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499: Son of a LOUD
498: Funk D'Void
497: Phil Mison
496: Deetron
495: Carl Craig
494: London Electricity
493: Joaquin "Joe" Claussell
492: Pure-ifying Shibuya
491: Wire03
490: Outdoor bliss
489: Justin Robertson
488: Kinky Licks
487: Electric Knights
486: Plump DJs
485: James Hardway
484: Vanity
483: Derrick Carter
482: Sound Vortex
481: A Guy Called Gerald
480: In Action
479: David Morales
478: Swayzak
477: King Unique
476: Junkie XL
475: Etoiles
474: Body&SOUL
473: Bombay Records Night
472: Aril Brikha
471: Jazztronik
470: Dimitri From Paris
469: Alternative Hip-Hop Past and Present
468: Green Velvet
467: Sally Nyolo
466: Kerri Chandler
465: Asian Massive
464: Claude Young
463: Alex Paterson
462: Dego
461: Crave for a Groove
460: Towa Tei
459: Rebirth JAG III
457/8: New Year's Rundown
456: Dancelibre Christmas Special
455: Countdown 2003 Crystal Skulls
454: Electraglide
453: Freedom Villiage
452: Pacific High
451: Soundclash


by Don Crispy

Dimitri From Paris

Tight with Hef

Not too many DJs get to use the official Playboy imprimatur as part of their image, but that’s exactly what befell French house godfather Dimitri From Paris when Playboy’s Hugh Hefner invited him to mix 2000’s surprise hit album, A Night at the Playboy Mansion.

“It 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 talk—not serious—and 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 album’s 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.”

The success of A Night at the Playboy Mansion raised Dimitri’s 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 Japan’s 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 music—every week there’s something interesting to go to,” he enthuses.

“It’s 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, it’s poor. There are few clubs and they don’t bother to pay for guest DJs, and if they do it’s a big commercial guy, whereas here you’ve 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 everybody’s fucked up—if these people couldn’t get drugs they wouldn’t even go.”

So how was Hef? “I was really impressed,” says Dimitri. “He is a really nice guy—very simple—and seemed to enjoy the interest we had in him. I was really happy to be invited to his house...and I’ve 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.”

Dimitri From Paris “Cruising Altitude” Release Japan Tour 2003@Liquid Room, 4/4, 11pm, ¥3,000 (adv), ¥3,500 (door). Tel: 3200-6831.

credit: Liquid Room