's released a string of corking singles on Marine Parade, with the latest, 'In Your Machine', out in March. We linked with the producer to learn a little more…

Your productions seem to be getting attention from DJs right across the board. Why do you think your music has such broad appeal?

"My love has always been chucking everything in the pot, the first thing I really got into was the big beat days, Skint and Wall of Sound, and then the French house thing, Super Discount and Etienne de Crecy, and I think that throwing everything into the blender is definitely something I try to do in my tracks, to have all these different influences. I love going out and not knowing what you're gonna hear next, you're never sure which direction it's gonna go in. That's the exciting thing about going out, the music that surprises."

Writing, producing and singing – have you always been D.I.Y. and independent in your attitude towards music?

"The reason I got into production is that I used to just be purely a singer, and having to rely on flaky producers wasn't much fun. So I decided to take it upon myself to do it all myself, and as I got into production I kind of stopped singing for four years or something. My music didn't fit having my vocal on it, until I really discovered what the music that I wanted underneath it was. But now I feel that I've come to a point where I'm happy with the style I've got, so it made sense to get back on the mic again."

Who are some of the singers you love, that made you want to be a singer in the first place?

"I'm really drawn to really white indie guy voices. Like Phoenix, the French band, are one of my favourites, I love everything those guys do, and his voice is wicked. He manages to sing just the right side of cheese as well. Zoot Woman, I love that guy's voice, a big influence on me. And I'm really loving Primary 1 at the moment, his new record is seriously wicked. I heard the mixes on Erol Alkan's label, and I was blown away. That guy will do massive things."

Your music has been compared to the likes of Ed Banger's output. Do you feel an affinity to the new French electro crew?

"That sound has come back round again. I guess I feel an affinity more with the first round of it, I guess my sound is similar to those guys but with a bit more of an English twist. I don't want to be deemed as doing a pastiche of those guys, I think that the whole French and '80s thing is something I've always been into, and a lot of people like it again."

What kind of vibe have you gone for with the 'In Your Machine' single?

"It's a good half-way point between the previous singles and the album, it's still pretty club-friendly, it's got some bollocks to it, but it marries the song element too. Some of the rest of the album goes a lot more song based and less club abrasive. Trying to meet between how things are gonna sound and things are sounding at the moment. It's hooky and a happy song, it's a record that will make you smile I guess."

Is this a balance that people can expect from your album?

"At the moment I've demoed 11 vocal tracks, and I'm at the point where I'm not sure what I'm gonna do, do two mixes of every track, a dancefloor track and an album version, or whether I'm going to tailor it to be a bit more dancefloor. I haven't worked it out yet. Someone told me that Liam from The Prodigy's attitude is that you never do two different versions of one track. People will play the one version if it's good. But I don't want to scare everyone off with full vocal tracks, so at the moment I'm feeling that I'm going to do remixes of everything."

What's happening with the Alex Metric album and what can we expect when it drops?

"I'm out to L.A. to finish off Adam Freeland's album, and then on tour, and then back to the UK to finish mine, with a single out this summer, and the album out in September."