Lewis Fautzi is not afraid of the dark. The prolific electronic musician spends endless hours in the studio delving into a cinematic pool of pulsating ambience, firmly deconstructing the moody grooves of his mind. A firm grasp around the edges of the techno scene has awarded him space to experiment, placing him as a force to reckon with in the annals of the electronic underground. On the back of the release of his second album for techno giants Soma, the blazingly kinetic Space Exploration, we met up with Fautzi to learn about his musical exploration.
Tell me about your musical background. Did you practice any instruments growing up?
I never had music lessons while growing up. Getting to know different artists intrigued my desire to know how to create music. Desire and passion made me want to learn how to produce my own music. It took me a long time to reach some of my goals, but right now I feel confident to fulfill even more.
How did you discover your artistry?
When we really like something, we don’t know if we’ll have any talent doing it, unless we try. That’s what I did, hours and hours of producing stuff, getting better at what I do. When I started producing music, I did not have any knowledge, and so I was often bothered by not achieving what I wanted, but I insisted and kept on trying. Eventually things ended up happening for me. I was in front of the computer from early in the morning ’til late night, trying to learn. Now, I spend a lot of time in the studio every day. It has become an addiction.
Techno is more than just a music genre, it is art too.
I would like to know how your local scene in Portugal has affected you coming up?
There are only a few techno clubs in Portugal – the scene, just like the country, is very small. But I do think the electronic scene is growing a lot here. We have ‘Gare Club’ and ‘Lux Fragil’, which are the two national references when it comes to electronic music. We also have ‘Neo Pop Festival’ that presents both local and international artists, which is the best electronic music festival in Portugal. Techno is a bit of an overlooked genre here, but I do think we are able to prove ourselves, and that techno is more than just a music genre, it is art too.
Have you ever felt a need to define your art for people?
When I started to produce techno, almost no one understood what I wanted to do. Some people told me: “What Music is that? If you’re with this type of music, you’re not going anywhere. You should make commercial music.” I went through hard times going against the tide, but fortunately I could prove to those people that I was on the right path. I never gave up believing in myself.
Your sound has evolved a lot over the last couple of years. It feels like a coming-of-age tale, music wise. How would you describe your musical growth yourself?
I think people who are dedicated to what they do evolve day by day, gaining more knowledge through practice. I think I have become more mature over time, and today I produce tracks that some people do not understand. Most people have this idea that “hard techno” is the only type of techno, but I think there are many more sides to the genre. I love producing calm and hypnotic techno.
It sounds like you are on a quest to change the status quo of how people have come to define the qualities of techno. Have you ever been afraid to alienate your audience?
I’ve never been afraid to alienate my audience. If they are really my fans, they will understand what I do with my music, in the same way they did when they discovered me in the first place. We don’t have to be afraid of anything. Just believe in our work and in ourselves. That’s the best way to keep going.
Do you plan to delve even deeper and darker into space with your upcoming material?
There is a lot of new music coming out on some great labels, and yes, it will be similar to the deeper, darker, hypnotic stuff of the ‘Space Exploration’ project.
You have a flair for creating cinematic transitions. Could you see yourself working on movie scores?
Yes, of course, it’s a dream of mine, and I hope one day it will happen. I will continue to work on the ambient side of my music, because it is a style of music I feel good about, and I want to reach another part of the public through it. I am also creating a live show with this style of music for special events outside the techno movement.
I know playing at RexClub must have been a big deal to you. Tell me about another career milestone that had made an impact on you?
RexClub was great, of course. It opened a lot of doors and it’s a very important and a special place to get to play. Another career milestone was releasing my music on Soma Records, my albums especially. It opened up some very important doors for me. Things are going well, and I’m reaching my goals.