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d’j&g aka sub space interview

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Sub Space Biography

D’J&G aka Sub Space are talented artists, composers, DJs and producers because the experience of the elders and the vitality of the youthfulness meet within this classy and powerful duet.

It is on their label Mirage records that they have released since 1996 many classics (from house to techno to mash-ups) played by Jeff Mills, Carl Cox, Derrick Carter, Laurent Garnier, Carl Craig and many others. Jeff Mills and Jordan Fields have recently discovered that those two Frenchies are definitely not like the others: they are capable of setting fire to any dancefloor, from the Rex in Paris, to the Womb at Tokyo, in front of 25000 people at the Big Chill Festival, as well as being the ambassadors of France at the closing night of the Tresor in Berlin. This is why Sub Space are the only French to have signed on Jeff Mills’ Axis techno label, dreamed of by everyone, and have signed on J.Fields’ Minimalizm house label in the same time.

If the greatest composers, DJs and producers of electronic music all around the globe trust them, it is because Sub Space are not the last product out of the studios of a major or an advertising agency, but rather artists of value on whom they can count from more than 10 years.

"The vision of the future through the respect of the past." – Julien & Gonzague.

Interview with D’J&G aka Sub Space by Kazuumi Ishii

You have heard it a many times before but for a Japanese audience they might not be familiar with what you do, and so how would you best describe what you make ?

We have different ways of work. We are DJs, live-actors, composers, producers, from techno to house under different identities.

How did you initially get started in electronic music ? What inspired you initially ?

In 93, the electronic mouvement began to explode in France. We quickly became DJs residents in historic clubs before that the Detroit vibe (Saunderson, May, Mills, …) was clearly define and present in France. The first stars of electronic music were more at this time people like Hardfloor, Prodigy, Moby, The Orb, PVD, …

It’s been about ten years since Mirage was setup, so can you give some highlights of last ten years ?

10 years ago, lot of independants labels were create. At this time, it was really difficult to make it place for Mirage Records. The principle highlight is to wake up each morning from 10 years with our label still alive. That’s the most important for us when we see today that all the others disappeared, last in time F Communications, Laurent Garnier’s label.

For your Mirage label, have you recently signed any new artists ?

John Thomas is not a new artist in the underground world, but a new one for Mirage records. He recently made a remix of our Basic Voice track, originally came out 7 years ago.

We are waiting for lot of others at the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Mirage, but we will keep you inform as soon as they will come out.

When you go through demo, what do you listen for ?

We listen for good vibes. We can’t clearly answer another thing that we listen for something we really like to produce.

How do you articulate Mirage’s sound and concept ?

There is no concept and especially sound for Mirage. We like dancefloor good music and we produce it without limits.

Do you still live in Paris ? Why do you choose Paris for your base ?

Yes still ! Paris is a strategic place to travel in Europe for all the bookings and meetings. Tokyo is a fantastic town, but Paris stay the most beautiful city in the world. That’s one of the reasons we stay and probably also because we met so many Japanese in it. ;-)

Do you think if you weren’t from Paris, your music style would be something different ?

We live in Paris from years, but we are from Lyon. Our music style would be certainly something different if we weren’t from this city.

From listening to the stuff on your releases, it seems deep, as though even for a moment one can almost conceive of the thought process and emotion that has gone into producing the tracks, and so when producing the music how much do you consider the reaction of an audience that essentially wants to dance and how much would you cater to them ?

We began dancing all nights. So, even if you feel our music deep sometimes, we know the secrets to keep it enough powerfull to dance.

To sum up: we were the audience, so when we listen now our music, we know if it will work on dancefloor or not. We are still the audience !

We wanted to ask you about Sub Space. What is the difference between that and your music as DJ Julien & Gonzague ?

Originally Sub Space was a new project for Jeff Mills’ label. The style was definitely inspired by the spirit of Axis Records: pure techno.

D’J&G (DJ Julien & Gonzague) is originally our Mirage’s name.

But now, when most of the time we are playing under Sub Space identity in live-act, it simply sounds like the meeting of the funky power of Mirage Records and the pure techno subtlety of Axis Records.

What message do you try and put across in your music ?

The message is: The music of the future through the respect of the past.

Now that the cheesy minimal (house) phenomenon is over, what new trends do you see emerging ?

In any kind of music, the good one stay and the fashion one die. We don’t know what will be the next fashion one. We only think about good music and that don’t depend of the fashion or the classification style.

Detroit techno is quite big here in Japan. I sometimes find great influence from Detroit techno in your sound production. What does Detroit techno mean to you ?

The Detroit techno is one of our most important influencies. The other one is the funk. Both biggest labels (Submerge and Motown) are in the same town. You listened right our music !

Can you tell us a bit about the structure in your decks ? Are you interested in new technologies, like Final Scratch or Traktor ? You’re using Ableton ?

For DJing we stay old school, vinyls and CDs for the unreleased tracks, but yes for our live-act we use Ableton. This software is very stable and easy to performe in live.

For your live PAs, what new technologies are you currently using ?

Actually we are using classic tools as MIDI mixers which one are very stable for communicate with computers.

