We chat to Dj Deep ahead of his Australian tour- you can catch him at Andromeda Festival this weekend.
Your career as a DJ has spanned a good two decades now, and is well-known for originating in Paris under the influence of Laurent Garnier. Who or what else inspired you in the beginning?
Well I feel we as Parisians lived the beginning of house and techno as an adventure. Soon the movement was organised with strong forces in many fields. Record stores such as Bonus Beat were really pushing the boundaries, importing the rarest and newest records, with local DJs such as Romain BNO, Laurent Garnier of course, Guillaume La Tortue, Jérome Pac Man etc… USA import was another important store, as well as Rough Trade where Ivan Smagghe and Arnaud Rebotini were working, while Jerome Mestre (who now runs Desire records) was running it.
Djs like Djulz, then of course Philippe Zdar and La Funk Mob, Jeff K, Ludovic Navarre and Saint Germain, then Pépé Bradock, Dj Gregory, Julien Jabre also had a huge impact.
Also radios were a great influence and tool, I was lucky to have shows when I was still very young, on Radio FG and then Radio Nova where I met people who always have inspired me and influenced me: Loic Dury and Dj Gilb’r (who later created Versatile records).
In my opinion there has always been a strong underground force of inspiring artists in Paris- from deep house to techno.
From an outsider’s perspective, the Parisian underground scene really seems to be evolving at the moment, and is establishing its identity with a new generation of music lovers. Is this what you’re seeing locally?
Yes definitely. It’s a great thing to see so many young enthusiasts and music lovers who sincerely care for the music and want to embrace the movement. But also, as underground techno becomes popular, the contradiction in this sentence is to be taken into consideration!
The format of Deeply Rooted releases in 2015 is distinct, with its label-exclusive aliases and visual accompaniments. Do these aesthetics tie in with a new direction or concept for your label?
Yes definitely, I take a lot of time discussing with artists how to conceive each release, and encourage them to make the extra effort for each record. By asking all artists on the label to pick an alias and a ‘mask’ representing themselves on the cover, I would like two things to come into view- (a) it’s music first, and (b) this record is the artist and the label’s own. I want to make the point that it’s not just another release on one of the various credible house or techno labels around.
Aside from Deeply Rooted developments, 2015 has been a massive year for you in terms of your own music making. Congratulations! What was your motivation for heading back into the studio after some time away?
Thank you. Well the answer is: Roman Poncet! Meeting him was a fantastic experience, on a human level and on a musical level. He really encouraged me to come to the studio and things matched pretty fast I have to say. Thanks to his talent and energy we manage to develop new ideas and concepts which hopefully can be appreciated by others.
You have three very exciting, collaborative projects on the go with Roman Poncet -Adventice, Sergie Rezza and Fang. How did this musical pairing come to be?
After releasing his first record on the label, Roman invited me to come to his studio. We took things in a relaxed way, with no pressure, but it seems that since then we have kept progressing with a nice flow, and a nice variety of concepts. I am very thankful for that.
Working with Poncet or alone, would you say your output is conceptualised prior to recording, or is it mostly a result of spontaneous jamming?
Both. For instance with Sergie Rezza we talk a lot about it. We listen to a lot of different things, but then when we are in the studio sometimes the music leads us to places we never thought of going.. if that makes any sense? The intention with Sergie Rezza is to present a mix of styles, to experiment with sounds.
As Sergie Rezza, you have played live for recent sets at Berlin Atonal and Weather Festival. Can we come to expect more software/hardware-driven live shows from you in the future, as part of Sergie Rezza or your other projects?
That is definitely the idea yes, we try to balance things up. Software and hardware, even if some machines do only one thing at one time during the whole set we still try and have it on stage. It feels like they are part of the show regardless. I love having them around, and Romain Masters his computer and controllers.
We’re so very excited for your upcoming visit to the land down under. Do you have any Australian artists, labels or promoters on your radar currently?
Me too! Thanks a lot. I used to like Juice records a lot back in the days. I’m also a big fan of Gynoid Audio from Sydney, I think I have all their releases. I’m sure I’m forgetting friends or labels I love, I don’t really think of music or colleagues by country I’m just following the sounds and vibes I have with people those days!
Finally, what does 2016 have in store for you?
More Sergie Rezza, more Adventice, a new project with Roman called Slang. Also some exciting releases on one of our beloved labels that we can’t mention yet but I hope that will make a few people happy. Hopefully a new project on L.I.E.S record with my Rebeval allias!