French DJ/producer/label boss Citizen Kain is the DJ’s DJ – his powerful tracks at the heart of sets by many a top name (Tale Of Us, Maceo Plex, Artbat, Solomun, Mind Against, Adriatique…). He releases on Afterlife, Ellum, Upperground, Siamese, Atlant, plays at global events such as Fusion Festival (DE), Marvelous Island (FR), Ying Yang Festival (Great Wall of China), Les Plages Electroniques, Sunburn Festival (India), Spilt Milk (South Africa), Les Nuits Sonores, Piknic Électronik… while supporting luminaries such as Artbat, Laurent Garnier, Adriatique, Adam Beyer, Maceo Plex, Solomun, Mind Against…
Add to that his impressive following on DSPs and honourable history (including jail!) as part of the French illegal rave scene and it’s high time he was more of a headliner in every sense of the word. So,he’s emerging from his ‘eminence gris’ status into the limelight, in time to make his new label’s nameUNSEEN (launched Aug 2022 with ‘Kiss Me Again’) well and truly ironic as well as releasing his own new work, remixes and other artists. 2023 sees his track‘Ghosts & Shadows’ drop on Artbat’s labelUpperground, after his ‘Ricochet’ dropped March 2023 on Adriatique's Siamese imprint – more big releases TBC amidst a hectic tour schedule.
SOUND, STORY & EARLY INFLUENCES: Kain describes his sought-after and very strongindividual sound as ‘Melodic Techno, always melodic, but with an edge and very groovy rhythmics. I mix genres of Techno, Hardcore, DnB and House from each period of my music development, defining a very fat, high energy sound.’ Other influences from 80s New Wave (Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk…), Punk, and his earliest youth playing guitar in a Metal band also enrich the mix.
Kain’s childhood passion for making music began at age 10, an electric guitar from his parents leading to forming Metal bands with friends and gigging from age 15. He got the House/Techno bug soon after, and from 2002, he gave up a car factory job for full-time DJ/producing after a small legacy allowed him 2 years free to learn his craft, the one silver lining to the tragedy of losing his mother at age 20. From then on, he earned his living in music. A period of mainly Techno Hardcore/DnB eventually evolved into his current passion, Melodic Techno. 2006 saw his first vinyl release, and from 2007 he releasedvinyl on high stature labels and began serious touring. From gigs in local bars and clubs, to organisingsmall illegal rave parties and then much bigger illegal events (which landed him briefly in jail!), he has lived his love of music on stage and never stopped.
Early influences began with Metal, Hardcore and Punk (Biohazard, Sick Of It All, Madball, Agnostic Front, Fugazi, Discharge) while playing in bands, then when DJing it was Electro/New Wave like Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Joy Division, The Cure that got him into Dance Music, seeing him through his Techno epiphany.
RECENT RELEASES: As well as his 2023 July single ‘Ghosts & Shadows’ from a 4track VA EP on Artbat’s label Upperground, and lots more in the works, there was also ‘Ricochet’ March 2023 on Siamese while 2022 gave us ‘DRAG’, and ‘Pancho Villa’ (both on Tale Of Us' Afterlife), his label launch track ‘Kiss Me Again’ on UNSEEN, plus releases on BOg’s Atlant and a second track on Afterlife’s VA compilation, as well as a track ‘Supercycle’ with David Guetta’s alter ego Jack Back. He made his Ellum debut with ‘Charly Charly’ in 2021. His tracks are eagerly snapped up by DJs such as Tale Of Us, Maceo Plex, Artbat, Solomun, Mind Against, Adriatique, David Guetta, Laurent Garnier, Carl Cox, Dubfire, Richie Hawtin, Joris Voorn, Joseph Capriati…
PERFORMANCES: Citizen Kain has shared a stage with all the major artists since 2000, most recentlyArtbat, Maceo Plex, Solomun, Mind Against, David Guetta, Adam Beyer, Laurent Garnier, previously Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, Carl Cox, Dubfire, Luciano, and earlier, Underground Resistance artists like Mad Mike, Jeff Mills, James Pennington. He has a packed touring schedule for 2023.
GIGS INCLUDE: Fusion Festival (Germany), Piknic Électronik Montreal, Ying Yang Festival (Great Wall of China), Les Plages Electroniques, Sunburn Festival (India), Spilt Milk (South Africa), Dream Festival (Mexico), I Love Techno (Europe), Sea You Festival (Germany), Marvelous Festival (France), Family Piknik Festival (France), Klubbers Day Festival (Spain), Big Bang Festival (France), Les Déferlantes Festival (France), Burning Beach Festival (Germany), Icarus Festival (Germany), Panoramas Festival (France), Eclipse Festival (Canada), Les Nuits Sonores (France).
Now Citizen Kain has stepped fully out of the shadows, with such a list of achievements and accolades, the sky’s the limit.