Portrait : Stu
STU (KALT – Strasbourg)
DJ from Strasbourg, he started mixing when he was 14, co-founded the collective Ephémère in 2012 and then participated in the creation of KALT. He plays house and acid.
How and when did you start the mix?
I started mixing when I was 14 years old in my friend Labat’s room, I didn’t have turntables at that time and he had his brother’s Gemini PT 1000 (which he always laughs), that’s how it started, we mixed Digitalism with Vitalic or Miss Kittin, it must have been the only 3 records we had!
And then I bought a first pair of turntables to get my hands on, before getting a pair of Technics for a birthday present. And the vinyl madness started… we bought our records on German websites, mostly, because the record shops in Strasbourg didn’t offer the offer we were looking for at the time, and the vinyl hadn’t yet reached the level it has today. We used to mix for friends, in apartments in gardens and for birthdays…
The key points of your journey? – Is there one (or more) artist(s)/person(s) who inspired you or who inspire you now? Other inspirations?
I had the chance to share big scenes very early (around 15 – 16 years old) with artists like Maetrik (Maceo Plex), Anja Schneider etc… during the first Bugz Night at the Baobab it put my foot in the stirrup to start in good conditions!
(thanks to them by the way, to have trusted us so young, they will recognize themselves)
Then I joined the Nancy-based association CarteBlanche prod which had a branch in Strasbourg at that time, it allowed me to take part this time in the organization of events and to bring big names like Jeff Mills that I always admired and still admire, but also Dave Clarke, The Hacker and Ellen Alien with whom I could share turntables etc…
Then Ephémère, which was a great project! We organized crazy parties in really atypical places, we had a great team and we met great artists. All this while bringing a musical orientation that was new in Strasbourg at the time!
And then of course KALT, it’s our baby, we gave our body and soul for this project, which everyone thought was a bit crazy, but it’s here now and it’s here! Hoping to be able to start again quickly and in good conditions, I think a lot of people are impatient … and me too !
How would you define your style ?
It’s always difficult to tick one box, I don’t really like it… I have a lot of influences, I listen to a lot of music and different things, it can go from Black metal to London modern jazz, electronic music, black music etc? You can feel it when I’m behind a booth (well I hope I’m laughing), it’s very varied, I try to adapt the sets according to the moods and the audience… always keeping this part of groove that I really need to dance !
Your favourite settings ?
For a club format, the KALT main room booth without any chauvinism, we thought so much about it to choose the best possible setup in terms of equipment, mixing conditions, the atmosphere is muffled with a subtle play of light, that’s what we wanted, and the audience is really incredible every time… I can’t answer anything else.
Afterwards, I like to play more and more in the afternoon, outdoors it’s a completely different atmosphere and I can allow myself to play things that I don’t necessarily play in a club. It also affects another audience, who don’t necessarily come to the late hours of the club schedule.
How do you prepare your sets ?
I make a big selection of records, I always have 3 times more than necessary to have the choice and to be able to adapt when I feel the need, I listen a little bit to the novelties that I bought recently in digital, a coffee, a rum and it’s gone !
Your balance between your DJ/prod career, your private and professional life?
Balance is the right word, you have to know, especially when you live with 2 people and soon with 3, what are the moments to dedicate to music… I’m lucky with the club to be able to organize my days a little as I want, it’s a real plus. I like to take the time to make music to digger whole hours I need to take the time and not have something urgent to do in parallel …
The next objective will be to use a little more of this time to produce even if for me it’s the same problem, 1 or 2 hours of session, I’m not interested, I prefer to do it less often but to really have the time, the work is often of better quality.
What’s your vision of electronic music?
For me, it’s a bit like what rock was in the 60s and 70s, electronic music has become a way of uniting and bringing people together. This unifying potential has been highlighted recently, particularly in Tbilisi with the huge demonstrations in front of the Georgian parliament, following police raids on the Bassiani and Café Gallery and more generally to denounce the government’s repressive policy. It shows all the political and protesting scope of this type of music that people thought was only reserved for partying on floats during the Love Parade.
What do you like about it?
It’s the message that comes out of it; a message of peace, unity, tolerance, freedom, whether sexual or intellectual, without social, racial or gender differentiation.
What are your plans?
The first thing will be to reopen the club under good conditions! We’re working on it, but it’s true that we feel a little lonely towards the government. But our public is there with the e-shop and we receive a lot of messages of support that’s heartwarming!
Then there are projects in the small papers but you will know it in due time!
A few words about one or the other resident of the club?
Diliman and I had a crazy back to back on the 2nd floor, it was the first time we played together, he’s someone I really like! But in general the roadster is a real little family, we all get along very well and we have the same vision of music, we’re going in the same direction.
A souvenir of an evening at the club?
A great memory of the evening with Shanti Celeste, she was back at the club, and I closed it by taking over after her, it was for my darling’s birthday and it was great.
And then the Delsin evening, in open end format, it was the first free night where it was really nice and the atmosphere was incredible, and the closing of Aroy Dee at noon on the terrace … a great memory.
A few words about your KALT podcast ? Can you tell us about the idea behind this mix ?
It starts with a little melancholy, namely that the podcast was recorded during my long hours lost during the confinement … this explains perhaps that … The 2nd track is top is A Guy Called Gerald is the 1st track of the album “To all things what they need” I found the wink nice in view of the period.
And then it really starts after that, as usual it’s varied, deep tracks, more House pumpy things, little touches of UK, Break and Acid …