Back in 1997, Julien Veniel better known as D’Julz opened up the legendary and long-running residency of his club called Bass Culture at the famous Rex Club in Paris. He was inspired early on by the sounds of House and Techno when he lived in New York for an extended period of time in the early 1990s. This was when most electronic genres had not been defined yet and there were no clear boundaries between House and Techno. This inspired the sound he pushes out today with both his club and record label, so we wanted to know a little more about what inspires D'julz and keeps him motivated. Therefore, we fired over ten essential questions and he was gracious enough to answer them for us here at Magnetic.
1. For those that are unfamiliar with who you are, please explain the essence of D'Julz.
I’m a DJ and producer born and raised in Paris. I’ve been playing music in all sorts of clubs and parties since 1992 . I have been running a label called Bass Culture Records for 6 years which is the label offshoot of my Bass Culture Residency at Rex Club Paris standing firm at 19 years.
2. How did you get your start in dance music?
Going out and dancing to this 'then' new strange music called House.
3. Who and/or what inspired you to start working in dance music?
First of all some local DJs like Laurent Garnier, Jerome Pacman, Guillaume La Tortue. And a few foreign ones like Francesco Farfa, Dimitri (from Amsterdam), Derrick May, Junior Vasquez, Doc Martin, and Josh Wink to name a few.
4. I feel your sound has a very distinct sound of deep Detroit. Is there anyone from Detroit that has truly inspired your style?
Honestly, I think I’m equally influenced by New york, Chicago and the Detroit sound. But yes I do love Detroit techno. Especially early productions from Carl Craig, E-Dancer, Octave One, and Gary Martin.
5. You were born & raised in France, but you briefly moved to New York in the 90s. What is it that caused you to relocate and why did you go back to France?
I was finishing school and I had an opportunity to do an internship in NYC, I was already DJing and I had the chance to keep playing in NYC, which helped financially support my trip there. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a green card and I didn’t want to risk staying there illegally, plus as much as I loved NY, I was missing Paris, so after one year I moved back.
6. What did you learn from the dance music scene in New York?
It completely opened up my mind and ears to many different styles of music and also different ways of DJing. I learned a lot about sound systems, club history... It was like graduating from the best DJ university.
7. What do you think separates the New York scene from that of Paris?
Back then the rave scene in Paris and Europe in general was way better and much more developed than in the USA. However, the club scene in New York in 93 was the best in the world. It kept perpetuating the tradition of legendary disco clubs like Paradise Garage but with a modern musical approach. Also in my opinion some of the best New York house records came out around that time. I mean, I was lucky to be there at the last peak of the New york club culture, when Sound Factory was still open that is. Today I think both cities have a similar dynamic: the scenes are exciting again after 10 years of not much happening.
8. Your Houdini EP on your Bass Culture imprint was released this past Friday. Tell us about this EP and what we can expect from it.
It's hard to describe your own music but I think the three tracks demonstrate a combination of different styles that I’ve always been into. But I prefer to let the listeners be the judge.
9. What is next on the musical horizon for you?
I have a couple of releases that will be coming out next year on Phonogramme, Rekids, and Robsoul. Plus I did a remix for Rolando and my edit of Liz Torres’ old classic 'Don’t Let Love Pass You By' is finally ready to come out on Bass Culture as well.
10. Who can we expect to see appear next on your label (Bass Culture)?
So far I have planned releases by Ben Sims, Mr G, and Lady Blacktronika.
D’Julz' Houdini EP is out now on Bass Culture Records: Purchase