Portrait : Dimë
DJ from Strasbourg, his eclectic sets oscillate between house, electro, breaks or ambient with a techno base as powerful and deep as spatial and atmospheric.
Conversation with Dimë (KALT – Strasbourg)
How and when did you start the mix?
I started collecting records in 2013 at the same time as a dozen of friends in Strasbourg. This group dynamic pushed us to buy turntables and to start mixing at each other’s houses. I have particularly fun and exciting memories of that period.
And it’s finally the same approach as at the beginning that makes me continue to mix today: the desire to build something with these new tracks that I collect.
How would you define your style?
I’ve always found it hard to define my style because I’m interested in different genres without being focused on any one in particular (House, Techno, Electro, Deep House, Breaks, Ambient, IDM). And the tracks I play often contain several styles where House and Techno mix. I’m very sensitive to the productions of the early 90’s where the border between the two genres is hardly detectable. For me, the important thing in a set is to vary the styles, to make the moods and ambiences oscillate, going from nostalgia to euphoria and vice versa.
I still find a common point in everything I like to hear and play, whatever the genre or style: whether it’s “deep” or “atmospheric”, and whether the whole set is hovering, hypnotic and captivating.
Your favorite settings?
I have to say that the booth and the room of the Kalt correspond fully to what I prefer in terms of room size and ceiling height, so it’s more like a middle club, neither too small and intimate, nor too big in the warehouse style.
For me the place is very important, and the music I play has to fit in and complement it. I couldn’t play a song with a lot of reverb in a small club with a very low ceiling. I sometimes see music as the soundtrack of a place and I often associate songs with clubs or places.
For the setup, I really like the rotary mixers that fit my slow and progressive way of mixing. Otherwise my preference is for Allen & Heath’s mixers. It’s also important for me to have at least 3 CDJ’s so I’m not limited in time and creativity. Being able to display my playlists on several decks at the same time allows me to have a more open view of my selection and to act faster without waiting for the end of a track. For a 1H30 set, I can display the 20 to 30 tracks I want to play on the 4 decks, and make a choice in a glance without scrolling or searching too long.
For the context or timeslot, I still have a preference for the closing. I have the feeling that the audience is more attentive and patient at that moment, that they let themselves be taken care of and trust me, which allows me to go deeper and be more adventurous in my selection. My favourite tracks are always reserved for this niche.
Your vision of electronic music?
It allows many people to be together in the same place and enjoy the same thing, but it also allows everyone to interpret a moment individually. It’s participating in a collective experience, but it’s also looking for a personal feeling.
What do you expect to find in the music? Yours and other people’s music?
Generally to bring back memories or project myself into the future. Aside from escapism or reflection, what has always attracted my attention or provided emotions, be it on a dance floor or through the discovery of a new piece, is the effect of surprise, whether it is something completely unexpected and unpredictable.
A souvenir from a night at the club?
Generally speaking, each time I really like the vibe of the last half hour of the closing.
Afterwards, a special memory for me: maybe the very first track I played on the opening night of the KALT: Rising Sun – Nostalgia (Convextion Remix)
I had just discovered the club only fifteen minutes ago and I was absolutely alone in the room. It was very special, I was completely in the audience at the time.
My favourite guest sets at the moment are those of the American Kim Ann Foxman, the English Shanti Celeste and the Dutch Sandrien.
A few words about your last recording at the club?
I approach my sets differently whether it’s for an opening or a closing, or whether it’s for a 1h30 or 4h set. I also approach a mix differently when it’s a podcast.
For a closing, I will try to maintain a level of energy by alternating intense tracks and varying the styles to be able to go deeper at the end.
For an opening, I’m going to try to build tension by keeping a guideline while gradually increasing in intensity.
For this recording (from which I took the first 30 minutes and the last hour), which is rather techno oriented, as an opening to Efdemin, we could maybe cut the first rather bright hour between electro and break to build the set, then a turn in the middle of the recording towards something darker and hypnotic to build up a tension.