Interview: DJ Deep
“I would love for the knowledgeable people to speak out loudly more often about the culture of our music…”
Paris-born house and techno stalwart DJ Deep tells Nightlife Editor Leo Burrell what he has in store for The Night Kitchen’s final party, upcoming releases and his views on the recent Armin Van Buuren vs Underground Resistance controversy.
Hey DJ Deep, we’re stoked to have you back in Sheffield this month.
Thanks so much for having me! I’m very happy for the invitation to play here again.
This time you’ll be playing at a very special event, the Night Kitchen’s closing party, a venue very close to our hearts in Sheffield. Will you be approaching your selections any differently considering it’s the final night?
Well, to be honest, I come across so much music these days that I spend a lot of time classifying and organising it. I digitalise all the vinyl that I buy, whilst I also buy a lot of digital files and get sent a lot of promos daily too. So what I always try to do is go to a gig with an open mind, feel what the vibe is, and then try to create a soundtrack that fits the mood using the music that I want to share with the audience in that specific moment.
You’ll be playing with DJ Overdose, Tom Demac (Live), Medlar, Andy Blake and many more. There’s also a secret b2b planned. Are you a fan of any of those artists?
Yeah, I’m a big fan of Overdose’s releases! I know a few other names here, and I’m eager to discover the other talents on the bill – it’s a great line up!
How are things going with your Deeply Rooted label? I see you had your 50th release back in 2015. You’ve had such an amazing roster of releases – Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Kerri Chandler – and it doesn’t get much bigger than that!
The label is doing great, thanks! We’re just about to release Volume 1 of the remixes from my ‘Cuts’ series, featuring remixes by Mr G, Ben Sims, Steve Rachmad and Roman Poncet. Then in early September we will be releasing a Ben Sims EP, which I’m super excited about!
I’m still loving your Cuts Volume 3 from September last year. Is there going to be a Volume 4 soon? Volume 2 is currently going for crazy money on Discogs. Is making rare, desirable records something you set out to do?
I feel that the ‘economy’ of vinyl is getting a bit out of hand these days. Some things can go for crazy money whilst I recently noticed that “Whew/Tribal Ryddims” by Kenny Dope’s Bucketheads, which is one of my favourite NY House records ever and not always easy to find, goes for $1 on Discogs. Get that if you don’t have it yet – trust me, it’s a good tip!
But I try to keep on doing what I’m doing, and we are now repressing my “Cuts Vol.2″ EP which currently goes for the silly amounts [listed at up to €120] on Discogs as I want people to get our releases for a fair price.
“what do I care about what Armin Van Buuren is doing or thinking? It has nothing to do with true ‘music lovers’ music”
You’ve just made all 37 of your Deep Library mixes – which date back from 2007 – available for download, and that’s an amazing archive of music. What did you set out to do with that series and has that changed at all?
The idea behind this series was to try to find a ‘feel’ and a ‘flow’ through a selection of music, no matter what tempo or style, and to create both deep and smooth transitions, but also to sometimes shock the listener with brutal transitions etc.
I’m glad some people like it so much, like my good friend Keffer who is the graphic designer for Deeply Rooted. I came across a mix from the series and I couldn’t remember if I’d ever put it online so I called him as I knew he was collecting them. I soon realised he knew them all almost off by heart! He gave me the idea to re-upload them in one accessible place, and as I’m a disaster with both computers and the internet, he helped me set it up nicely on SoundCloud.
I see you’ve just played in Detroit at Movement Festival with Carl Craig. How was that?
It was great! I’m very thankful to Carl and Hagi for inviting me. They’re really great friends and I love their Detroit Love parties, so being involved in some of their events is always such a huge honour and a privilege.
You’ve spoken on social media about the recent controversy surrounding the “UR” Ibiza residency, which Underground Resistance have accused Armin Van Buuren of plagiarising. Armin has spoken out and said he wasn’t aware of any similarities between the logos. Do you think that’s true?
In terms of the issue of not knowing, I couldn’t care less to tell you the truth. My thoughts behind the post was actually more along the line of: “What do I care about what Armin Van Buuren is doing or thinking as it has nothing to do with true ‘music lovers’ music?” – if you know what I mean?
I’m not hating on the names from that scene, and it has nothing to do with what I am or what we are as an ‘underground movement’. Just because some artists use a mixer and CDJs, it doesn’t therefore make them house or techno DJs, right? Well, that’s it.
I would love for the knowledgeable people to speak out loudly more often about the culture of our music, you know? What super cheesy EDM producers/DJs do is the last of my concern, but what memories individuals have from their time at places such as the Paradise Garage, for example, I do care about. The memories that Ron Trent or Joe Claussell may have are what interest me more.
Of course, we’ve recently all been shocked and saddened by the terrorist incident in Manchester. Without wanting to touch any nerves, I understand you are from Paris yourself. Can you tell us a bit about what helped the music scene in Paris to move past such divisive times after the horror of November last year?
It’s an extremely difficult subject. I feel we as humans are urged to come closer in a more understanding and caring way, but half of the world is at war.
I admit to not understanding most of the reasons and complex implications of those wars, but simply hope we can somehow help building a more responsible world for our children; first by not letting hate or violence be an answer to violence, and secondly by asking the hard questions on how to possibly envision a more balanced and fair world where humans come first, not always economy and profit.
Finally, what have you got planned for the rest of 2017?
I’m really happy that the vinyl release of DJ Honesty’s new EP is now out on Sebo K’s Scenario. It features my remix of ‘Loitering’, a track which has been getting some nice responses here in Paris. I also have a release that’s soon to be released on Rekids as part of their ‘Special Projects’ series entitled ‘Parisian Kid EP’, and I hope that will get some nice feedback too! Finally, I have completed a remix for Spencer Parker’s Work Them Records, which I think will be out in September. It’s a great label and I can’t wait for this one to come out!
Catch DJ Deep headlining the Night Kitchen’s Last Dance on June 10th. Tickets are sold out but there is a limited amount on the door so get down early!
The Night Kitchen have recently launched a Crowdfunding scheme to assist with the preparations for their new venue. After over three years of throwing club nights, TNK, formerly Dirty Little Secret (DLS), is closing its doors. To donate head here.