Interview: Dimitri From Paris
Dimitri From Paris has dedicated the last thirty years to honing his skills and sharing his love of all kinds of music.
Preferring the connectivity offered by an intimate club gig to the large, festival-style show where visuals and production overpower the musical aspect of a performance, Dimitri represents the true roots of DJing; the selection and sharing of music for the enjoyment and education of his captive audiences, placing love of the music ahead of anything else. As a radio presenter, remixer, a producer, Dimitri bridges the gaps between genres, blurring the lines between mainstream and underground and never allying himself one side in particular because that’s just the way he is. There really aren’t many DJs who can happily play at the Playboy Mansion one week and at a tiny 200-capacity venue the next while maintaining their integrity and without their fanbase questioning their motives.
As Defected brings a special Day/Night version of Glitterbox to Ministry of Sound of the Bank Holiday Weekend of 28 August, we caught up with Dimitri From Paris to discuss his prolific career. At the event, Dimitri will be joined by the likes of Joey Negro, Simon Dunmore, Severino, Purple Disco Machine, Eli Escobar, and many more, so get those tickets soon!.
“Today more than ever, there are so many things about DJing I can pass on to the people.”
On August 28 you will play “Glitterbox” at London’s Ministry of Sound. As you have graced those decks many times, can you give us your impressions of Ministry of Sound as a venue? Can you describe a typical MoS vibe when you play? What about the sound system?
MOS has always been a staple of London’s club scene. As a matter of fact, it’s the first club I ever played in London! It has had a consistently eclectic programming from emerging names to very established ones. I particularly like how the sound system and all the tech side is lovingly maintained, and constantly aims at finding ways to upgrade, like with the Atmos surround sound performances. That absolutely enhances the way DJs can perform by providing flawless tools to creatively work with. I also very much appreciate that the main room “The Box” is a no-frills, human sized space strictly dedicated to dancing.
How about the “Glitterbox” event, what are your impressions of them? How did your relationship with “Glitterbox” form?
Glitterbox is now only 3 years old with yet an established name. I’m very proud to have been involved in the short list or residents from day one. It is still growing organically with a very strong music ethos that seems to have vanished from most of today’s clubland. Rather than following whatever the last trend is, and relentlessly copying the media charts, Glitterbox focuses on giving people of all walks a good time. It’s based on quality, with a strong music policy, which main point is to send every guest home with a smile.
Speaking of London, when was the first time you played London? What event was it? Over the years, what have been some standout London experiences for you?
My first London gig was, I think, in 1997, on Valentine’s Day at MOS – it was a French themed event, and I remember playing with my friends St Germain and DJ Deep. I’ve since played countless times in London, I have very fond memories of my early days at the Smithfield’s basement and at Basement Jaxx Brixton parties at Mass. Scaramanga parties at the Dogstar were also highlights. Lately I’ve found homes at XoYo, and with the Slide outdoor events that gather that unique London mix of eclectic, music loving, crowds.
What about the difference between the London and Paris nightlife scenes, what would you say is the primary one?
The Paris club scene is a little younger than the London one. It started with raves in the second quarter of the 90s. At the time, club owners were very reluctant to work with outside DJs, and promoters, and so we didn’t use to have such a large variety of guest DJs as London would have. So I always felt the scene was less eclectic here for a while. Things have been changing in the last 10 years or so with former Parisian DJs and promoters gathering together to become club owners, with a different, more open mindset, than their traditional predecessors. Now musical variety is finally taking over, and that’s definitely for the better.
What is the best place to find quality records in Paris these days? What was the last vinyl that you purchased?
Everyone has their favorite spot, be it flea markets, street sales or shops. My favorite place is Heartbeat Records a 2 year old very small shop in the 11th Arrondissement. Melik, the owner and sole attendant, is super passionate, and constantly traveling the world to renew his stock. The lovely little store is becoming a great spot for socializing around music. My last purchased vinyl is a 12″ of Sax Pustuls (no typos) a French, funky new-wave band from the early 80s.