Alex Metric has been blazing a trail over the last couple of years. His glitchy productions, innovatively combining his love of 80s synth-pop, filter disco, big beat and indie, have been devastating dance-floors worldwide. And now, Alex Metric is proud to present ‘Open Your Eyes’, his first official album for Virgin Records (out July 29), an explosive collection of Alex’s work, collating all three strands of his music output – his own productions (including title track and recent single ‘Open Your Eyes’), those for other people, and the best of a string of remixes that have made his name over the last two years.
It’s all about the song for Alex Metric. Whether it’s an original track, a remix or producing a band, there has to be a personal connection. If he doesn’t feel it, why would anyone else. “It’s always about making something with real emotion,” says the 28-year-old DJ from London, real name Alex Drury. “My core philosophy is to do whatever’s right for the song and to try and make it have some meaning to me. I put so much love into everything I do.”
Of the original tracks, Drury points to ‘End Of The World’, one of the brand new stand-out tracks from the album, as a personal favourite. Up-and-coming singer Charlie XCX supplies the vocals. It was originally supposed to feature on her album, but it was so good Drury “wrestled it back off her”. It’s something of a departure. “It’s quite a sad song, not a club record at all,” he says. “It’s like nothing I’ve done before.” Then there’s the soaring epic house of ‘Open Your Eyes’, his collaboration with Steve Angello from Swedish House Mafia.
Other showcase tracks on the album include opening track – Drury’s version of ‘Lisztomania’ by Phoenix, which transforms the winsome indie dance groove of the original into a dance-floor gem of juddering electro house bass and an explosive vocal-driven chorus built around the line “These days I’ve got to be someone else”. It’s his favourite remix, not least because they are his favourite band. “Nine times out of ten I get asked to do remixes,” says Drury. “There’s only twice in my career that I’ve asked a band if I can remix them”. Turns out it’s the band’s favourite remix ever as well.
Other stand out remixes include the hands-in-the-air house rework of Quicksand by La Roux, a disco take on Stylo by Gorillaz and his faithful but cleverly done dance-floor tweak of Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode.
Of his productions for other people, ‘Black Sky’ by Infadels is his proudest moment. “I ended up producing the whole album because they liked that track so much,” says Drury.
He sees ‘Open Your Eyes’ as a summary of the last two years, but also the start of something new. He’s already working on his full artist album. Actually, it’s his second, but he canned the first one because he didn’t think it was good enough. “There are two sides to me,” he says. “I have this love of ’80s synth funk, but also this epic, tears of MDMA joy sound.” The unreleased album was the former, but the latter defines him now. “Actually, I’m way more proud of ‘Open Your Eyes’ than I was of my artist album,” he says. “Because I put my heart and soul into my remixes, they haven’t dated. That’s really important to me, that they don’t date like a lot of dance music does.”
He pauses. “For the last year I’ve been figuring out how I want to sound. It’s all clicking. I think it’s important to figure out what you want to say before you say it. Now I have and it feels fantastic.” Sounds pretty good, too.
Check out title track “Open Your Eyes” video featuring Alex Metric and Steve Angello
1. Phoenix – Lisztomania [Alex Metric Remix]
2. Gorillaz – Stylo (feat. Mos Def & Bobby Womack) [Alex Metric Remix]
3. Alex Metric & Steve Angello – Open Your Eyes (feat. Ian Brown) [Style Of Eye Remix]
4. N.E.R.D. – Hypnotize U [Alex Metric Remix]
5. Fenech-Soler – Lies [Alex Metric Remix]
6. Bloc Party – One More Chance [Alex Metric Remix]
7. Ellie Goulding – Salt Skin [Alex Metric Remix]
8. La Roux – Quicksand [Alex Metric Remix]
9. Alex Metric & Steve Angello – Open Your Eyes
10. Beastie Boys – Sabotage [Alex Metric Re-Edit]
11. Niki & The Dove – Mother Protect [Alex Metric Remix]
12. Infadels – Black Sky [Produced by Alex Metric]
13. Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus [Alex Metric Remix]
14. Alex Metric – End Of The World (feat. Charli XCX)
ALEX METRIC | OPEN YOUR EYES | AVAILABLE JULY 29