Article | Onlythebeat

Behind the Beat: Felix Cage

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Belgian DJ/producer Felix Cage has been keeping customarily busy as of late. A stalwart of the scene in his native country, Cage is involved with the Electronical Reeds label/parties, where he helps with everything from the A&R to the smooth operations of their Brussels parties. Indeed, 2015 is shaping us to be arguably his biggest year to date, as he has just remixed an Anja Schneider track on Mobilee and his own EP, Secret Lover, is about to drop on Electronical Reeds. Here’s what he had to say for himself when we checked in with him recently…

Felix Cage - Secret Lover (Madmotormiquel Remix)

OTB: How are you and how was 2014? Felix Cage: I am very well, thank you! 2014 was rough in some ways but really good in others. A lot was achieved, but that required a lot of work. OTB: What was the highpoint for you from last year from a label perspective? Felix Cage: There were many but I would go with Sonar. The reason for this is that nearly the whole crew managed to free up to attend to Off week. Our artists, management, graphics designer and a couple of friends all ended up in one big apartment. Was a nice and little crazy team building! OTB: What was your first memory of electronic music at home? Did it have a pretty profound effect on you? Felix Cage: I would not go with the word profound, but I did like some ravish eurodance stuff quite early on. I had no clue what electronic music was really. All I remember was we were passing some tapes around between friends and it was sort of cool just to hang out outside listening to this stuff. OTB: So you guys are pretty involved with the Belgian scene now. How has it changed since you first became involved? Felix Cage: There is more going on now I guess with more festival and parties, more promoters and artists. Although funny enough we get more support from outside the country than in Belgium itself. OTB: And what made you start up the label? When did you host your first party? And which came first? Felix Cage: The label came first. I was only an artist when the label started and I suggested making a first label night at The Wood club where I was playing from time to time at a friend's party called Woodstrasse. OTB: Has establishing the label been a lot of hard work at home? Did it take a while to get crowds in the door? Felix Cage: Establishing a label is easy. Making the label really kick off and succeed is a ton of work. And it takes time. You do not have much room for error as there are so many people making music and running labels who all want to make it to the top. Getting heard and recognized gets a solid consistency and quality in the releases. For our label nights we started by inviting our friends and friends of friends and grew. We are very lucky to have all our artists and friends who play at our nights to be really good djs and live performers. The club is always full and the crowd stays on the dancefloor till the end. OTB: So has it ever been quite challenging from that point of view? Felix Cage: It is challenging every day and I am happy our label crew is composed of people with different horizons and skills who are willing to accept that challenge. OTB: From a production point of view, where are you at with your stuff right now? Felix Cage: I just released a remix on Mobilee Records for Anja Schneider’s “Dubmission” track. It worked really well in summer and I am happy to release my interpretation of it. My next release is on Electronical Reeds. It comes in February and is called “Secret Lover”. I am very happy to have Madmotormiquel on board for this ep with a very cool remix. More is to come in the first half of 2015 but I cannot disclose that yet. OTB: What do you consider your biggest moment as a producer to date? Felix Cage: I guess the just released remix for Anja Schneider. I have been following Mobilee for a while and got to remix its headlining artist. Quite a highlight in my book. OTB: And what’s been your fave Electronical Reeds release so far? Felix Cage: There are many. One to mention is “Porro” by Optional Feast. Pablo Cahn’s remake is outstanding. Rodriguez Jr. did a superb remix for my release “Mascarade” a couple of years ago. Catalunya from Pazul gets a lot of love from me in my sets. I also want to mention one upcoming release, that of O.D.Math, that should be the one after mine I hope. It is huge ! OTB: Which one surprised you the most? And which one did you think would be bigger? Felix Cage: O-Live’s EP “The Cornerstone” was a nice surprise because the moodiest track got the most love from our audience. As for one we expected to be bigger, definitely “Human” EP by Pole Folder and Simon Latham. The originals are strong and GusGus together with T-world, who were getting a lot of attention due to the album on Kompakt, did an awesome remix. We really think this release should have gotten more attention. OTB: So is it just you in charge of deciding what gets signed? Or are there a few of you involved? Felix Cage: There are 3 of us managing the label: Laurent, Arnaud and myself. Arnaud is our dedicated A&R. He listens to all the demos we receive and stuff Laurent and I discover. While all three of us discuss interesting music together, Arnaud has to ultimately give his approval for the release. OTB: What constitutes success for you as a producer? Who influences your work the most? Felix Cage: I think uniqueness of your sound is ultimately what makes you stand out from the crowd. I enjoy music by many artists but here I would name Paul and Fritz Kalkbrenner, Trentemoller, Royksopp, Rodriguez Jr., Daniel Bortz, Smash TV, Maya Jane Coles, Nu, Madmotormiquel, etc. Every one of them has something unique to their sound that other producers do not have, sort of musical trademark. OTB: And you have Madmotormiquel doing a remix. What do you think he brought to the table? Felix Cage: His unique vision of the track is what we were looking for. There is a shift in the ambiance too compared to the original. His version is darker. The original and the remix can be played at different moments at the party which I find to be a strong point of this release. OTB: Are you very picky about where your music gets signed to? Is it important that the label has a similar ethos to yourself? Felix Cage: I am picky, yes. You have to be. There is only so much time I can put into creating music and I am going the quality way, not quantity. Every track I release has to have synergy with what I do and who I am. Thus picking labels that have similar ethos to myself is extremely important for me. OTB: If you could produce on one other label and with one other producer, what would they be and why? Felix Cage: While many labels are attractive, I would probably go with Innervisions simply because they seem to give a lot of freedom of expression to the artists while keeping release quality standards really high. And as with who I would produce, I guess I would ask Seth Troxler for some vocals. OTB: What's next for you this year? Felix Cage: The “Secret Lover” ep is scheduled for mid-February on my home label Electronical Reeds. Then I have more releases coming but again, I cannot say much about those yet. As for the label, we are starting to prepare our 5 years release that will feature label artists and label friends as well as a special tour for the occasion. Watch out for these in the second part of this year. Felix Cage’s Secret Lover EP (with Madmotormiquel remix) is out soon on Electronical Reeds