In studio, we are actually testing a new kind of technology for a private organization: multipoint tactile screen (as you saw in Minority Report). That will be an amazing innovation for live-acts, but it’s at the test processus, not enough stable yet.

New technology is one of the most important themes for artists from now on. For the future of the electronic artist, what kinds of new technology will be implemented ?

In part already answered. But we can easily say that the future is in the human interfaces, first will be the multipoint tactile screen, but we already know that bio-interfaces are in projects and will be a revolution in the music !

What do you see as the next step in electronic performances ?

We have lot of ideas and we hope that Japan will be the first audience to see it.

Could you talk us through the differences between D’J&G the producer and D’J&G the DJ ? Is it a different identity, or is it the same ?

It’s mainly the same, but our DJ side is of course more eclectic than the producer one.

There’re a lot of new developments going on around new technology, and making music no longer seems to be a privilege only for a limited number of talented people, but also for young kinds who know how to play with pre-sets sounds. What is your opinion on this trend ?

That’s cool…

There’re many DJs who makes their sets only by CD, and this doesn’t surprise us any more. But, there’re some who doesn’t even carry CD holders, but single laptop PC and mix the whole set by using the software like Traktor and mp3. What is you impression on that ?

If it is to come to dance or to listen to a playback, it does not have interest in it.

Jeff Mills, and Richie Hawtin just released a DVD mix, do you think this will be the new direction of mix releases ?

Not obligatory. Jeff Mills is a pioneer and that’s normal to see him using all the kind of format possible. Just big artists with a big work have enough contents to make a DVD mix.

If you were to put out a mix DVD do you have a particular image ?

Deyan Parouchev is our personal photograph which one developed a new technology of video. If we were to put out a DVD mix, his technology were the principle idea to create the atmosphere. You can watch his projects on Youtube.com searching "Deyan Parouchev".

Is it still exciting for you now when you come to somewhere overseas like Japan ?

Sure, It’s always a pleasure !

If yes, it’s great that you haven’t lost that after ten years ?

We are in studio several months a year and we like that, that’s why it always remains a pleasure to take back the road to meet our public.

So many art forms have evolved because of surrounding circumstances – political unrest or injustice. Do you agree with this statement that struggle creates stronger or more influential art, etc ? Have you seen this kind of elements from Paris’s music scene ?

Very good question ! We agree that statement that struggle creates stronger art.

The best example is Detroit. The biggest artists from this city appeared at the worst economic period from the Motown to Submerge.

Our history is quite similar. We come from Lyon, the French motor city.

The more you were increased in a difficult economic context, the more kept silent will manage to create a beautiful music which allows you to escape.

Sub Space Discography

own releases

as DJ Julien & Gonzague

  • Mirage 01, 12"
    Mirage (1997)
  • Mirage 02, 12"
    Mirage (1997)
  • Mirage 03, 12"
    Mirage (1997)
  • Mirage 04, 12"
    Mirage (1999)
  • Mirage 05, 12"
    Mirage (2000)
  • Mirage 07, 12"
    Mirage (2001)
  • Mirage 08, 12"
    Mirage (2001)
  • Mirage 09, 12"
    Mirage (2002)
  • Mirage 10, 12"
    Mirage (2002)
  • Paris – Berlin EP, 12"
    Rampe D (2004)
  • Don’t Believe Da Hype EP, 12"
    Mirage (2005)
  • The Lost City EP, 12"
    Mirage (2005)
  • Nobba EP, 12"
    Mirage (2006)

as Sub Space

  • First Step EP, 12"
    6277 (2005)

Mirage Records Discography

  • DJ Julien & Gonzague / Dolby D – Mirage 01, 12"
    MIR001 (1997)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague / Dolby D – Mirage 02, 12"
    MIR002 (1997)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Mirage 03, 12"
    MIR003 (1997)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague / Dolby D – Mirage 04, 12"
    MIR004 (1999)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Mirage 05, 12"
    MIR005 (2000)
  • Dolby D – Purple Trip EP, 12"
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Mirage 07, 12"
    MIR007 (2001)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Mirage 08, 12"
    MIR008 (2001)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague / DJ Daisy – Mirage 09, 12"
    MIR009 (2002)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Mirage 10, 12"
    MIR010 (2002)
  • Dimitri Pike – Night Works EP, 12"
    MIR011 (2002)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – The Lost City EP, 12"
    MIR012 (2005)
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Don’t Believe Da Hype EP, 12"
    MIR013 (2005)
  • Dolby D – Mechanic EP, 12"
  • DJ Julien & Gonzague – Nobba EP, 12"
    MIR015 (2006)
  • John Thomas – Basic Voice remix, 12"
    MIR016 (2007)


own releases

  • Red Activity, LP
    Axis (2007)
  • Lock Groove EP, 12"
    for Jordan Fields (2007)
  • Sound’s Tapas EP, 12"
    Newrhythmics (2007)
  • United EP, 12"
    Filtered Vision (2007)
  • Chain Reaction, 12"
    Token (2007)

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Written by Kazuumi

April 7th, 2007 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Features

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