It has been the golden era for Sebastien Leger for years. Virtually anything he touches turns to gold. His take on electronic music can at times be interpreted as somewhat unique but the reality is he is a young Frenchman at the top of his game. RK talks to him about his imminent return to Australia and why he’s been a little lazy of late.
“I’m still enjoying the beautiful sunshine of Europe although I moved from France to Amsterdam not because of the weather!,” Sebastien Leger says, laughing. “It does get depressing here in the winter. It’s cold and grey and it can snow but I still have my music and that’s what keeps me happy.”
It is this open-minded philosophy that is threaded through Leger’s music too and has been the case since he took to production over a decade ago during a time when the French dance music culture screamed filter house. But, with Derrick May, Underground Resistance and Juan Atkins being inspirations to the young DJ and producer, one can gradually begin to understand his distinctive productions. “Even when I started producing, my music was different but in some cool sort of way,” he says of early production days. Although he cherishes being a DJ out on the decks playing to a huge crowd, he loves his time in the studio. He does admit, however, being a bit lazy of late – something he puts down to a lack of inspiration. He’s completed a few remixes and a couple of tracks which he hopes to release come December, but one could rightly suspect it’s going to be Australia’s summer sunshine that re-inspires Leger.
But, for the moment, Leger’s focus is predominantly on his label Mistakes Music, considered to be one of Europe’s leading imprints for underground, contemporary techno. “I say it every year - I’ll focus more on the label and producing and that sort of thing but the reality is things are always getting postponed or cancelled for different reasons,” he says. “Right now though, my main focus is on running the label and finding more friends to release on it. It is weird I know but my mood tells more about me than anything else.
“If I am not happy, I don’t make music. It happened once where I didn’t make music for six months; I just didn’t want to make the same stuff I had done before. I hate to copy styles but as long as it’s black in the vein and groove, then it will work. I don’t like music to be banging and banging. I like it to flow and be relaxed but not hard or cold.”
There is no shortage of fresh tech-house sounds coming out of Europe right now and Leger agrees. “There’s plenty of good music out there,” he says. “Some of it is not for me, things like dubstep for example. But also techno is getting older so it will be interesting to see what will happen with it. That’s another reason why I’m a little slow in the studio at the moment. It’s an opportunity for me to refresh my sound as well.”
Refreshing one’s sound is something that Leger believes is necessary in the current EDM climate where commercial mediocrity often reigns supreme. “It’s true that people just play to please a crowd,” Leger says. “What I try to do is something that is funky and not too hard. It’s the sunshine music for Australia that I’m calling it!”