Dimitri from Paris
The debonair DJ’s latest mix is quite literally music to make love to
By: James Coulson | Jul 7, 2011 | Issue: 902 | No Comments | 2,886 views

Dimitri from Paris. Photos courtesy of Eleven

Thomas Melchior

Life’s good for a lot of DJs, but it’s been especially auspicious for Dimitri from Paris. The French DJ is a Knight of the Arts and Letters (equivalent to a knighthood in the UK) and one of only three electronic musicians alongside Cassius and Air to receive one. Topping that, though, is the fact that he’s got unlimited access to Hugh Hefner’s gaff. Dust off those dancing shoes quickstyle if you’d like to know why—Dimitri arrives in Nishi-Azabu this weekend.

Dimitri’s suave look—he’s most at ease sporting a sharp suit, pencil moustache and coiffed barnet—helps him stand out from the T-shirt-wearing club masses. But it’s his championing of disco, funk and good-time house grooves that’s earned him big accolades. His career stretches four decades and he’s shifted over one million releases.

In the late ’80s pirate radio served as Dimitri from Paris’ starting block, from where he’d broadcast mix-shows of his favorite tunes. Pursuits like this helped forge France’s primitive house music scene, and it wasn’t long until he started editing tracks. The legit radio world took notice, so too the big-name record labels; the ensuing ’90s saw him DJ at nationwide station NRJ (acronym in French: energie) and remix for the likes of Björk, The Cardigans, and even James Brown on imprints including UK house authority Defected.

Dimitri arrives in Nishi-Azabu to promote this year’s album Knights Of The Playboy Mansion. Amusingly, its title marries Dimitri’s aforementioned government award with the world’s most famous play house. Knights, a two-disc affair (the other mix is weaved by fellow Frenchman and house producer Bob Sinclair) is Dimitri’s fifth Playboy release, and it marks a shift in musical style: the previous outings focused on sexy disco and “Brasilia VIP lounge” type stuff, but this one is more for the house. Elements like the soaring vocals of Cookie Watkins’ “I’m Attracted to You” and the kick drums of Photon Inc.’s “Generate Power” suggest Dimitri and Sinclair chose from a more four-to-the-floor musical pool…

If you like Eleven’s rumbling sound system but your DJs less flamboyant, check out Thomas Melchior a couple of weekends later. He’s guest at Fumiya Tanaka’s indefatigable Chaos party.

Tanaka is a natural at straddling abstract and straight-up techno (think of him as a Japanese Ricardo Villalobos), which is reflected in the artists he invites to Tokyo. German-born Melchior happens to be a favorite of yours truly—he was creating slick, mesmerizing micro house for labels like Perlon and Playhouse long before “minimal” became a dirty word. If you’re not familiar with him, check out tracks “Feel Sensual” from as far back as 1999, and the more recent, jacking house of “In the Sprit.”

Dimitri from Paris, July 9; Thomas Melchior, July 30@Eleven. See club listings for details. Knights of the Playboy Mansion is out now on Defected.

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