Nicolas Chaix AKA I:Cube remains one of the most prolific producers in France, having first come into prominence during the mid nineties. After over two decades in the game, he boasts a healthy discography, the vast majority of which has found its home on Versatile Records, the label that longtime friend and collaborator Gilb’r runs. It’s alongside him that Nicolas makes up half of Château Flight, who have released defining tracks like ‘Cosmic Race’ and acclaimed remixes of Daft Punk and Serge Gainsbourg.
Veering away from the electronic musings he’s known for and into the tranquil and meditative, earlier this year he played a party called Tentacalme, a Paris-based night ran by a music journalist from French blog la pieuvre. Here he talks us through the night itself alongside a live recording of his set which he approached as if he were doing a radio show. Incorporating both music in the ambient, soundtrack and library sphere with live jamming on a drum machine, he’s crafted an immersive set which perfectly complements the laidback surroundings it was recorded in…
Can you tell us a bit about the night where the set was recorded?
This night called Tentacalme is hosted by music journalist Sylvain Di Cristo, who runs the music blog la pieuvre. Every now and then, they invite people from different musical backgrounds to play some ambient/chill out music, in a restaurant/bar called “le pavillon des canaux”, facing the “quai de la Loire” in the north of Paris. It’s an old house, with a lot of small rooms, so it feels like you are at someone’s house party. People listen to the music on couches, the DJ booth is in the kitchen. Nothing too fancy here, although there’s a nice and cosy atmosphere.
Did you come with an idea of how you wanted to approach your set?
Considering the short length of the set, I approached this mix as a radio show. A lot of editing and preparation was involved, in order to cram as much music I could, while keeping a natural flow. At the end of the set, there was a Korg volca Machine Drum playing random stuff, and I was jamming live with various sound sources on top. There are multiple audio layers, even if not audible at first, plus some effects, all this adds a bit more depth and mystery to the mix. There are some unreleased tracks, some classics, some new stuff. Everything from the 90s chill out cliché sound, to the more esoteric side of things.
Any standout tracks in the mix?
There’s one unreleased track I did with my son. We had lots of fun doing it. It turned out into something totally unexpected,
leaning towards the dark ambient/horror soundtrack territory.
Anything on the horizon you’d like to shout about?
A lot of music to be released this year! Next release should be a series of recorded live jams (cubo live sessions) on Versatile records.
S/O to Jean-Yves Leloup (Radio Mentale).