No stranger to the LA techno scene, or even the world, Axkan is a talented producer from Mexico who is based out of Los Angeles. His Techno is highly influenced by Industrial and EBM alongside ethnic rhythms. His darker and noisy style of Techno is a highly sought after sound and can be found on several labels (i.e. The Cast Project, Reloading Records, SecreTechno, Rheostatus, From 0-1, GBB, Aerotek, Format Recording, Switch Off, etc.).
Currently Axkan has been achieving great recognition across the continental US most notably for his stellar live PA sets which are truly smashing down doors for him as his booking calendar continues to fill up at a rapid pace. We’re lucky to catch Axkan in the midst of this flurry and surge of creativity as he headlines our event in December: DEFSF presents INTEGRATED:: feat. Axkan [LA]
Check out Analog In The Fog’s interview featuring Axkan, here.
Kraftwerk, Skinny Puppy, Orbital, Plastikman, Jorge Reyes, among others, have been source of inspiration to create the musical basics of Federico Sanchez, known as Axkan. Since his early ages, Federico was a devoted participant in the electronic movement of Mexico; together with Luis Flores and Álvaro de la Rocha (Chetos), they produced for many years the first radio show dedicated to present exclusively Industrial music: “La Fabrica X” (The Factory X), where representative bands of the 80’s like Front 242 y Skinny Puppy were played fluidly.
As a teenager, Luis as well as Federico started buying musical instruments, to start assembling a project focused in the Industrial music and EBM. The first tools were a sampler Ensoniq EPS-16+, a synthesizer Yamaha YS200 y the sequencer Cadenza for Windows. Later on, Jorge HM was invited to the project; this created the first phase of “Double Helix”, one of the most influential electronic music projects in Mexico.
A few months later, Federico had the opportunity to live some experiences which made him conceive the idea of a different type of music where the percussions and the ethnic elements were more obvious than usual and then blend those with the electronic atmospheres from the end of XX century. For that reason, after working sometime in both projects simultaneously, Federico leaves Double Helix y creates his own project: Axkan, which means: “now” o “the present”, in náhuatl (native Mexican tongue).
Up to this day, Axkan keeps morphing, it doesn’t sound so ethnic anymore like in his first works; also, his musical expression musical has been changing towards a more modern sound, which could fall into dark techno; maybe due to the influence of living close to Detroit and Chicago, this last one where he lived from 2001 thru 2011, before moving to Los Angeles, his current base.
Like a musician, Federico has always been trying to create his unique sound, without trying to fall into a specific genre, without trying to make music that sells records. Although Axkan has been successful and have had the opportunity to play within most of the cities in Mexico, he also had the opportunity to take his music to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Russia and multiple cities in the USA off course.
Early in his carrer he recorded tracks in several compilations, like Toltécnica from label “Arteria”; a Spanish compilation called “The Secret Sounds of Latin-America”; “Tranceformation” and “Toltécnica I” under “Opción Sónica”. He was founder of the Mexican label “NopalBeat” and has included tracks in all their compilations albums, including some tracks and remixes in vinyl format.
After some legal issues with the label NopalBeat and EMI in 2005-2006, Axkan decided to take a break and began to experiment and research into several hardware modular devices, which caught his attention for several years while he stopped formally producing tracks to focus in the deep learning of modular synthesis.
It was not until 2013, after he moved to Los Angeles, that he begin the new phase of Axkan. After he met a modular artist, “ZV_K”, thru a group of hardware aficionados called #FOFN, and got invited to work on a collaboration EP called “A/Z v1”, this fully modular EP was released in 2015 under the European label “Boshke Beats Records” in May 2015.
Soon after, an old Chicago friend, Komprezzor, started a new label called “SecreTechno” and requested a Techno release from Federico, which was planned to include a remix from Luis Flores. This release was very well accepted in the underground Techno community and since then things have been getting busier for Axkan. During 2014 and 2015 he released more remixes and originals in several American labels such as Rheostatus, Aerotek, WeBuildMachines, Format Recordings, Grid Based Beats, From 0-1 and also some releases in foreign labels as Swith-Off Records, Assassin Soldiers Records, K-84 Records, etc.
During mid-2015, Axkan was going thru a phase of insomnia and anxiety which also caused a loss of creativity, luckily, at the same time he got invited by another #FOFN member, Jesse Urban, to include some music in a very special vinyl label called “The Cast Project”. The full freedom on music creation requested by the label was the perfect opportunity to release all these issues and Federico ended up having the fun on this life creating this bizarre composition of hardware noise, which at the end was surprisingly picked as the A1 track on the CAST 002 release. This was such an honor for Axkan since the release was full of well-known techno artists: IFormat, Pinion and Dolgener. The CAST 002 vinyl was released on November 2015.
A few months later, Federico got a request from the prestigious French label Reloading Records to work on a vinyl release which is called FEAR, this highly anticipated EP is coming out in December 2015 with an amazing remix from Luis Flores.
Here are some of the important events and venues where Axkan has been presented:
-Blank Code – Scene 37. The Works, Detroit. November 2015
-Technostate feat. Cleric. Los Angeles, CA. October 2015
-The Colony – Underground Techno, Mineapolis, MN. September 2015
-Rheostatus: Current 03, Kansas City, MO. August 2015
-Technostate feat. Donor. Los Angeles, CA. July 2015
-Acid Varsity. San Diego, CA. June 2015
-“WayQui” Club, Lima, Perú. January 2005
-FosfoBox Club, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. December 2004
-RUIDO Festival, Chicago, USA (Columbia College). October 2004
-SPOKO Festival, Barcelona, Spain. 2002
-FOCO Festival, Chicago, USA (Columbia College). 2003.
-Bostich & Axkan, Anniversary Bar Americas, Guadalajara, México 2003
-International Music Festival, Galicia, Spain. 2002
-Vive Latino Festival, Mexico City, Mexico. 2002
-“El Tunel” Club, Santiago, Chile. 2002
-Hard Rock Live, Guadalajara, Mexico. 2002
-Bar “Mama”, San Petersburg, Russia. 2001