So you’re playing Lovebox Festival at the RBMA stage on Saturday 19th July with Kenny Dope, Tensnake, Soul Clap, Horse Meat Disco…
Are you looking forward to catching some of these guys play?
Yeh it should be great, I’m looking forward to seeing the Horse Meat Disco guys again. I want to hear Soul Clap too as I’m currently doing a remix of Midnight Magic for their label.
Do you go and see many other people play these days?
Usually when Im playing gigs its in and out of the countries so not much chance to catch other producers and DJs.
London is becoming a big base for you these days isn’t it…
We’re also playing on the same bill as you this coming May Bank Holiday at Prince Of Wales in Brixton.
How many times is that now?
I think its 3 or 4? They are always really good gigs.
The line ups of the other parties seem to be of similar tastes to mine… people like Derek Carter. Its really consistent so the crowds that come down are there for a specific type of music.
Not your average venue where they’ve got tons of different types of DJs. Its got a great clubbing feel in the original sense of the word.
Hopefully it’ll be 3 times in a row this time round!
What more could you want its outdoors, and the people are great… it has rained every time I’ve played I think though but we’ll have to see.
The people in general in England seem to be happier to go to new places with music at nights out. So when I come on to play people are there and ready to go straight away.
Some other times people take a lot longer to get settled and ready. It surprises me every time at Brixton so Im gonna try and not take it for granted.
At this stage of your career is everything running smoothly with promoters?
In general people do their best but there are always people who aren’t doing nights for the right reasons. I still need to make sure that my tech rider is taken care of… I couldn’t give a shit about my drinks rider to be honest.
So no Steve Aoki cakes to throw into the crowds at your gigs?
Haha no… Riders seem to impress promoters these days…
Sometimes what I’ve found if you are too easy going that some promoters will start not picking you up from airports and stuff like that…
I hate it but sometimes you need to put promoters under a bit of pressure to make sure they do their job properly.
Its a business where some people use it as an excuse to get fucked up so you need to make sure that the music side of stuff is taken care of.
Promoters are there to make some money in order to pay the DJs and keep going so everyone needs to be taken care of.
Have you heard about the allegations of Terrence Parker doing dodgy stuff?
No what happened?
Well a lot of UK promoters have come out saying he’s been taking money for gigs and then just not turning up.
There’s even a crowd funded campaign apparently set up by him to get even more money?!
Hahaha well that’s very HOUSE! There so many stories of US labels ripping off House people from back in the day.
I’ve heard his mixes and they are very good but I had no idea he’d been doing that.
It happened a lot in the 90s where some particular DJs would only turn up to 1 out of 5 gigs.
I reckon there should be an international black list… a few strikes and your banned!
So what was it like for you when you were first starting out?
It was an exciting time… France never had club culture like the UK or ever will to be honest. When you look at the Slide parties for example… people just want to go out and have a good time. They won’t have a huge knowledge of music but they’ll remain open minded and go with it. I’ve always had that feeling that people in the UK scene were part of a community and somehow trust the DJ.
Its been like 2 decades playing in the UK and its pretty much always been like that for me.
It was the same in Ibiza at a British night at We Love but at Pacha its a really international crowd and they are expecting those radio hits and a tshirt.
You can’t blame them for that but its hard for someone like me as I don’t have any of that stuff.
Its important when there’s a good party going on that everyone goes with it… UK crowds have that party starting vibe.
So its good when its going well but then on the other side of the lifestyle there’s a bit of stress in the DJ World… Did you see the DJs Complaining Twitter account?
Yeh I did… thats really funny actually. The stuff that happens to us everyday… when’s its taken out of context like that it seems so pety. But if you’re in the middle of it, it can be a bit stressful.
For example if you went to work and your computer wasn’t working, you can’t do your job.
Many people imagine its very glamourous to be a DJ… maybe it is for some. People have different reasons to be into it. Im not into it to party like crazy, take drugs and fuck women! I’m in this to share the music I love.
