Talk of French Dance music is too often limited to the oversubscribed adoration of such icons as Daft Punk and David Guetta. While a conversation with Parisian Electro contenders Jidax may draw on the familiar thematics that have dominated the reputation of their country’s club-hungry heritage, the young French dup are no new age reflection of an old trick. Already tantalising the self-professed tastemakers and packed-out crowds of EDC and Miami Winter Music Conference alike, Dan Carter introduces an unsparing kiss of life to the resurgence that has Steve Aoki and the global festival circuit alike in awe of the pièce de Resistencia of their country’s forward facing club assets.
Given the long serving friendship of their grandfathers and their own likeminded affiliation, Jide & Axel’s musical union is far from your everyday underdog story. From witnessing the S Man at Pacha Ibiza amid a mutual family holiday to remixing Avicii’s ‘Fade Into Darkness’, their uphill accession has been brisk, but by no means overnight. Bonded by Jide’s geekish nature and the leap that saw Axel invest in some very basic DJ gear, the duo faded into the background in a bid to master the craft that would soon be a universal ticket not only for themselves, but the mass of hopeful talents fuelling the 21st century Dance explosion.
Debuting at the prestigious Queen Club in Paris, the gap between their nation’s enigmatic idols was breached relatively quickly, though not to the dismissal of their heartfelt respect for those innovative figures that fuelled their childhood lust to turn the music their parents referred to as ‘noise’ into an everyday activity. ‘These French DJs set the bar very high, and we always aim to reach those heights. Seeing what they did and what is open to a producer nowadays is incredibly motivational.’
Despite the modern advances and unrelenting progressions unfolded within the modern market, breaking through remains the elephant in the room for every aspiring hopeful without a seat in the artist area or a handy family contact. Jidax have learned this the hard way. Handing out countless USB’s of their hard-grafted material to little avail, it was Dim Mak master turned controversial live Electro maverick Steve Aoki who would finally take an overdue shine to their tectonically developed stylings. ‘It was maybe the 97th stick we gave to someone without receiving any answer, which proves that if you believe in what you do, you have to stick with it. We are incredibly happy to be releasing our tracks through Dim Mak – having Steve on our side is that surge of credibility every artist needs to finally reach the industry tastemakers.’
On the frontline of their global accession, the Dim Mak debut floor filler ‘Resistencia’ remains the critical piece of the puzzle for their festival proof upheaval. But in vein of the neurotic Progressive hallmarks that have commandeered, if not overrun the industry of late, the duos fist pumping breakthrough moment of adrenaline soaked club fuel speaks for itself. ‘Making that track was a lot of fun, but it wasn’t until we got it into the club that I really felt proud of Resistancia. Playing it on a monitor just didn’t quite hack it, but it felt like we had finally made a track that was the perfect message from us for the club.’
Reassuringly distanced from the realms of mainstream chart fodder, Jidax’s ability to scale the weathered shores of an oversubscribed industry with fresh energy for the untimely renaissance remains indicative of the promising movements ahead. ‘In a market as saturated as Dance music being both varied and enthusiastic is essential. If you want to catch people’s attention in the long run there can be no half measures.’
Between the pool parties with Avicii, big league support from Guetta and Tiesto alike and landmark moments at EDC and Miami WMC, Jidax have replaced their new school stead with an untouchable sense of belonging in one of the more crowded rooms known to the global industry. Dreamlike properties aside, beyond their forthcoming appearances at Tomorrowland and triumphant remix duties for Steve Aoki’s Wonderland Remixed album their organic enthusiasm and impenetrable spirit – one that embraces any simple encounter with the fresh-faced French enthusiasts – looks sure not to leave any stones of untouched by their manifold club maneuvers. ‘When you see all those amazing venues, those festivals, those clubs and the opportunities, you realize quickly how big the industry has become. That keeps us fighting every day. We started well, but this has been just 1% of what we plan to achieve.’
It may have proven a crowded revolution, but amid the hostility and confusion of an industry as astonished by its global potential as its newfound European leaders, Jidax lead a resistance against mediocrity of heartfelt properties and perfect timing.