Big Life are very proud to welcome the mega talented Alex Metric into the fold. Known for providing some of the most banging club anthems of the last few years, whether in remix form or his own productions, Alex is continuing to build on his reputation as one of the UK’s hottest young electronic producers.
It's all about the song for Alex Metric. Whether it's an original track, a remix or producing a band, there has to be a personal connection. If he doesn't feel it, why would anyone else? "It's always about making something with real emotion," says the London-based DJ/producer. "My core philosophy is to do whatever's right for the song and to try and make it have some meaning to me. I put so much love into everything I do."
Nowhere has this been more apparent than on his 2011 album for Virgin, Open Your Eyes. Across 14 tracks, Alex compiled his own original productions, those for other artists, and a selection of the remixes that have brought him so much attention these past two years. Gorillaz, Depeche Mode, N.E.R.D., Ellie Goulding, Bloc Party, La Roux—the list of the acts he's remixed gives a clear idea of the level at which Alex has been operating. Then there's Phoenix. Alex cites his anthemic electro house version of the band's "Lisztomania" as his favourite remix (not least because they're his favourite band) and the group have similarly said that it's their favourite ever rework of their material.
"To have Ian Brown walk into the studio was pretty mental." Alex is discussing working with the legendary Stone Roses frontman, who provided vocals for his collaboration with Steve Angello, "Open Your Eyes." With its marriage of Brown's iconic vocals and the pair's dancefloor aesthetics, the track speaks to Alex's desire to give a "totally different feeling to the standard house vocal." It may not have been club-focussed, but the Open Your Eyes album was rounded-out in similarly forward-thinking fashion by "End Of The World", a cut which saw Alex team with up-and-coming vocalist Charlie XCX for a melancholy mixture of broken beats and soaring synths. Although it was a departure of sorts for Alex, the same inherent sense of purpose and feeling seems to colour all of his work—even for other people. Alex lists producing an album for UK act Infadels (which included the standout single "Black Sky") as one of his proudest moments to date.
Producing other people's records is the realisation of a dream, but even as a teenager growing up in the countryside, it was something Alex wanted to do. He could sing and learnt the keyboard at an early age but never warmed to the idea of being in a band himself. Initially an indie kid, his conversion to dance music came when he once missed the bus home and decided to kill some time in a record shop. Fatboy Slim's 1996 album Better Living Through Chemistry was playing at one of the listening posts. "I was blown away. There were guitars, these big broken beats and this mad energy. I bought it there and then. It was a massive turning point."
After studying music at college in Guildford, Alex released a string of singles on a series of dance labels—a mix of progressive house, breakbeat and techno. His break came in 2006 when he signed to Adam Freeland's Marine Parade label. "I'd been making proggy, breakbeaty stuff and I was doing OK at it," he remembers. "But one night I was DJing in Russia and I realised right there on stage that I didn't like the records I was making. I had an epiphany. I thought: What's the music I love? French house, rock music, electro. Why don't I chuck everything I love into one record?" The result was his 2007 single "Whatshewants", the starting point on the journey towards his current position as one of dance music's most exciting new talents.
Metric is already part of the DJing elite. Over the last few years he has seen his demand rise from UK festivals to Europe and latterly, the United States has become a very fertile stomping ground for him. In 2011 alone he played key slots at Creamfields, Glastonbury, Wireless, Oxegen, Rockness, iTunes Festival, Secret Garden Party, Global Gathering, Sunwaves and Electric Picnic. He ended the year with a pan Australasian tour and headed to the States for a triumphant set of dates, culminating in the party fest that is Winter Music festival 2012. A definite recent highlight of the last few months was when he stepped up to play in front of 9000 people at the Swedish House Mafia's Alexandra Palace show in March. Earlier that month, Pete Tong had personally invited Alex to play his 20th anniversary show at the BBC's hallowed Maida Vale studios in London.
Looking back on the past year, Alex sees Open Your Eyes as a timely encapsulation of his recent production work to date. His focus recently has been to concentrate on what he does so well, making banging club records for clubbers and DJs alike. As demonstrated so beautifully by the release of the mighty “Rave Weapon” in April this year. A self released club monster that got dance floors heaving and Radio 1 hot under the collar as well. It laid down the gauntlet for his producer contemporaries and set the standard for his own future work.
And it’s the bar he’s continuing to raise for himself. His recent remix of Miike Snow's "Devil's Work" climbed to #3 in the Hype Machine Popular chart and he’s currently remixing Scissor Sisters and Oz tipsters The Presets and juggling the demands of his hectic DJing schedule. So far in 2012 he has DJed to packed clubs all over the world, both as a headline acts and supporting the mighty Miike Snow and Deadmau5. The summer will see him hit the European festival trail with confirmed appearances in Hungary, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden and of course there are countless confirmed dates at house music’s spiritual home of Ibiza.
In March of this year he had a hugely successful tour of America, playing gigs across the country including the legendary Popscene at Rickshaw Shop in San Francisco, LA’s Avalon Room and the Webster Hall in New York. He was a feature at the 2012 Winter Music Festival in Miami, playing the Delano and National hotel parties, plus a feature appearance at Ultra’s massive music festival at Bayfront Park. And we are proud to announce that Metric’s last single ‘Rave Weapon’ has now been used by the America’s Hard festival promotions team as the soundtrack to the official trailer for Hard festival in August, which Alex has been invited to come and play, alongside heavyweights Skrillex, Calvin Harris and A-Trak.
His production work has taken a more collaborative twist of late and a recent studio encounter with Big Life’s own Jacknife Lee has lead to some very exciting sessions. First Jacknife drafted him in to ad his flavour on the stunning Snow Patrol singles “Called Out In The Dark” and very recently “Lifening” but also Alex has been out in LA collaborating with Jacknife on tracks from the hugely anticipated forthcoming Robbie Williams album.
But never far from Alex’s thoughts is his artist career which will see him focus in 2012 on his first full artist album. "For the last year I've been figuring out how I want to sound," says Alex, summing up his game-changing last 12 months. "It's all clicking. I think it's important to figure out what you want to say before you say it. Now I have and it feels fantastic."
© Biglife Management 2011