101 with Okain

French electronic music scene has always been delivering superb artists and great talents. With Lauren Garnier being one of the true pioneers of dance music he also set the path for the upcoming generations of French producers and DJs. Parisian Okain has been heavily involved in electronic music for the last 15 years or so. Since his first release, which was back in 2007, Okain managed to get his stuff signed on respectful labels such as Tsuba, Bpitch Control, Hypercolour, Quartz and Truesoul just to name a few.

In 2015 he decided to use his experiences and he formed Talman Record which gives Okain even more freedom to express his deep-seeded love towards music. As a DJ, he travels the world playing at some of the most respected spots such as Panorama Bar in Berlin, Fabric in London or the Rex Club in his hometown Paris not to mention his appearances at some of the best festivals like Awakenings in Amsterdam. 

What was the funniest / most bizarre request you’ve ever had while playing?

I don't really think it's funny when I get a request. That said I take it better when it is something completely out of the electronic music spectrum as I realised the person asking has absolutely no clue about what I'm doing. I'm playing for almost 15 years and I really got everything. From Pop music to Heavy Metal?!

Can you describe your studio setup for us?

At the moment I'm recording mostly with hardware then I finish and edit the tracks on my computer. I have a lot of different stuff but what I use the most is Mpc 2000 xl, Analog Rythm, Jomox Xbase 888, Yamaha FB-01, Bolsa Bass and Micro Korg.

I have a few pedals and external effect like Koma Electronic or the DP 4. I use Ableton and some Max for Live sequencer to run everything in sync and play some sequences. I also use some VST effect for the mixing part.

Could you tell us the story about your first gig?

The first gig was in a place called the Sanz Sans in Paris. I was 17 and it was a b2b gig with a friend of mine who secured the gig after dropping a mix cd to the bar a couple of weeks before. We actually got a proper bi-monthly residency after that and I started to play there regularly on my own or b2b with him.

Our spot was mostly on Friday night and I remember going to school few hours after the end of my set as I still had school Saturday morning!

Name three artists that currently inspire you.

There is so much good music at the moment that it is not possible for me to name just three artist.

What do you do before and after your set?

These days I try to get as much sleep as possible before and after my set as it makes me perform better and stay fit for the next gig. It also makes me work better during the week and I am able to make more music.

Before the gig, it happens that I still listen to some music and work on my playlist for the night but I'm usually prepared already for few days as I like to take some time during the week to go through music, visit record shops and dig in my personal collection.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I worked at a big grocery store in the US for a whole summer when I was 16. I had to do a couple of different tasks but one of them was to take care of the organisation of the garbage. This was not fun at all but I made enough money that summer to buy my first turntables ( Gemini XL 5000 II ).

What are your favourite labels at the moment?

There are too many labels that I'm digging at the moment to name all of them here but I strongly advise you to check my label Talman Records and Infuse or Be Chosen where I'll also release on this year.

Imagine a cold winter, a fireplace and two glasses of wine—what song would you play?

I will play a record from Chet Baker.

Last but not least. What's the best advice you've ever received?

There are no rules in music production. Do what you feel is good.

By Saša, edited on 14 June 2018