Located in the western hemisphere, the US is very much separated from the dance music blossoming across the pond. Sometimes what we are exposed to here is not the full scope of the culture, and it's always worth it to dig a little deeper in order to get to know what is going on around the world. For example, Romanian minimal techno blew up and started coming around to the underground parties in the states, however, Europe is filled with various types of techno and not all of them make it to our ears.
Before my house and techno days, I was listening to trance, and even during those days I happened to stumble upon a producer I really liked who went by the name of Citizen Kain. He possesses a very gritty and raw style of techno that surpassed minimal, however he still delivers brilliant, melodic undertones. Much like his chosen name, he remained somewhat enigmatic to me considering he tours mostly overseas. Along with acquiring a guest mix for Magnetic Mag, I got to spend some time with Citizen Kain in order to further understand his career as producer and DJ.
Growing up in Montpellier, a town in the South of France, Citizen Kain, real name Bruno Demougeot, was exposed to punk rock and hardcore music from an early age. He played guitar and sang vocals in numerous bands as a teenager, which gave him the experience he needed to fuel his passion. Soon he discovered a spectrum of electronic innovators, and subsequently was deeply influenced by greats such as Joy Division, New Order, Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, The Cure and various innovators of the 90s. This sparked his curiosity and he craved to learn more about the culture.
Around 1993, he discovered his first rave parties in France (think early Daft Punk days) and was immediately absorbed by the movement, instantly falling in love with Techno and House music. In 1995, he bought his first set of decks and a mixer and began to DJ at local parties. After years of gigging he bought his first production tools, however he didn't release his first record until 2005. Today you can find Citizen Kain working with Ableton Live and Cubase, a Roland TR-8, Push as the controller, plus a Moog Sub 37 and an Arturia Minibute for synthesizers. You can hear the Moog Sub 37 being used in the majority of his productions.
Finally, having tweaked around with producing music, he started his label, Neverending, in 2005 with two partners. The first two years were on the slow end, but come 2009 the label began to release EPs on a regular basis. Today, they have released 61 EPs and the future is looking bright. The label is also re-launching it's vinyl series after the summer with a new single by Citizen Kain and Phuture Traxx.
When asked about the challenges of running a label, Citizen Kain says it's been a fantastic experience that has allowed him to discover a lot of music. "I can’t really complain, we are lucky because we have a good distributor for vinyl and digital. Touring is the best opportunity to meet artists and invite them to release something with us. We have some very cool guys on board, maybe the most difficult thing is to promote it because there are now so many labels on the market that it’s hard to make it's place, to be different and original. But we do our best!"
After keeping it low key and spending quality time on producing in the studio without releasing much, he is excited to say that he will be releasing EPs on labels such as Noir Music, Trapez Ltd and his own imprint, Neverending. Over the course of his career Citizen Kain has received support from acclaimed artists in the industry such as Laurent Garnier, Maceo Plex, and Adam Beyer, just to name a few. He has received remixes from artists and friends such as Kiko, Egbert, Third Son and Metodi Hristov all of which only add to the quality of his productions. Without giving too much away, he revealed that he has a few tracks and collaborations ready and in the process of being built. However, he did share that he has a highly anticipated collaboration with Simina Grigoriu.
What does the future have in store for Citizen Kain? Well, he is currently working on a new live act that he hopes will be ready for 2017. A full audio and visual experience. On top of that, he's coming back on tour starting with the Eclipse Festival in Canada, end of July, and is planning another tour at the end of year with more US & Canada dates. Look out for more news coming soon.
As we wait for Citizen Kain to make his triumphant return to the states, we are graced with this exclusive guest mix that does more than satisfy our craving for hypnotic rhythms. Enjoy the stream below.