Nobody knows what Pawlowski’s full name is — except himself and possibly his closest intimates — and no one knows what he looks like since he wears a black scarf and hat while on stage. No one even knows where he comes from or lives, only that he’s French and is represented by Vesuve Agency in Paris. His entire biography is shrouded in secrecy.
Why has he taken pains to stay so mysterious? Luckily, The Source got the chance to ask him.
“Notoriety has never been a source of motivation for me,” Pawlowski answers. “I never wanted it to affect my personality or the way I approach this job, but to be honest with you, I love that nobody recognizes me when I take off the mask right after one of my DJ sets. That’s my favorite way to party: to be unknown.”
This secrecy also allows Pawlowski’s music to speak for itself.
Pawlowski started creating his crowd-pleasing electronic dance music in 2017 with his friend and producer VCL. His very first release was “Eternal Possession,” an industrial edit of The Exorcist’s soundtrack.
“My music is super inspired by old-school Trance from the 1990s,” Pawlowski explains, “specifically the Bonzai Records label, the D. Trance compilations, [San Francisco ensemble] Trance Missions, and similar projects. When you listen to that kind of music, you can be really surprised by the tracks’ construction and the wealth of creativity. It’s old-school but also so futuristic.”
Pawlowski describes his musical vision as taking something from the past to create something new for the future. “It’s like a revival of this generation I’ve never known,” he says.
Similarly, Pawlowski’s SoundCloud page, which has more than 19K followers, describes his music as “90’s Rave” and “Fast 303s.” The latter refers to a piece of equipment (the Roland TB-303) that flopped commercially in the 1980s. While its intended purpose was to simulate bass lines, it emitted weird chirps and other novel sounds. Over time, EDM artists discovered these, and this once disgraced piece of equipment found a new purpose, providing some of the trademarks of acid techno and acid house music.
Pawlowski lists his biggest references as death metal band Nostrum, German hard-trance group Mega ‘Lo Mania, and German hard-trance producer Cocooma. Like those artists, his productions prioritize melodies.
The importance of melody to Pawlowski
“The most important element for me is the melodies,” Pawlowski emphasizes before explaining the unexpected reason why: “I remember watching old horror films with my mom when I was little: ‘Halloween,’ ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Nightmare on Elm Street,’ and ‘The Fly,’ but what I remember most is their soundtracks and their scary melodies. That’s why I love creating melodies in my productions. You can create emotions through them.”
Pawlowski deploys several go-to methods of achieving his own distinctive sound. “I love using choirs, bells, and fast acid lines in my production,” he says. He also employs samples from films and video games in his tracks, such as the Halo vocal in the intro to “Demonic Dimensions.”
The label KNTXT RPM released Pawlowki’s first full EP, “Final Outsider,” on December 21, 2023. This is the same label as Charlotte de Witte, the Belgian DJ and music producer. Pawlowski’s album includes three tracks — “Final Outsider,” “Space Odyssey,” and “Mystical Emotions” — with a total playing time of more than 21 minutes. Every song is sure to please, taking the listener on an inspired journey that provokes a range of powerful emotions.
Pawlowski creates a whole world around the music
Attending a live Pawlowski set offers even more than the music, however. These exhilarating experiences are also dynamic light shows. With every change of the beat or melody, the room’s illumination also changes as strobe lights and lasers of every color pierce the background, pulse, and spin in time with the music.
“Visuals have the same importance as music for me,” Pawlowski explains, “which is why I want to create something around my music. It’s not just about sound.” Again, he credits film culture and video games for influencing him in this direction.
The effect is electrifying. Perhaps the best way to get a sense of the world Pawlowski’s sets create is to view the short clips he has posted on social media, such as on his Instagram page, which has over 63,000 followers. In each set, his hard-driving techno sends crowds of thousands into frenzied dancing. People jump, scream, and raise their hands into the air, glorying in the wash with light and sound.
Pawlowski’s packed schedule
If you want to see Pawlowski perform live, yourself, his touring schedule includes a wide variety of upcoming dates, including popular music clubs and festivals throughout Europe. On February 9, he will play the Cosmos Club in Seville, Spain. A few days later, fans can find him at Sala Queen in Pontevedra. Only four days and one transatlantic flight later, he will headline a bill in Montreal, Canada.
But there’s no rest for the wicked — Pawlowski will be performing in Bern, Switzerland, just a week later. In March of 2024, he will swing through Istanbul, Glasgow, and Barcelona. In April, he’ll perform as part of Edinburgh’s techno extravaganza, the Terminal V Festival 2024.
The future is Pawlowski
If touring wasn’t already keeping him busy enough, Pawlowski is also currently working on his next EP. “It’s still in the early stages for the moment,” he says.
Dancers and fans eagerly await this new contribution, looking forward to hearing about Pawlowski’s future along with its seeds from the past.