This Sunday, Dimitri from Paris is back at Le Bain in Balearic mode for ETE D’AMOUR. Come early, Dim’ will play for the Sunset, from 8pm to 11pm, on the 18th floor - a perfect set up for slow dancing and big love. After 11pm, it’s time for a Berlin X New York X Detroit sound-clash with the Dirt Crew and Todd Sines.
(Dimitri from Paris. Photo courtesy of a fan)
Doors open 4pm. Come early, bring your bikini. But before you pack your swimsuit, take a little walk into Dimitri’s mind via a little Q&A with the man himself….
The Standard: We are super excited to have you back. This time for a special Sunset mix starting at 8pm. You know the Ete d’Amour party takes its inspiration in the Balearic tradition. What would be your own definition of Balearic?
Dimitri from Paris: Balearic was I believe a term coined when the first wave of British clubbers discovered the Ibizan night clubs. The music there at the time (early 80s) was an eclectic mix of all genres as opposed to a straight format. This “anything goes” music program was also pretty common in nearby countries like France and it’s been what I grew up listening to in my formative years.
So to fully answer the question, my definition of Balearic is a happier kind of music free of too much pigeonholing (it’s not just House, or Electro or Disco etc but a bit of all that) which the ultimate goal is to make people smile and feel good about themselves
Until a few years, you never performed in Ibiza. It seems you did not like this Summer all-you-can-dance craziness. Then you finally played in the main room at Space, the most emblematic club of the island. And you rocked it big time. How do you explain such a good match?
I was a bit nervous before playing my first gig at Space’s infamous (and huge) terrace as my music is usually best suited for the more intimate venues. Against all odds though it worked beautifully. I had an amazing feedback and I’ve been a regular even since. It turned out that since most big clubs bang loud and noisy electronic music day in day out, my softer organic sounds went straight to the heart of the clubbers.
Our favorite DJ mix of yours is the “After the Playboy Mansion” album, the one which was created as the perfect after party soundtrack. It was released ten years ago, but it seems it never sounded as modern as it does now. Are you aware of this big trend in the dance scene, which is to play slower house and disco? Is it something you like to do, put your set in a kind of slow motion?
I always loved slower music, in particular slower House music, and I’m happy this comp is there to prove I’m not jumping on any band wagon!
I play slower sounds when the crowd let’s me and I think the Sunset Mix at Le Bain would be a perfect occasion to do that. And yes, slower is better, more time to actually enjoy what’s happening, it’s good for all pleasurable things in life too.
(Dimitri at Le Bain, a few months ago. Photo by Charles Roussel)
Let’s talk about your career. You have been the underground French house hero in the early 90’s, playing your music on the biggest radio in France to massive audience, when no media in the country cared about dance music. Then in the mid-90’s, with the release of your album Sacrebleu you became the perfect Parisian DJ, the ambassador of French good taste (and not only for music). In the early 2000’s, you are an international Playboy jet-setter, playing in big clubs all around the world… How would you pitch the Dimitri of the 2010’s?
I’ve been DJing for 3 decades now. Those 2 decades of international notoriety allow me now to enjoy some kind of “pioneer” status. I started spinning when CDs didn’t exist, cellphones and internet were merely a dream and so was the laptop. I’ve been through quite a few music trends and countless revivals. These all left a mark in me and I mix all my past experience with an eye and ear on what’s happening today. So I guess you can call me a Wiseguy now!
You know New York very well and are good friends with many legendary DJs and producers from the city. Are you nostalgic about a golden age of the club scene here? Or are you optimistic with what’s happening now?
It’s difficult not to be nostalgic as things move forward and some iconic clubs disappear. This said, technological advances have made many new creative processes available to DJs. And those tools can be used in countless individual manners. The bottom line is that people still want to go out and dance, no matter what the restrictions and conditions are. As long as there will be people willing to dance, I will be willing to select the best music for them.
After being a pure “old-school” DJ playing only vinyl for years, you embraced the new technology of mixing, CDs first, using a lot of effects and your own made re-edits and now you may start using Traktor, playing through a computer. Do you think technology is opening new boundaries to your DJ performance?
Absolutely. Everytime I moved from one music format to another, was because it would allow to be more creative. Going from vinyl to CD allowed me to multiply by 100 fold the amount of music I could chose from. Going from CDs to laptop DJ gives me a virtual endless choice and a brand new arsenal of music tweaking tools. That said you need to be able to use the tools in an interesting way. Letting the tools do the job, which is now possible, isn’t gonna get anyone too far.
Let’s go back to the Sunset. Can you give us three of your favorite tracks to celebrate it?
Leo’s Sunshipp “Give Me The Sunshine”
Change “A Lover’s Holiday”
Speaking of sunset, what is your best Summer memory as a kid?
Going for an afternoon nap when the greek sun would hit at his strongest, just to be awaken by the bell of the ice cream man’s street trolley, starting his evening shift with delicious treats.
This Sunday July 17, Nouveau York presents ETE D’AMOUR at Le Bain. Featuring Dimitri from Paris for the Sunset (8pm to 11pm), the Dirt Crew from Berlin (11pm-1am) and Todd Sines for the late night, celebrating his birthday. Doors open 4pm.