As the owner of the Time Has Changed imprint, Acumen can be considered as one of France’s foremost industry heads. As well as running the label, he also produces his own music, and has just put the finishing touches to a live set that’s already earning rave reviews. A man of numerous talents, he’s also a Pharmacist and a DJ too, while his new label, Thrill of It, looks set to be the start of a very interesting new chapter for him. With the label’s debut outing, the Crush EP, going strong on the DJ charts in Europe we decided to dial up France for a quick chinwag with the main man…
Acumen Interview April 2014
How are you, what’s kept you busy recently?
Acumen: I’m really good; there’s been lots of changes in my private life recently. But I’m in a good way. That’s what keeps me busy at the moment. But I’m also finishing a lot of new productions; collaborations and I’ve started my new label also. And then there’s also my real job of pharmacist, as I’m moving my pharmacy this year to a new big project. So I’m tired but good!
Do you see yourself mainly as a DJ, producer, label boss or live act? Which came first?
Acumen: Absolutely not! Because even if I like doing shows and meeting people, it also involves partying a lot. I don’t think I’m strong enough in my head to party all the time. I like having a full-time job that brings me money and success. But music is my real passion and I won’t ever stop making it.
Tell us about Time Has Changed. What’s its outlook, what aesthetic are you going for? And what have been some of the proudest moments in the label’s life?
Acumen: To tell you the truth, every release is a proud moment because we love every release. But the best moments are when a track is charted and played by the biggest DJs, or when you hear one of your tracks in a club, and for sure, when you can have some good sales. But the best moment is when the people tell you all they have love for the label, that’s amazing nice to hear.
What’s the scene like in France, what music did you grow up on and does that still influence you now?
Acumen: I think France is a bit apart. The scene isn’t so big for our style of music these days. Without sounding pretentious, I can say that Time has Changed is maybe one of the biggest French house/tech house labels at the moment, which is obviously great for us. But on an international level, we’re not so famous. Germany and England, for example, have some serious labels and scenes. I think that all depends of the clubs and way of life – and restrictions. France isn’t so open with nightlife. A place like Panorama Bar, for example, could not exist in France. And hence my new label, Thrill of It Records, which will be a place for an even more broad palette of music.
What is your live show like, what makes it live, what kit do you use?
Acumen: My live show is an overview of all my production skills. I use Ableton Live, which is also my sequencer for production. I also use a controller like a novation launch pad, a novation nocturn and a native instrument maschine to play some live sounds and effects. I am trying to make the show active and funny. And not just playing on a «play» button for a recorded live show.
Its been five years in the making I hear – why is that?
Acumen: Because due to my real job of pharmacist, I don’t have as much time as others to dedicate time to it. But to tell you the truth, I am very confident in the studio.
Is it made of similar parts that your tracks are made from or is it quite different or?
Acumen: Sure, there is a lot of tracks parts, but I’m trying to explore new sounds and add and remove parts, while playing other stuff twice. Sometimes it gives me new ideas for new tracks, or to re edit some existing ones.
Acumen’s Crush EP – with remixes by Villanova and Danton Eeeprom – is out now on Thrill of It Records