Dimitri from paris with FElix & Gani at This Is London (364 Richmond West), Friday (August 15). $25, $20 advance. 416-351-1100. www.goldclubseries.ca Rating: NNNNN
There was a time when Paris would've been near the top of the list of house music hot spots. However, the filtered disco sound that became synonymous with the City of Light has long since fallen out of fashion. Most notable French DJs, including Dimitri From Paris, will readily admit there isn't much of a local house scene any more. At the scene's peak, Dimitri was one of the biggest players. He helped to spread the Parisian vibe globally with his well-received series of mix CDs that carried the Playboy logo. Just three years ago, his Wednesday-night Secret party at legendary Parisian nightspot Queen was one of the hottest events in town, bringing in legends like David Mancuso and DJ Harvey for appreciative audiences that often stayed all night. These days he rarely even plays in Paris, spending most of his time touring and producing at home.
"There's not much going on here now," Dimitri says from his Paris home. "Most of the clubs aren't interested in doing that kind of thing. When the whole scene blew up a few years back some clubs let us in, but the new generation of clubbers want it harder and faster. The DJs get older, but the kids stay young, so it's harder for me to push my own sound. I like the challenge of seducing them over to what I like."
Dimitri started his DJ career in the late 80s on Paris radio, where he learned mixing and some production techniques. His style evolved into one that connected previous eras of dance music with contemporary movements. He generally played "about 30 per cent older records and 70 per cent new stuff."
He often re-edits classics for more seamless integration in his sets. He's known for working the effects unit and EQ to give the dustier records a more modern feel.
A proper full-length album called Cruising Attitude recently appeared in Japan under Dimitri's name, but he's finding the record industry overall less enthusiastic about releasing left-field dance music. The plummeting profits of both major and independent labels over the past couple years have made release schedules much more conservative.
While Dimitri can see how file-sharing is having a huge effect on the music business, he's reluctant to lay blame for the industry's woes on fans.
"The whole industry is trying to figure out how to use the Internet, but the record companies have been very slow. It's up to the artists to react to it. People want to be able to get the music at home, whenever, and just take the songs they want, but there aren't any rules right now. It's a big jungle."