Mistakes. That’s the name of Sebastien Leger’s label, and the French producer says it’s so named because it reflects the way he makes music. Given the quality of his records, his production technique must make fellow musicians spit with envy – Sebastien just sits in the studio and makes noises. Most, he says, are horrible – hence Mistakes – but when he gets it right, he really gets it right. That’s why his recently releases album, Planets, was so hotly anticipated, and why he’s remixed everyone from Kylie and Justin Timberlake to Dave Gahan and Duran Duran. Seems the big names do know good music when they hear it. But now Sebastien wants to ditch the vocals and head back into the realms of techno. The twisted house of Planets is a step in that direction. EQ finds out more…
How’s the album going down?
I have no idea. Really, I have no idea.
Is that something you’re not interested in then?
It’s not that I’m not interested. It’s just that I’m more interested in the music. And if people like it, that’s cool. If not, it’s less cool, but I’m really just doing it for me. I’m not chasing feedbacks or anything like that.
Is that not quite a difficult thing to do, to step aside from that side of things?
That’s just my personality. I just want to make music. It’s very simple. When I make a track, I don’t think about whether it’s going to be a single, or even whether it’s going to get played in a club or on the radio. I just make the music and if someone listens to it, that’s cool. I never ask myself too many questions about the music I make. It’s all very natural. I just sit in the studio, making some mistakes – which is why the label has that name – and play with the machines.
That seems a strange way to work. Surely most producers will have at least one eye on what else is going on?
Of course, I try to keep my sound up to date, but I’m not too worried about it sound like one thing because of hype or because a certain producer is making records like that. It’s very spontaneous music.
Does that make it difficult to convince DJs to pick up your records?
Yeah, I think so. Probably. But my style is quite large – I go from deep house to proper techno, and even when I’m remixing pop artists I always try to make sure the tracks aren’t cheesy or commercial sounding. I like to think my music is accessible but not something awful and commercial. Maybe that’s why DJs do pick up my records. I don’t want to be in the dark and in the underground, getting played by just 10 DJs in the world. That’s not how I see music. But I also don’t see it being sold like a piece of meat. It’s actually easier to make really good underground tracks than accessible tracks. Underground tracks are less risky. But I want to make something in the middle, something for the floor that isn’t shit music.
How does your DJing influence your production, because you’re probably booked more as a house DJ than anything else, aren’t you?
Yeah, more house than techno, but I do play a lot of different styles – deep house, electro, tech house, techno. I’ve DJed for 14 years now, so I can go anywhere I want. And music is getting better and better every day I think.
What’s next for you?
I want to go back to my roots and make something a little bit more experimental, something more techno sounding without being too hard. I want to make something more druggy, but still groovy. I miss having that experimental feel in my productions. I’m hungry to make techno.