A couple of weeks ago Paris native Thomas Evans grabbed our attention with his release on Alan Fitzpatrick’s label We Are The Brave. A solid sample of the high quality techno production he is putting out these days. With over a decade of experience moving dance floors Evans has been focusing his efforts on original productions and the community is taking note. His first full length album from Phobiq has garnered attention from some of the best in the business including the aforementioned Fitzpatrick along with Sam Paganini and Julien Jewel to name a few. We are super thankful to Thomas for sending us this mix. He is about to take you on a journey for nearly two hours with this one, so best settle in and get ready to blast off. In addition down below we have the interview with Thomas this week conducted by PZB. Enjoy
PZB: Hello Thomas! Thank you for joining us this week. A little techno bird flew into my window and whispered in my ear that I should be paying attention to Thomas Evans and I am glad I listened. We are excited to share your mix with our LAMP audience. What have you got in lined up for them?
Thomas Evans: Hello Everyone, very happy to be joining LAMP! In my mix, you’ll find a selection of new and older tracks by myself, including the recent EP ‘Because I’m’ which I released on We Are The Brave, Alan Fitzpatrick’s label. Also a lot of tracks from artists who I have loved for many years including Alan, Arjun Vagale, Thomas Schumacher, Garry Burrows and more. Their music is perfect for this mix, as it allowed me to build the atmosphere I wanted to create when you go out to a techno focused party. I hope it will get you body moving!
PZB: I did a little digging into the inter webs but for my audience that isn’t as savvy give us a little bit of an insight to your musical background. How did you get into producing and DJing?
TE: I was quite young, around 10 or 11 when I started to make music with my Playstation. Around the time I was 13, I came across the Techno Parisian Parade, by total chance and immediately fell in love with electronic music and started to learn more about mixing and production. I started out playing at parties for friends, generally small events at some bars or local clubs. I found that I didn’t always have tracks that reflected how or what I wanted to play, so knew that I had to start producing my own, and that was around the age of 23, when I started to take it more seriously.
PZB: Whoa I remember that game. Amazing! It says in your Bio you were born in Paris and from my minimal sleuthing it appears that you still reside there. It is a lovely city. Enjoyed my time there a while back and will hopefully visit again in the near future. One thing that I know very little about is the techno scene in Paris. For the well versed lover of all things techno what would be some solid suggestions of nights that I should check out when I visit?
TE: For clubs, I think you should always check out whats on the schedule at ‘Nuits Fauves’. I like this club because of its raw atmosphere. Also, don’t forget to go to ‘Concrete’ if you wanted to party from Saturday to Sunday, for a solid 24 hours – this club regularly stays open for longer hours. As for festivals, I would say ‘Marvellous Island’ is one which has consistently a huge and impressive line up.
PZB:Thinking along those same lines what/who were some of the major musical influences for you growing up in one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world?
TE: To be honest, it was electronic music in general. It’s a broad and wide term I know, but to make an inventory of single artists or tracks it would be hard, as I have always approached a wide variety of electronic music. Anything from hard style to deep or melodic house. I used to go a lot to the clubs in the suburbs, as much as I did in paris itself, sometimes you found some really cool new artists playing, and a different kind of ambience and vibe – all that makes for a lot of inspiration over the years. Also, completely on the other side of the spectrum, I used to listen to a lot of underground French rap music, in my late teens. I was always really seduced by the music loops they used and how the mix was very technical in a different sort of way.
PZB: I was recently directed to your release with a label that I love, We Are The Brave. Congratulations we are big fans and huge supporters of the label. Tell us how the EP came about and what it was like to work with label head and techno genius Alan Fitzpatrick?
TE: The EP came after I did my album on Phobiq last year. Alan was interested in getting some demos from me and I sent over a few bits I had been working on, he liked them and those then became the EP ‘Because I’m’. I am very honoured, as I have been following Alan’s music for so many years and I love it. His tracks are always amazing and they have constantly found a place in my sets over the years, always delivering big results on the dance floor. Working with him and the label has been an absolute pleasure. I always put so much of myself into producing, so when someone like Alan shows his appreciation and releases it on his label, what more can I have asked for?
PZB: Another release that I would say was really important was you full length album “Glassy Session” that came out last year for Phobiq Recordings. I had a chance to go through the release and can see why Julian Jewel, Alan Fitpatrick, Sam Paganini and several others gave this album their support. What was it like putting out such a large project for the first time?
