MTV Interview: Dimitri From Paris
Dimitri from Paris is back down under to serve up another irresistible selection of beats!
Off the back of his sold out of ‘Return To The Playboy Mansion’ show, Monsieur Dimitri otherwise known as ‘The Parisian Master Of All Things House and Disco’ is returning to Sydney to show off his wares, and judging by the way tickets are flying out the door, punters are frothing at the bit to catch his legendary shows.
For the unacquainted, the French Ambassador of house music has found success with several compilations including ‘Disco Forever’ (BBE), ‘Dimitri from Paris in the House’ and the infamous ‘A Night At The Playboy Mansion’ (Virgin) which lately charted in Mixmag's top 100 of best compilations ever. He has followed a somewhat glamorous musical path by recording soundtracks and advertising campaigns for fashion houses Chanel, Jean-Paul Gautier and Yves Saint Laurent and remixing hundreds of artists as diverse as Björk, the Cardigans, James Brown, New Order and Quincy Jones.
Over the course of his 10-year discography, the man from Paris has sold over a million copies of his eclectic outings… and every week can be found in a different city of the globe. We drop Dimitri a line to talk all things electro, gay clubs, and Knighthood.
MTV: Just looking at your last year of performances, it seems that a lot of your billings are in gay clubs! See some really interesting things in the audience when you're on stage performing do you?
DFP: Yes, good guess, they're not like the rest of us, some take their shirt off and I noticed their body is covered in green scales, they have striped green and pink colored legs too. Interesting.
MTV: Erm, yeah - that does sound interesting. Let’s move on. If you could perform in any club in the world, where would that be?
DFP: I've done the ones I wanted, I would have loved to have played the Paradise Garage in NY (it's been closed over 25 years ago)
MTV: Your music has featured in many advertising campaigns. Do you think this is an important vehicle for artists to get exposure?
DFP: It can be if it's a good looking ad. TV and radio aren't really supporting unusual music. Ad people seem to look for something different than norm at times.
MTV: Does the belief that doing campaigns such as these is a 'sell out' still prevail within the industry?
DFP: It's more down to the fans to react in a such a way, sometimes they don't like it when they're not only a few of them to like an artist.
MTV: I read somewhere that you were awarded the title of "Knight of the Arts and Letters" from the French Government… explain.
DFP: Correct, it was given to AIR, Cassius and myself, its a French distinction granted to artists who have contributed something special in the arts field. I have a little green medal that goes with it, not easy to wear. Always hard to match green for me.
MTV: I concur. I also read that you prefer to remix what's been recorded, rather than taking a hook and remixing a totally new sound. Do you still follow this line of thinking?
DFP: I only accept to remix songs where I think there's a good base to build up on. So it aint broke, no need to fix it. I may only add things to enhance what's been recorded and extend the song to add more drama to it.
MTV: Do you ever get tempted to stray from this formula when you're remixing sounds other than from the 70s/80s?
DFP: I can always treat a remix the way I want it, so if I feel the vocal would sit better in a different backing track I will do it. There's no point in changing for the sake of it, there are way too many useless and forgotten remixes out there.
MTV: Why do the 70s and 80s resonate so strongly with you?
DFP: Most songs of that time were usually recorded with several people playing different parts, they all left a bit of themselves in the process. I find those tracks have more life than others done by a single person and his computer.
MTV: You've done remixing for lots of artists including Bjork, New Order and Quincy Jones. If you could have your pick of artists, who would you remix next?
DFP: The Jackson 5
MTV: How do you go about deciding who and what to remix?
DFP: I would ony tackle a remix if I like a song and I think I can bring something to it from a dance floor point of view. I either get asked, or I try to reach out to someone at the label to request the parts. That's what I did with Ladyhawke, I approached the label as I loved the song but didn't find the remixes appropriate.
MTV: Are there any artists you wouldn't consider working with?
DFP: The ones I wouldn't work with wouldn't wanna work with me either so it's all balanced.
MTV: What's coming up for you?
DFP: I have a new compilation 'Night Dubbin'' it focuses on early electronic dance music from the 80's
MTV: Look forward to seeing you live when you tour Down Under!
Catch Dimitri’s Show…
Friday June 26 2009
Piano Room 8pm-3am - SOLD OUT
Trademark 3rd release $40 + BF
Buy tickets online at www.shesydney.com