#529

words : Adam Saville

Exclusive tour diary

Despite his history — a resident at Rex Club since ’97, the boss of Bass Culture and a producer of the deep house elite in his own right — Julian Veniel (D’Julz) is rarely afforded the applause he rightly deserves. That, however, is very likely to change. With the breakthrough success of Apollonia in 2013, the French (deep) house touch has been drawn into brand new focus.

Defined by a sophisticated stock of classic cuts — from Chicago, San Fran, New York —  thrown skilfully into more contemporary stripped-back tools, the time is most definitely ripe for the Gallic deep house movement to really blossom, and D’Julz’s name is already at the forefront of it.

Celebrating the anniversary of his imprint with ‘This is Bass Culture: 4 Years of Bass Culture Records Mixed by D’Julz’ this month (out 24th January), the Parisian not only proves the value of a solid label, but also his quality as a DJ too. He’s been about a fair bit recently, too…

Do Not Sit on the Furniture, Miami
“I’ve been going to Miami regularly over the last few years and the underground clubs have really developed, offering an alternative to the bottle service clubs that were ruling South Beach in the past. This club is the latest addition and you can’t really get more underground: no sign on the door, no fuss, the room is completely dark, with the only light coming from a giant disco ball on top of the dancefloor. Tonight, it’s a mixed crowd energized by a powerful soundsystem. When I arrived, I felt right away like I was in an afterhours club (which isn’t a bad thing at all). DJ Behrouz has created this place and you can tell he has put his heart and experience into it.”

Output, New York
“I first played at Output last year soon after its opening and it was a blast. Needless to say I was extremely excited to come back. Output is the club New York has needed for 10 years and I’m happy to witness the nightlife renaissance currently taking place after living there in the early ’90s. I played from 3am till close, then ended up at a crazy after party in the middle of Bushwick, where all the girls were wearing fake moustaches (don’t ask me why!). This is how we do it in Brooklyn.”

Rex Club, Paris
“This one is special. We are in my city and it’s the closing party of the one month festival Rex Club (my second home) has organised to celebrate their 25th anniversary. I’m especially excited to play at this event because it’s the first time ever I’m gonna play there with one of the DJs I respect the most: Ricardo Villalobos. He navigated from deep house to classic techno and ended with a beautiful remix of Bryan Ferry and even later with a salsa song from 1956! Such a creative DJ and an immense pleasure to play before him alongside the Parisian Katapult promoters Alex and Laetitia. This is a party that definitely will be one to remember in the 25 years of the club’s existence.”

Six D.O.G.S, Athens 
“It has been a very long time since I played in Greece, but I’ve heard a lot of great things about this club and it’s definitely the best one I’ve played in this city so far.
Perfect set-up and sound, and a very friendly and reactive crowd. I had to leave pretty much right after I played my last tune to catch a nasty eight o’ clock flight to Berlin. There are not too many things as frustrating as leaving a great gig to arrive drunk to an empty airport. I was trying hard not to fall asleep at the gate while waiting for my flight to take off.”

Watergate, Berlin
“After a well-deserved three hour nap it’s time for record shopping. My friend Patrice is taking me and Phil Weeks to this hidden shop I’ve been hearing great things about called Records Loft — a huge place full of second-hand gems. After signing the wall of fame we’re ready to dig deep into the crates. Couple of hours pass by and it’s already time to meet Sebo K, Frank from Âme and friends for dinner. Tonight, it’s Sebo K’s party at Watergate. We’ve been playing a lot together in the past few years and it’s always a pleasure sharing the decks with this amazing DJ and sweet person. To add even more excitement, tonight’s line-up is sick: my French buddy Phil Weeks is joining the Mole on The Waterfloor, while I play upstairs after Sebo and Âme live. Both rooms are packed and it’s great to see friends such as Heidi, GummiHz, Sety and Dave Aju visiting us. In other words, a perfect way to finish this crazy week!”