French Resistance: Dyed Soundorom and Dan Ghenacia – house dons from across the Channel

Marcus Barnes

DANDYED 300x139 French Resistance: Dyed Soundorom and Dan Ghenacia   house dons from across the ChannelFrance has never really been somewhere that featured heavily on my list of places to visit for electronic music – that’s despite the country giving birth to arguably one of the greatest electronic music acts of all time, Daft Punk.

Paris is obviously at the centre of things, with the world famous Rex Club attracting DJs and performers from around the globe, but the ’scene’ across the Channel is still relatively quiet, or maybe undiscovered, in comparison with London. However, there are still plenty of talented French individuals flying the flag for house – Dyed Soundorom is actually one of my favourite DJs, there’s a groove and funk element to his sets that is very much all his own and he’s knocked out some really great tracks in recent years, as well as some really fresh edits (like his brilliant take on Classic 909 by Scott Grooves) that have been mainstays in his sets for a while. He and his friend Dan Ghenacia, a Parisian old schooler, are an awesome team and, along with their friend Shonky (another favourite of mine) are a force to be reckoned with. Here’s a look at their history, their opinion on the French scene and where they plan to go…

When you did you guys start DJing together? How did you meet and what were you doing music-wise individually before you got together?

Dan: [We met] when I was resident at the Batofar at the end of the 90’s. Dyed was one of my biggest supporters and we used to carry on after the party at my flat mate’s place to play records together. I’ve been into music since a young age. I moved hundreds of times with my parents up to the age of eighteen and music was my weapon to meet new people. I was really into the beginning of hip hop. I was living in a bad suburb of Paris, then I changed school and was into punk rock/ska/all kinds of alternative music, black music, white soul…Then in 1992, I started to listen to house when it first arrived in Paris.

Dyed : I was promoting a party at Les Bains in Paris and I invited Dan to play for me. It was the first time we had shared the decks together in a club. Back to my early years, my brothers used to be in a rap band when I was a kid. Black music in general and Michael Jackson is definitely my roots.

How would you describe the music you play and what is different about the stuff you play compared to other DJs?

Dan : I play all kinds of house music, I am basically a deep house DJ and I love to play all kinds of house music, especially hard to find records. Even today I still buy vinyl every week. And if I find a good techno or disco record it’s my mission to play it. I can tell you that compared to many DJs I am not playing just one thing from the beginning until the end of my set. It’s not my culture and I’m not so keen on DJs using FX.

Dyed: I am a deep house DJ first but whatever the music I’m delivering I really like to keep it groovy. The most important thing for me is the groove, and to keep the vibes warm and sexy.

Who were the big French DJs/electronic music acts that inspired you? And what were the songs/tracks that you really liked? Which clubs did you go to when you were younger?

Dan: Actually my biggest influence is not French . I spent one year in San Diego between 95 and 96. The local hero was Mark E Quark, he was the only one to have this touch; mixing only good quality records based on new jersey classic house, mixed with some early german techno, and also obscure disco techno and some electro sometimes from New York. I have always been inspired by this man and I still try to do the same today. I started going out to raves in Paris then in Calfornia. I came back to France and it was the beginning of the club scene with the Rex Club or Le Palace.

Dyed: As I am younger than Dan I didn’t know the rave scene but started with the clubs. I was a promoter at Les Bains Douches and then I started my DJ career. Dan was the biggest influence for me through his infamous Kwality afterparty. As Dan lived in San Francisco, he brought back some kind of a Californian sound in his sets, deep music for the afterhours, which were completely unknown to me. It changed my musical vision and the meeting was a real influence and inspiration beyond friendship. Dan believed in me and he wanted to help me. If I had not met him, I would not be here today.

Mark E Quark in San Francisco on January 25th 1997 by Mark E Quark

How would you describe the current electronic music scene in France? (Good? Bad?) Who are the most popular or most talented DJs/producers (apart from yourselves)?

Dan : There is almost nothing interesting for our scene in France, except in Paris. Paris is really good at the moment with an amazing energy, good line-ups and some brand new promoters like Concrete or Twsted doing great boat parties on a Sunday. There is a very good competition spirit so the quality is there. For years, the Rex Club was the only cool place but now there’s a lot of things going on. That means a lot of competition that’s creating great quality in the scene. I would say the rising star in Paris is Grego G, Djebali is the man on fire with his new label (Djebali) and of course a funky guy called Le Loup and his Hold Youth project.

How is the electronic music scene different in France compared to other countries? How popular is house music in France?

Dan : Well the clubbing scene in Paris has gone full circle. Ten years ago it was amazing, we had the support of Radio FG who used to air the best DJs and the best music. But the commercial scene took control of the radio. Slowly there was no more media supporting the cool things. The same happened with the newspapers and magazines. They were clearly supporting labels or parties paying for advertising. The scene was emerging with a massive potential for good music but ultimately the last five years were terrible. Too much police control and bad vibes in the clubs. Only a few cool parties. Obviously things are changing again now in the opposite direction. Everybody wants to party again and more. There is a big reaction in Paris. Loads of french clubbers are travelling a lot and going to Ibiza. Parisians are ready to party and we’ve finally got a massive energy back.

Dan Ghenacia & Dyed Soundorom Live @ Matter, London – 04-04-2010 by R_co

Which club nights would you recommend to someone who’s visiting France for the first time ?

Dan: My favourite clubs are Le Showcase, Le Cirque Bonheur and Concrete.

Dyed: I would say the Rex Club, where I’ve held a residency for two years now. I am actually finishing a mix CD coming out early March I did for Rex called Rexperience
 03. Its a real underground mix, nice and deep with some of my favourite house tracks.

What do you think of the scene in London? Which are your favourite clubs to play at? Which DJs and producers from London/the UK are you feeling at the moment?

Dan: For me the London scene is probably one of the strongest in the world. I am lucky to have a great career that allows me to play there quite often. I can play massive clubs like fabric or Ministry Of Sound, to small underground parties like Kubicle or recently XOYO. I really like Jamie Jones and his crew but that isn’t a surprise, we have been friends for many years. At the moment I am particularly feeling Robert James and Burnski

Dyed: The London scene is and has always been amazing… People are really open minded there. You have so many choices in terms of parties… there is always new promoters, new venues. My favourite club to play is fabric, particularly because it has one of the best sound systems in the world. But I also did some amazing warehouse parties… Obvioulsy Jamie jones and his crew have been a big part of the renewal of London and the UK over the last few years; Kubicle, Lokee, Toi-Toi, Half Baked crews are also all making a contribution to some lovely indie reunions… busy London!

What are you guys up to at the moment? What music projects are you working on? What are your plans for 2012?

Dyed: The big plan for 2011 is to launch a new label with myself, Shonky and Dan Ghenacia… called Apollonia. Shonky and I have always wanted to start our own label and the end of Freak n’ Chic allowed us to get Dan involved as well. We share the same roots, the same tastes and the same musical vision. We’ll mainly focus on releasing our own music but of course stuff from other producers the three of us enjoy. First release will be by our man Shonky The minneapolis Touch (EP); The second one is a collaboration between Dan and Shonky including a remix from The Mole; then, before next summer season, a solo EP from Dan and one other from me… Partyup!

Catch Dyed Soundorom at Circo Loco’s New Year’s Day party this Sunday. For information click HERE.