Detroit Techno Militia recon:313 DJ from Belgium – Dimitri Pike mixes up this week’s Electronic Directory podcast.
Dimitri Pike is a damn fine export, both interstate and overseas. He’s been DJing for a number of years and has had gigs in clubs such as Tresor Berlin and Masonic Temple Detroit. He’s also released his music out on Mirage and his own label Wildtek Virtual while on the remix front he’s worked with Sean Deason and Steve Poindexter. Electronic Directory caught up with Dimitri to talk about the mix, his residency at OsMoz and the Belgium scene.
Interview with Dimitri Pike by Kazuumi Ishii
What have you been up to lately ?
At top of all, music and all its related activities. Production for the net-labels Wildtek Virtual and Wildub, a weekly radio show on LiveSets.com, some events ‘there and there’ and working on a more intimate project somehow, a live PA.
Can you tell us a little about the mix ?
I remember you liked a video of me playing with Trish Van Eynde and Klaina this summer and I played this way so, it’s some sort of a compilation of good old classics and few rarities that represent well the style of music I play. One hour is quite short for a DJ to show really what music he’s playing so I think classics are a good basis for people to imagine where the DJ influence comes from.
Also it’s not that much representative of my performances at various events because I just can’t play in front of my studio wall like I play at a party. I’m a DJ who learned to play in public and experimented since my very first steps errors and training with eyes on me (sorry to be narcissistic but…), I worked in a record shop where I was DJing daily all the new records for customers so my state of mind is very different between studio/parties. I feel more confident or implicated to play in front of an audience than playing alone and it’s very opposite to a lot of DJs I know.
Speaking of parties, tell us about your new residency at OsMoz, entitled In Space With.
Since the very first event with Detroit Techno Militia in February 2008, the ‘In Space With…’ parties have been organized at Osmoz and we had the pleasure to hear Tom Linder, DJ Seoul, The Mercenary (all from DTM team), Vergel Evans and Shamus Coghlan from Toronto and Germany, Marcel Heese from Tresor Berlin HQs, Trish Van Eynde and Klaina from Belgium and very recently Tyler Smith from France. A growing and serious list of ‘more than’ emerging artists in my opinion.
A crowd of regulars, friends, some people just curious to hear these names started to follow and party with us.
A few times, Osmoz direction introduced various non precise critics and didn’t respect its engagements but the situation evolved to a point where the attitude clearly not friendly become a problem. I can’t help an artist to express his art there in this situation and I don’t want artists I book to experience anything like that. So, despite the relatively young existence of the ‘In Space With…’ concept, I already need to find another place to continue.
What makes a party good and bad ?
I don’t know how to make bad events (laugh) ! More seriously, here what I think being the keys to eventually reach the good:
Hard work behind the scene. The communication around the party is extremely important from the flyer design that need to fit with the party concept to the human relation being as well a very big point. If you want people to be excited about your events, it’s needed to let them know that they’re going to experience a great night, to discover an artist they maybe don’t know about.
A correct and proper equipment for artists performing. It’s a shame when you come to perform somewhere and the needles are nearly dead, the mixer as well or the place where you perform is plenty of bottles, cigarettes, papers from the night before. Tasks for each one have to be defined clearly. Each goal of people involved in the event also needs to be clearly explained to avoid misunderstanding or deceptions at end of the night.
Being accessible regarding the entrance and bar prices. Having a staff who is polite, respectful but tight in managing some rare peoples acting bad due to too much alcohol or other things. The list can be extremely long and detailed but to be short, I think acting professionally will always help to avoid bad events.
What is the scene like in Tournai ?
To understand the scene in Tournai, it’s needed to know about the city itself before.
Tournai is a beautiful city with a strong historical/cultural heritage. It’s a spot for English, French, Netherlands and German people visiting the area and the city owns many places classified by UNESCO. It’s nice for tourism. On another side, social problems are huge and Tournai is also a city plenty of jobless people, drug addicts/dealers, psychiatric disorders patients with some of them authorized to travel through the city by day… This creates a very large social panel but the city is twenty years in delay regarding the younger generation and in managing troubles due to this social melting pot.
