Portrait : Diliman
Diliman (KALT – Nancy)
DJ from Nancy, inveterate digger for over 20 years. Vinyl addict, his deep style combines raw house, techno, break and electro.
How and when did you start the mix?
I started mixing when I was 15. At the time, I had exchanged my Sega Saturn (what a mistake!) for a small mixer in a secondhand shop. But I also had a cassette player, then a CD player and a turntable in my parents’ living room. The music allowed me to escape, to lock myself in my bubble. I remember that on Sundays, I liked to put headphones on my ears and listen to vinyl records. In fact, that’s certainly where it all started!
The key points of your journey? – Is there one or more artist(s)/persons who have inspired you or are currently inspiring you? Other inspirations
Ironically, I’ve never really felt like a DJ at all. On the other hand, I can say that I’ve always wanted to share my passion for music with others… whether it’s at a free-party or in my living room. But in my own way, that is to say detached from all the hype that can sometimes surround movement. At the dawn of the 2000s, a friend introduced me to the English IDM scene like Autechre, Aphex Twin or Squarepusher. Even if these big names speak to a lot of people today, they were less mainstream at the time… These discoveries influenced me a lot, it’s a whole sub-genre of electronic music that opened up to me, thanks to my friend.
In 2009, in the early days of SoundCloud, I was following a guy whose nickname was Tha Deepmeister. His mixes were just magical. His selection had the gift to make me travel: that’s when I really fell in love with deep music. I got very interested in deep house because it’s a style I can identify with. Anyway. By some chance, a South African booker contacted me: he came across my Soundcloud profile and loved my mixes. A few months later, I was off on a tour of South African cities with my vinyl bag. From Johannesburg to Pretoria, I shared my records with a boiling audience thousands of miles away from my humble and small home. It was amazing!
How would you define your style?
I don’t like to label what I play, I don’t have a particular style… To tell the truth, it all depends on my mood. I can play as deep as hardcore. I love atmospheric layers, heavy kicks and wild beats, whether it’s house or techno. And you play with all these elements that make you vibrate, you manipulate them, you assemble them… in any case, that’s my vision of the mix. In all humility, my style is also defined by the technique I’ve been able to develop over the last 20 years. Today, I can allow myself to switch between different styles rather than appropriating one of them.
Your favorite settings?
At my house, of course! With all my vinyl collection, my pair of Technics M5G and my Xone :92. And of course the KALT’s booth, where we find the same configuration with slightly bigger speakers… [Laughs] Otherwise, I remember a date in South Africa on the edge of a lake during a sunset, I was spinning deep records in front of a hundred people who came to enjoy. That’s a vibe!
How do you prepare your sets before each show?
In general, I start preparing my set as soon as I’m booked, generally a few months in advance! Without pretension, with more than 3000 vinyls at home, I’d better start early ! [Laughter] As for the selection, I try to make it coherent with the headliner so that there’s a logical continuity throughout the evening. When you only mix with physical support, getting ready quickly becomes a time-consuming task… But when you love it, you don’t count!
Your balance between your DJ/prod career, your private life and your professional life?
Music, like my vinyl records, is part of my life. If possible, I try to mix at least one hour a day, just to take my mind off things. As a records dealer, I have access to a large catalogue of records, I’m in direct contact with distributors, which allows me to get my hands on an infinite number of discs.
Your vision of electronic music?
In my opinion, electronic music is a style like any other. Like rock, jazz, punk or rap, it’s still music. It allows you to trip, to dream, to escape from reality. Isn’t that what music’s all about? However, it’s true that I have an intimate relationship with electronic music. Hovering on an ambient track, getting into a spin on a beating techno track… I can go through a lot of different emotions and it’s this plurality of sensations that makes me vibrate.
To dig, again and again. Trying to find the track that will awaken my senses and those of my audience. It’s the project of a lifetime! At the same time, I bought myself an Elektron Model Cycles. It allows me to explore the possibilities of building a track, from rhythm to synths. For now, I’m discovering the beast. But if I give it the time it needs, I think I’ll find it to my liking!
Just be yourself. Do what you like. Live in the moment without asking too many questions. It may seem obvious, but it’s the basis of everything.
A few words about one or the other resident of the club?
No especially on one or the other. I’m going to talk about family instead, which I’m very proud to be a part of. We all have our peculiarities, whether in terms of technique or selection. But passion brings us together. KALT is like a consecration for me. I’m lucky to be able to play what I want, to be able to express myself in front of an ever-growing audience.
A souvenir from a night at the club?
I took a sound slap in front of HVL at the Bassiani party! I’m following this producer since his first releases on Rough House Rosie… Pure deep as I like it. In fact, his tracks have influenced me a lot on the way I approach the mix. Otherwise, I have another memory at the club well anchored in my heart and my memory. I was playing all night long on the mezzanine and I brought out a completely perched Opal Tapes to complete my set. I felt so much at that moment, it was magical. The connection with the audience was so strong. I still get thrills!
Diliman is pleased to present a podcast recorded for the occasion. (to be listened to directly via his Souncloud page).