Coronavirus update: View cancelled events here

D'Julz Interview: Time and simplicity

Jo Waddington quizzed Bass Culture label boss D'Julz about his enduring career, perfecting his craft and running an imprint.

Becca Frankland

Last updated: 23rd Sep 2015

Image: D'Julz

D'Julz has been at the forefront of electronic music for over two decades. Whether it's through his own releases, radio shows, live appearances or via his Bass Culture label, he is still as triumphantly current and sought after now than ever before.  

He’s been a stalwart of the French underground for many years, earning a reputation through his funk infused house and techno sets (check out his Paris Boiler Room below). We caught up with him ahead of his gig at MODU:LAR's winter opening in Liverpool this weekend.

First up, you're playing in Liverpool for MODU:LAR next weekend. The city is full of warehouse spaces, including the one on Greenland St where you're playing. What do you like about playing in those sort of venues? Do you think they suit your style the most? 

I can have good fun in all sorts of venues: intimate clubs, big dark rooms, open air raves, warehouses. As long as the set up and the sound system are right, what more do you need?

On the topic of warehouse spaces, you are soon to be playing the opening night of Sankeys Warehouse and Victoria Warehouse in Manchester. You've played at the club night a few times, do you think it will suit a bigger venue?  

It's hard to say since it's the first one they've done but it's all very professional and the team are really experience so I'm sure they know what they are doing. Anyway, I’m happy they asked me to be part of the it and I'm really looking forward to playing there.

You have a career spanning over two decades. With an industry that is currently so over-saturated with artists trying to break out to the forefront of electronic music, what has been your secret to still remain so ahead of your game?

Like you said, I started in the early nineties and the scene was so different then to what it is now that I’m not sure I could have done it the same way if I had started today. Everything goes so much faster now. Therefore my advice wouldn't apply to todays model.

I was lucky to be able to take time to learn my craft . First as a DJ for ten years, then it took me another ten to learn to be a producer (ok, I'm a slow learner). But today, even though the access to music and technology is much easier than then, you have to become a great DJ and a great producer almost over night. It's tough and therefore I feel lucky I started when I started.

You are the founder of Bass Culture records, releasing material from artists such as Mr G, Cassy and mixes from Martinez Brothers and more. What do you look for in a record before you decide you want to work on it and release it? 

It's very simple, I just have to want to play the track right away and I have to feel it'll remain in my set for a while. My label is just the natural extension of my DJing. No rocket science behind it really!

You’re due to release ‘Houdini' (above) on the imprint at the end of October, can you tell us a bit more about the tracks on the EP?

Choosing from my own music for my label is the hard part. It's very difficult for me to have perspective on my music and if I ask for friends opinions they all come up with different ones so it never really helps!

I usually wait to have something like ten tracks and I let them rest for few months, sometimes years, and then I choose three that I think will work well together but are also complementary because it's important that the EP expresses all my different sides. 

What have you got planned for the label in the near future? Any promising new artist or releases we should be keeping an eye out for?

I can already tell you it's going be a massive year for the label. I'm very exited to have new releases coming up from legendary artists such as Ben Sims, Liz torres, Steve Rachmaad, Mr G and more.

If you could have released any record in the world on Bass Culture, what would it have been? 

Lil Louis 'French Kiss'

What track is without fail making its way into your sets at the moment?  

It's hard to name one. There's so much great music around. However, there are a few labels such as Cabinet, Karlovack or Underground Quality that I follow very closely.  

Like this? Try Tom Trago Interview: Digging A Little Deeper

Tickets are no longer available for this event