Alex Autajon Delivers a Breakneck Mix of Moveltraxx Hits
Hailing from the city of Montélimar in Southern France, young DJ-producer Alex Autajon has been steadily making a name for himself as one of Europe’s most promising club music aficionados. He was only 16 when he first started playing gigs around his city. With a smile and stage presence that never fails to make the dance floor sweat and swoon over his surefire arsenal of footwork, jersey club, high-speed house, pop edits, and rare cuts, local scenes in France couldn’t help but take notice.
As any smart, young upstart who has started digging into music production should do, he started reaching out to his musical idols on SoundCloud. After starting a correspondence with Moveltraxx head, Big Dope P, Autajon sent him a demo, which earned him a formal invitation to Paris. With an unrelenting passion for his label’s output and an encouraging ear and energy that fit splendidly with his roster’s sound and attitude, Big Dope P tapped Autajon to join the Moveltraxx team.
His first single, “Intoxicated,” appeared on the label’s Street Bangers Factory #07 compilation in 2017 — a series on which he now features regularly. The following year, Autajon put together the first of the label’s MODUS OPERANDI mix series, earning him further acclaim and eventually bringing him outside France to play gigs throughout Europe. His solo releases such as “Don’t Need You / Broken,” “Baeblade / Easygym,” and “Rigolo Club” show us the hyper, forward-thinking club sound that gives Alex Autajon such a steamy authority when taking over any space’s sound system.
Ahead of the release of his debut EP later this year, we caught up with Autajon, who walked us through his creative collaborations, who inspires him, and his favorite places to play. He also delivered a furious, one-hour, 33-track mix that perfectly demonstrates Moveltraxx’s blistering sound and speed.
Give us some insight into your introduction to the underground dance music scene, and when you first started producing and playing gigs?
My brother’s best friend, Martin, introduced me to electronic music and DJing. He played during my brother’s birthday, and I couldn’t stop watching him playing the whole night! The next summer, I asked him to show me how CDJs work. He taught me the basics and quickly started to practice over and over. After that, one of my classmates introduced me to her brother, who threw some parties in my hometown, Montélimar. He invited me to play quite often in some bars and clubs in the city. I started producing a bit after I started playing gigs. I was like 16 or 17, and I wanted to make my own music to play, whether in the club, at home, or in a car.
How does the electronic music scene vary throughout different cities in France? What’s your favorite city to play in and why?
I think the local scene is taking a more and more important place in those cities. Venues are also really important for the scene to evolve. I think about Le Sucre in Lyon or La Belle Electrique in Grenoble, for example. My favorite city to play is Valence because I always play there with my friends. With Moveltraxx and Romanesque, a fantastic crew I’m part of, we organized parties every other month in Valence at an indoor skatepark. Crazy times! Feadz, Big Dope P, Traxman, Jamz Supernova, Dudley Slang, Househead Samira, and Morgan Hislop all came to play. We had to pause since COVID-19, but can’t wait for these to resume.
Can you give us three records that played a massive role in influencing your sound and understanding of electronic music?
I remember the first day I heard Feadz’s Remix of Big Dope P’s “Moveltlife” very well. It changed everything for me. It was an introduction to everything I love and play these days. Around that same time, Big Dope P’s “Eastside 2.0 Remix” came out on Feadz’s album, and it was everything I needed! It’s raw, powerful, blending genres, unique, and of course, really creative. I still listen to it and play it a lot! Those guys are mad producers and crazy DJs. It’s always awe-inspiring to see them playing and quite stressful to play after them, to be honest. Finishing up, I have to speak about DMP6. It’s the perfect combo and explanation about what is Moveltraxx for me. It’s a blend of a lot of several influences and genres, and at the same time, the way the tracklist is done, it’s really natural and fresh, track after track!
How did you first get linked up with Big Dope P and Moveltraxx? What makes it the right home for your sound?
I first spoke to Big Dope P online to tell him how much “Eastside 2.0 Remix” and “Moveltlife” blew my mind. We kept talking quite often as I was discovering each Moveltraxx release and went crazy on each. I sent demos, and one day, while I was in Paris with my mom, I got to meet him. So the first time we really met each other in real life, we had a drink next to the Bibliothèque François Mitterand in Paris. Moveltraxx is the perfect home for my music because I love its diversity, and it truly shaped the music I do now. Moveltraxx is the only label I know that release that much music in genres I love with always top-notch quality. It’s the only place where you can have artists like Paul Johnson or Todd Terry next to Hood Joplin, Funkystepz, DJ Tameil, and Teklife’s DJ Earl, DJ Manny, and DJ Rashad, for example.
Your music has a unique visual aesthetic attached to it. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came up with this prismatic and modern look?
For the three singles we put out, I worked with Marseille-based duo Igo Studio. They are mad talented. I didn’t want to show my face on the cover, but they really wanted to, so after a long discussion, they came up with the cube idea, and I was totally into it. I love them and fully trust their creative process. We know each other really well, and find it very easy to work together. I’m always blown away by everything they do! For the residency we put together with Moveltraxx and Romanesque in Valence and Lyon, I called an excellent friend of mine, Chloé Pays — an unbelievable designer. She did terrific work, and I am immensely proud of the result. I’m always happy and proud to have the chance to work with friends I love and admire, both personally and artistically.
If you had the chance to build your very own post-COVID club night tomorrow, where would it be and who would you put on the bill? (Let’s say you can pick eight artists!)
I think I would love to do the last one we planned with Moveltraxx and Romanesque that got canceled because of COVID. It would take place in an open-air venue in Valence, with Big Dope P, Selky, Club Halieutique, Malice, Winston Wolfe from Romanesque, and myself (of course). I was genuinely looking forward to it, so I would love to see that happen.
Can you tell us more about your latest single and your forthcoming debut EP?
With my last single, “Rigolo Club,” I wanted to experiment with some new sounds and have a lot of fun with the autotune rack I just bought. I am really proud of this track, and I had a great time making it. My debut EP is quite special to me. It’s composed of three new original tracks, plus a remix made by someone I’m a huge fan of. I’m proud of the end result because it shows the different aspects of electronic music I love, from slow beatless tracks to 160 tunes. I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!
Tell us about the mix you made for us.
I wanted to show what I usually play at those parties I mentioned earlier and highlight the diversity and the extreme quality of my label’s catalogue through this mix. I also included unreleased tracks from Traxman, Big Dope P, DJ Earl, Ghettoblaster, DJ Manny, and myself. Hope you’ll enjoy and thank you, Beatport, for having me!