#90 - DJ Deep
As a key player in the evolution of French (and global) techno and house over the last two decades its an honor to have the esteemed mixmaster general for our 90th podcast. As ever Deep has a knack of blending the old and new as we see the likes of Markus Suckut, Steven Halpern, Roman Poncet, Noah Gibson and Radio Slave segue into Ben Klock & Marcel Dettmann, Robert Hood, Frankie Bones and Cybotron. His name says it all, Cyril Etienne rolls deep!
Twenty years in, from house to techno and everything in between, DJ Deep has immersed himself in the ebb and flows of music, be it NY, Chicago, Detroit or today’s current pulsating waves. He captures the magic of each as a leading figure of the Parisian scene and label owner, connecting the dots both forward and back with his own persona and multidimensional touch.
DJ Deep first got his break when he was invited by Laurent Garnier to DJ at parties such as Oz and Zoo at club Palace, or Boy, in his hometown Paris. By 2003, DJ Deep launched his labels Deeply Rooted (formerly Deeply Rooted House) and House Music Records, shining a spotlight on true-to-its roots house and techno records and harder to find gems from the likes of Kerri Chandler, L.B. Bad, Terence Fixmer, Mike Dehnert and Roman Poncet. The dream catalogue sealed his music curatorship with timeless records such as Kerri Chandler’s now classic ‘Back to the Raw’, Ben Klock’s remix of ‘Pong’ by Kerri Chandler and Francois X’s ‘Code Red’ remixed by Marcel Dettmann.
A reformat in 2015 and DJ Deep’s latest evolution in expression sees him join forces with Roman Poncet as Sergie Rezza, an open-minded experimentation with a standout album on Desire Records and performances including Berlin Atonal. Their straight-up techno live project, Adventice, saw a trio of releases on the reputable Tresor with performances at Weather Festival (Paris), Reperkusound Festival (Lyon) and many more to come. Fang is the duo’s house-leaning alias, which marked Deeply Rooted’s momentous 50th release in 2015. Unabatedly, DJ Deep’s solo adventure continues with his own deep ‘cuts’ on his label, or under his Rébeval raw house alias, on the cult NYC L.I.E.S Records.
Q&A with DJ Deep
1. How did you approach the mix? You appear to have achieved a nice balance between the old and new.
Thank you very much. Well I usually need some 'key tracks' that I know I want to include in a mix in order to find a way to 'tell a little story'. In this case I was really obsessed with Markus Suckut - 'First Movement' and I was quite sure I wanted to place it towards the start of the mix. Radio Slave - Another Club is 'my' big record of the moment, and I am super excited about Bonesbreaks resurfacing so those were my turning point moments in the story. Then there’s also some newly produced material I wanted to test out. For example, Roman Poncet finished this great track 'Morsure' and Point G gave me his new demo 'Can you’. Both of them fit the mood nicely so I thought I’d include them as exclusives.
2. So before house and techno what sounds were capturing your ears in 80s Paris?
Anything from Funk, Soul, Disco but also New Wave and Electronic music such as Kraftwerk’s etc…
3. Was music always part of your family life? Did your parents or any siblings have a musical influence?
Yes and no. As a very young boy I travelled to Cameroon, Gabon and Senegal and my father was friends with many Musicians, especially Manu Dibango, so I guess music was always around me during those years. When I moved back to Europe I was raised by my grandparents who were mainly into classical music, so I had to wait until my teenage years to be able to listen to music that I would actually choose myself.
4. What were your first clubbing experiences like? And what clubs / nights did you go to?
My first club experience as a party goer was in a club called Les Etoiles rue du Chateau d’Eau in Paris. I was preparing my “baccalauréat” and this guy from my class who was a lot older than the rest of us (and was going to Australia to surf, which to me was the most amazing thing I’ve heard!) told me, “you have to come to this party, this is the only place I’ve found where they play some House Music”. I had no idea what he was talking about and when I got there I was blown away by the Music: a mix of Classic Disco/funk jams, all the new Hip Hop hits such as De la Soul and a Tribe Called Quest, and the early Todd Terry, Marshall Jefferson hits ('Can you Party', 'Move your body') are the records I remember. The two DJs were David Guetta (he was a hip hop DJ at the time) and Cyril Gordigiani.
