Antigone (real name Jeanson Antonin) is one of the brightest young stars to emerge from the bustling Parisian scene these last years, rising through the ranks of Concrete to become a force to be reckoned with and dropping a string of powerful techno bombs on labels like Token, Construct Re-Form and Indigo Aera. House Cult contributor and fellow DJ/producer Yotam Avni chats with the Parisian super talent about French nightlife, his friendship with Francois X, the noble art of record collecting and the future of techno.
The French techno scene is a worldwide phenomenon by now and Concrete gets most of the credit for that. For those who haven’t been there yet, can you tell us more about those parties and other interesting techno nights in France we should know about?
“Concrete is what Paris really needed. Nightlife in the city had been practically dead since the year 2000. Clubs always had the same programming, but beyond that people in general weren’t interested in this music maybe because this typical French touch stayed for a while and people got bored. But to come back to your question, Concrete is the kind of club where you can really live, the energy of that boat goes on all day long. It really represents this new generation of young clubbers and DJs. Sonotown also really helped change nightlife with their very good parties at la Machine du Moulin Rouge and their 75021 parties during the day.”
You’ve known François X for quite a while now, collaborating on different projects. Can you tell us more about your friendship and your thoughts about him as a DJ and producer?
“I first met Francois-Xavier in 2009, We were playing in the same club. It was my first gig. Shortly after we both became residents at Concrete and I guess our friendship really started around that time. We shared the same vision of techno music on some points. As a DJ I must say he is one of my favorites. He’s got that special thing and really keeps this mental techno vibe in his sets. And there’s always a breaking point that I love, when he brings old school stuff like Chicago house in-between new stuff . I find it very classy. As a producer I really like to work with him because he has the talent to come up with simple ideas that can make all the difference to a track .”
A few months ago you released the ‘Cantor Dust’ EP on Token, which is a seven track record – almost a full length album. Are you thinking about making an LP soon? If yes, what should we expect from your debut album?
“Of course, but to be honest I haven’t started yet, as I am still searching for ideas musically speaking. I’m also working on textures that could fit. What I know for sure is that I want to work on something that I could also do as a live show”.
There’s a rumor you want to start your own record label soon. If so, can you tell us about its concept and the artists you’d like to have on there?
“It was a thought at some point but I think I need more time and really want to focus more on my own career for the moment. But it is surely something I would love to do.”
If I had to choose, I’d say ‘And When the Sky Was Opened” is my favorite Antigone track so far. Can you tell us about the work behind it?
“I did this track at the end of 2012. It took one year to put it out since I had to finish the two other tracks for the EP. I still don’t really know how I did this track, It took me a lot of time to do all the rhythmics and bass in terms of sound design. But the the main synth was by pure chance.”
“That’s what I like about techno and music in general; some ideas come by pure mistake and some by working hard.”
As a young artist who is generally considered to be one of the most promising names in techno, what would you say the next sound or approach to the genre will sound like?
“I don’t have the pretentiousness to say what techno will sound like in the future. For me music in general is something unpredictable and cyclic, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”
Almost every podcast you did in the last two years is a mix of both new and old school techno records blended together. Are you a collector? What would you consider to be your favorite old school record labels in techno?
“When I was a kid I used to be a toy collector. Then I got into high school and I guess had to change my compulsion on another one so here, it was on techno records. I just love to dig and spend hours in records shops or on Discogs. There are so many good artists and labels from way back. If I had to choose a few, I’d maybe go for Cosmic, Blueprint or Ongaku but I still have plenty of labels to discover.”
What releases and projects are you currently working on?
“I have just finished a remix for Shlomo that is coming out in a few months on Wolfskuil Records. I also finished a remix for Stephen Brown that will be out very soon on Indigo Aera and last but not least a double EP with Francois X on Dement3d that is almost finished.”