by Don Crispy
Tight with Hef|
Not too many DJs get to use the official
Playboy imprimatur as part of their image, but thats exactly what befell
French house godfather Dimitri From Paris when Playboys Hugh Hefner invited
him to mix 2000s surprise hit album, A Night at the Playboy Mansion.
happened by chance, explained Dimitri over coffee in a conference room at
Toshiba EMI. We got in touch with Playboy people at the Winter Music Conference
and they asked us to do a party at the Playboy mansion, and there was a lot of
talknot seriousand then they came back to us and said we would like
to do something with you. At the time they were trying to rejuvenate their readership,
which was getting older and older and they saw in DJ culture something trendy
that could benefit them.
The albums selection of tracks recalled
the heyday of New York dance Meccas like the Paradise Garage, and was steeped
in the pulsing rhythms of early house acts like Stetsasonic. It was well received
not only among the house faithful but also among a wider audience drawn to it
by the Playboy association.
We had more success than I expected because
the music is not exactly Top 40 chart material, comments the rather debonair
DJ. But people liked it and introduced them to music that they may not have
heard before. There is not so much support for the music I like anymore, and the
more we can get people into it, the longer it will stay alive.
success of A Night at the Playboy Mansion raised Dimitris profile considerably,
and also led to a follow up, After the Playboy Mansion, but in fact Dimitri was
already a well-known name in house circles, and has visited Japan over 20 times
in the last decade.
A familiar face at Loop, Yellow and Air, Dimitri has
nothing but praise for Japans house scene, which, although it has been eclipsed
by trance over the last few years, still manages, he says, to beat his hometown
of Paris. Tokyo has a lot for people who are into musicevery week
theres something interesting to go to, he enthuses.
quite different here from what we have in Paris, which is nothing. There is no
scene. Most of this new wave of French people like Daft Punk got their success
outside of France. But in the club scene, its poor. There are few clubs
and they dont bother to pay for guest DJs, and if they do its a big
commercial guy, whereas here youve also got people like me who may not bring
as much as Junior Vasquez, but still bring out an audience. In France the most
popular parties are the after-hours parties where everybodys fucked upif
these people couldnt get drugs they wouldnt even go.
how was Hef? I was really impressed, says Dimitri. He is a really
nice guyvery simpleand seemed to enjoy the interest we had in him.
I was really happy to be invited to his house...and Ive always liked what
he did with the magazine. Even when I was doing the album, he wanted to hear the
songs, he wanted to see the artwork...I have a lot of respect for men of ideas,
and he has been pushing his idea forever. Many have tried to copy it but none
have managed to capture its spirit.
From Paris Cruising Altitude Release Japan Tour 2003@Liquid Room,
4/4, 11pm, ¥3,000 (adv), ¥3,500 (door). Tel: 3200-6831. www.liquidroom.net