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Alex Gopher's German Sound Of France

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Friday, February 8, 2008
Legendary French dance star Alex Gopher chatted to Skrufff this week about his latest reincarnation as one of the key producers in France's exploding rock/dance explosion and said he's both inspired and uncertain about his status in the scene.

'Am I a part of the new wave- That's difficult to judge by myself,' Alex admitted.

'Sometimes I consider myself as a 'ringard', which in French is a worse word than old-fashioned; it's more like being a 'has-been' in English,' he laughed, 'Then other times I feel on the crest of the wave.'

Describing his latest single Aurora and remix of Fischerspooner's single The Best Revenge as being electronic club tracks with rock energy, he was clear about the characteristics of the new music, describing it as 'noisy but very musical, lo-fi but very technologic, dance oriented but mostly from white-music influences.'

'For sure there is a new French sound,' he added, 'Digitalism and Boys Noize have it.'

Stressing he wasn't making a faux pas, Alex denied not knowing both bands are German, pointing out, 'Germany is close to France and together we speak together the same language; English.'

Starting his musical career in the mid-'90s with a French rock band called Orange (whose line-up included Etienne de Crécy and both members of the band, Air) Alex first made his name as one of the biggest stars of the briefly massive French filtered house scene though admitted he's unsure as to why France is so productive in dance music again.

'I was asked that question 10 years ago and my answer is the same today: I don't know,' he admitted.

'Though perhaps it's because if the diversity of music that typical French teenagers listen to, including English, American, African and of course French music. I also think it's because French people don't understand English so we listen to the music rather than the lyrics. That changes your approach to making music.'

He also said the music business has changed irrevocably in recent years with marketing now a primary function of making records.

'Living just off selling music is impossible now, which I think is a big problem because I've always considered recording music as a very different art form from playing live.

'As DJs we are lucky; we can play recorded music and that's not considered as 'playback',' he continued.

'I'm lobbying against music being provided for free because in practise that just means different industries are taking the money from artists, such as big web companies and those connected to advertising on the web. We should crusade for recorded music.'