The Reactivitz shares his view on why music has become an afterthought for some labels and says politics are stopping a lot of truly talented people taking their place at the top.
Hi Jonathan, tell us about you. What got you in the underground?
The Reactivitz: I was born in 1992 in Lyon, France. I first got in to house music and after that tech house and techno. The underground scene always gave me a buzz and I felt a strong connection for techno when I first started to listen, so it was just something I had to be involved in. That’s why The Reactivitz is born and I’ve been producing and Djing for 6 years now.
You’ve come a long way in such a short space of time and have had a number of prestigious releases this year on Respekt, Phobiq, Bitten and Transmit. Do you find that Beatport success translates in to bookings these days?
The Reactivitz: Beatport success undoubtedly helps artists to get more gigs because promoters keep a close eye on releases. So you’ve definitely got more chance of getting a booking if you’re in the top 10. But for me, this Beatport is not the only thing. You have to get releases on leading labels which helps you get more exposure and build credibility with promoters too, so it’s about making the right connections.
Artists like Kostas Maskilides and Chicago Loops called out label politics in the scene. Have you experienced this too? And do you feel politics are forcing a lot of producers to take similar paths because they’re blocked from taking other routes?
The Reactivitz: Politics is at the centre of the debate today in the underground music. As I said already, this business is all is about connections. It’s really hard to get signed to some labels unless you have connections that can help you. As Kostas Maskilides said in his interview, some labels are more focused on their image than their music.
Do you think the scene would be better if it was less divided?
The Reactivitz: There are a lot of private circles in the underground scene. I have experienced this in the past and I’m still experiencing it today.
If the scene was less divided, then a lot of truly talented people would be taking their places at the top of the scene, but politics is blocking them.
The lack of humility from some of the people in control really pisses me off too. Like for example I don’t understand the artists who become big-headed only because they released on a few good labels. For me it’s about always remembering where you come from and staying humble.
Please share some advice on the simple mistakes novices should never make. Or tips on how to get people to take you seriously.
The Reactivitz: Don’t listen to people who tell you that you can’t have success in music because there is too much competition. Everything is possible when you have motivation. Hard work is key so keep that in mind. As is patience. The most important thing is to work on your own sound plus your image and reputation. You want people to be recognizing your own unique style when you release your music.
So you’ve mixed Funk N’ Deep’s Merry Techno album and have got a collab on there with Durtysoxxx. Tell us about it and how you mixed it?
The Reactivitz: Well, this year I had the opportunity to do the continuous mix for the Merry Techno album and I’m really proud of it. I released many tracks on Funk’n Deep for a few years now, including tracks on their former Merry Techno albums. Mike aka Durtysoxxx is a really good friend. He was the first person who trusted in me and my music. We have been working together for a long time now. He asked me to release our collaboration in the compilation and to do the mix at the same time.
I’m currently performing with a Trakor X1, Z1 and Pioneer RMX1000. I love the RMX1000 and definitely recommend everyone to try it.
We don’t see many that many cool techno mix albums these days. Is it something you think the industry needs more of? Would you even consider doing your own album?
The Reactivitz: That’s true. The industry needs more techno mix albums, so we can find different kind of sounds. The cool thing about an album is you get to understand the artist’s vision. One day, I will do my own album for sure.
What’s coming up in 2018?
The Reactivitz: I have a new EP with Atroxx coming on Phobiq and a EP with Hollen coming on Funk’n Deep. 2018 will be a significant year for me because I’m starting my label ‘Immersion’. You should definitely keep on eye on it.