With a passion for graffiti, rap music, turntablism, and techno, French producer and DJ Feadz has been making his unique blend of hip-hop-infused electronic music since the '90s, long before trends like trap music ever existed. As one of the earliest artists signed to the Ed Banger label, his accomplishments include producing Uffie's first five EPs and showcasing his turntable skills on Mr. Oizo's first full-length album, Analog Worms Attack. In the past few years, he's been collaborating and touring with Australian producer and DJ Kito with 2012's EP Electric Empire, and just last week he came out with his solo full-length album Instant Alpha. We recently caught up with Feadz via e-mail about Instant Alpha, his love for rap, and what he misses about the '90s. He DJs Neck of the Woods this Thursday with Phantoms and Richie Panic as support.
Since you started DJing in the early '90s, what's something you wish still happens or exists today that doesn't anymore?
The illegal rave party in crazy places -- but it had its downfalls, too, and I'm pro-evolution.
How has your sound evolved since your first LP on Ed Banger, Happy Meal?
I'd like to believe that it's produced a little better; it should be. Besides that, it's not miles away, which is a good thing!
What does the album title Instant Alpha mean?
It's a reference to Instant City, and it's a spontaneous product of a city life, like mine.
Which track was the hardest to produce or did you spend the most time on?
I got a few that didn't make it to the LP because I spent too long on them and ended up not liking them anymore. That being said, some tracks changed a lot. The first version of "Metaman" is about two years old.
What's most liberating about releasing tracks and records on Ed Banger?
It's still an independent label. They wouldn't have to ask me to have a radio hit or a big feature to release the music if they think its good.
When did you first get the idea to blend techno with Dirty South rap?
I was blending hip-hop with jungle or drum 'n' bass (and I didn't invent that), so when I had rap that was around 120-130 BPM (mostly Dirty South at this time), I started doing the same.
There's no question you love and know hip-hop very well. What's one of your favorite tracks of all time?
Maybe my favorite rap song of all time is "Black Superman" from Above the Law, but I'm not sure at all. It's a tough question!
What are you looking forward to doing in San Francisco?
Unfortunately I won't have much time, so I'm looking forward to playing in your city that I love very much.