Since 2002 Uncle O and DJ Solo celebrate their Toxic Nights in Paris where they are mixing genres in order to unite all those who like to dance to varied musical expressions. Thats why the Toxic Nights been always suprising and deliver an unforeseeable mixture of Funk, Electro, Rap, New Wave, and Rock. True to this spirit of openness, Toxic parties contain elements of every style, era and country. Another proof of their free spirited rhythm and sound mission is their contribution to Carhartt Radio. For the mix the notorious duo mashed home made productions with edits of obscure tracks which are the core of the Toxic party concept. To back their futuristic Travelogue mix we had a little chat with them about their work, mission, and other affairs of the heart.
You come from Paris – how you are embedded in the Parisian music scene?
Uncle O: We are not part of a scene. I guess people consider us as weirdos because we don’t play casual club music and it’s hard to label us. We’re punks! We have always tried as well to bring unusual artists to play with us. Artists like Mike Ladd, Egyptian Lover, Arabian Prince, Gaslamp Killer, Revlon 9, etc…
Do you have a regular night in a club of your hometown?
Solo: We used to throw them in Paris at La Boule Noire every two months and every month during summer but since this venue has a night time noise restriction we play wherever our Punk style approach of club music is requested.
Can you tell us a bit how the story of Toxic started?
Solo: Well , in the late nineties the club scene in Paris was quite uniform. Techno on one side, Hip Hop on the other, and commercial shit in the middle! To narrow minded for music lovers like us! So when in 2001 Les Rita Mitsouko asked us to open for them with a DJ set , Uncle O came up with the name Reanimators for our duo. People liked our performance so much that the producer of the show, who also owned La Boule Noire, offered us to throw parties in his club. Uncle O’s brain started to boil, the name Toxic came out of it and it was on… . We know each other for a good 25 years and have quite the same musical taste. We always dig for old, new, or obscure tracks. Sound to surprise each other. So the aim when we started Toxic was to share that surprise feeling with others instead of keeping it to ourselves. We also thought that we would offer people who are tired of hearing the same old bullshit everywhere an alternative. It was like saying get off the bandwagon come to Toxic. If your ears are bored here they won’t be.
How would you describe the musical bandwidth of Toxic in your own words?
Uncle O: The old to the new, regardless! NuWaveDiscoPunkFunkHopRockElectroSoul!
What was your biggest hit so far?
Uncle O: The Shaolin Soul compilations.
Solo: It’s hard for me to pick a track or project but i would say La Formule secrete – the track that my former band Assassin released on the first French rap compilation Rapattitude in 1989.
What advice would you give to producers who are just starting out?
Uncle O: Get off the bandwagon and be original!
Solo: Stay true to yourself!
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt Radio show?
Uncle O: I was only digging in my own produced tracks and edits, trying to give away only exclusive hard edged stuff of Funk, Soul, New Wave, and Hip Hop.
Solo: I tried to feel the gaps Uncle O was leaving in his extra wide selection, with tracks from artists i am planning to put out on Black Frog or from friend producers.
How is music a part of your life?
Uncle O: I play music from the second I get up to the minute I go to bed and sometimes even let it play all night while I’m sleeping! I make beats and tracks everyday, too. Vinyls also have totally invaded my flat, quite soon I will not be able to walk in anymore!
Solo: Life’s a movie that would be uncomplete without a soundtrack. Music is the best tool I have to express the moods i’m in. I’m 95% music – the 5% left are headaches. I still don’t know how to deal with after all this time.
What are your hobbies beside music?
Uncle O: Graphic designing, art and movies.
Solo: Brazilian Jiu jitsu.
What other projects do you have going on?
Solo: My label Black Frog ent., Beebac.com an educational social network site. Also pushing Uncle O to finish mixing his e.p, put out the second single of the MonomaniaX. And some designs for a new clothing company.
In what ways did your parents encourage you to be creative?
Uncle O: They bought me a turntable when I was like 5. I never stopped buying records ever since! They also let me use their cave to rehearse and make noise when I had my own band when I was 16!
Solo: They never did, being creative was my way of rebelling!
What were you guys like as little kids?
Uncle O: Enthusiastic, curious and sometimes very naughty with my older sisters !!!!
Solo: Emotive, secret, violent, rejecting authority!
What are your favorite animals and why?
Uncle O: Probably Gargoyles and Yetis because I have never seen one yet!
What is the most obscure record you have in your collection and why?
Uncle O: I must say I have a lot of now very obscure and/or rare records from the days of New Wave, Punk, Funk, and Hip Hop. It’s hard to pick one but the most obscure I could think of ´would probably be David Cunningham Gray Scale. It’s a very odd record from the guy behind The Flying Lizards. The weird repetitive tracks are based around mathematical structures and error systems, it’s quite haunting and very unusual, you either hate or love it, there is no inbetween! Plus I don’t think it has ever been re-released either on CD or Vinyl, which makes it a nice obscure collector piece!
