INTERVIEW: The Reflex

By taking remixing and audio editing to new heights, The Reflex has captured the world’s attention and built an impressive army of fans along the way, Barack Obama and legendary ‘Thriller’ and ‘Rock With You’ songwriter Rod Temperton included.

More than an edit, it’s The Reflex Revision: a motto that describes accurately the expert craftsmanship involved in turning stems into brand new, fresh sounding versions. With privileged access to original multitracks, a unique attention to detail and mixing skills to make vintage recordings sound like no other, The Reflex extracts the funkiest elements and puts the musicality to the fore while building his own groove in a way that only he can. While some are remixing from the outside in, layering house beats over disco classics, The Reflex does it the hard way, combining creativity and functionality with results that are often nothing short of spectacular.

Hi Nicolas, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi guys, I’m good, as good as one can get in this challenging times we are going through..

Can you talk to us more about your latest remix for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds “Blue Moon Rising”?

I think this my 8th remix for Noel… I guess I’m a regular by now, he trusts what I do and let me do my thing which is great!

How did you guys meet or how did all of this come about?

Noel has been a fan of mine since early days. We’ve been in contact for a number of years; the first remix I was asked to do by his label was for RSD 2016 I think and then he kept on asking to remix new material for forthcoming singles. I’ve had 5 remixes out last year on 4 of his Eps. (see Spotify playlist here) https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6LLk6nUO9L70Js2sBpIGaF?si=B8sh0oP5T8mc6eowlUy85w

We’ve met a few times, including at my studio last year.

How was the recording and re-writing process?

Usually for Noel’s remixes I get sent the whole session which can be anything between 80 to 150 tracks.. It’s a bit like a big puzzle, I have to put it back together first, do a balance mix to see what works and what doesn’t sonically; then I take it all apart and rebuilt it with my groove and arrangement. Usually I try to see if I can only use the sounds contained in his recordings and if I can’t then I will add my own drum programming which was the case for ‘Blue Moon Rising’.

The most challenging part though is to include the song in it, as opposed to a remix where you don’t recognize the song at all (which can be cool also, but this is not what I’m known for), I know that this what Noel likes in my mixes, to hear his song rebuilt in a new light.

What was the approach you were aiming for with this?

The approach is always to make it a DJ friendly tool, to make it useful for the DJ’s out there who like to mix up genres and styles in their sets. You could say the result is some sort of indie-disco hybrid with touches of techno and house in there. Essentially I always do a version that I would like to play myself.. and if others like it too then great!

How would you say working with other names in music have shaped you and your work?

It’s an amazing experience to work and interact with music legends and professionals like I have the chance to do.. I’ve learned a lot about life in general too. It’s definitely a confidence booster to have personal relationships with people at that level.

Obviously it adds serious credibility to my profile, not everyone gets the opportunity to build a remix portfolio like mine from scratch. At the end of the day though, it’s all down to hard work, sacrifice and dedication, it’s certainly didn’t fall on my lap!

Do you tend to have softer spot for a genre in particular?

I’m all over the place genre wise… I guess it’s all groove based, if it’s got a groove that I respond to, I’m in!

What role does France play in your music?

Although I’ve been living in London for over 20 years, France is in my DNA… I guess there’s a certain way of doing things perhaps.. You just can’t help it but it’s not really for me to say.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Well, regarding Noel you’ll have to ask him,  ‘Blue Moon Rising’ is the latest EP he released, I’m not sure what else he has planned J

As for me, I have two remixes for legendary disco label Salsoul out end of April on digital with a vinyl release planned with two more remixes on it. I’m also remixing Roisin Murphy for Skint records amongst several other official remixes in the works.

Any plans to hit the road?

Nothing until we are able to do so again I’m afraid.

What else is happening next in The Reflex’s world?

I’ve became a dad few months for the first time… My world is now occupied with giving the best care to my son and wife and it’s amazing!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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