Other guys though are happy throwing cakes at people and having only yellow M&Ms on their riders. If the promoter is happy to care for that then they’re winning too… I mean I’m happy doing my own thing and pushing the music I like and I have been doing that for years. I can get the whole DJs complaining about the tech side of things completely though.
There’s so many options in DJing nowadays though that its understandable that stuff happens.
Yeh there’s computers, CD, pen drives, Vinyl and it comes in tons of different interlinked combinations… its all personal preference and lets people feel comfortable in order to play to the best of their abilities.
What are you using at the moment?
Traktor with the X1.
Before that it was CDs and before it was vinyl.
What are your thoughts on the potential for streaming options on the next Pioneers?
I don’t think its ready yet at all as I have trouble buffering YouTube videos!
There are good things moving from smaller and smaller mediums like back in the 90s I would have to carry to crates of vinyl at 20 kilos each. To then 10 kilos of CDs and now say 5 kilos of a laptop.
Its changed for the good but where we are now its just details as you’ll still have to hook up cables and it won’t change your performance much.
There’s also the people who will come up and shove an iPhone in your face saying “Play this!”
If that happens to me I’ll throw that phone in their face!
Ultimately its what you play and if it works rather than the medium.
Did you ever want to do a Live set up at all?
I did years ago but I never really liked getting stuck behind a machine and then in a way just press play on your tracks. It hasnt changed in like 20 years either… you’re still doing roughly your own 20 or so tracks.
It’s very limiting… I have like 20,000 tracks in Traktor at last count and a working library of like 1000 – 2000 tracks that I can rotate.
So your route into DJing was through Radio wasn’t it?
Do you think the route has changed a lot over the years?
I don’t really know… I started doing a Mix show on the radio back in the 90s. I don’t think club promoters were aware of that… I had notoriety as a radio DJ but it was more to do with knowing the right people and being at the right place.
Sadly at the moment you can’t tell if anyone will be any good until they’ve seen you with a crowd. Then they’ll also think your good if you’re cheap and bad if you’re expensive.
You just need to get your foot in the door somehow.
What we have today though in terms of digital tools that can get your music across the world in a matter of seconds is amazing and that was impossible back then.
Its a combination of being good with those two things. Using those new tools but also get in with the right crowd and clubs.
Don’t forget those 20,000 or so people following you on sound cloud are spread all over the world and they aren’t gonna be at all your gigs so you need to make sure you take care of the local real life stuff when you are trying to break into DJing/producing for sure.
We also had less DJs back then too so that helped a lot. I was the only guy when I was coming up doing what I did.
When was it best? You can’t really say… new tech now has helped me showcase stuff and maintain some kind of current appeal with a much younger crowd.
What do you think of the role of labels these days now then since you can ping your track across the world instantly?
I still think they have their place as you can’t be a master of all trades. Sometimes you put too much work on your shoulders or maybe you don’t even have the knowledge to do things so its good to delegate these types of skills.
The major role for me from a label is to get you that reach… smaller producers still need those bigger followings of a label.
I’ve never had one personally because of things like accounting and you also have to cater for a lot of other people and its a lot of work.
Theres a lot of things that they do that people don’t take into account.
Release wise what have you got coming up then?
I’ve been working with DJ Rocca from Italy on some new Erodisco stuff and its straight up disco stuff called Disco Shake on Hell Yeah. It’ll be on vinyl which Im happy about cause its cool to have stuff to hold in your hands.
Years down the line you can show your kids rather having to show them a sound wave.
I’m also coming back with Defected for a new compilation as they pretty much give me a carte blanch to do what I want…
This one will be called ‘In The House of Disco’ and the project will come as 2 x CDs… 1 house and 1 disco.
Disco has been around a long time since its creation and so has House… they’ve both become vintage but there’s lots of young people right now making those same types of sounds using the same machines and tools.
So the project will be something I like to call Neo-Vintage and will include contemporary stuff with a couple of old tracks as references. A couple of my remixes are there… my Diana Ross remix that took 4 years to clear and an exclusive Chic remix, Lost in Music – Sister Sledge mix will be there too.
