Interview: Dâ€™Julz talks New York, Detroit and WMC in Miami
STEPHANIE FUNDORA MARCH 11, 2013 Read Online
When taking a look at our (not-so-intimate anymore) niche group of underground music, we can count hundreds of artists who have come and gone throughout the times, which is why our appreciation for long-standing French DJ/producer Julien Veniel, better known as Dâ€™Julz, is so great.
His ability to stay relevant for more than 20 years in this ever-changing industry has resulted in releases on esteemed labels such as Ovum, 20:20 Vision, Dessous, Pokerflat, Safari, Real Tone, Get Physical, Mobilee, Rekids, Systematic and 100% Pure, as well as the birth of his own label, Bassculture. And there is still plenty of fresh steam left in that engine. Dâ€™Julz recently released a new EP, Special Day, on Circus Company and is in the midst of gearing up for a few stacked events this Winter Music Conference in Miami. The seasoned artist sat down with mybeatFix to discuss the above and answer a few of our own personal inquiries.
You are one of the few â€śveteransâ€ť of the industry, having a musical career of 20+ years. How do you keep from becoming jaded in todayâ€™s heavily saturated market?
Iâ€™m still pasionate about what I do, thatâ€™s the key to last. Itâ€™s impossible to lie about that. However, todayâ€™s market is much more difficult compared to how it was when I started. Now you need to stay constantly in the forefront of things and promote yourself a lot â€” which isnâ€™t something Iâ€™m a natural at. So Iâ€™m learning this and surounding myself with people who are very good at it.
Speaking of being a â€śvet,â€ť your Bassculture party series at Rex Club is the longest consistently running party in dance history. Longevity is a hard thing to attain in this industry, so this is quite an accomplishment. How have you managed to keep the vibe going strong for so many years?
Again, Iâ€™m as excited today about this night than I was the first year. I try to keep it fresh , constantly searching for new talents to invite but also not forgetting to bring my old favorite djs , (trendy or not) regulary . Iâ€™m very picky . I dont compromise and I trust my gut. So far it has worked for the success of this night.
You recently released a new EP, Special Day, on fellow Parisian label, Circus Company. How does this EP compare to your earlier productions? How has your sound evolved?
Itâ€™s very hard to say, I donâ€™t think it has evolved that much. Iâ€™ve always mixed all my different influences and different production techniques. Also, I go with my mood â€“ sometimes the tracks are deeper , sometimes more uplifting or harder, but thatâ€™s been the case since I stared producing. I canâ€™t repeat the same formula over and over. Sure my sound evolves and I hope improves too, but my style stays rooted in deep house and techno. In both or somewhere in between.
We spoke of the over-saturated market in terms of artists, but this affects the fan base as well. And itâ€™s no secret that many of these new â€śfansâ€ť are oblivious to many of your musical contributions to the scene. How do you reintroduce yourself to these new audiences when playing?
I always do my thing. If the younger crowds likes it, itâ€™s amazing and I feel very blessed to have a timeless sound, because lasting is the hardest thing to achieve in any artistic environment. But there is no secret nor master-plan behind it.
A few weeks ago you played at the new highly praised â€śundergroundâ€ť club in Brooklyn, Output. How did that gig differ/compare to your gigs in the early 90â€˛s when you first ventured out into the NYC scene?
Nothing will be like the New-york of the 90â€˛s. It was a unique period for the nightlife of this city. It was the world capital of House music. However, I feel there is a positive energy coming back to the New York scene. Itâ€™s the start of a new cycle, Output could be at the center of it. Itâ€™s the club NYC needed since Twilo or Arc closed.
We saw you play an amazing set at Old Miami in Detroit last year. How does the vibe differ at more â€śintimateâ€ť parties like Old Miami and Output, to the larger â€śbig room houseâ€ť parties which jump-started your career?
Thanks! That was a very fun party to play. Iâ€™m very grateful Seth and Ryan asked me to play. It was my first time ever in Detroit too, so that made it even more special. Every gig is different, I like to adapt to different environments every time, itâ€™s a big part of the fun for me. Not only reading the crowd but feeling the room, the sound. I can have as much fun in a huge dark room or in a sunny garden party like that. When the vibe is right, the vibe is right.
One of our highlights from your set at Old Miami was when you dropped â€śLive From Dade Countyâ€ť by our good friend, Jesse Perez. It was really refreshing to see an artist of your caliber playing a track from a someone who, at the time, was still considered a breakthrough artist. Do you normally seek out tracks from up-incomers?
I play a lot of Jesse Perezâ€™s tracks, perfect party tracks that never fail to burn the floor. Of course I always seek up and coming talents! Thatâ€™s a big part of a real DJ work, no?
The Winter Music Conference in Miami is quickly approaching, can we expect to hear more â€śMiami-influencedâ€ť tracks, like Live From Dade Countyâ€ť, from you while there?
Maybe, but I never plan ahead my sets. Each party will be different, so my sets should be.
You are playing at Miamiâ€™s beloved Electric Pickle for the Gipsy Music Agency & Half-Baked Records WMC closing party, but for those that donâ€™t want to wait til the end of conference, can we catch you anywhere else while in town?
Yes, so far I will also be playing the 21st for the Behrouz after party, the 23rd for Circus Compagny showcase at the Station and maybe for the Sunset boat party.