Alex Metric’s stock as an internationally in-demand producer, remixer and DJ show no signs of slowing. Fresh from three consecutive US headline tours with sets at the huge EDC in Las Vegas plus numerous HARD appearances, London-born Alex Metric is having something of a moment since setting up home within Skrillex’s OWSLA camp in 2013.
Despite sustaining his prominence within the UK dance scene over the years, whether via his own productions or quality remixes that consistently see him topping the tastemaker Hype Machine Charts, Metric has successfully made that leap over the big pond and boy, has it paid dividends. Catching the wave of interest in all things electronic from our American cousins, Alex has been in constant motion across the Atlantic these past 18 months, playing clubs the lengths and breadth of the country including the legendary Popscene at Rickshaw Shop in San Francisco, LA’s Avalon Room and the Webster Hall in New York. Metric has proved time and time again that he can hold his own alongside heavyweights such as OWSLA label boss Skrillex, Calvin Harris and A-Trak and finally, the World is stopping to take notice.
But what lead Metric here? Looking back, Metric sees his 2011 debut album Open Your Eyes featuring the likes of Charli XCX and Ian Brown as the encapsulation of his production work to date. Once arguably better known for his consistent and game-changing remixes for the likes of Depeche Mode, N.E.R.D, Ellie Goulding, Bloc Party, and La Roux, Metric has long shown an apt ability to manipulate tracks and then stamp himself right through them.
Producing other people’s records is the realisation of a dream, but even as a teenager growing up in the countryside, it was something Alex wanted to do. He could sing and learnt to play the keyboard at an early age but never warmed to the idea of being in a band himself. Initially an indie kid, his conversion to dance music came when he once missed the bus home and decided to kill some time in a record shop. Fatboy Slim’s 1996 album Better Living Through Chemistry was playing at one of the listening posts. “I was blown away. There were guitars, these big broken beats and this mad energy. I bought it there and then. It was a massive turning point.”
After studying music at college in Guildford, Alex released a string of singles on a series of dance labels—a mix of progressive house, breakbeat and techno. His break came in 2006 when he signed to Adam Freeland’s Marine Parade label. “I’d been making proggy, breakbeaty stuff and I was doing OK at it,” he remembers. “But one night I was DJing in Russia and I realised right there on stage that I didn’t like the records I was making. I had an epiphany. I thought: What’s the music I love? French house, rock music, electro. Why don’t I chuck everything I love into one record?” The result was his 2007 single “Whatshewants”, the starting point on the journey towards his current position as one of dance music’s most exciting new talents.
Fast forward to a few years later, and Metric’s focus has naturally honed to what he does best: making banging club records for clubbers and DJs alike. The self-released ‘Rave Weapon’ in 2012 did just what it said on the tin – got dancefloors heaving and BBC Radio 1 hot under the collar: a camp that has long supported him with everyone from Annie Mac to Pete Tong playing his records. The latter even personally invited Metric to play his 20th anniversary show at the BBC’s hallowed Maida Vale studios in London.
2013 followed in a similar vein with the second release in his now legendary ‘Ammunition’ series for OWSLA, featuring the stunning ‘Prophecies’ which cranked things up to 1000 and propelled Metric even further into the big arena league with a its mechanical beat juxtaposed against sweet melodies.
That was swiftly followed early 2014 with the current Ammunition collection via ‘Hope’, which came through to raise the bar and announce Metric to the world as a vanguard of contemporary electronic innovations. New release ‘Heart Weighs A Ton’ sees Metric arguably jump two-feet in to the ‘chameleon’ tag with a pop-tinged track that looks set to outstrip all of his previous releases as the biggest yet.
Metric is certainly carving out a niche in the new frontier of electronic music in America. Skrillex’s respect for him as DJ and producer paved the way for him to settle down nicely amongst his OWSLA label mates. Metric continues to reinterpret and pay homage to the great genres of UK dance past while weaving in the freshest contemporary sounds of his new home. A chameleon maybe, but Alex Metric is undeniably one of the greatest contemporary UK dance exports.