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Scan X vs Scan 7- Music Shouldn't Be About Competition

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, November 9, 2003
"From the start of this project, I wanted the two tracks to be really different, so when I've received Scan 7's track, I said 'OK, I will do something totally different."

Meeting in Paris last year, French techno guru Stephane Dri (Scan X) and Detroit sometime Underground Resistance operative Lou Robinson (Scan 7) agreed to collaborate on a double-sided 12-inch record featuring one track by each producer. 12 months on, the resulting disc Scan 7 Versus Scan X: Final Destiny/ Transit appears to be a contest, though Stephane told Skrufff this week it's nothing of the sort.

"Music can't be a competition because music is first emotion so competition has no place here," he said.

"People who think of it as a competition are thinking about markets or sales, not about music."

Skrufff (Jonty Skrufff): It's quite unusual for two artists to do one side each of a 12", did you discuss it much with Scan 7 beforehand-

Scan X: "Scan 7 was actually the first of us to finish his track and when I received it, to be honest, I was really surprised because I'd been expecting something much harder. Which was cool, because from the beginning, I didn't want this project to be a competition between two artists to see who's the best. The idea instead was to have two totally different tracks, showing two different visions, on the same record. So I think if Scan 7 had made a harder track in the style of some of his earlier stuff, then I would have done something deeper and more melodic. The main idea of this 12" was to show two different side of electronic music, one very melodic and another one more dedicated to the dance-floor."

Skrufff: Reviewing the record, Angel Molia describes it as 'Detroit techno versus French techno', is there a recognisable French techno sound these days-

Scan X: "I honestly don't know. There is definitely a Detroit sound, and maybe I can hear it because I have the distance to recognise it, but I'm not so sure about whether there's a French techno sound as such. What's true, though, is that in the last few years, there are far more quality French techno producers around compared to five years ago when the French sound was more associated with house producers."

Skrufff: DJ Dan Moore described your track Transit as being 'a bit linear', how sensitive are you to criticism-

Scan X: "Maybe he's right. I was expecting that people would prefer one or the other, not because one is better or whatever but because they are so different that people would be more sensitive to one of them regarding what they like in electronic music. Personally, I like them both."

Skrufff: Picasso famously said 'Good artists copy, great artists steal' would you agree-

Scan X: "Hmmm, I didn't know that Picasso said that. . . What I think is that we're all under various influences and it's important to recognise that fact so you can more take the control of your life. I think that it's stealing when you transform an influence so you can't recognize from where it's coming from, whereas if you can recoznizing, then that's copying."

Skrufff: The last time we spoke you said 'I took a break from making music because I'd become tired of loopy techno', Transit sounds rather loopy- have you changed your mind-

Scan X (chuckling): "No, when I said 'loopy techno' I was referring more to boring tracks rather than a particular style of techno. If think that whatever style it is, if there is emotion or energy, then it works."

Skrufff: We also discussed the French crackdown against clubs and nightlife, has the situation changed much in recent months-

Scan X: "The situation is really weird in France at the moment, because the authorities have started providing big places for free, where kids can organize their own 'Free-Parties'. Of course, that's the only way they've found to control a movement that was sometimes drawing 30 000 people without permission to forbidden places. B