Preview + Interview: The Garden Festival Feat. Dyed Soundorom
The Garden Festival ‘A New Beginning’
July 4 – 11 2012
The Garden Tisno, Tisno, Croatia
Kenny Dope/Norman Jay/Dyed Soundorom/Solomun/Prosumer/Eglo Live/Tiger & Woods Live/Space Dimension Controller/Nicolas Jaar/2020 Soundsystem/Greg Wilson/Jose Padilla/PBR Streetgang
The Garden Festival returns in 2012, relocated from Zadar to its new, equally serene home of Tisno, Croatia. LS Clubs caught up with Dyed Soundorom, one of the festival’s headliners, to discuss the current state of French house music and just why he’s so much more into djing than politics…
LS: In February you released your first record on Apollonia, your new collaborative project with Dan Ghenacia and Shonky. Could you tell us about why you started the label and what we can expect in the future?
DS: Well as you know Dan [Ghenacia] used to run Freak’N'Chic and unfortunately, as a result of some problems with his ex-partner, he had to shut it down. Dan and I had wanted to start something with Shonky for a while, so when Freak’N'Chic came to an end we felt it was time to start Apollonia together. The main idea behind the project was simple really: to provide a platform for music that we, as a trio, enjoy. It’s not going to be restricted musically, to French artists only or whatever. In our circles we have so many friends making music that if we hear and track we all like, we’ll put it out. Up next is Apollonia 002 from Shonky & Dan with a remix from The Mole and I’m currently working on 003..
LS: All three of you, and so many of France’s top electronic musicians, are from Paris. Are there strong regional scenes in France or is it as centralised in Paris as it appears?
DS: The thing is, there did used to be strong regional scenes, but I’m talking about ten years ago now. I’m not saying it was ever like the UK but you could be a DJ and play every weekend in clubs all around France, the local scenes were strong enough. Now however regional France has much more of a festival culture, with events like Nuits de Sonore in Lyon. The thing is as well, Paris is just so hot right now, it’s crazy. The problem we had before was that there literally weren’t enough clubbing spaces in the city. It’s not like London where you have five or six top clubs and then hundreds of different warehouse spaces, basements, rooftop bars.. In Paris it was never like that until two years ago, when people started throwing a lot of outdoor parties. Concrte throw a really succesfull monthly Sunday boat party with amazing line-ups. A brand new club, Showcase, has recently opened. There’s a lot going on, trust me.
LS: Has that got anything to do with the laws becoming more relaxed?
DS: Maybe. There’s never been a problem with thrown after-parties for example. I don’t think the government or the police are necessarily more relaxed but it definitely feels more possible to do things. Every time I return there I’m amazed by the vibrancy of the scene.
LS: Underground French house music has developed a really sexy, druggy vibe to it, from your gritty, dark style to the deep, slow sleaze of dOp. What is it about life in France and especially Paris that has influenced such a sound?
DS: I can’t really speak for dOp because I don’t really know their story but for Shonky and I, the reason we play this music is because of Dan [Ghenacia] really. We met him in Batofar, which was this boat party in Paris, about 12 years ago when Dan was throwing after-parties. He was travelling regularly to San Francisco and bringing back all these amazing Californian deep house records, which is where our influence comes from. We learned a lot from Dan, shall we say.
LS: Indeed there seems to be a strong unity and respect in the French scene. French artists enjoy working with and supporting other French artists. Would you agree?
DS: Yeah it feels like at the moment there’s a real community, which is fantastic Whether it be the darker sounds of Ivan Smagghe and Jennifer Cardini or the more minimal exploits of La Catapult, we’re all supporting each other, swapping music and helping put France on the map, which is positive.
LS: Do you think the recent over-commercialisation of house music in France, thinking of artists like David Guetta and Bob Sinclair, has alienated a generation of young house fans and perhaps driven them towards more underground, less pre-packaged sounds?
DS: I’m not sure about Guetta and Sinclair’s impact to be honest, they’re operating on such different planets, doing very different things. I think the reason the underground scene is so strong at the moment, with so many French artists coming through, is because of the international success of some of the older guys. Young DJs and producers have seen that Ivan Smagghe and Laurent Garnier and Dan [Ghenacia] are playing everywhere and so this inspires them. French people are realising that France really has something to offer the rest of the world. The only thing France lacks however is a strong press. We have a few things but nothing on the scale of Mixmag, DJ Mag or Resident Advisor. There’s still a bit of a delay but it’s coming..
LS: In the coming months you’re playing for Louche in Leeds and then for them again at Garden Festival in Croatia July as well. You must be a big fan of what they do! Are you excited?
DS: So excited. I’ve heard so many great things about Garden and it’ll be my first time playing for them, which is always fun. Six or seven years ago people were talking about Croatia as the new Ibiza and I’ve had nothing but great feedback. And I love playing for Louche. I mean, Mint Club is one of my favourite clubs in the UK.
LS: Finally Dyed, the French Presidential elections are fast approaching. Will you be voting? Can I ask who you want to win or at least you you DON’T want to win?
DS: Honestly, it’s bad because I don’t even really watch the news anymore. I don’t really trust any of them anyway. If I’m honest, you just reminded me the elections were even on! Maybe I will vote but I need to look into it. I just need to work out who the best liar is.
words: Carlos Hawthorn