Q+A: 5 minutes with POPOF

Image: Juliette Leigniel

Paris DJ and producer POPOF is a name most tech-house fans would be familiar with, and for good reason. After fifteen years in the game, he’s one of the genre’s most downloaded artists and has become synonymous with music that, well, pops off. From the early synth and string driven embrace of 2009’s Do You Want Me to the propulsive bass throb of 2018’s Bowo, POPOF has crafted some of the most distinct sounds in tech-house and only continues to push his craft to increasingly more kinetic places. His ability to synthesise some of the most downright dirty dancefloor anthems you might hear has seen him work with everyone from Vitalic and Tiga to Depeche Mode and Moby, and most recently fellow French tech maven Space92 on their collaborative project Insomnia. His latest EP Revival, available now via Kneaded Pains, sees him find inspiration in sounds of the past. Pulling from 90’s house and old-school gabber rave motifs, Revival’s two tracks are a testament to his affinity for creating music that is impossible to sit still to. We caught up with him to find out more about the inspiration behind the music on Revival, and how he is informed by the past to create the sounds of the future. 

Download and stream Revival here

Can you give us some insight into the inspiration behind the EP?

One day, I stumbled upon really old rave sound parts for a track I had started working on about 10 years ago and then left sitting in the (virtual) drawer. The track was never released and I had done something more contemporary with the parts. Revival, as told by its title, is all about finding these parts, saying Oh boy! and offering them a second life 😉 As for the second track on the EP, I added Nineties house music samples and some old-school Gabber sounds. I liked the combination so… It’s a full-on Revival, both technically and sonically!

The energy of the tracks here are massive. Did you find yourself informed by the dancefloors of the world slowly opening up again?

Of course; I obviously follow everything that’s going on and I must say, it feels so good to see things are finally improving! I resumed performing in July and it was pure joy. Being able to enjoy the moment and feel free… We had forgotten a bit about how to do this.

There’s a bit of an old school vibe to Revival, and I Thought It Was All Over recalls electronic music’s recent golden era in the 2010’s. Do you find yourself often looking to the past to see what’s next?

Music from the past has always been an inspiration to me, in any musical genre whatsoever. I love listening to old records- some of them end up sounding super fresh and current 15 or 20 years after! So, to answer your question, I do find inspiration from the past to look at the future. 

When and where can we expect to hear these tracks live?

I’ve got a bunch of gigs in France coming up in November as well as an upcoming tour in Colombia, Mexico and Costa Rica getting set up. For the time being we’re being really cautious given the Covid situation has not been fully resolved yet everywhere. 

Famous last words?

Thanks to all my fans for supporting me throughout the years! Sending you lots of love.

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