For more than two decades, French selector D’Julz has been a seminal part of his home countries underground music scene. First running his Bass Culture night at Rex Club in Paris, and then with a label of the same name.
For the past ten years, Bass Culture Records has released sounds from Phil Weeks, Chez Damier, Cassy and Ben Sims, and now celebrating a decade in the game, have released a VA album with ten brand new and exclusive productions.
We spoke to the label boss about the new VA album, how it feels to reach ten years and where things might be heading down the road. Get the full discussion below.
This year marks 10 years of the Bass Culture imprint, it must make you feel quite proud?
Considering the state of record sales since 2009, I think it’s already success to have lasted this long. But, what I’m mostly proud of and happy about is when I look back at some of the first releases and still want to play them today. Putting out timeless music has always been the main goal of Bass Culture.
And you’ve put together a VA album that includes tracks from Sebo K, Mr G, and others, how did the album come together?
I wanted 10 unreleased tracks to celebrate the 10 years of Bass Culture. It was as simple as asking some of the key artists of the label for music, and they all played the game and sent me great tunes! I was very lucky. But that’s what happens when you have quality artists involved since day one I guess.
Do you have any particularly fond memories from running the label for the past decade?
The very start of it was particularly amazing. I went with my gut, and signed a bunch of pretty unknown artists at that time such as Lemos, Alex Picone, Kasper, not really knowing how things would go. All of these releases were instant underground hits, and were played and supported by key DJs from different scenes. I couldn’t have dreamt of a better start than that.
Before the label Bass Culture was an event at Rex Club in Paris, was it always your intention to have a label alongside?
Not at all. The idea came very late, 12 years later exactly. I like to take my time in everything I do, I find you build better foundations this way. It’s an ethic that has helped Bass Culture thrive and survive.
Your own productions have seen releases with Robsoul, Rekids and Ovum, will you be adding any imprints to the list in the near future?
The last couple of years I’ve been present on other imprints through remixes only. Recently on Madhouse, Pets Recordings, Crosstown Rebels. I prefer to keep my original material for Bass Culture and for the new label I started with Yoyaku called JV Recordings.
And as a DJ you’ve played DC-10, Heidegluhen, fabric and other top spots, what’s on the calendar that has you excited?
I’m going to Cairo next month and I’ve heard great things, I’m very excited to discover a new scene, which is something I love about my job, you never stop discovering new scenes, even 30 years in! I’m also looking forward to going back to Costa Rica in January for a couple of shows and a well-deserved vacation.
As a veteran with multiple decades in the industry, what straight forward advice would you give to an emerging DJ just finding their feet?
Do your homework studying music history, which is easy nowadays with YouTube, Discogs and Soundcloud. Get inspired. Find your own sound and image.
And in your opinion, what’s the best track released in 2019?
I couldn’t possibly choose! All I’ll say is there are 10 stand out tracks on the new 10 Years Of Bass Culture compilation.
10 Years Of Bass Culture is out now.