Foto: Marie Staggat (Marina Trench)
The French house scene is more vibrant than ever and shows no sign of slowing down – luckily. Marina Trench debuted last year on Deeply Rooted. It’s easy to see what DJ Deep saw in the producer’s music: here’s a fresh take on a tried and tested formula. The Paris-based DJ’s is however of course firmly rooted in house history, which was also acknowledged by one of the genre’s greats. Kerric Chandler himself contributed a remix to one of the two Signature EPs. And for 2020, Marina Trench already has big plans – including a new EP on Wolf Music. Her mix for our Groove podcast is an intimate set that goes deep without ever losing momentum – and further proof that she’s one to watch.
As a teenager, you took up dancing lessons, which eventually would lead to your fascination for 90s house music. What exactly drew you to this particular sound?
House music quickly resonated with me due to its musical roots in disco, funk, and soul – some musical styles I have been listening to with my parents since I was a child. The new thing with House music for me was the energy that inevitably calls for dancing and movement. In house music, I found a balanced mix between hope, nostalgia and strength. And then through dance classes, I could listen to this music at very high volume at an age when I could not go to clubs.
You studied fine arts in Bordeaux and started to get involved in the city’s music scene. How exactly did you make your first steps there?
During my studies in Bordeaux, I met a few people who shared my feelings about house music. It encouraged me to understand the history of that specific genre better and to dig very deeply. In 2013, I also became a resident at a club called Bootleg which sadly closed a couple of years ago. It was very intense and quite underground and helped me to discover more music, more acts in any kind of styles. Their bookers were really adventurous and that was really good for the city. This is really where I made my first steps as a DJs, by playing warm-ups and getting to know the crowd in front of me. Exploring house music and connecting! I also used to start going to clubs quite a lot, house music was flourishing again at that time thanks to Jeremy Underground, D. KO Records, DJ Steaw, Malin Genie, Janeret and others. Good memories!
In 2014, you moved to Paris and took up making your own music. However, your first two EPs arrived only five years later, and you did not tell anyone about your aspirations to become a producer. Why’s that?
Producing music, getting your own sound, working and working, always takes lot of time. I really wanted to make something I was proud of. You start producing at home and also takes you even more time to get your own studio, the machines, etc. In 2016, I felt like I had enough material and confidence to propose some ideas to labels to release an EP. My first two EPs that have been released on Deeply Rooted in 2019 were created about two years ago. Producing needs so much time and also investment – not only mentally, but you also need to have the financial possibility to do it. I couldn’t give it 100% of my time.
For the first instalment of your Signature EP, you enlisted Kerri Chandler for a remix. How did it come about that one of the biggest names in house would end up contributing a remix to your debut?
When I joined DJ Deep’s label Deeply Rooted, I had no idea about what Cyril (Etienne de Rosaies, alias DJ Deep) was cooking. Imagine my surprise when I got the EPs signed and he offered me to get the tracks remixed by Kerri Chandler and him! As a house music lover, Kerri Chandler has always been such a master to me. At the beginning, I thought it was a joke actually but in the end it definitely wasn’t and I’m so happy about the result!
What is the concept of the Signature series and how many parts will there be?
When I first sent the demos to DJ Deep, he was really into some of the tracks. After exchanging a couple of ideas, we thought it would be cool to have two different EPs with their own respective identity, but connected through the artwork, a kind of storytelling. On the second Signature EP we also got Hugo LX on remix duties. I got to connect more with Hugo, who is an amazing producer with a big background not only in house music. I’m also super happy because we are playing a B2B set together in London in February. At the moment, we have these two EPs and there could be something else in the future, who knows …
Both releases so far have a rather striking artwork. What role does your background in fine arts and design play in your work as a producer and DJ?
When I was studying fine arts, I think this is really where I forged my capacity to believe in my projects. As an artist and a creator, you always have those inevitable doubts about whatyou are doing. During this period, I learnt how to build my own projects, to defend them in complete autonomy. Believing in you is a strength. When I first started, I was not really supported as a female DJ and we all know how hard this can be. I think all my projects will be always linked naturally to that period, still digging, always learning about sounds, machines, samples, etc. More precisely, I’m particularly attentive to the artworks and I was super happy about the result of the Signature EPs design made at Mieeve Studio in Paris. It fits super well the music as an abstract form of art that I really like.
Your next single will be released through Wolf Music. What can you tell us about the EP?
First of all, I’m very excited about this new release! The guys have been super kind and helpful along the way, I was completely free to express my ideas. It is a four-track EP called Waterside EP and it will be released early in February. It is very diverse, a broad expression of what I’m feeling currently vibes-wise, the BPM are all different and a couple of distinct instruments are in there, too. I also sing on some tracks, which is a premiere. I’m not a singer but I liked the idea to go DIY for vocals on that particular project. I had lot of fun doing that.
What was the idea behind your contribution to the Groove podcast?
This mix has been recorded at home with a super cosy vibe. It was early in the morning and I was surrounded by my warm grainy vinyl with a fire going in the chimney. This had an impact on the selection, resulting in deeper and more introvert sound for this DJ set that still has energy.
Last but not least: Where can we see you behind the decks in the near future and what are your plans as a producer?
2020 is already looking good so far, I got to produce more, with some remixes and a new EP already in the making. Gig-wise, after spending N.Y.E. at La Cabane in Brussels, a city I really love and visited already twice in the past months, I’ll be playing in Florence, Paris again (Badaboum & Djoon), Edinburgh, London, Berlin and more. There are also some really nice festival coming up in Spring 2020, can’t wait to tell everyone more about it!
Stream: Marina Trench – Groove Podcast 239
01. Gari Romalis – Start The Game (Detroit On The Move) (Mate Spain)
02. Boj Angler – Rascal (Janx Germany)
03. Kings Of Tomorrow & Sean Grant – Gotta Live My Life (Distance)
04. DJ Rhythm – Keep Reachin (Riviera)
05. Losoul – You Know (Supermayer Remix) (Playhouse)
06. Walt J – Reborn 1 (DJ Qu’s Journey Towards Birth Remix) (Dow Records)
07. Workinʼ Happily – Better Things (Workin’ Dub) (Plastik People Recordings)
08. Josh Milan – Electro Dreams (Rush Hour Recordings)
09. Soul Deluxe feat Kareem – Free At Last (Kerri Chandler Club Mix) (Champion Records)
10. Lone – Chroma (R&S Records)
11. Marina Trench – Straight (Wolf Music Recordings)
12. SLY – Girl Itʼs Alrite (Nice’n’Ripe Records)
13. Joey Negro – Must Be The Music (JN Disco Boogie Dub Extravaganza) (Z Records)
14. Lux Experience – Higher Than High (U&I Dub Mix) (Kolour Recordings)
15. Simbad – Stone Edge Beat (Faces Records)