5. Was there a key moment that shaped Paris clubbing forever?
Well the explosion of House and Techno generated a scene and quite a few clubs and raves surfaced as a result. Rex was always the home of Techno and House, and any big relevant artists have played there ever since the beginning. Le Boy was a big Gay Club which had a great system, and Laurent Garnier would often play there for Jean Claude Lagrère “Les Incroyables” party. I will never forget the night he was coming back from NY and offered me a promo copy of the first 'Shelter' record release (produced by Kerri Chandler: https://www.discogs.com/Gate-Ah-The-Shelter/master/130351). He played it over and over that night and the crowd went wild.
La Luna was a small gay club where Laurent also had a residency, and this is the first place where he let me play a few records. Everything and anything seemed permitted in this place, it was a miniature Berghain of the time if you will. Le Palace of course was a key club of the 80s. I remember my mother who was a St Laurent model telling me how much she enjoyed dancing to Guy Cuevas’ music there. And Le Palace is the first club where I dared to approach Laurent after one of his sets. Power Station which was almost across the street from Palace was an amazing place of Musical freedom. I remember room 1 with Patrick Vidal and his dope mix of Disco, Soul, House and New Wave, and we had room 2 with Laurent. The fog Machine was on non stop all night as well as the strobe light, those were the Untouchables (Strictly Rhythm) and Carl Craig’s BFC (Fragile) years. Le Queen also came into play and had a more House focused music policy.
Raves were also a big part of the culture by challenging the way of playing music, and as a young DJ I really enjoyed playing super uncompromising Techno sets at some of the most respected Parisian raves.
6. What’s coming next for Deeply Rooted?
There is a series of remixes of tracks from my ‘Cuts Series’ incoming. Mr G delivered an uncompromising and raw awesome House version, Ben Sims has done an excellent, super banging Techno interpretation and Roman Poncet delivered one of his subtle Techno grooves. There are more artists working on their own versions, so I believe I will split the remixes into two separate releases. I also finished some new tracks that I will most probably release after those remixes. Roman Poncet has finished some great jams that I can’t wait to put out, and hopefully a new Ben Sims release will also come on the label in 2017.
7. How did your Rébeval house alias come about on NYC label L.I.E.S?
In 2015 I posted a recording on my Soundcloud from one of my Radio Fg shows from 1993 or 94, I can’t remember, and Ron Morelli heard it and liked it. He got in touch and it inspired me to try and produce tracks in the vein of the music of that time.
8. Do you have cultural interests outside of music in other arts? If so what would you consider as key influences?
Paris is a great source of inspiration for me. I love my city, whether it’s going for my early morning coffee in a typical French café and listening to people’s chit chat about Politics, or checking the last Monumenta exhibition at Grand Palais. All those moments are endless sources of inspirations for me here in town.
9. An old friend comes to visit you in Paris for the weekend. Where would you take them for food, culture and fun?
I am quite into a few Japanese restaurants here at the moment around rue Saint Anne. Le Fumoir is another safe bet, I like the vibe and service there and the fact it’s right in front of the left hand side of Le Louvre means its right in the centre of Paris but a bit on the side also. A visit to local record stores would be nice too, Techno Import and Syncrophone are my daily stops rue des Taillandiers in Bastille. Then there's Betino's with a really nice selection of new or used records. Heartbeat records is definitely the place for collectors, Melik has an awesome selection but it’s a danger zone! Right by his place, is another awesome restaurant in town, Septime. As for clubs, Rex Club is the home base as always. Concrete always has a nice selection of acts, and there are so many nice parties and festivals so a few stops through the nights will be necessary!!!
10. House or Techno?
Lil Louis put it better than anyone could: House is Techno and Techno is House!
EPM Podcast 90 Tracklist – DJ Deep
1 Element Square #2 (Hidden Hawaii)
2 Steven Halpern - Sevent Chakra Keynote B (Violet)
3 Markus Suckut - First Movement (Exile)
4 Markus Suckut - Third Movement (Exile)
5 Point G - Can you? - Demo Version
6 Ben Klock & Marcel Dettmann - Bad Boy (Ostgut)
7 Noah Gibson - Derailing (Trouble in Paradise)
8 Mark Henning - Expander 6 (Soma)
9 Radio Slave - Another Club (Rekids)
10 Roman Poncet - Morsure (Unreleased)
11 Adryiano - Flosk (Cestraw)
12 Christian Morgenstern - Ex-Machina (Konsequent)
13 Stanislav Tolkachev - Better Play With My Balls (Raw Raw)
14 Robert Hood - Untitled Sketch (M Plant)
15 Frankie Bones - Underground (Bonesbreaks)
16 Frankie Bones - Funky Makossa (Bonesbreaks)
17 Cybotron - Clear (Fantasy)
18 Elemnt Square #5 (Hidden Hawaii)