Ahead of his show at Junk in Southampton, Jasmine Phull speaks to electronic DJ Alex Arnout about twenty years in the industry, current influences, and why he'd never move from London.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, there’s always someone influential in your life. Be it a friend or just a stranger, their passion and unbridled interest can be the spark to an internal flame you never knew existed. Alex Arnout was barely out of his teens when his friend Leiam Sullivan was ‘producing and releasing tracks’, and from there the guy of Spanish origins took to the decks, discovering a love for something that since, has yet to subside.
Now a DJ for more than two decades, the Dogmatik Records boss is constantly on the lookout for young pioneers not afraid to overstep ‘the boundaries’.
You founded Dogmatik Records. What are three things you look for when signing an artist?
Good ideas, good arrangements and a good understanding of how things should sound.
In three words, describe the you first starting out over 20 years ago.
Adventurous, young and determined.
How important do you think the live gig is? Do you think listeners can gain a totally different perspective or view when simply listening to you via their speakers?
- Date: Saturday 17th September 2011
- Event: Just Jack presents Alex Arnout (Hot Waves) at Junk
- Venue: Junk
It’s just like any music, if you like it enough, you want to experience it on the loudest system while sharing that moment with the artist.
Musically speaking, was there someone quite influential during your youth?
I would say so, apart from the explosion of new music, I had a friend called Leiam Sullivan that was actually producing and releasing tracks as early as 1989-90. I used to sit and watch him in his studio for hours; from that point on I knew what I wanted to do.
Who are you currently listening to?
All sorts of stuff really, early Detroit tracks on Transmatt, music by Model500, Risque3, Lab Rat XL, Virgo to Metronomy; Bon Iver, The Orb, Quasimoto and some old skool hip hop.
What is your opinion on collaboration versus competition? Is one healthier than the other in terms of musical output and inspiration?
The music unconsciously unites people from different countries and cultures, so collaborating only seems natural for the music to carry on growing.
One thing that’s changed in the music industry since you first started?
It’s not run and diluted by the majors anymore. You don’t have to deal with clueless A&R guys trying to add their two pence in so the record can sell more commercially.
One thing that hasn’t changed?
The love for the music.
The most influential city in terms of your musical output?
London hands down. I’ve tried making music in other places but it’s never quite as prolific for me anywhere else.
Festival season is winding its way to an end. How exhausted are you upon its completion? Is a well-earned break often in order? Or are you more hyped up then anything?
I’m in work mode at the minute and will be till well after the New Year. I guess my rest will come in January when I finally come up for air.
Are you into the ‘encore’ shtick?
I don’t really class things as worthy or unworthy. If it’s a good party and the vibe is good and all the equipment works, that to me is a good night.
What’s coming up for you?
There are more productions and remixes, building a new recording studio from scratch and so many more gigs.
Interview by: Jasmine Phull
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