TE: To be honest, I didn’t even expect that kind of a reaction. What might be more surprising also, is that I never made the tracks with an intention of them being a full LP. I created the 13 tracks separately over a longer period of time, and then when speaking with label boss Sasha Carassi, he said ‘I think we have an album on our hands!’. Sasha is another artist whom I have followed for years now, so I was so happy to be working with him and the label for such a big project. I was a little stressed about an album but the support from the team quickly reassured me that this was the right thing to be doing. The release, I think, was a turning point in my career. Its the accumulation of many years work, and I managed to bring my own personal sound to each track. It was a huge project in many ways for me, but of course, the goal is to always evolve in your productions and releases, so thats my next big mission!
PZB: When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started? Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song?
TE: Before I get started, I always clean my desk. I also use paper to write down ideas and other things, kinda of like a second brain, so I have pieces of paper everywhere which I need to be more organised with! I get a water and get to work. Sometimes I have an idea already in my mind, sometimes not, but I always generally know what type of atmosphere I want working with, whether its dark or happy.
PZB: As an artist it is important to surround yourself with other likeminded individuals. Who are a couple of your mentors and what is the best piece of advice you have been given by another artist?
TE: For DJ’ing, I can say Antonin (France’s Pioneer Ambassador). We have been friends for 10 years or more maybe now, and we spend a lot of time listening to numerous sets at parties together. We do not play the same style of music, but we often agree on a lot of things we discuss, and what we hear in clubs. Its always very interesting for us both, as he brings his point of view alongside my own. We complement each other well and learn a lot together. He is also a top technician on a turntable, so he always has new product functions to share. As for production, thats going to be Fazam, who is a friend who is a sound engineer. When I started, I really knew nothing about making music. As he started several years before me, he helped me to analyse problematic points in my sound. He has been extremely helpful to me, and makes production even more interesting to learn about and develop. The best piece of advice is: “never let go”!
PZB: If we were sitting in your studio with you what sort of setup would we be looking at? Do you have any particular pieces of hardware or software that you really love to work with?
TE: I have a very simple setup: computer, studio speakers, sound card, USB controller keyboard. As a lot of producers, I work with Ableton Live. When I discovered it, I immediately love it. It changed everything for me. Since then I have started also using another DAW but I never got great results with it. As for plug in’s, it depends on the sound I need, but the one which I have used the most from the beginning is Sylenth1. Its like Ableton in the sense, that when I used it for the first time, I felt comfortable with it straight away. To complete my set up, I use samples and I can no longer work without the TR909 ones – amazing how good it sounds, so I plan to buy a hardware unit making that sound.
PZB: Let’s say you’re working on a new tune and you’ve got the chance to program some remixes for the EP. If you could have your pick and money, time etc were no object who are some of you favourite producers right now that you’d want to have a go at reworking your tracks?
TE: Wow, thats a hard choice….there are so many producers I love. I can of course, pick a few here including Alan Fitzpatrick, Jay Lumen, Spektre, Mark Reeve, Slam, Thomas Schumacher, Layton Giordani, Gary Burrows, Arjun Vagale, and Dast. I guess with this many remixers, it would have to be a remix pack or an album of remixes! All these guys make such amazing music, and they are on my list for today, but tomorrow and next week there are more to add and my list becomes far too long!
PZB: Thank you very much for your time Thomas. For the rest of you the track list can be found below.
1 – Thomas Evans – Mind & Soul (Original Mix)
2 – Alan Fitzpatrick – Joy Rider (Original Mix)
3 – Arjun Vagale – Age Of Lust (Original Mix)
4 – Thomas Schumacher – Wake Up (Original Mix)
5 – Thomas Evans – Believe (Original Mix)
6 – Beico & Mt93 – Let There Be Dark (Original Mix)
7 – Harvey McKay – Black Dolphin (Original Mix)
8 – Arjun Vagale – Hard Pop (Original Mix)
9 – Gary Burrows – Can’t Hold Back (Original Mix)
10 – Jay Lumen – Asteroid (Original Mix)
11 – Thomas Evans – Paradise (Original Mix)
12 – N.O.B.A – Sounds In My Head (Original Mix)
13 – Steve Shaden, Kristina Lalic – Denial (Thomas Evans Remix)
14 – Thomas Evans – Backdoor (Original Mix)
15 – Spektre – Serpentine (Original Mix)
16 – Mark Reeve – Redemption (Original Mix)
17 – Boxia – No World Order (Original Mix)
18 – Kaiserdisco – Orcus (Original Mix)
19 – Bertzi – Give Me (Original Mix)
20 – Thomas Evans – Because I’m (Original Mix)
21 – Thomas Evans – Exploration (Original Mix)
22 – Joyhauser – Tribunal (Original Mix)