Photo: Vito Fernicola (D’Julz)
D’Julz has been in the game for longer than most of the people who dance to his sets have been in this world. However, the Paris native is still going strong. His Bass Culture club night in the city’s Rex Club has just turned twenty and his label of the same name shows no signs of slowing down – quite the opposite, in fact. For our Groove podcast, D’Julz has recorded a mix blending old favourites and forthcoming Bass Culture cuts.
You started DJing in 1992 and moved to New York in the following year. How did you find the city and which impact did it have on you as an up and coming DJ?
I started to DJ in Paris during the early rave days, so my DJ experience in clubs was close to nothing back then. Going to New York was like graduating from the best DJ university you could imagine. The Manhattan club scene at that time was dominating the world. I came back from that year having learned so much and also opened up to more genres of music. Beside the DJing aspect, on a personal level it was a very important episode of my life that made me grow tremendously as a human being.
These days, you are still touring heavily. What keeps you motivated after 25 years in the game?
I honestly love my job more than ever. It doesn’t feel like I’ve been doing it for that long to be honest. I’m definitely not in a “seen it all, done it all” state of mind. I still have a lot achieve. It’s not always easy to stay in the game as the scene has been changing profoundly lately, but I try my best to adapt while staying true to my core values. Anyway, I have absolutely no plans to stop anytime soon!
Next up on your own Bass Culture Recordings is a remix bundle for your track “Houdini” featuring DJ Skull, Sebo K and others. How do you decide which people you’d like to remix your own material?
I choose the producers according to the style of the track I want them to remix. In this particular case, the four original tracks each had a different vibe, so I wanted to bring four artists from a different scene or background. Some like M.P or Sebo K were already part of the Bass Culture family but I also chose to invite other producers whom I’ve been fan of like DJ Skull and Henrik Bergqvist. It’s just a great opportunity to bring them all under one roof demonstrating the range of styles of the label.
Bass Culture started as an event series at Paris’s Rex club in 1997. What does it take to run a successful club night for two decades?
I’ve been lucky to find a club that trusted my vision and always gave me the freedom and power to program my night the way I wanted. I always tried to look for new interesting artists to invite but without forgetting my musical roots and the DJs who influenced me early on. I only focus on how good a DJ is behind the decks. That’s why I never invited a someone who I haven’t heard or a danced to. I’m super picky and I guess this sort of quality control has paid off other the years Finally, giving enough time to my guest and I to express themselves is another key element of the night. I occasionally add a live act but there is usually never more than one guest DJ per night.
Your contribution to our Groove podcast focuses on stripped-down House vibes with the occasional flashback thrown in. What was your idea behind it?
I sometimes do mixes which are deeper and other times peak time live recordings from a club. In this particular case I tried to find a balance between the two. I think it’s deep enough to listen at home but still pretty representative of what I can play in clubs. It features some music that will be coming out on Bass Culture in 2018 and also a few old favourites of mine that I’ve playing again lately since I always mix up new and old music in my sets.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as a producer and label owner?
In The next few weeks you can catch me in Paris, New York, Porto, Moscow, Rome and Madrid. On the production side I have a track coming out on Popcorn Records, and a remix on Sebo K’s Scenario at the beginning of next year. The next releases on Bass Culture and Bass Culture ltd will be from MP, Ron Bacardi, Sascha Dive, DJ Skull, Leo Pol and myself.
Stream: D’Julz – Groove Podcast 137
01. D’Julz – Serendipity (MP Remix)
02. Point G – Love Yourself
03. D’Julz – About Time
04. Sascha Dive – XMR
05. Unknown – Your Loop
06. Unknown – Univers 1
07. Jaffa Surfa – Four
08. Mr G – Tight (D’Julz Edit)
09. D’Julz – Houdini (DJ Skull Remix)
10. Unknown – Alone
11. Leo Pol – Caliente
12. Unknown – White