We’ve been lucky to get some of those major label track clearances in there which is hard to do!
Does that mean you’ll be back in Ibiza with Defected again?
Yes its not fully confirmed yet but I’ll be playing quite a few times at a new Disco focused concept they are thinking of doing at Boom! on Saturdays.
It should be great in the loft style room of that place and the sound system which was designed by one of the Paradise Garage from NYC guys who oversaw all the blueprints etc so it will be a plus for me definitely.
There’ll be other older Disco heads like Joey Negro and some new guys Late Nite Tuff Guy.
Should be good summer all around anyways!
CD1 – Neo Vintage Disco
01. Sister Sledge ‘Lost In Music’ (Dimitri from Paris Remix)
02. Lindstrøm ‘Vos-sako-rv’ (Todd Terje Extended Mix – Dub Version)
03. Solomun ‘Kackvogel’
04. Luminodisco ‘Ragazzini’
05. DJ Rocca ‘Pizza On Wednesday’ (Dimitri from Paris Nightdubbin’ Mix)
06. Escort ‘Camèleon Chameleon’ (Black Russian Remix)
07. Funn City ‘All Night People’ (Disco Mix)
08. Skream featuring Sam Frank ‘Rollercoaster’ (Dimitri from Paris Erodisco Mix)
09. Todd Terje ‘Delorean Dynamite’ (Disco Mix)
10. Shit Robot ‘Feels Real’ (Extended Dance Version)
11. Rhyze ‘Just How Sweet Is Your Love’
12. Los Charly’s Orchestra ‘Feeling High’ (Classic Disco Vocal Mix)
13. Shuya Okino (Kyoto Jazz Massive) ‘Give Your Love A Chance’
14. The Brand New Heavies ‘Sunlight’ (A Tom Moulton Mix)
15. Dimitri from Paris & DJ Rocca ‘Disco Shake’
16. Chic ‘Le Freak’ (Dimitri from Paris Remix)
17. Ilija Rudman ‘See’ (Drop Out Orchestra Dub Mix)
18. Tony Tatum ‘Could It Be I’m Falling In Love’ (Thommy Fallout Dub)
19. Diana Ross ‘The Boss’ (Dimitri from Paris Remix)
CD2 – Neo Vintage House
01. Hardrive featuring L.G.’Sindae’ (Kenlou Dub)
02. Inner City ‘Pennies From Heaven’ (Kevin’s Tunnel Mix)
03. Disclosure Featuring Mary J. Blige ‘F For You’
04. Artful featuring Donae’o ‘I’m In Love’ (Deep Mix)
05. Deetron featuring Ben Westbeech ‘Rhythm’ (Karizma’s Kaytronik Wiv’em Remix)
06. Pleasure Pump ‘Fantasize Me’
07. Boston Bun ‘So Special’ (Original Mix)
08. FCL ‘It’s You’ (Fingers Acid Jam Vocal Edit)
09. Breakbot featuring Ruckazoid ‘You Should Know’ (Le Family Club Remix)
10. Frankie Knuckles featuring Jamie Principle ‘Your Love’ (Director’s Cut Signature Mix)
11. €urocrats ‘Black Hole Bass’ (606 Version)
12. GotSome featuring The Get Along Gang ‘Bassline’ (Main Mix)
13. Rob Mello featuring Cecile ‘Fantasize’
14. Alejandro Paz ‘El House’
15. Phortune ‘String Free’ (Club LeRay Mix)
16. The Fog ‘Been A Long Time’ (Gio’s Doped Mix)
17. Chasing Kurt ‘From The Inside’ (Lovebirds Forte Piano Mix)
18. Hercules & Love Affair ‘Do You Feel The Same?’
Here’s a little free download for you if you made it to the end of that rather long interview :)
Dimitri from Paris plays the Red Bull Music Academy stage at Lovebox 2014.
Find out more at redbullmusicacademy.com
Thanks to Forces Creative for the wicked artwork for the interview too!