There is no real support for anything related to modern cultures like hiphop / electronic music or graphic arts or even independent / alternative cinema.
So the scene here is all about bars/pubs and clubs managed by people who dream of easy money without any interest for the art itself. I understand extremely well the need to make profit for any human on this planet but I don’t believe in easy money on the long term.
Now, there is some very talented people in the area and this in very various kinds of arts. From design to music, from street painters to theater actors, it’s large and there is material to work with. Unfortunately, most of us who develop an art at a semi-pro or pro level finish by moving to another horizons due to big lack of support.
So, I know you have a lot of love for music coming out of Berlin. How does it affect your creativity ?
Berlin affects my creativity a lot but nearly all I do in music because Berlin has been the very first ‘big’ city to offer me a chance to show my work as a DJ. Tresor booked me in 2003 at their first club approximatively one year before it was destructed and soon after I was asking to become a resident at Frequency Berlin along DJs I appreciate so much. Claude Young, Pacou, Sender Berlin and few others. Stefan did a very great job with Frequency Berlin and despite he’s very busy with work at the moment, I know he will be back on that thing one day or another.
So, on the creativity part, I find in Berlin things similar that those I’ve found in Detroit. A big city with a strong past. Some very modern architecture but also some decadent places. A lot of people dedicated to techno music and at top of all, the proximity of Berlin to where I live. It’s something like 1000 kilometers, only a bit more than one hour by plane. I try to travel there each time I’m able to do it. It’s always an opportunity to shop at Hardwax for some fresh beats, to go out at Tresor, Berghain or some other underground parties.
When it comes to Techno music, Berliners are at the top of the worldwide production. Sometimes even more than Detroit itself. Basic Channel, Tresor own many unforgettable records in their catalogue and the new school hits hard the scene with labels like Scion Versions, Cache, Ostgut Ton, Wax, Ancient Methods and a bit different since not 100% Berlin but … Sandwell District.
So, because they feed my passion of sound I try to create a relation between their sound and my own. I don’t want to copy since it would reduce me as someone uninteresting but I want to be able to play one of my tracks along any of these productions without feeling far away behind.
This is how Berlin influences my creativity. Definitely.
What do you think about the Belgium music scene at the moment ? I Love Techno remains the Belgium’s biggest dance music event. Fuse Club just turned 15. Colorz Club opened in Mons. A lot of talented people do their shit. Do you feel that it offers enough for different tastes ?
Very great question !
Belgium is very healthy in its own nightlife. As you say ILT [I Love Techno] remains the Belgium’s biggest dance music event.
Each one of us finds its own way at ILT, Blue room, Green room, Yellow room, Red room, etc… They offer a very large panel of music and a solid selection of artists.
Fuse is the best club in the country, and believe me, there is not any club in Belgium that can defy Fuse in terms of best place, best ambiance, best sound engineer, best people, etc… It’s definitely a great place and ‘Belgians’ are proud of ‘Fuse Club’ but the sound there changed from past years. There is still great artists performing but less often. It’s less ‘original and unique’. Fuse is today more accessible, and as an example, events run by Trish [Van Eynde] and Sam Ostyn have been stopped despite it was one of the best nights in town booking guys like Orlando Voorn, The Black Dog…
Colorz in Mons is a project run by Fabrice Lig and friends.
He is certainly the best talent Belgium could never have. He produced on prestigious labels like F Communications, 7th City, Kanzleramt, Versatile and so much more… But I think Fabrice finds the respect due to him far away from Belgium. I guess the geographic situation of the club doesn’t help it to become THE reference of Belgium nightlife but it’s a great thing that they opened Colorz and they did well by putting top notch clubbing equipment (Funktion One soundsystem, [Room Division] lights, etc…).
Carl Craig or DJ Sneak was already booked there.
And Belgium is plenty of great people doing it right, Café D’Anvers, Decadance in Gent, a lot of underground things in Brussels, Oostende, Leuven, etc… Recyclart, BEMF at Bozar and the City parade as well.
