IN CONVERSATION WITH U.R.TRAX
u.r.trax is a driven producer and DJ with a passion for electronic music. Well known for her eclectic DJ performances defending a diverse sound, the young Parisian has been playing at some of Europe’s most admired parties and released on some of techno’s hottest labels right now. She just released her first-ever full EP on трип after her contribution to the label’s latest psytrance-inspired concept album “all his decisions”. Numéro had the honour to talk to her about her music career and the talent herself made a mix, especially for our Numéro Soundcloud.
Can you maybe tell us a bit about yourself and introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Ines, I’m from Paris, France, and I DJ and produce since 2019 under the name u.r.trax. I make music since forever. I will love music forever. And today I share this love, passion, and life essence with people around the globe, the dream, no?
How would you describe your sound?
I would describe my sound as immersive, psychedelic, energetic, corporeal, and versatile. What I seek in music is intensity, extremeness, and connection to the body. I love feeling the music in my body. Club music only fully exists when performed and it amazes me so much. The best is when the sound doesn’t only play with your body, but also with your mind and your perception. I try to make a sound that, when played on a big sound- system, puts you in an alternate state of consciousness.
When I play a DJ set, I feel like versatility is super important. I want to play different sounds and grooves, so you move in many ways. Techno trance has been my favourite genre for a few years now. I’m really into the productions of artists like Schacke, Rayme, VEL, David Löhlein, Bjarki (and his numerous aliases). But lately, I’ve been adding lots of hard/powerhouse, psytrance, and elektro/cold, mainly dug from Discogs. I just want to showcase a tasteful palette of bouncy, sweaty, groovy, sexy club music. Music that makes you do “that bass face”. Dirty music.
What sparked your interest in music and when did you find out you wanted to pursue a DJ career?
I think I fell in love with music while making it. I started playing instruments at the age of 4. Obviously, I didn’t have the means to really explore and dig music on my own… I started “exploring” production at the age of 10. I was already playing several instruments at the time but was maybe a bit too “complicated” to have a band, so I just started recording myself and playing all the parts. I always produced various kinds of music for fun – I still do today. In 2016/2017 I got into techno music. I wanted to know everything about it: its history, sounds, and cultures from the US to Europe, from raves to clubs. I was passionate about the “sociology of party”. It’s a formidable “social theatre” where catharsis happens. There are so many things to observe and analyse in a rave: how the space is organised, and the people you encounter there… This environment was super stimulating for me. I wanted to create my own heterotopia too!
In 2018, I bought my first controller, and in early 2019 I started playing gigs here and there. I was already publishing my tracks on SoundCloud, but being a full-time artist was not my plan at all. Still, the more I explored the party scene in Paris and Berlin, the more I felt fulfilled meeting creative minds along the way. As a teenager, discovering myself in this environment made me realise what my true direction was. I was a really good student and it took me a while to destroy the narrative adults had chosen for me and look at myself with honesty. I think it was during Covid that I got the confidence to believe: ‘Yes, I can do it too”. I dropped out of Uni and fully focused on my music career. In 2020, I released my first records on the amazing KAOS label owned by one of my dearest friends in the industry: Hector Oaks. Since clubs reopened, I’ve had the chance to tour quite a lot in many countries. This is the best decision I made, there is no other way I could be happy. I’m looking forward to what is coming!
You just dropped a new ep ‘third ear’. How is it received by the audience?
I’m pretty happy, I had lots of great feedback. It made me feel weird to know that some people were waiting for a long time for this release. When I play it live, it works super well so I’m super glad!
What influences your music and what are some of your artistic inspirations?
These days, I find the rise of hyperpop and “deconstructed club” really exciting. I love what Sega Bodega, Tatyana Jane, Bambii do… In my music process nowadays, I’m obsessed with working with vocal material and using it as an electronic instrument. I want to keep exploring this path in the intimacy of my studio. In techno, I love Vel and David Löhlein, they have a fresh and sexy sound. I’m also so into Nina Kraviz’s latest track Hace Ejercicios.
Your new album serves us sexy and energetic trance music filled with nine tracks ranging from melodic and dreamy tracks to a more groovy, trippy, and upfront sound. What was important to you when creating?
The more music I dig, the more my taste refines, and the more I know what I miss and what I want to listen to. The creative impulse of this work is basically frustration, so I made the tracks that were missing in my sets. I needed them to fit any moment of the night. When I need to install a bliss and ecstasy moment, I play ‘biosseum’. If I need a sexy vibe, ‘High heels long legs’ or ‘I can’t believe you’re real’ fit well. If I want to close the set on an emotional and sort of epic note, I play ‘hippie chic’. The tracks are representative of what I play, and what vibe I like to bring to the club.
While producing the tracks, my main obsession was: ‘How is it going to affect and play with the body of my audience?’. Depending on the mixing, where the groove is placed in the virtual sonic space, different parts of the body will be called. It is crazy to think that if I play this or that track it’s going to make you move your hips or your arms or your feet. And you can’t go against it, it is scientific!
What is the underlying thread, and where do you want it to take us?
Even though some tracks in this album suit both listening and dancing purposes (‘hippie chic’ and ‘I can’t believe you’re real’ in particular), I want this work to take you to the CLUB, to the DANCE, to the TRANSE. This music embraces its full meaning only when danced and performed.
There is no specific narrative in the album. I intended to deliver a sonic statement: I wanted to showcase a full palette of my taste. I also wanted tracks full of “Easter eggs” and details in the sound design hence the name ‘third ear’: it’s an encouragement to “hear different”! Nothing treats my ears better than little details in the sound design and the spatialisation… I want the tracks to induce a high-quality eargasm within the audience. To make it short, I would say it is sensory and corporeal music made to be felt and lived in the body and should be listened to loudly!
For the future, do you have any wishes or dreams that you want to accomplish?
I don’t have any goal besides not to keep exploring and working on myself and my craft. I want to grow in a strong, independent, peaceful, wise, and unique way. However, releasing on ‘trip’ was a dream for a while. It’s been one of my most inspiring labels. I am satisfied with the work I delivered. I feel like I’m getting more mature. It’s like a true realisation for me. In the future, I want to keep creating music and pushing myself. I want to find where I truly belong since I don’t feel like I fully belong in this techno realm, it’s too narrow-minded. I love DJing and want to keep doing so, but I know my truth is creating all kinds of music. I want to make an album that is not targeted to the club scene, and I want to start a record label. Overall, I want to multiply the means and media of expression for what “I have to say”.
We are very curious – Can you tell us more about the mix you recorded for us?
When I do podcasts, I mainly play my record collection as it’s always annoying to bring with me on shows. I don’t care about the “technical side” when I record at home. See it as a listening session, a way for me to show you my personal gems and crushes of the moment. I opened the mix with one of my favourite records: “All I want” by Outlander. I love the vibe of this track, the vocals, and their treatment make me crazy! I tried to make a mix of deep trance atmospheres and uplift, bright, and shiny vibes. You will find some garage and acoustic percussions as well as true 909 techno/house sound and trippy trance.
Enjoy the ride!
interview MAGDALENA ROE & REBECCA KAPENGA