OXIA

Since his first maxi, released in 1995, Olivier Raymond aka Oxia has established himself at the top of French techno. Together with his friend The Hacker, and his label Goodlife, Olivier embodies the second breath of the French techno production of the late 90s.

We first met him with his ”funky techno” sets executed with great technique. But once we changed millennium, Oxia opens up to calmer and more melodic styles mixing electro, minimal techno, electro house, atmospheric techno, as it was recorded in his Picture Of Now released in April 2006 with Scandium. It will happen more or less the same in their productions as that remix of The Hacker Traces edited at the beginning of 2006, their maxis with the Germans of Kompakt/Speicher (April and July 2006), and their maxi produced under their real name Olivier Raymond with the Swiss Eric Borgo in the English label Tsuba Records (March 2006).

But we go back. From the beginning. He was born in Grenoble (France) in 1971 and nothing predicted that Olivier would ever dedicate himself to music. In the family environment nobody can be considered a music lover, nobody plays a musical instrument, it is a coincidence that a lost chromosome leads the boy to music. From his tender youth, Olivier is attracted by the blackmusic: Jackson Five, Prince, Chic. The current disco isn’t so far away either, especially when he listens to Cerrone live in 1978: ”it was on the Côte d’Azur with my parents, on holiday, it was an event that marked my life”.

Then comes the school years and a decisive meeting with Stéphane Deschézeaux, who is also passionate about black music. They host a funk broadcast on the local radio and Olivier begins to play, working with a K7 plate and a plate without pitch. But the acquisition of the real plates arrives quickly and Olivier begins to officiate of traditional DJ in student parties. Other currents that mark him for those dates are the Spaghetti, the New Wave, the Depeche Mode and New Order, M/A/R/R/S and S-Xpress. The house begins to emerge (JM.Silk, Todd Terry, Innercity) and he affirms: it was not for me a new current, but rather an evolution of funk”. In 1991 he buys his first machines and begins to compose within what we would understand as Blackmusic, Acid Jazz, NewJack

In 1993, he became a resident of a club in Grenoble. His sessions become more electronic and he has the opportunity to attend, from this side of the cymbals, the hatching of the newest European musical types with the trance and the progressive doing pupa (Eye Q, Guerilla, Harthouse). In 1994, the works carried out since then with Stéphane bear fruit. The style is precise, they approach the American techno of the Damon Wild and Jeff Mills, and the Acid wave. They set up their project live under the name of Oxia. Dates began to come out thanks to a first maxi in 1995, with Ozone-Records, the name of Kiko’s record store, and the name of the label they founded together, in which Olivier also co-produced his first songs with Jack de Marseille.

Musical affinities and friendships oblige: Olivier begins to compose with Kilo under the name, Phunky Data which achieves a great success in France. Two albums will see the light: Fashion or Not (in 1998) and 38 (in 2000). Double consequence. The first: the consecration of Oxia. The second: Olivier is not comfortable in the middle of the lights that surround the success of Phunky Data. Then he realizes that his path has to be guided through the independent spheres of music and then creates a second label in 1998, with Michel Amato (The Hacker) and Alexandre Reynaud, known in Grenoble a few years earlier. It will be called Goodlife, in reference to the mythical title of Saunderson’s Inner City. Oxia Body Ep’s new maxi was released with a young label in 1999. It marks a change of structure: ”Stéphane began to disinterest in Techno, he went more towards the deep house”. The paths separate and Olivier continues as Oxia without him (today Stefane Deschezeau forms half of the duo Human Body and Ginos).