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I get deep: DJ Deep

The mainstay of French dance music on how technology has shaped him and the music he loves

  • Words: Thomas H Green | Photos: Keffer
  • 1 December 2016

If ever there was a true stalwart of the French techno and house underground it’s DJ Deep. Known to his mum as Cyril Étienne des Rosaies, he’s been an associate of Laurent Garnier since the early 90s and has a long association with the city’s legendary Rex Club, plus seminal Parisian parties like Oz and Zoo at Club Boy and Le Palace respectively. A series of EPs as The Deep saw his music embraced by original US house dons such as Louie Vega, and he went on to achieve further success with mix albums on Distance Records. And like any DJ or producer with such a long love affair with dance music, that passion extends to the machines that help make and play music.

“I’ve always had a feeling that the machines from the early days of techno really influenced the sound,” he says. “Those Detroit musicians put their hands on equipment which had often been discarded by other musicians – [Roland] TR-909s, TR-808s and Juno keyboards. Somehow the meeting of those specific instruments with those musicians created a unique sound. I was really in love with the early Transmat records of Derrick May and Carl Craig. We heard them as landscapes of tomorrow, of the future. Twenty years later, hearing those same sounds recycled, I can’t help but ask: what does that mean now? Where is it going?”

Perhaps this has been the impetus behind the explosion of activity from this most debonair yet unpretentious of DJ-producers. In recent years his pairings with Roman Poncet, as the techno outfit Adventice, and the more experimental Sergie Rezza, have drawn plaudits, both in the live arena and for their recorded output (on Berlin techno mecca Tresor and Paris imprint Desire, respectively). Deep recalls Sergie Rezza’s concert debut, three years ago at the Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris, as an extraordinary and exciting experience. He takes pride in the way his projects combine old and new technologies.

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