Tournai is definitely dead but Belgium is alive and lot of great talents are there to keep it healthy.
What about your own production ?
Artistically, it’s a reflect of my dreams. Dreams to escape, dreams to achieve things I believe in, it’s also a reflect of who I am along a very strong passion for the technical side of sound, computers and technology at all. The more I learn the better I feel.
Each production comes from an idea, a concept, a subject. I need to talk about something each time I work on a track. I need to imagine and obtain pictures in my head about each sound I put on the final production. A bit like in a DJ mix, I need to tell a story.
On the technical approach it’s a melting pot of analog gear and computer based software, both worlds offer so much that it would be reductive to be only analog or only computer user.
What are your plans for the rest of the year ?
Some precise plans like my DJ work. Professionals start to know about my perpetual evolving level and ability to take a dancefloor in hands so I have more opportunities to move than in the past and I wish to pursue in this way. I wish to travel more and discover other cities, cultures, people that will influence my future productions.
Talking of production, I would like to stop Wildtek Virtual and Wildub to switch on a vinyl label with a correct distribution despite I would most likely press small quantities but I know it will never happen where I live so, for the moment, these two net-labels justify their existence as my production playground and to help the promotion of a few talents I trust in.
So here comes some non precise plans but definitely on the table ! Whatever the sacrifices it will ask me, I deeply wish to move and find a place where I feel good and where I can help my work to growth. Being more accessible and having more access to a scene should definitely help.
The real big plan is finally to fight and then exist !
Dimitri Pike plays Motorcitysounds
Friday, October 30, 2009
JH Rondvierkant, Herne | Doors open at 8pm | €2 on door
- DIMITRI PIKE
- TRISH VAN EYNDE
Download Electronic Directory 21 Dimitri Pike Podcast
- 01. Killabite 002 A1 [Killabite]
- 02. Organ Grinda – Missunderstanding [Tresor]
- 03. Border Patrol – Last One Standing [Synewave UK]
- 04. Jeff Mills – The Dancer [Purpose Maker]
- 05. Richie Hawtin – Orange [Minus]
- 06. Aural Emote – The First Expression [Symbolism]
- 07. Elektrabel – E03 
- 08. The High Tech Child – Tribal Storm [Hey Babe !]
- 09. Jeff Mills – Black Is The Number [Axis]
- 10. The Martian – Particle Shower [Red Planet]
- 11. Chaos – Afrogermanic [Underground Resistance]
- 12. Jeff Mills – Earth [Axis]
- 13. The Other Side Of Space – Techno Drivers [Metroplex]
- 14. Organ Grinda – Distance For Life [Tresor]
- 15. Deuce – Cue Ed [Ostgut Ton]
- 16. Robert Hood – Black Man’s Word [M-Plant]
- 17. Scion – Emerge [Chain Reaction]
- 18. AJ Sound – Basemental [Decay]
- 19. DBX – Loosing Control [Accelerate]
- 20. The Black Dog – Cost II [Soma]
- 21. Rhythm & Sound w/ Bobbo Shanti – Poor People Must Work (Carl Craig remix) [Burial Mix]
- 22. UR – Twista ‘The Dance’ [Underground Resistance]
- 23. Jeff Mills – Casa [Axis]
- 24. DJ Funk – Acid Frequency [Dance Mania]
Download older podcasts below
- EDP20 Mick Welch
- EDP19 Jamie Behan
- EDP18 The Florian Muller Project
- EDP17 Edge of Infinity
- EDP16 Klaina
- EDP15 Solab
- EDP14 Trish van Eynde
- EDP12 Erell Ranson
- EDP11 Chuck Bleu
- EDP10 Esteban Adame
- EDP09 Chymera
- EDP08 Alan Smith
- EDP07 Arne Weinberg
- EDP06 DJ Bone
- EDP05 Trench
- EDP04 Rubsilent
- EDP03 Nomadico aka DJ Dex
- EDP02 Kuri Kondrak
- EDP01 Lee Holman