Falcons has built a name for himself as a producer and DJ with a unique blend of West Coast beats, southern rap influences and distinctive visual flair. His producer collective Athletixx came out earlier this year with their first mixtape, blending the sportswear vibe of emergent street fashion with beat-heavy sounds and distinctive iconography. The result is music with substance beyond the monochromatic allure. Next month, he touches down in Australia for his nationwide tour. We caught up with the bird of prey to listen to his brand new Alicia Keys remix (listen above!) and to see what else is in his sights.
Your mix for Triple J had a great response. Are you psyched to be coming to perform in Australia?
So psyched, really want to see some Australian animals. They’re the tightest. but also totally into Australia’s music and fashion scene, so yes!
Can you explain what Athletixx is to the uninitiated?
Athletixx is an LA based production/DJ crew consisting of me, Hoodboi, Promnite, and the beautiful Kittens. We just treat the club like its work… it’s what we practice for and what we love :)
Your sound is a consistent pastiche of Southern rap and LA bounce. What motivated you to start mashing those influences into a single sound?
I’m from the South originally, my mom’s still living in Texas (Home of DJ Screw, UGK, and all that) and then I relocated to the West Coast after high school… For me these two musical regions are the most energetic, while maintaining a very soulful, restrained, cooled-out vibe… well the South isn’t always restrained (lol) but its always swaggy.
I heard you’re a pretty good dancer. Do you think it helps you with figuring out how to make a good dance track?
Ya I like to get down haha. When I work I bounce around the studio and move around a lot… it’s a sign to me that things are moving in the right direction.
Where do you think the online producer/DJ scene is heading? What would you like to change about it?
I think its really expanded since i first started. So many amazing talented people getting the shine they deserve and thats awesome, but also alot of copying and lack of originality. Some of the people doing this are still super talented, but i’m not hearing very much flavor… The legends were all original, Pharrell, Timbaland, Dre… they all did something distinguishably new. It really doesnt matter what tempo you produce in, or what genre, as long as it has those key original elements that you developed, then its always gonna be you.
Also I think people need to be less concerned about how fast people upload stuff to Soundcloud… bootlegs and stuff are great, but when you’re writing original music, sometimes its a little more special than just a quick Soundcloud upload… lets not flood the market.
How’s it feel to blow up to the point where all your fans can’t get through the club queue in LA to hear you perform?
Having our first event be that way was like a moment for us. I also felt pretty bad for the people who couldn’t make it, but I’m definitely gonna make it up to them in January with round 2 ;)
Do you ever have trouble with people confusing you with DJ Falcon (France)?
Yep all the time. It sucks, but I respect what he does and his love for birds of prey so turn up.
Where did you draw your main influences when constructing the Athletixx aesthetic?
The Internet. And Promnite’s tiny baby ChowChow puppy.
The Athletixx logo looks like kanji for ‘ka’ but it’s been stylised and warped into something different. What does it mean?
To be honest, Asian stuff is just tight to me/us. our mysterious 5th member and design lord, Barney Baker, designed that and a lot of our branding for that matter. He’s a truly amazing artist, probably the best i know. He handles alot of our visual stuff, and Hoodboi and I also help out. Check his work here http://barneybaker.co/ or better yet http://instagram.com/brnybkr.
Your usual churn of music seems to have slowed down on Soundcloud lately. Are you working on something big?
Ya, i have a few things to drop on Soundcloud before 2014 is over, but i’m much more interested in my current, more intensive project. I love bootlegs and remixes (and will always drop them) but i think its time to #activate for 2015.
I can’t say much about it yet, but its gonna be special for me.
How do you go about choosing which songs you want to remix?
It’s gotta be something or someone I really like, but maybe I want to make it a li’l more club friendly or i just wanna switch the vibes up a li’l.
I’ve noticed you occasionally slip some SOPHIE into your mixes. What do you think of the emergent trend of PC Music?
It’s trippy, met SOPHIE briefly at Hard festival in LA recently… he was great. I won’t say i’m an avid listener of all the PC stuff but i think what they’re doing is super forward and well executed. The art direction is out of control. Hats off to them.
Share the love. Who else besides Falcons should we be listening to right now?
Promnite, Hoodboi, watch out for Kittens she’s making some heat, FS Green, Stwo, Durkin, Iceboi, Arnold, Patrick Brian, Chiefs, so many more but its 5:00am and ur boi’s hurting from the Athletixx party yesterday.
<3 u Australia i cant wait to come hold some baby kangaroos aka joeys which is the cutest name for a baby animal i’ve ever heard. #activate.
Photography by Rens Eno
Falcons is touring thanks to The Kosher Group.