Frenchman in the house
DJ DIMITRI may be the future sound of Paris when he's abroad, but back home his soulful underground house has yet
to put French clubbers in a spin.
Words: Rory Weller
l.aurent (iarnier and recent arrivals Daft Punk and DJ ('am aside. l-‘rench dance music has never had much impact on this side of the (‘hannel liunnily enough. Parisian D.l Dimitri is with the Brits on this one. ‘I don‘t think the club scene has changed much in the last five to six years in lirance.‘ he says. ‘lt’s still crap. The clubs haven't evolved and it‘s just mainstream bangin’ house
and handbag or Top 4() hits
and liuro dance. Dance music
doesn't get played on lirench
radio. we don‘t even have a
l’rcncli l).l chart. If we‘re
successful out of our own
country. it's because our own
country never wanted tis.‘
The 'l'urkish-born 33-year- - old of (ireek parentage ' arrived in Paris when he was three and has never thought of having any other job than making and playing music. The unique blend of soulful. funky dance music which he carries through his D.ling. remix and production work has been appreciated the world over. but never on home ground.
Dimitri had his first taste of dance music at fourteen when a hip hop tour featuring Afrikaa Bambatta came to Paris. There he witnessed real scratch DJs doing things with records that he never thought possible. Inspired. he bought decks. built a mixer and started experimenting. working on mixes. megamixes. medleys and edits.
‘I thought it was great that you could interact and
68 THE LIST ‘1 '7 "WI
Gallic bred: DJ Dimitri relaxes in his Paris home
do something creative out of other people's records.‘ Dimitri says. Moving out of the bedroom and into the clubs was the obvious next step. btit twenty-year-old Dimitri did not like what he found.
‘Dling was nothing like it is now.‘ he explains. ‘You had to watch out for the boss who would come over and say “Why are you playing this‘.’ Why aren‘t you playing that?” '
When a new radio station opened up. Dimitri secured a slot and was finally able to play the stuff he liked. He got noticed by record companies who offered him remix work. He did his first remix in 1986. and by HRS he was doing one a week. His own show on the biggest national PM Station NRC quickly followed.
‘II was nice that it was accessible to all different types of people.‘ says Dimitri. ‘I would get letters from people who really loved the show and who had no other way of hearing this music. .\'ow. people come tip to me when I‘m playing in clubs and say they were listening to me playing house music on the radio ten years ago. People like St (iermaine said
they listened to my show and it’s very rewarding when they say I ignited a passion.‘
Dimitri‘s show was
canned four years ago when he became too underground for a station stuck on ratings. The end of the show. however. coincided with the emergence of a minimal Paris underground dance scene. bringing him back to the club decks.
Despite being a magazine cover star with an album due for release and high- profile remix work constantly on the go. Dimitri still isn’t getting the recognition he deserves back home. His remix of the Brand New lleavies‘ latest single ‘Sometimes’ is ripping it tip on dancefloors everywhere — except in lirance where the mix wasn't released.
‘l‘ve been doing it twelve years.‘ he says with a suitably (iallic shrug. ‘So I‘m used to it. They'll have to notice us sooner or later. Our time will come.’
DJ Dimitri plays at the Sub Club on Sat 5 Apr. His debut album, ‘Sacre Bleu' is released later this year.
Regular weekly clubs plus one-off events are listed by city, then b day, then alphabetically by title. Clu s will be listed, provided up-to-date details reach our offices at least seven days before publication. Clubs listings compiled by Rory Weller and Ellie Carr.
I The Ark at The Tunnel. l().3()pm—3am. £6 (£4). ()ne of The Tunnel's key nights
of high glamor splendour. with possibly Scotland's top hard house D] Michael Kilkie joined by Scott Mackay in Room ()ne plus Duncan Reid and Simon Foy in Room Two. ll April. Tunnel fave. and
top Perfecto bloke. Paul ()akenfold
guests. liarly drinks promos.
I Bar 10 8pm close. Free. Stevie Donaldson and guests getting the
weekend off to a hot and sweaty start
with their hard house/funky techno mix. 4 April Bios guest. Pre-club.
I Bios at Sub Club. llpm~3am. £6 (£5).
4 Apr. Monthly. The Bios residents are joined by Richard Hopkins of London's Blotxlsugar for deep underground dance music. See Bios at Bar 10 before the Subbie.
I Club Apt at The Apartment.
llpm-«3am. £7. DJ Alan Ronald with housey big beats fora dressy crowd.
I Club X llpm-3am. £5 (£3). Gay.
Happy house and nu-NRG at this gay venue. Drinks promos.
I Cool Lemon at Glasgow School of
Art. l()pm--2.3()am. £7 (£5/£4 GSA students). 4 April only. (‘ool Lemon residents Paterson and Price take their massively popular night (once a month at The Arches) to the art school for a special event featuring the DJing talents ofJustin Robertson from l.ionrock.
I Exotica at C(‘A Cafe Bar. ‘).3()prn-midnight. l-‘ree. Andy Divine
from (ilasgow School ()f Art Divine
Sound System for eclectic laid-back
I Flow Motion at Strathclyde I L'niversity Student Union (Level 8). ' ‘)pm--3am. £6 (£4). 4 Apr. Monthly. New l psychedelic. acid and goa trance night l with Felix and Solo (Return To The Source). Timeloop live. The Borg Collective and Bhaskar Dondana (Vertical Smile). Special visuals and side attractions.
I Freestyle at The Asylum downstairs bar ((‘aledonian University Student L'nion). Spin—lam. £3 (free before 10pm). DJs Kenny and Bone dropping breaks. beats and future funk. I Human Nature at Lime. I [pm—3am. £4 (£2.50 with matric card). D] [an with funky dance. Drinks promos.
I Ice at Archaos. llpm~3.3()am. £5 (£4). A night of deep garage and house from (.iareth Sommerville (Yip Yap). Stevie Middleton (Sole Music) and Geoff (Archaos). Paul Traynor with hip hop. swing. etc in Room Three.
I Katch at The (‘athouse l lpm-3am. £3 (£2; free before I 1.30pm). Three floors of rock with drinks promos.
I Kelly vs James vs Kelly King Tut‘s Wah Wali llut. 8.30pm -midnight. liree.
ll April. Three Dls fight to the death with funk. pop. hip hop and Northern Moog.
I Kung Funk at The l3th Note (ground floor). Rpm—midnight. Free. The former Soundclash and Sonora DJs with phat
jazz. beat cake. hip hop and extreme
leftfield drum 'n' bass.
I Love Bug at The (iarage. l().3()pm~3am. £3 (£4). DJ Graeme with an eclectic mix of good time party tunes. Drinks promos.
I Mean Street at The l3lh Note (basement). Spin—midnight. Free. Rock ‘n' roll revolutionaries. Pre-club.
I Misshapes at Cafe Qudos (Queen Margaret Student Union). 8.30pm-2am. £2.50 (£2). Indie. jangly guitar stuff.
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