What are the craziest pieces of clothing you have in your closets?
Uncle O: Sneakers & footwear freak, too many to mention!
Solo: Same here. And i am a collector of gear from the golden era of Hip Hop!
When do you feel most at peace?
Uncle O: Probably when I sleep and when I’m in South East France in the countryside at my parents!
Solo: After a good jiu jitsu training and a good meal when I know I don’t have to wake up early the next day.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen during your gigs?
Uncle O: When one of our craziest go-go dancer half naked asked a guy from the audience to lay down on the stage floor, opening up his trousers, and started sitting on his d…! If we didn’t stop her, she would have gone all the way.
Solo: My ex girlfriend wearing a wig to enter one of our parties incognito in order to terrorise the bartender girls.
Who are you listening to these days?
Uncle O: Gonjasufi, Samiyam, Budamunky, Ras G, Georgia-Anne Muldrow, Odd Nosdam, Tobacco, François de Roubaix, Glass Candy, Jeff Phelps, Bad Brains, PIL, Normal Brain, Sam Spence, Bruno Spoerri, Cluster, Ducktails, John Tender, Giorgio Moroder, etc.
Solo: Franck Ocean, The Weeknd, Lorn, Gesaffelstein, Co.fee, Todd Terje (edits), Araab Musik (instrumentals), The Cure, Harmonic 313, Doppler Effekt, Erol Alkan (rework & edits).
What are you current top 10?
-Co.fee: Destroy & rebuild
-Frank Ocean: Swim good (Chooped & screwed by Phat Pat)
-Gomma. Ken Griffey Jr
-Bobm: North side
-Touchphonics: Ragga style
-The Ogyatranaa Show Band: Disco Africa
-MonomaniaX: Pigalle (Blackjoy Disco remix)
-Mr H: Android stripper
-Gaslamp Killer: Monsterfromtheunderground
-Eric Copeland: Fun Dink Death
-Computer Jay: Phantom
-Das Ding: A Dark Place
-Japanther/Ninjasonik: Pop Rocks & Soda
-Mr Chop: Get On The Mic
-Dizz 1: Walkon
-Dam Funk: It’s My Life
How do you see the future of HipHop music?
Uncle O: Going back to it’s origins!
Solo: Same here, but more precisely bringing back originality & skills by having to come up with something unique to emerge.
What records from the past coined your live?
Uncle O: I guess any ESG or Freestyle/Pretty Tony track!
Solo: T la Rock It’s yours, all Tommy Boy early releases (before 1986), RUN DMC‘s 1st, 2nd & 3rd Lps, ESG, UK electro collection, Zakia records releases, MantroniX Bass line lp, any Ultra Magnetic MC’s, all Celluloid records, most on Next Plateau records, Soundview records, 4th Floor records records, Apextron records, basically to make it simple all records made on labels that were putting out Hip Hop, freestyle, Punk Funk, Electro Funk, early House & dance, circa 1981 to 1989.
You live in Paris – can you tell us some nice spots and secrets about your town that you can’t find in any travel guide?
Uncle O: The most craziest library in the world Un Regard Moderne the latin quarter of Paris. A very good Thai restaurant Le Pattaya in Les Halles district.
Solo: If you’re a late night hungry bird and into ghetto vibes, on weekends go for a crepe at corner of Rue Montmartre and Boulevard Poissonniere. As well as a fat tasty crepe you will get to feel the suburban Parisian crooks and hood atmosphere. Action guaranteed !!!
Where do you dig for new records? In the internet, at flea markets, or you fly to towns like New York regular?
Uncle O: I only buy and play vinyl, unfortunately most of the record stores in Paris have closed down. So I regularly go to Amsterdam where I find all the new stuff in all styles of music. I also buy from the net sometimes (new or old). Whenever I go to a town, in France or abroad, I always look for record stores. I also love buying cheap records on yard sales for 50cts or 1 Euro where I sometimes find very rare records, it’s a fun game except that now a lot of people check on the net the value of their records and they overprice them.
Solo: I don’t buy records as much as I use to, like Uncle O said most of the interesting stores have closed but I have a friend who is a brocanteur so he does yard sales every week end. I gave him a list of what i’m looking for … that’s for old stuff … for the new stuff , everywhere we go & play the first thing we ask is for the record store, as simple as that!
And at least: what is the best part of being in Toxic?
Uncle O: Being a freak-o!
Solo: Having Uncle O as a musical mentor!!