The Waveform Transmitter‘s Ste Knight presents the second in our Waveform Live series, which this week comes from French techno pioneer, Scan X. Enjoy!
I first came across Scan X back in 2003. I had just started to get into the whole techno sound having seen Surgeon playing at a local Liverpool night called T-Funkshun. This was a baptism of fire, to say the least, but thanks to my friend Paul dragging me out (I have A LOT to thank him for in terms of my musical tastes), I was hooked and threw myself into learning more about the genre.
During this time, I managed to procure myself a copy of Scan X‘s album How to Make the Unpredictable Necessary, from (I think) the iconic Probe record store, also based in Liverpool. It was heavily played during my journeys to work and it is an album I find myself returning to constantly. There is something a little different about French techno which I really love. In some respects it is less aggressive than its Berlin counterparts, and more melodic than its Detroit forefathers. Whilst it has both of these elements, I feel it is fair to say it is a separate sound.
I was, admittedly, a little late to the party. Scan X had already been releasing tracks for a decade by the time I got round to engaging with his sound. However, I have made up for it since, enjoying Stéphane Dri‘s productions all the way back to his debut on FNAC. Released back in 1993, Satori and follow-up EP Scan X set the stall for the French techno sound we have come to know and love today.
He quickly followed this up with a barrage of productions on Laurent Garnier and Eric Morand‘s successor to the FNAC label, F Communications. With that kind of endorsement, it makes sense that Stéphane‘s career has been hugely successful. He has been Garnier‘s sound engineer for around fifteen years, so you know that serves as a mark of outstanding quality.
Since then he has released on Skryptöm, Herzblut, and the infamous Harthouse imprint. Testament indeed to his prowess in the production studio. Appearing most often as a live artist, it is Stéphane‘s manipulation of hardware that makes his sound stand out.
Fast forward to 2017, and Scan X has three studio albums, 17 singles and EPs, and no less than 40 remix credits to his name. November 28th saw him release his wonderfully hypnotic, dubbed-out EP, Alien Symphony, on Chris Honorat‘s Volphonie label. The original mix features modular synthesis to give the track that raw, analog feel. It is backed up by remixes from Marcel Fengler, Electric Rescue, Chris Honorat, Keikari, and Kolde, all of whom weave their own trademark sounds into the mix. It is Scan X‘s original, though, that works the magic for us. You can take a listen to Alien Symphony, here.
As Stéphane primarily performs live, it made perfect sense for us to invite him to contribute to our Waveform Live series. So, without further ado, allow us to present to your 40 minutes of unadulterated, live, French techno, courtesy of the man himself. When we say this an absolute beast of a set, we mean it.