Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Q&A with Darksynth artist Fixions

‘Sleepwalker’ is currently available to stream

French musician Slo, aka “Fixions”, is widely regarded as one of the best Darksynth producers in the scene. His top track, “Black Racers” (listed in a previous article on Darksynth recommendations), now sits at almost 450,000 listens on Spotify. Fixions is known for his well-refined melodic sound exemplified in his masterful 2017 album “Genocity and his recent 2019 album “Sleepwalker.” In an interview, Fixions discussed the genre of Darksynth, his career and the connection between French and American music. This interview has been slightly altered for the sake of clarity.

Ben Connolly: How would you describe your music to the everyday man?

Fixions: A fix of digital dreams and electronic nightmares.

BC: Who or what inspires you to create?

FX: Mainly this stupid need to show the world I am the best to create and produce electronic music, but, spoiler alert: I am not.

BC: Why do you think the Darksynth scene is still so underground, despite the popularity of many tracks and artists?

FX: So underground? Maybe it’s not so underground, in my opinion. I came from the underground extreme metal scenes, and I’m used to listening to bands that only a hundred people are enjoying on earth, so to me Darksynth is a rather popular genre actually. Everything is relative.

BC: You have reportedly taken a break from live performances, do you find any significant difference in live performances over streaming music online?

FX: Yes, that’s a fact. I tried to be a DJ, and the conclusion is, I was not good at it. Creating music — I’ll always be there. Playing guitars or drums with friends and doing some live [music] with extreme metal or hardcore bands — I’m also in for the kill. I did it with tons of different bands and I will do it again. But yeah, me alone on a stage, hidden behind a computer and just pushing buttons while the track is just a MP3 playing in front of 300 people, no. I can’t do it anymore. It’s like a joke to me, and I felt the same when I saw Perturbator live. To me, he is among the best electronic artists actually, but the show was boring. To me. I’m too used to seeing real live bands, that’s a real different kind of energy you know. Of course if…the crowd is alive and dancing you’ll spend some great times with your friends. But yeah, number one, I’m not fun enough and number two, it’s not my kind of having fun. I rather dig a Converge or Dillinger Escape Plan show. But don’t misunderstand me, I got a lot of respect for real DJs, and that’s precisely why I don’t want to do it anymore. To stay focused on the creative part ‘cause that’s where I’m good at. But maybe, if I work harder on my DJ abilities and try to manage a cool show [and] if I feel a way to create and share something this way, one day I will give myself another chance for live performances.

BC: Darksynth has many French artists, yet most of the songs are written in English. Do you find any thematic differences between American and French artists? Do you think the genre itself is more French or American, or do you think it’s neither?

FX: America and France [have] got a lot of common points. One of the main [similarities] is the cosmopolite side. Since [the] birth of our nation, there always have been a lot of different people from different cultures building our countries. I think we are both a preview of the world to come, where different people can live in the same nation, but still keeping their roots from where they came. Another point is USA is the world leading empire for decades now, and as every world-leading empire, they export their cultures everywhere they can, including in France, especially after World War II. What do I want to say? Only that now, American and French culture are almost the same thing, especially in terms of music. France is just a smaller country so we have way less artists. But what’s interesting here is, why France kind of started the Darksynth genre with Perturbator, Carpenter Brut or even me (in 2012), after a first wave of proto-darksynth bands? I can’t tell. About themes? It’s difficult to talk about it seriously, as we mainly produce instrumental tracks, but really I can’t tell why an important part of the Darksynth/Cyberpunk musical scene is coming from France.

Editor’s note: this article has been updated to reflect the artist’s stage name.

Ben Connolly can be reached at [email protected].

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